A little over a year ago we started the process of buying our first house. Moving into a new home can be a stressful experience, but our entire family was excited to finally move out of the small townhome we had lived in for the previous 5 years.
We started the search for a new home in February of 2016, and after a few months of searching and not finding the home of our dreams, we had a conversation with our real estate agent and asked her to look into local homebuilders that could build exactly what we wanted.
After talking with a few different builders, we agreed on a design and broke ground in May in an area of south Boise that our family loved. Fast forward a few months, and our home was complete and ready for us to move in.
At the time life was fairly normal for us. I had recently gotten a raise, and my wife and daughter seemed to be in good health. My wife had a history of anxiety and depression, and she had some hyperpigmentation on her face that came about when our daughter was born and never subsided.
Like the majority of the population, we had never heard of Addison’s Disease.
Addison’s Disease is a very rare disease. This is from NORD.org:
“Addison’s disease affects males and females in equal numbers. Approximately 1 in 100,000 people in United States have Addison’s disease. The overall prevalence is estimated to be between 40 and 60 people per million of the general population. Because cases of Addison’s disease may go undiagnosed, it is difficult to determine its true frequency in the general population. Addison’s disease can potentially affect individuals of any age, but usually occurs in individuals between 30-50 years of age.”
Like anyone in the same situation, we were so excited to move into our new home. This is also the moment in time I think of when we knew that something else was going wrong with my beautiful bride’s health.
Boxes were packed. Furniture was moved. My wife was not enjoying the process.
She had stomach discomfort and her anxiety had reached a debilitating level.
Shortly after moving in her parents visited us and her father made a comment about how skinny she looked. We hadn’t noticed it, but she had lost almost 40 pounds in the past year. My father in law is a surgeon, and after seeing her and asking a few questions, he made an assumption that his daughter had Addison’s Disease.
Here is a list of the common Addison’s Disease symptoms according to The Mayo Clinic:
- Extreme fatigue
- Weight loss and decreased appetite
- Darkening of your skin (hyperpigmentation)
- Low blood pressure, even fainting
- Salt craving
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle or joint pains
When we saw this list and put a checkmark next to almost every single symptom, we knew we had to go see a doctor. A few doctor’s visits and several blood tests later, my father in law’s assumptions became reality.
my wife HAS Addison’s Disease.
When I heard the diagnosis, I was shocked. I did the first thing (and worst thing) anyone does when they hear about something they’ve never heard of, and googled “Addison’s Disease”. I read about steroids, and treatment plans, and the effect Addison’s can have on an individuals quality of life. As I consumed all this information I became overwhelmed, and sad.
Maybe you or a family member were just diagnosed with Addison’s and you found this blog through the same google search I made. If that’s you, connect with us.
When my wife was diagnosed I didn’t know who to talk to. I really didn’t want to talk to my wife about how sad I was. I had to be her rock through this…
Hindsight is 20/20.
I should have talked to her right away. We probably should have sought counseling immediately. Somehow we made it through those early dark days and today our relationship and health (for both of us) is the best it’s been since we changed addresses.
My hope with this blog is that I can help people in a similar situation to my wife and I understand that they are not alone when it comes to autoimmune disease. We live it every day, and we understand your struggles.
Thanks for reading. I’m glad you found us and want to follow our story.