Support for Those Living with Adrenal Insufficiency

Waiting for the Ambulance

Among other health problems, I have Addison’s disease. Unfortunately, I know from personal experience what it is like to have an acute adrenal crisis among emergency health care workers who don’t know what to do, while I am too disoriented and weak and distressed to educate them properly. What will happen the next time I have to call 911? I feel such panic and despair. I am a poet and writer by profession. What can I do but offer this poem for all of us whose lives face this unnecessary, preventable threat from the very people who are supposed to help us?


By: Mary
Krane Derr

Note: We are sad to say that not long after sharing her story with us Mary passed away in November of 2012. We found this write up about her and have added it here for all those who would like to know more about her.


than a ringing in the ears,
this ringing
and buzzing, ringing
and buzzing
of heatwave that rattles
the waterlife
out each trillion trillion
cell of me, crumples my
entire sweat-hemorrhage
of a human body over
onto the cracked splashed
August-hot concrete
of some gumwad bus shelter,
tremelos me and vomits me
all up into lurid green
spit-ropes of bile
as I shiver and strain
with no mercy,
no mercy,
towards the gathering
Doppler approach, what good
is it, of the redshift blare of the siren, what
good is it, as it buzzes me and rings me
closer, what good is it, and closer to the
terror that will soon enough barrel
all of its red and green and alarmingly whitecoated blare over me,
closer to the clueless hard cluster
of emergency faces,
what good is it, who will
lock every sense against
this crazylady’s
ringing buzzing sweating
heaving forth of heatwave,
what good is it,
what good is it,
to save my salt wasting
water bleeding
bile spewing
rare adrenal failure of a life
they’ve never even heard of before.

(C) 2012 Mary Krane Derr

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