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ARice's Story...

ARice – Developing Cushings:

In early November of 2002, I awoke on a Sunday morning feeling uncomfortably bloated. So much so that I was unable to wear any of my clothes. I made sure to drink plenty of water and my fiancé & I went for a long hike through the mountain trails near our house hoping the activity would help sweat or flush out the excess fluids. This made no difference, so on Monday I went to see my family Dr and I had gained 15 lbs literally overnight. He suggested water retention and told me to take some diuretic meds. From then on, my depression and weight continued to escalate even with the active lifestyle that I maintained living on a horse farm.

I was unable to lose any of the weight and joint and muscle pain began to plague me. I even got to the point where I was unable to ride horses because of the weakness and discomfort. During all of this I was also diagnosed with sleep apnea and restless leg with a curative suggestion of losing weight. Again, I tried but to no avail.

All my symptoms continued to worsen and stress really zapped me. The fatigue was unbearable. There would even be days that I couldn’t go to work because of the exhaustion and end up sleeping for 24 hours straight.

After my gallbladder attack in April of 2006, it went down hill from that point and fast! My headaches were so bad that I was working with my lights off due to the sensitivity. After work, it was all I could do to make it home and prepare a meal. The headaches continued to escalate but I continued working. Then in early August of 2006, I woke up one morning but my eyelids wouldn’t open! That was the end of me working, driving, or taking care of myself. The eyelid problem still comes and goes, but the kicker was when my speech pattern was disturbed. It literally felt like I did’t have the energy to talk, so my speech sounded a lot like a deaf person talking. However, the severity of my speech issues directly correlated with what kind of day I was having (severity of fatigue, headaches, weakness…).

The continued weight gain has been very fast. Had my gallbladder removed in May of 2006.

My 1st pituitary surgery was on 2/28/07. My cortisol returned to normal levels for the 1st 2 days after surgery & then started elevating on the 3rd day all the way from 45 to the last measurement in mid-April '07 of 285! Now I am headed back to the neurosurgeon and my Endo has me on ketokonazol to try & help bring my levels down in the meantime.

Symptoms as of January 2007 (just prior to surgery):

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