Print this Page Cushing's Message Boards

CJ's Story

I've always been disappointed with the way that I look. My friends were the pretty and popular girls in school. I had been planning dental work and reconstructive nose surgery before this happened to me. When I was just a little over 100 pounds, I was bulimic and believed with all of my heart that I was fat. I can only imagine what my loved ones thought when I complained about being fat and ugly constantly. Oh, how I wish I had that body again.

My body has gone through a lot of changes since puberty. The real changes began after I had my second child. I was in and out of hospitals for depression and suicide attempts. When I went to my doctor in pain, he told me that it was gas, depression or weight related.

Finally, 2 years later I had surgery for endometriosis. I thought that my problems would be over. This was just the start of another challenge. I was later diagnosed with Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Oh! So, that's what it is! Good...I didn't care, I just wanted to feel better. I ended up in the hospital with depression for the third time. This time they told me that I was a manic depression...bipolar. So, that's what it is! Again, I didn't care...if you can make me feel better...great!

Then things began to get even worse. I felt my body failing. No matter how much I tried, I continued to gain weight. It was depression, it was polycystic ovarian syndrome, it was endometriosis. I continued to convince myself that I was okay. My body said otherwise. I started to have chest pains, which took me to the hospital. High blood pressure, low potassium. Okay, that's great...but why? The doctors said the blood pressure was just a hereditary thing and the potassium was because I was bulimic. Okay, fine. But, it wasn't fine. Even with medication, my blood pressure remained high and whenever I went off of the potassium supplements prescribed by my doctor, my potassium went back down. I knew inside that my body was fighting. I was so frustrated and so fearful of what might be. I tried to commit suicide again, this time I came very very close to succeeding. No one believed me that I was in pain. This is when the doctors at the hospital diagnosed me as being a hypochondriac. I suggested that maybe I had Cushing's. I had read about it on the internet and knew that I had some of the symptoms. The doctors that I told laughed. For a month or two I thought that I was making all of these symptoms happen. I let the doctors tell me that it was in my head and I believed them. I wanted to feel better and if that's what it took, then I would do that. I was an actress prior to all of this. The doctors told me to "act" the symptoms out of my head. Then, the symptoms would disappear. I tried, but I still felt terrible.

A couple months went by and I ended up in the emergency room with chest pains again. I was told that it was just another panic attack. I asked them to check my potassium and the doctor did. He was surprised to see how critically low it was. I wasn't. Then he suggested that this all could be hormonal. I smiled and was so thrilled that someone actually believed that this was real! He suggested that I see an endocrinologist.

In the meantime, I had a kidney stone. The doctor believed that it hurt. Funny, but I think they thought I was in more pain than I really was. I survived childbirth, kidney problem! =)

The endocrinologist that I saw ran some blood and the 24 hour urine test. My urine cortisol test came back over 700. My aldosterone was also high, I never did get the exact number on that though. The doc had me do another cortisol test and that was normal, so he decided that I probably had intermittent Cushing's and didn't need to see me for another 2 to 3 months.

In the meantime, I continue to get larger and have incredible back, neck, and head aches. I'm on potassium supplements and 200 mg of Atenelol for my high blood pressure. Even so, I still have high blood pressure. I called the cardiologist that I had been seeing. He in return got copies of my records from the endocrinologist. After seeing these, he has scheduled an MRI to look for adrenal tumors next week. We will see what happens next!

*update...the MRI showed a 10mm mass on my left adrenal gland. The endocrinologist that told me that I had intermittent Cushing's said that it was "incidental" and I was fine. However, I am still have difficulties and continue to have more symptoms of Cushing's. Needless to say, I am scheduled to see another endocrinologist for a second opinion. I have an appointment set up for July. I am also on my fourth high blood pressure med and so far, it seems to be helping some! "

There has been one good thing that has come out of all of this for me. For the first time in my life, I love myself. I know that I do not have the face of a princess, nor do I have the body of a glamour queen. But, God made me...just the way I am and so, I am happy with that. I used to be so concerned about appearance. Ah, it's all so superficial and unimportant. Who a person is on the inside is so much more important. My husband and children love me this way, and they loved me the way I was. I was wrong to try to end my own life. I am ashamed that I took those measures.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I also want to thank you for being here, on this board. I've learned so much about myself, about other people. You have all taken a part in saving my life and I love you all for that!

I could have written a lot more in detail, but this already is too long. My heart and prayers go out to each and everyone of you reading this. Because, if you are reading this you probably have been affected in some way by this terribly frustrating illness.

I wish you all well. Please...take care of YOU!

HOME | Contents | Search | Adrenal Crisis! | Abbreviations | Glossary | Forums | Donate | Interactive | Bios | Add Your Bio | Undiagnosed | • CJ |