Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Second Chances

When I was diagnosed with Addison's disease a little over two years ago, I felt very isolated. Addison's is life-threatening. Around the world people die from it, and I only survived because I had access to good doctors and modern medicine - steroid hormones to replace the ones my body no longer produces.

Addison's affects only 14 in 100,000 people. So, in Scotland, with its population of five million, there may only be about 700 people who understand it. There are no local support groups, and I really missed being able to speak with fellow Addisonians to find out how they coped with the physical and psychological shock of ill-health, diagnosis and aftercare.

In summer 2012, I put out an appeal on one of Facebook's Addison's groups and set out to commission stories from Addison's people around the world.  I wanted honesty, but I wanted, also, something uplifting. Something that demonstrated that people could be struck down by this illness, but could take control of their new health regime and live a full life.

I was privileged to work with fifteen men and women who shared their experience with me. They shared their stories because they, too, understood that sense of isolation newly diagnosed Addison's people feel, and because they wanted people to know more about this rare condition. In addition, my endocrinologist very kindly supplied the ideal medical preface to the collection.

The contributors come from the UK, Canada, the USA, Belgium, South Africa, Australia and South Korea, and their stories are all different, since their lives are all different. One thing is the same - they all want to make the most of the second chance modern medicine has given them.

That's why I called the collection of our life stories 'Second Chances'. Or, more properly, 'Second Chances: true stories of living with Addison's disease'.

'Second Chances' has been published as an e-book by PotHole Press, and is available on Amazon around the world for Kindle. Versions formatted for I-pad, Kobo and other e-readers will be available soon.


  1. Just purchased your book and am reading it now!

  2. Thank you Carol for this insightful look into living with this disease.

    There are a good many people who happen to have PHPT (Primary Hyperparathyroidism) who also suffer concurrently with either Addison's, or another form of a polyglandular autoimmunune disorder which also affects cortisol production. We will be happy to share your information via our FB page.

    Congratulations on all the hard work it takes to get the book out there and all the best to you!

  3. Thank you so much for your feedback, and for sharing the information!

    Best wishes,
    Carol :)

  4. I am a Canadian male who has had Type 1 diabetes since 1993, I was 35 then. Just recently in February 2013, I have been diagnosed with this 'other' auto-immune disease called Addisons! I will be very much interested in this read...Thanks Carol! Cheers, Cary

  5. Thanks for getting in touch, Cary. Let me know how you get on with the ebook. I hope you settle in to managing the Addison's really easily.

    All best,

  6. Hi! I'm from Spain. I was diagnosed with Addison's disease a three years ago. Now i am 23 and i can say that my life has changed a lot!! It's very difficult sometimes and i don't know anybody that suffers the same disease.I'll try to read the book although in English is a bit difficult for me...

    1. Hi Lidia,

      Lovely to hear from you. I'm sorry you don't know anybody else who suffers the same disease. Have you looked on Facebook? There are lots of people who have Addison's Disease there - in the English language sites, anyway. I'm sure there must be some in Spanish, too.

      Thank you for your interest in Second Chances. I hope you find it easy to read, and helpful!

      With best wishes,

    2. Ok, I'll search on Facebook.
      Thanks a lot!

  7. I got my diagnosis of Addison's disease last week. I had not even heard of the disease before. I was wondering if your book has now been published also in other formats than Kindle? I would really like to read the book but i would need it in epub or pdf format.

  8. Hello Kristel,

    It'll take you a few weeks to get used to the idea of having Addison's, but it does get better, honestly!

    Thanks for your interest in 'Second Chances'. It's available on Kindle, but it's also available as an epub version on the Apple i-books store, so if you have a Mac or an i-pad, you could download it and read it that way. It's also available as an epub on Kobo.

    The other way people can read it is if they download the Kindle or Kobo app to their PC or smartphone before buying the ebook.

    Any problems, get back to me! I hope you find the stories in Second Chances helpful. Don't forget to look out for the Facebook groups, and there's a really good UK website called which has lots of excellent information.

    All best,