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Angela B's Story...

My name is Angela and I've been two and half years Cushing's free. I was inspired to share my story after watching the Discovery Health Channel and saw Sharmyn McGraw on Mysterious Diagnosis. When I heard her story I was telling myself I bet she has Cushing's because it sounded so similar to what I went through.

Here's my story:

Around eight years ago I started noticing symptoms such as sudden stretch marks, excessive weight gain, excessive hair growth on my face. My weight gain was gradual so I thought I was just gaining weight due to diet. During the time that I was starting to notice symptoms my husband and I were trying to get pregnant. After more than a year without any luck I went to a infertility OB that diagnosed me with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Sydrome). PCOS has some of the same symptoms of Cushing's. On the second month of Clomid I got pregnant. My pregnancy was difficult and I had my daughter early at 32 weeks due to preeclampsia. I have no doubt now that this was due to the Cushing's but at the time I just thought I had PCOS and that was that. My daughter was little (2lbs 13 oz at birth) but healthy and we were able to take her home 4 weeks later at 4lbs. She's a healthy 5 year old now with only some problems with speech that she goes to a school therapist for three days a week. I feel really blessed and lucky. I'm very curious to find out if anyone else gave birth while they had Cushing's and how their experience was.

The years following my daughter's birth my symptoms continued and I started having other symptoms such as continued facial hair growth, my hair on my head was thinning and falling out, I had excessive sweating day and night, hot flashes, easily bruised, hump on my back, rashy complexion, moon face, I also fractured my foot without it being injured (the cortisol was starting to affect my bone density), high blood pressure, fatigue, muscle weakness. Just about every textbook symptom there is I had it.

At this point I'm starting to realize I must have something other than PCOS. I go to an Infertility Endocronologist reccommended by my OB and he just thinks it's PCOS and give me suggestions on what to do to get pregnant again. That's wasn't what I wanted so I went to see a different Endocrologist. He took one look at me and I think he instantly new what I had. It was amazing. Within a week he has the answer from blood work and is sending me off for an MRI. Turns out I had an Adrenal tumor causing the Cushing's. It was such a relief to finally know why I felt so horrible for so long. I was scheduled for surgery within weeks and had the tumor and one adrenal gland removed laproscpotically.

It took about a year to feel normal after the tumor was removed. I had to take Prednisone for awhile until the other Adrennal gland kicked in and started to work. But within a month or so people told me how good I looked and had I lost a lot of weight. Actually I hadn't but the moon face was gone and my face was so much slimmer. It was so nice to look like myself again.

Now, two and half years after the tumor was removed I feel great but still struggle to get the weight off.

Thanks for letting me share my story

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