And It's About Time There Was Some Support For Cushing's!
It all started for me about 8 years ago, I was in my early twenties and began with anxiety attacks on the train on my way home from work. Initially I started seeing doctors for stomach problems, I was constantly having bad indigestion, colic pains, bloating and just extremely uncomfortable. I quickly gained an exuberant amount of weight extremely quickly when I had been thin ALL my life. I had horrible acne, bruising, my hair was falling out and thinning, stretch marks all over the place, facial hair and on my back, very round face and neck as well as a hump on my upper neck area, high blood pressure - I looked in the mirror and was horrified!!!! I couldn't recognize myself and this was only the physical changes I was undergoing. The depression, irritability, forgetfulness, lack of concentration and sleep and anxiety that I was going through was almost unbearable.
I complained about all of this and then some to countless amount of doctors who basically just scratched their heads and couldn't diagnose my problems. They kept suggesting changing my diet, dealing better with stress, eating better, avoiding certain foods that produced gas, they suggested acid reflux, drinking more water, they almost removed my gall bladder and still couldn't explain what was happening to me.
My breakthrough if you can call it that was that I had gained about 70 pounds and so desperately searching for a solution, I joined Bally's and started working out, while jogging on the treadmill I broke my left hip due to the osteoporosis I had. After months of walking around with a broken hip and still not being diagnosed, I was basically confined at home because I could no longer walk, I didn't know my hip was broken and the x-rays at the hospital didn't pick up the fracture, so the emergency room sent me home with pain killers for a pulled muscle and crutches, I eventually ended up seeing a bone specialist who saw that my hip was broken and immediately operated on me, while I was recovering from that an Endocrinologist came to see me in my hospital room, all the doctors could not understand how a 29 year old (years have gone by since my initial symptoms) could have broken a hip without falling or being in an accident, my bone just broke on its own.
The Endocrinologist and I believe my saviour looked at me, asked me a couple of questions and told me "well Cushing's Syndrome is what I think you have", but we have to run some tests before we can confirm, so come to see me after you are released from the hospital. After I was released from the hospital, I immediately began to research "Cushing's Syndrome" and its effects, all the symptoms I had were now so clear to me and I knew that this was exactly what I had, I was so angry though that it took so long to diagnose and that so much damage had already been done, I went to see that doctor and we immediately began taking blood and urine tests.
After months of running tests, it was determined that I had a Pituitary tumor and it would have to be removed. I had surgery to remove the miniscule tumor that was causing such enormous damage. The operation itself is not that bad, the recovery is difficult but after six months of being on steroids, I began to lose some of my weight and began to look more "normal", finally the round face was diminishing and the acne went away, the hair on my back and face also disappeared even though the stretch marks are still a lingering reminder of what I've been through. My bones, especially the hip sometimes still hurts depending on the weather.
I thought that I was cured, but I recently found out that it appears that my Cushing's is back. I had a baby in the interim of my disease, so I call her my miracle baby, the doctors tell me I was very lucky to have had her considering my disease, and I may not be able to have anymore children, but that is ok, I have the joy of my life, but I want to be in the best health possible for my and my families sake.
Unfortunately for me, it turns out my disease is back and I may need another operation or Radiation in order to be cured once again. It is very frustrating having dealt with this for so long and having to deal with this once again.
I try to remain positive but the depression and anxiety is overwhelming at times. I would not wish this on anyone, all the symptoms on their own seem so insignificant, but pile them all together and they affect your life in such a terrible way.
Dealing with this disease I've had to find inner strength and look towards family and friends for support. Talking about this helps A LOT. My doctors ask if I feel suicidal, I have never felt that way thank goodness, I know this is a huge obstacle to go through, it puts an enormous amount of strain of everyday life and relationships, but I know I will be healthy once again and I look forward to the day when I can finally once and for all say that I am cured.
For those of you dealing with this, just think that day will come and life will return to normal once again.