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Hollie's Story

Hello, I was diagnosed with Cushing's in November of 2003. The doctor's found a tumor on my left adrenal gland and I had it removed in January 2004.

It was a long time before I was diagnosed. It went on for about a year and I was back and forth to the doctor's. I was gaining weight, was very tired, my hair was falling out, had the moon face and the hump back. No matter how much I exercised, I could not control my weight at all. I was very frustrated of feeling so bad all the time. I went for test after tests and the doctor's could not find anything.

Finally, my Aunt who is a nurse looked at my blood work and made the comment that my cortisol level was high. So, I talked with the doctor's about that and they referred me to a specialist at UVA Medical Center and there is when I was introduced to Dr. Vance. She diagnosed me with Cushing's and found the tumor. I was so grateful for her and could not believe that I had been living with this for such a long time.

I don't know how long I have had Cushing's, she said it could've been years. Since the surgery, I am doing better. I still get very tired and have to rest a lot. I have lost all the weight that I gained. It was a long road and it felt like I was never going to get better. I had never felt so bad before in my entire life. My family was a great support, thank goodness. I know I put them through so much because I was so up and down all the time. I tried to be upbeat but there were times that I just wanted to crawl in a hole. Now, I am married and we are expecting our first child in December. I was a little scared about becoming pregnant. I still have to take medication because my left adrenal gland and pituitary gland isn't working on their own and will have to do that until they start to function again.

I must say that everyone should just hang in there, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know there are times that you think you're never going to get better but God helps us through everything. Take care!

Update February, 2006:

It has been two years since my left adrenal gland was removed. I still have a right adrenal gland that won't function and a pituitary gland that won't function. This has been a long process and now am thinking about going to get a second opinion on my situation. My current endo says that there's nothing really she can do but there's got to be someone else out there like me where there glands aren't functioning. I just wish they would start functioning again so that I would get back to my normal self. I am always very fatigued still, at times, I still have the moon face, usually when I don't feel good. I still have weakness in my joints and muscles. There's just got to be a better way.

I'm only 30 and feel like I'm 80 at times. My son is now 13 months old and I feel like I am missing out on his life by always being so tired. I would appreciate any advice that anyone has on this. Is there an end to this?? I'm grateful that the tumor was removed; however, this whole thing has really set me back in life and it's very frustrating. I know things could be worse and God has blessed me in so many ways but my main goal is to just feel good again.

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