January 2, 2008 Edition

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Bad news all around

Amber Adams
Staff Writer

The week of Christmas is not the time you want to hear bad news. (Not that any time is good.) This Christmas we got a double dose. About a week before Christmas I was diagnosed with Addison's Disease.

I have been sick off and on, but mostly on, for just over a year now. When I had my gallbladder removed in early 2007, I thought my troubles were over. As the year went on, I stayed ill. My doctors kept telling me that it would get better as time passed. In September I caught the Norwalk virus, a.k.a., the "cruise ship virus," and was sick for a week. It seemed like I was catching everything that went around.

Finally in late November, my doctor ordered a round of blood work, saying that in looking back over my chart, he thought something more was going on. The first round of blood work showed that I had an autoimmune disease. A second round confirmed that it was Addison's.

Addison's Disease is a disorder of the adrenal glands, which results in the body producing insufficient amounts of certain hormones. If treated, it is not life threatening or debilitating, which was a small beacon of light to me. It is sometimes hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel simply because I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I know they say that God doesn't give us anything that we can't handle, but he has really pushed me this year.

I'll have to take medicines for the rest of my life, but no matter how inconvenient it seems, I know that it is better than the alternative. My diagnosis could have been much, much worse.

Our second round of bad news came on Christmas Eve, and in light of what many local families are facing, I'm trying to be more positive. We found out a few months ago that my brother-in-law, who is stationed in Germany, would be moving stateside within the next year. Apparently the Army has other plans for him.

Rather than transferring to Fort Bliss, Texas, with the rest of his unit, Casey will be transferring to another unit in Germany. There he will begin training for deployment to Iraq. It will be late next summer before his tour begins, but that seems so close.

I know that many families in Lawrence County are looking at a second tour in Iraq for their loved ones, and I have felt for them. Now I know what they are facing. Though I know it's not realistic, I just hope and pray that the Army decides that he will be more useful somewhere else.

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