Re: 13 Year old daughter just diagnosed with Addisons!
Firstly, I am really sorry to hear that your daughter - and your family - is going through this difficult time. I was diagnosed with Addison's disease at the age of sixteen, after half of year of being extremely ill. I think my parents knew I was not faking, because I couldn't even walk to the bathroom, but they assumed something more traditionally teen (drugs or eating disorders) was causing the symptoms. It was a really difficult time and your daughter has a lot to be thankful for that you've taken her to get help rather than berate her.
Adjusting to a chronic illness at a young age is very difficult. Things are going to change for her, unfortunately. However, that doesn't mean she can't still get what she wants out of life. For me, it was hard adjusting to the fact that I'd need medication all my life. Even in my thirties I get impatient. I'd recommend if she shows any reluctantance or resentment toward the meds, ask her to keep a diary so she can note changes. As they work toward finding her a dose that is ideal, she can keep track and begin to see how meds affect her. This would go a long way in helping her take control of them, rather than feeling controlled by the condition.
As a parent, I'm sure you're worried for her, but Addison's is something that can be managed and dealt with. Just being there and listening is probably the best help you can provide. Addison's can make sufferers extremely tired, so try to understand what's going on if she seems fatigued and don't assume she is lazy. However, encourage her to budget her time and energy well so she can make the most with what she has. One thing I'd recommend is avoid being the overseer of her condition. At first, she may need a calendar or box to help her remember when to take her pills, but don't harp on her for it. My parents did that and it turned into a battle of wills many times. Let her be responsible for her health, with you in a supporting role. Learn all you can about the illness. Believe her if she reports symptoms and problems. Get to know the doctors she sees and make sure they give her the best treatment they can provide. Don't be afraid to ask them questions, even if they aren't warm about it. Your daughter's illness is chronic but it won't cut her lifespan, it doesn't mean she can't do the things she's dreamed, it just means it's harder. As long as you support her and trust her instincts (after a while she will know the condition better than her endos) she will be okay.