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April's Story

I have been feeling unwell for about 10 years and had been to a variety of doctors who told me I needed to diet, exercise and take anti-depressants for stress. I was stressed, working full time with 3 kids and my husband. I was so frustrated at feeling sick all the time and being told there was nothing physically wrong with me.

In Oct.of 2003 I was at a point I just couldn't function. I was suffering from extreme fatigue, vertigo, blurred vision, continual flu like symptoms(nausea,diharea,muscle pain,weekness), severe mood swings,brusing and skin sensitivity,depression, insomnia and had gained 130 lbs with no reason for the gain. I couldn't fit behind the stearing wheel of the car and at work I was so fatigued I couldn't stay awake. I was late for work every day because I would get sick on the way there and when I finally got there I spent most of the day in the ladies room being sick or in the launge resting to try and get the energy to even move. My job of 23 yrs. was in jeopardy and I was extremely depressed because I couldn't function and everyone thought I was crazy.

I was finally able to talk my primary doc. to sent me for an MRI because of my size. I thought maybe I had a hernia from my 3 c-sections. To my surprise (and my doctors)the MRI showed large tumors on both my adrenal glands. I was then sent to an endo. who diagnosed me with Cushings,Diabetes and very high blood pressure(which I had had for years and no one treated). I live in upstate New York and then ran into the problem of there not being any facilities that would treat me. The closest doctors I could find are in Bronx, New York, which is 2 1/2 hrs from my home.

After meeting and being tested by doctors at Montefoire ed. Center it was decided I would have my left adrenal gland out pending a stress test of my heart because of the blood pressure and diabetes. In Feb. of 2004 I failed the stress test and had to go for cardiac catherization. At that time I had 2 stents put in my heart due to heart disease caused by the Cushings. I was scheduled to go back for another stent placement 8 weeks later, after which would be another stress test to determine if I could have the surgery. I was sick, depressed and scarred. I was also driving my family crazy with my mood swings, trips to doctors and not being able to do much. I have 3 teens which with being ill made it hard to do what I needed for them.

In June 2004 I had the left adrenalectomy. I was the first patient having it done in our area and felt like an odity. It was started laproscopicaly but the tumor was so big they had to open me up. I developed an insisional infection which spred to my whole side. After 2 weeks I went home but needed a home health aide for 2 months to clean the wound which was the size of your fist.

Around Oct, I started to heal and be able to get around. October my son was rushed to the hospital with apendicitis. While I was there with him I had a heart attach and two days later was taken to Valley Hosp. in New Jersey where I had two more stents put in.

In Nov. while recuperating from the heart attach, I started developing an incisional hernia. Because of the heart attach I had to wait 4 months for any kind of surgery. By March of this year My hernia was the size of a melon. My depression increased as did body and muscle pain. There are days I can't move.

My fibromyalia which I've had since age 17 has gotten worse and I feel like I'm falling apart. In July I had surgery to repair the hernia which almost burst. MY intestine and bowl were falling out. The surgion said my muscle and bone tissue has deteriated from the Cushings and that there wasn't any to attach the mesh to so it was attached to my ribs.

I was in the hosp. 10 days because my bowl wasn't functioning. I also had only a 40% chance of the hernia repair working. It has since torn again and another one is forming. I also fractured my shoulder and knee and now have 2 compression fractures in my back all atributed to the Cushings.

Besides the physical dicomforts I've been through, the emotional ones are great. I can't tell you the strain it has put on my family and friends. I was forced to retire after 25 yrs., I lost my job, my friends at work, my husband and I separated after 23 yrs together,I had to move from my home which meant I couldn't take my dogs which were of great comfort.

At this time I am trying to get back on my feet. I am 15 different meds.-3 off which are anti depressants. I still don't know what will be done about my right adrenal gland. I don't feel much better after having the left one out. I am 47 yrs old but feel 100. I am the only one in my area that the doctors have treated.

When my husand Sam and I seperated (due to my forcing him to leave) he went to Oklahoma to live. While there he found this web site and learned alot about the disease. I would have died during the hernia surgery if he hadn't had the knowledge he has. He has helped me get information and a few months ago I met Lynne and Mary. It has been a confort to know there are others like me. I feel so lost at times and don't like being dpemdent on others for help. I've had many other symptoms and experiences but I would be here all week writing.

Just want to say thanks to my husband and to Mary and Lynne for finding me this supportive outlet.-Thanks

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