"If you are seeking out Dusty's assistance, you are likely in a bad place. Addison's Disease is not fun. It can be especially difficult, overwhelming, and daunting 1) upon diagnosis, 2) as you're trying to find the right balance of meds, 3) when working with a doctor who does not understand the disease or how to manage a patient toward a goal of optimum health. Regarding #3, talk to enough doctors, do some research yourself, and you'll see that many doctors fall into this category.
I was fortunate to have found Dusty's blog when searching for my own answers. I read 2-3 hours every evening, searching out responses to various subject matters, trying to take some control back. I reached out to Dusty for direct help.
The bottom line: without Dusty, I don't know where I'd be. I am not an ultra runner, though work 60-70 hours a week, on average, as a self-employed small business owner. I owe Dusty at the very least my quality of life, if not my life. Without sufficient steroid replacement therapy, with Addison's, it can be your life." Chad
"Without Dusty’s advice and encouragement I would never have had the courage, or the practical knowledge of how to, start running and training again. With Dusty’s help I have been able to live a much fuller life with Addison’s than I had ever thought I would be able to." Ashley
"Dusty helped me to get diagnosed with AI, providing me with strong, factual, scientific literature to back up my case with the many difficult Doctors I encountered. I'm 100% sure that if it weren't for her help, I'd still be undiagnosed and very sick. Thanks to her I have my life back and was also educated enough to spot the same symptoms in my son, which enabled me to get him diagnosed too." Helen - UK
"I was diagnosed with Addison's Disease in 2011 at the age of 38. I discovered Dusty's forum about six months later. At that time, I felt I was doing pretty well. What I didn't realize is that I could be feeling so much better! Dusty challenged and encouraged me to make changes including modifying my hydrocortisone dosing schedule and improving levels of vitamin D, DHEA-S and other hormones affected by adrenal insufficiency. I have learned so much and now have a much better understanding of how to live well with Addison's Disease. I am very thankful for Dusty's help. She is extremely knowledgeable and understands this disease first hand. She researched her way to getting diagnosed, feeling well and accomplishing amazing things. Thank you, Dusty!" Cathy
"Dusty Hardman has saved my life 3 times. She has more knowledge and passion than any physcian I have been to regarding addison's and thyroid disease. It took me 15 years to get diagnosed. She was principal in my getting a proper diagnosis. I had been to the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and dr after dr. It was Dusty who advised me what tests to ask for, how they should be done and under what cirucmstances. She has availed herself selflessly to me via the phone during pre-crisis interventions. She has interpreted my blood labs and pointed out missed nuances. I am now able to work and live a better life because of her. Had it not been for Dusty Hardman and her coaching I probably would not be here to type this. Thank you Dusty!" Sue
"In 2008 I had a severe post partum-hemorrhage with my third child at age 35. From that day on I suffered from constant headaches (mostly migraines), dizziness, nausea, low blood pressure and exhaustion that no amount of sleep could cure. I never left my house without my stroller because the dizziness I suffered was so intense I needed something to hold on to. I saw physician after physician and was told I was fine despite my inability to lose the 40lbs of weight I'd gained during pregnancy, pale skin, swollen eyes and low blood pressure (95/45), constant colds that always turned in to bronchitis, etc
After having an emergency ovarian cystectomy all of my symptoms worsened and I could hardly stand up without passing out. With some perseverance and internet searching I stumbled upon Dusty Hardman's Addison's blog and read her story about her own perseverance and subsequent diagnosis of Addison's disease. I wrote in to her blog and she was able to give me valuable information that eventually got me diagnosed with Addison's disease. Dusty was the reason I was able to finally get a dx, she was instrumental in her advice on HOW to get a physician to listen.
Being sick for two and a half years left me drained and emotional - Dusty's fighting spirit and ability to not mince words got me to buck up and start fighting hard. She gave me my life back, my kids got their mom back and because of her I've done more with my life than I did before diagnosis. As of May 2013 I ran a self supported 50k along Chicago's lakefront for rare diseases and was able to raise over $5,000 - Dusty was my inspiration and she has shown me how to pay it forward! She has given so much to the rare disease community and continues today. Dusty will always have a very special place in my life as a person with a rare disease, an athlete, an advocate but most importantly an individual with a huge heart!" Molly
"My story is a little different than others as Dusty helped me when I was in the hospital for a complete knee replacement. I was diagnosed in 1998 and this surgery was about 4 years ago. About the third or fourth day in the hospital I became very ill with crisis like symptoms. My potassium was too low from all the high steroids. Dusty called to see how I was not knowing the problems I was having. After hearing what was going on she suggested I switch from Hydrocortisone to Prednisone as it does not lower the potassium. Neither the doctors or I had thought of this so I am very grateful to Dusty for saving me from the complications I might have had from continuing the Hydrocortisone.
It is interesting that even though I know a lot about how to live with Addison's, at this time did not think about something that I should have. Something I already knew, but the brain does not function properly when having Addison's/health problems. If I am ever in for surgery again I will be sure to have Dusty advocate for me. It will put my mind at ease as she is much more knowledgeable about Addison’s than the doctors are! Thanks Dusty!!" Wanda 2/12/15
"I was diagnosed with Addison's disease in 2010. I soon discovered that every day is different with this disease and doctors knew very little to nothing about managing it. I was left feeling scared, lost and still unwell. Luckily I discovered Dusty's website. She advised me to change from cortisone acetate to hydrocortisone and to supplement other deficient hormones. She also put me on a different dosing schedule that made the world of difference. But Addison's can still be a difficult disease to manage and that's where Dusty's knowledge became invaluable. She has an understanding of the disease that no doctor could ever have, because she lives with it and demands the most from her body.
She has been with me every step of the way. I recently had major surgery and Dusty was there to help me with my recovery, often knowing when I needed to take more hydrocortisone before I was aware how low I was.
Dusty helps me to live the life I want and more importantly, deserve." Catherine, Aus.
"It has taken 5 or 6 years, but I slowly got healthier and healthier. You answered many of my early questions on the first forum as cdhulse. If not for that and your wonderful feisty little attitude might have believed that my life would remain severely limited. I still have challenges of course, and the dreaded new endocrinologist: she wants to question things that are already working because they don't line up with what would be typical (thyroid right now). Mostly quality of life vs. risk of longterm consequences stuff.
However, over time my questions have been so much better informed due to you and those on your blog, and my confidence so much higher when I seek out the things that work best for my body vs. general recommendations that lurk out there. As we all surely know, each day with AD is a tiny chemical experiment, but I am able to work full time as a School Psychologist, have travelled a bit with my family, and have had NO major crises or hospitalizations during the past few years. So grateful. I will still be checking in a couple of times a week. Let me know if there is any other way I could support YOU! Cathy, Hawaii