Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brenda (Juneau), pituitary bio


The weird symptoms had been going on for years. I can't complain about most of my doctors...they did, for the most part, take my compaints seriously. But, the "red herring", a serious accident that caused permanent spinal damage, allowed everyone (even me) to explain away symptoms that probably should have been more carefully explored. Trouble walking? Nerve damage. Weakness? Same thing. Diabetes? Surgical trauma. Round face, loss of scalp and body hair, excessive facial hair? Beats me! Fatigue? Diabetes. Stress fractures? Caused by uneven gait due to nerve damage. The list goes on and on. Another problem was that I never gained enough weight to attract attention, although that was the issue that originally brought me to the doctor. Her reply? You are still within a healthy BMI. Just try not to gain any more. My teen daughter's response to this was that if she ate like I had started to, she would be anorexic and I would have her in an eating disorder clinic! When I complained to friends about mental lapses, they said they were the same and attributed it to perimenopause. When I said my periods had stopped years ago, their reply was, "lucky you."

Finally, a young doctor who was substituting for my usual GP saw me to renew one of my ever-growing list of prescriptions. She asked a lot of questions, and finally asked if I had been tested for Cushings. I had never heard of it. She wrote to my usual doctor, who started the diagnostic process. And there it was. First, they attempted to remove my pituitary. Got most of it, but couldn't safely remove it all. Things improved for awhile, but it seems the remaining portion has a tumour in it too. My neurosurgeon considers additional pituitary surgery too risky. So, it seems my adrenals are next to go. This will happen next month. Quite frankly, I am terrified. I am well known among my family and friends as a cheerful and optimistic person, but I must admit I'm finding it difficult to keep up the act this time, especially around my adolescent children. Teens with access to Google are a dangerous thing!

Does anyone have any advice? Thanks.

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