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Maudiellen's Story...

In 1999 I had a CT scan to determine if I had gallstones. In the process the scan showed that there was a node on my right adrenal gland. My doctor told me that it was nothing to worry about. He did indicate that if the irregular heartbeat, depression, nervousness, hormonal fluctuations became worse to let him know. He then gave me a prescription for Xanax and told me to take it only when necessary. In December, 2000 I fell on the ice and broke my left wrist. When the cast finally came off, I noticed that my skin had become very thin and easily bruised and would get small bleeding spots under the skin with just the slightest bumping. Almost a year later I was diagnosed with diabetes. I was not put on oral medication for diabetes at first because I wanted to try to diet and excercise to reduce my blood sugar levels. I didn't have much success with that plan. In addition, I had high blood pressure that was being controlled with medication. (High cholestrol as well.) One other problem I was having was weakness in my legs. I work retail and am on my feet alot. I would find that climbing up the stairs after a day of work was draining.

Many times when I would see my physician I would ask if I should be worried about that node. His reply was no.

What led me to see a specialist was something that has nothing to do with Cushings. For several years I have had a problem with eye hemmorrages. Being in a job that required direct contact with the public, it was quite embarrassing when this would happen.

This past June I decided to see an endocrinologist. I had been on vacation the first week of June and in that week had 3 eye hemmorrages.

My husband had been telling me that maybe I should go to see a specialist so, that was the straw that broke the camel's back as they say. Before my first visit, I was to get all of my lab results together that had been done in the last couple of years. When I finally went for that first appointment on June 28th, the doctor looked over all of the lab reports and I told her about how I had been feeling. She, at that point, was almost sure that I had Cushing's.

She sent me to have a CT scan where a tumor was found on the Left adrenal gland. Then we did the 24 hour urine test and the dexamethason (I'm sure that I misspelled that one!) test. The results confirmed her initial diagnosis. My adrenalectomy was done at the Cleveland Clinic on October 20, 2004. The surgery was done laproscopically and I came home the next day.

Recouperating from the surgery was no problem, however, recouperating from Cushing's has not been a day at the beach. I'm on 30mg of Cortef daily and have increased weakness in my hands, arms and legs. Arthritis has set into my hands, arms and shoulders. I am 54 years old, and prior to surgery, have never had a problem with arthritis. The surgeon and his staff had assured me that eventually I will feel like a spring chicken. (Can you tell that I am from the midwest?) It's been three frustrating months and I'm wondering how long it will take to recover fully.

I am very glad to have found this web site. It is good to know that I am not alone.


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