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Holly's Story

I am 34 year old mother of five. I am happily married to a great guy. I have a job I love teaching elementary special ed. And I am absolutely, totally MISERABLE!

My Cushing's story started about two years ago. I started having lots of abdominal pain. After lots of tests I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). So I began living with lots of medications, but still lots of pain. Then I began to gain weight. LOTS of weight. (This had happened to me once before, right after a very traumatic year.) Now, I've never been a thin person. My all time low is 133. I had maintained a weight of 190 lbs. for five years, and put on about 40 pounds in 4 months without changing my diet. I am active. I walk at least 2 miles daily, ride bikes with my kids, swim when I can.

Suddenly typing makes me tired. My arms hurt after making one braid in my daughters hair. I need 12 hours of sleep (either at night or with a nap). I am maintaining 200+ pounds on 1800 calories a day. My GP (a great lady!) decides to test me for diabetes and insulin resistance. I am positive on insulin resistance so she prescribes Avandia. I continue to gain weight until I weigh 258.

After falling and cracking l4 in Dec. of '01, I start thinking something is seriously wrong with me. The more I research, the more convinced I am that I have Cushing's. I ask for tests (and get them) but nothing is conclusive. Finally, after a (oh what the heck is that test where they give you a pill and then take your blood 8 hours later?) But my doctor doesn't know how to interpret the results.

Still in LOTS of pain, and it is now May of 2002. My blood pressure is elevated (172/156 one time!)  My Dr. refers me to an endocrinologists who tells me I have PCOS (no duh! I've known that for years!) and I'm fat. He changes my medication to glucophage instead of Avandia and puts me on Enalapril. Tells me to eat 1000 cal. diet, walk 3 miles a day and see him in six weeks. I see him again in two days. I've lost 8 lbs and feel like I am starving. Additionally I've developed vertigo.

I hope to let you know more soon! Holly

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