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Gillian's Story

Until I was about 9 years old I was always normal size. Then around that time I began gaining weight for no reason. I was heavily involved in Hockey (I played on a travel team and two house league teams {one guys one girls}) and played baseball, ran cross-country and dived. I did not have a large appetite and ate less then most kids I knew. For the next 10 years I was constantly up and down 20 pounds for no reason. My sport involvement grew to the point that I was rowing competitively and was normally training for all my sports for around 5 hours a day. My eating never really changed but I still would not loose and maintain.

When I was 14 my parents noticed a hump on my back (now we know it is a "buffalo hump") but we never knew what to make of it so just ignored it. My joints were always hurting and my I always have had back pain. I would go to my doctor and tell her and she would give me the line "It is because of your weight. All you have to do is loose some weight and you will feel better." This went on for 4 more years.

Last year when I was 18 I lost around 40 pounds. I was so happy; I was finally normal size and was comfortable with myself. Then after a few months of my miraculous weight loss I gained 55 of it back in a month and have since gained another 20 on top of that. During this my eating as not changed, if anything I eat more vegetables and drink more water. Around the time that I was one the fence of my weight loss then gain, my periods became irregular and my acne was horrible (I did not really have acne till I was 17 years old). I went on the pill to cure these problems and I went to a nutritionist who had no idea why I was gaining weight after looking at my eating habits.

This January I decided to talk to a doctor about the depression that I had been dealing with and got put on Zoloft. A couple months later my mom was watching the show House and saw the episode about the little girl with Cushing’s. She phoned the next day and told me how it is scary because everything the little girl was going through I had gone through, and felt that I should talk to the doctor about it. I put my mom off for two months then finally talked to my GP just to get her off my back. My doctor told me that made sense and asked if I had noticed whether or not he had sent me for tests. By this time he had already ruled out a thyroid problem and PCOS. I then had my cortisol tested and he found that my levels were double the normal high. I then did the dex suppression test and 2 UFC's. The suppression tests results came back indicating potential Cushing’s but the UFC's came back normal. He felt the need to refer me to an endo anyways.

While waiting for the first endo (and being told it would be 5 months before I could see him) my GP booked an MRI. He ordered both a pit and adrenal MRI. The MRI came back showing a 3 mm tumour on my pituitary gland. Mid June I got into another endo (Dr. Ezzat from Mount Sinai). He told me that he is not totally convinced that it is Cushing's and I have just redone my cortisol test, ACTH tests, dex suppression and 2 more UFC's. I go back July 26th to get these results and find out what direction we are going to take.

I hope that the test will finally show what is wrong with me and things can be fixed. I just want to be like a normal person who can concentrate on my education like all the other 19 year olds I know.

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