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Erica's Story...

I have spent most of my life at a pretty typical weight, sure I gained 5-10 pounds here and there, but I always lost the weight after a week at the gym.

In March of 2006 the most wonderful time in my life happened, I gave birth to my beautiful 8 pound 8 ounce daughter, Mia. She was instantly the Joy in my life. After about 6 weeks I started noticing that I was gaining weight instead of losing my baby weight. I was breastfeeding and working out but still going up in weight. I only gained 35 pounds while I was pregnant and all of the sudden I was 50 pounds heavier than my pre-pregnant weight. I had my thyroid checked and it was normal. I was starting to feel more and more fatigued, even after my baby started sleeping through the night. By August I was 180 pounds and SO FRUSTRATED. All of my weight was in my stomach and breasts. My face and neck were puffy and my face became really round. I was sleeping all of the time and had horrible mood swings.

Finally two weeks ago and the weight of 202 pounds ( I was 115 pounds pre-pregnant) I went from a size 4 to a size 13/14, My cortisol level came back high and my doctor referred me to an endocrinologist. Unfortunatly I can't be seen until June 20th.

The last couple of weeks have been the hardest, I have started having these "cluster headaches" that feel like someone is pounding on my skull. My vision has become blurry and distorted.I am dizzy frequently and tired all of the time. My blood pressure has gone up, my hair is falling out, I am getting acne breakouts on my face, all of my weight is in my stomach making me look like i'm 5 months pregnant. My joints hurt, my legs are always aching, I feel horrible all of the time. I've had three unexplained broken bones in the last year.

WHen I went to the ER tonight for a headache they told me "Cushings is rare and doens't cause headaches". The doctor thought I was drug seeking and sent me home with pain pills. He didn't even listen when I told him my symptoms and didn't even bother to do a basic exam on me. The worst part is that I work at that hospital!

I hope all of you who are going through this are fighting for people to listen, because until enough people fight this,, nothing is getting done about it. I cannot tell you how much I love this website, it is the first thing that has made me feel like i'm not totally crazy!!!! God Bless you all!

Update: July, 2007

UPDATE: Well I finally got in to see the endocrinologist and for the first time in over a year I had some answers!!!!

She sat down with me for an hour and a half and talked through every little weird symptom I have been having. We did another dexamethasone suppression test and this one came back at 11! It's supposed to be 1 or under, so i was quite pleased that finally something was abnormal and maybe we will get some new answers. I go back to see her again in a few weeks to determine what the best type of treatment is.

I did join the metabolic weight loss center and have lost 13 pounds and 21.5 inches in 6 weeks. It's been difficult but i'm finally getting somewhere. I think I have another broken bone in my foot...hard to say I seem to get so many of them lately. I'm still getting headaches and have joint and muscle pain often. hopefully soon i won't feel this way any more. as soon as we figure out how to fix it, my husband and I are going to try and have another baby!

Stay strong everyone, it will get better! God bless you all.

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