And It's About Time There Was Some Support For Cushing's!
Hello, my name is Chance and I'm 26 years old. I would like to talk to you about my story with cushings, how I felt, the emotional roller coaster I went through, but also the recovery process and my improved outlook on life. I hope that will allow some of you to relate yourself to me and know you are not alone.
My symptoms began about 3 years ago when I started noticing the changes on my face in pictures that were taken of me. To give a background of myself, I have done modeling not too long back in high school and was named prom queen. Although not high maintenance, I have received flattering compliments about my features since I was young.
The affects of cushings was quick. I recall having pictures taken on July 4th where I looked normal, and another one taken 5 weeks later where I knew I looked different. I was a fanatic at the gym so my body weight stayed slim and the same. However, it was my face that got so...fat. I began feeling super insecure about myself which is totally opposite of how I used to be. I started to have really low self esteem and would not be social. Depression setted in. My face continually they that popped up all over my butt and thigh area. Having acne is something totally new to me, for I used to even be a spokesmodel for a facial cream. I began always having my hair down, hanging near my face and always keeping my chin down so that the strands would cover my cheeks. That was how I walked. I became obsessed with my appearance and began dramatic measures of dieting. Bruises appeared easily on my arms and body and my knees and joint ached like I had the flu.
I knew something was wrong but my doctors didnt give me any clue or insight. I searched on the net but could not find the cause. I finally approached a cosmetic surgeon and asked him about doing a liposuction on my face. He wouldn't do it since I was so young and referred me to another docotr. That doctor, was the doctor that saved my life. He was the one who advised me that this might be a medical issue and provided me a referral to an endocronologist.
I began having a feeling of freedom. That I was close to discovering the mystery of my misery. My endocrinologist doctor spoke to me and had me do the urine test. Waiting 48 hours to find out the result to confirm cushings was one of the longest 48 hours in my life. A cat scan then confirmed that I had a tumor on my adrenal gland. After that, we scheduled for the surgery one week later.
I was soooo happy that I was finally able to go back and lead my old life. A life where I could sleep more than 3-4 hours a night and not wake up to go pee every one hour. A life where I did not always drench myself in night sweats. A life where I was not groggy from the insomnia. A life not ful of anxiety and mood swings and pure self hatred. Looking back on those days now, it felt like a long bad blur. My surgery took five hours and everything went well.
Being on the cortisol hormonal replacement was hell. The first week of out of surgery, I received migraines all day, every day. I had a hard time breathing and so was submitted to the ER for high blood pressure. They mistakenly told me to reduce the amount of cortisol I was taken to reduce my symptoms when it fact I was supposed to increase it. My body was used to 60 times what I was get then. Essentially,the first 3 weeks after was hell. But on a brighter note, through the determination of becoming normal, it only took me 3 months to ween off of the hormonal replacement therapy, the shortest time my doctor has seen. It defintely helped that I was young and active.
I am back to normal now and my face and appearance is how it was when I modeled 10 years back. I don't take life for granted anymore. But its still hard for me to look at photos of myself back when I was sick. It reminds me of this era of total confusion, total hatred, total embaressment. When a time that relatives who have not seen me for some years would scream when they saw me. "oh my! what happened to you? your face looks so round! you used to be so pretty" But all in all, I feel lucky. I know other people have lived through this for years and years before finally finding out. I wanted to be able to share my story to you, especially the young girls out there.
For everyone, may the best be with you and please know you are not alone.