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Rachel J's Story

Hi everyone, my name is Rachel and I am from Melbourne, Australia. I am glad I found this fantastic web site as it has been so helpful.

Where to start! I am 23 and am a psychology honours student. I also am convinced I have Cushing's! I have always been slender, athletic (almost boyish body) playing state hockey, running and staying about a size 10 with great stomach muscles! 2 years ago I used to run down to my local pub to meet friends in tiny bike shorts and look great. However, I was always plagued with very long, never ending colds and viruses. About a year ago I started developing achne/rash on my shoulders, legs and chest (sent to dermatologist and put on medication), the medication held the rash at bay but the intial wounds are still yet to heal. I have very noticable scars from tiny thorn scratches etc - I just dont heal!!

All this time I was showing increased anxiety and moodiness, though with a family history of anxiety and depression I was given antidepressents.

Then came the dreaded weight gain! In a year and a half years I have put on 20kg, my boobs have gone from a (b to a dd and still growing) and the rest of my weight is on my stomach. so i though, ahh im drinking to much and eating to much!

It all came to a head this Christmas, after running 4 times a week at least, eating barely nothing, walking my dogs twice a day as usual and doing sit ups every day (I mean 100s) - a man came up to me in the pub and started abusing me for smoking while pregnant! then a friend who I hadnt seen for ages rushed up and congratualed me on being pregnant. my tummy seriously looks 9 months pregnant! I look like a little starving ethiopian with skinny legs and arms and giant books and a massive stomach - not good for the old self esteem.

Sooo, I was lying on the couch at mums on christmas day, crying because i can only wear tracksuit pants and a jumper (nothing else fits, have a rash everywhere, wont heal, am irritable, moody (dont know what my real personality is anymore - was scared I might even be borderline personality disorder I have been so erratic), tired, asleep all day and awake all night - when my mum said 'hey whats that on your stomach' and I said, yeh, to top it all of Im getting stretch marks on my legs, tum and boobs. My mum who is a psychiatrist (medical doctor specialising in mental disorders but I'm sure you guys know that, but just in case some don't!!) looked worried and said, 'i think you've got Cushing's, you must go to your doctor straight away!!!'

Mum and I got on the internet and looked up Cushing's symptoms and I said, 'my god, this is me!!

Off to doctor I go, but even with the opinion of another doctor he would not test my cortisol levels. So I started feeling like a whinging hypocondriac because I'm convinced its Cushing's! But reading your stories has made me realise not to give up - the struggle you have gone through for a proper diagnosis - some for years, is unbelievable!! I am glad I have my mum because the sad truth is: Doctors dont seem to give a crap unless pushed by another doctor!!!

I want to say well done to you all for having the courage to believe enough to keep pushing the doctors. Hopefully I dont have Cushing's (I may be over reacting) but I'm glad this web site is here just in case I do.

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