Elizabeth Marie's Story...
Where to begin, lol!
My ordeal began over seven years ago, shortly after I graduated high school. I was rather athletic, was a swimmer and Drill Team member. One day I started to gain a lot of weight FAST. Nasty stretch marks began to appear on my tummy, legs, arms, armpits, breasts, and thighs. I started to look like I was pregnant.
High blood presssure and rapid heartrate began to surface, and I started seeing a Cardiologist. Since it was the middle of summer, I was wearing a tank top and when she took my BP, she noticed the stretch marks. Suddenly, she wanted to look at the rest of my body. I thought that was odd, considering she was a Cardiologist. She then asked me a life-changing question. . .
"Do you know what Cushing's Syndrome is?"
I shook my head and she answered "Well, I think you have it and you need to be checked." I approached my physician and he told me that I was just fat and had to "go on a diet". I have gotten this comment from evey doctor I have ever seen. I have other symptoms too, buffalo hump, thining extremities, hirsutism, and acne. But I received no help and my pleas for testing fell on deaf ears. Finally, I resorted to simply "living with it."
My symptoms got worse. In less than a year, I went from a size 9 to a size 22. People started making fun of me behind my back, calling me "heffer" and "pig" "horse-face" and "slob". I don't mean to brag, but I'm a natural blue-eyed redhead and ever since I was little, people on the street used to tell me how beautiful I was. They stopped doing it, and my gentlemen callers stopped coming.
I lost two jobs because of my appearance. I was a Realtor with a multi-billion dollar company, but a nasty little secret to starting out in the business is to be attractive. I lost work to women who, in my opinion, were far less competent, but had better figures than I. Not to mention my Mary Kay Beauty Consultant career went belly-up as a result as well. I mean, I sure wouldn't want to take advice from a broken-out, overweight blob! I also have Fibromylagia and was recently diagnosed with diabetes; something my family has NO history of.
But I was able to get some help from my Rheumatologist.
He was the first person to check my blood levels for any signs of CS. He found many pointers to the disease, mainly an ACTH count of 449. By this time, I can no longer sleep more than one hour a night. He sends me to Endocrinologist, who is less than helpful.
Despite my ACTH being so high, my cortisol is normal; leaning towards the high end of the spectrum. Because of that, he refuses to listen to me about CS. "If your cortisol is normal, than you're just fat." I told him of my concerns about the ACTH and he told me "oh that doesn't matter." I have crippling headaches now and my health is deteriorating rapidly. I KNOW I have something VERY wrong with me, but can get no one to listen to me. So I decided to come here, where I know there are others like me and that can understand what I'm going through. Plus, many of you know how frustrated and alone I feel, when I try to get a doctor to listen to me.
On a lighter note, I enjoy reading, writing, computers, cats, video games, the occult, the paranormal, ghost hunting (you should see the pic I got at my grandma's funeral! Plus I have ghost voices on tape!) Medicine, true crime, forensics, geology, educational programming (Nova, National Geographic, etc), the TV shows "Bones" and "Jeaparody" and "South Park", Japanese Animation, Asian History, Foreign Languages, Theology, and shopping.
If you'd like to get an idea of what I look like and see the progression of my illness and how much my body has changed, go to my RIngo site.
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