I was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency November 1, 2013. It's been a bit of a bumpy ride. First of all, I was surprised how long it took to get back to some semblance of a normal life. There was an immediate response to the hydrocortisone, but my body didn't exactly bounce back. It took me six weeks to have some sort-of-normal days. In the meantime, we had a trip to the Big Island scheduled near Thanksgiving, and I was determined to go.
Walking through the airport exhausted me. Walking across the hotel lobby exhausted me. It was a very tiring trip, even though it was only for a few days. I was very glad I went, though. It was a small victory as well as very telling where my health was at that point in time.
Jump to the present: I just returned from another trip to the Big Island. I flew over at the end of a long work day, and I did fine. No exhaustion at all. We didn't do anything particularly active, but we didn't last year either. I had some tired moments, but nothing like the feeling of having to drag my body across the floor.
Is it always this good? Nope. A few days later, I had to spend the day in bed. The hardest part of that is that you never know when a day like that is going to hit. It's not always obvious why I have a down day. Sometimes it turns out that I am fighting a virus. It might be an anniversary of a difficult event, so it's a psychological rather than physical stress. Sometimes it may be because I overdid it the day before.
Overall, though, life is much more normal. I can walk 40 minutes many days. I am still able to work, though long work days leave me extra tired. I have travelled a lot this past year to visit family, we've hosted visitors at our house. I've gotten used to having to monitor how I'm feeling throughout the day, I've gotten used to taking multiple doses a day to better emulate natural cortisol rhythm.
So while life is not the old normal, it is such a huge improvement over how sick I was a year ago. I'm very grateful to be at this point in my journey.