Addison's Disease Self Help Group


ADSHG Information pages offer a wealth of detailed information on diagnosing and managing Addisons disease. Thursday, 18. August 2011 23:03:20

Real-life Emergency Experiences

Compiled by:  Katherine White   Tuesday, 18. January 2011

In this section we feature real-life experiences of emergencies, contributed by members of the ADSHG.  Here, our members describe how they coped with severe illnesses or accidents.  In addition, we have asked a medical adviser to the ADSHG to comment on the experiences of our members, and where necessary, to offer suggestions as to what the individual might have done differently.

An untimely death - By Niki

Niki describes how her friend, Justin Watkis, found it difficult to accept that he was dependent on steroid medication. Sadly, he collapsed and died between three and five days after running out of hydrocortisone.

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Dangerous delays at A & E - By Katherine

Katherine experienced dangerous delays at Accident & Emergency when she attended with a dislocated shoulder, because nursing staff failed to recognise the life-threatening implications of adrenal crisis.

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Delayed treatment at Accident & Emergency - By Liz

Liz experienced dangerous delays at Accident & Emergency when she attended with diarrhoea and vomiting, because nursing staff failed to recognise the life-threatening implications of adrenal crisis.

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The mile-high, thigh-high club - By Ruth

Ruth describes her experiences of surviving a long haul flight. Starting with vomiting in the security line and requiring her to self  inject during the flight and with the added challenge of having her kids in tow.

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Self-medication during surgery - By Ruth

It is now six years since I began steroid treatment for Addison’s disease – primary adrenal insuffiency. This October, my kids brought home a hacking cough with fever; we all spent a week on the couch with a round of antibiotic.

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Falling off a ladder - By Jackie

It was an April Saturday afternoon and my husband had gone out, when I decided to go up into the loft....  The next thing I was aware of was coming too, lying on the floor at the bottom of the steps.

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Delhi Belly - By Gavin

I flew out to New Delhi, India, for a two-week work assignment with some excitement.  I love travelling and I knew that India, despite a luxury hotel, would be an assault on the senses. What I did not realise was how quickly a gastric problem could developed into a serious Addisonian situation.

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A lucky escape - By Sue


In July this year, sixteen days after I was diagnosed, the whole family caught my son’s tummy bug. 


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Things that go bump in the night - By Pam

I had my first adrenal crisis about four weeks ago. Got up in the night and promptly passed out.   I fell flat on my face – literally - biting right through my chin when I hit the floor. Apparently I was unconscious for over an hour. 


Bad Bugs - By Ruth

I had a bad tummy bug last week that my kids shared with me, and came close to needing to use my emergency injection. I was surprised by how severe the virus was and by how quickly I went downhill.




  What is Addison's disease?
  Spotting the signs and diagnosis
  Addison's disease Owner's Manual
>Real life emergency experiences
  Personal experiences & life stories
  Recent medical research
  Links to medical information sites

  What to do in an emergency

  Addisonian crisis
  Emergency injections
  Emergency crisis letter
  Personal experiences & life stories

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 Editorial Team: Deana Kenward, Katherine White - Technical Design: Nick Willson
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