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Jinnie's Story

Today, I went to see a doctor because I was having severe menstral cramps (the kind that make you curl up in the fetal position), but no period in the past 2 months. For the past 6 years or so, I have had irregular periods-they don't arrive at regular intervals and often last more than 10 days, with extremely heavy bleeding and sometimes big clots. I have been on and off BCPs to try to control the periods, but most recently, I just bled for 4 months straight. I quit the BCPs "cold turkey" in April, fed up with the bleeding. The periods returned to my normal irregular cycles for 2 months, then, here I am without for 2 months.

I'm in the military, so I rarely see the same doctor twice for any complaint. I have always complained SOMETHING must be wrong with me, and have insisted on being checked for hypothyroidism and diabetes, which both came back negative. Along with my irregular periods, I also have wild mood swings with irritability and irrationality. A doc put me on anti-depressants without trying to find out what was wrong. I also have gained weight steadily over the past 5 years, even though I am physically active and try to consume less than 1500 calories per day.

I once complained that maybe I was going through premature menopause, to which the doctor replied "uh, that can't be it. You're way too young for that". Duh, that's why I used the word "premature menopause". Other problems I've had as of late (this has happened many times over the past 3 years, but A LOT recently) is hot flashes and night sweats. When I was a kid, I had eczema on my feet really bad, but hadn't had an "episode" for over 10 years until 2005, I got a really bad case of it. Around the same time frame, I also had strained my neck somehow, and got a shot of something for the pain (can't remember what it was). Then I broke out in hives on my hands and arms and chest, and ended up on Prednisone for 10 days. That finally went away. I tore cartilage in my kneecap in March, from a simple fall on the gym floor. I broke my pinky toe last year, and sprained an ankle the year before that. 9 years ago, somehow, I fractured a bone in the ball of my foot- I guess from doing jumping jacks?

I learned about Cushing's Syndrome last night, when I was curled up on the couch after taking Midol and had already decided to visit the doctor today. I was flipping through the channels and saw on Discovery channel (Mystery Diagnosis) about a young lady who had similar symptoms I have. I sat there in shock and then my husband came in and watched it with me. He said she sounded like me. I did more research and found this site.

Today, I went in to see the doc and told him what I learned. He ordered a urine and blood test and a pelvic ultrasound. He observed my buffalo lump and stretch marks, did a pelvic exam, and then said he wants to rule out other things before he begins to consider Cushings, since it's so rare. So many of my "symptoms" I have always blown off, I may have more of them than I realize b/c I always thought it was my body aging faster than I wanted to admit. I've never been able to explain the fuller face and thicker abdomen (my arms and legs are skinny), or the hump on my neck, or the ever increasing stretch marks though. I've been soo frustrated for so long b/c I am always getting told that I must not be exercising hard enough or am eating wrong when I complain about the inability to lose weight.

I know the content of my bio is lacking in organized thoughts, and I apologize if it's hard to follow what I'm writing. I just am consumed with thoughts about this and even though I don't want there to be something wrong, I'm excited that maybe this IS what's wrong with me b/c now I may have an answer.

Any suggestions, advise, education on what to expect would be much appreciated!!

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