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Rose's Story...

Hello Reader! I�m Rose Marie and I�d like to personally welcome you to Cushing's Help and Support. All of us on the message boards have worked together to provide a strong network of support during the pre-diagnosis, diagnosis and post-op care of patients with endocrine disorders.

I know you have come to this page wanting to know a little about me. At home, I am MOM!, as my kids affectionately call me. I�ve been married to the same sweet man for 20 years. In my professional life, I work in healthcare in a patient care administrative position. I have a very challenging job that I really love.

My story with Cushing's is different, in that I didn�t really know anything was wrong with me. I do have Hashimoto�s Thyroiditis. Oh, I�d been to the doctor several times for different ailments, like borderline high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, and headaches, but I just thought it was my thyroid. When I had my last child a few years ago, I was feeling a bit mentally exhausted. I was having trouble controlling my body temperature, and I was getting very forgetful. I blew off the weight gain as being from having my last child.

I had found this �thyroid� endocrinologist that was highly recommended on the website. I called his office to set an appointment and was dismayed that I had to wait three months to see him. I almost cancelled twice, but decided if the wait was so long, maybe he was really that good. He was.

I went into the appointment not planning on telling him any of my extracurricular symptoms. I had read an article about Cytomel supplementation with patients who had Hashimoto�s Thyroiditis. I thought the Cytomel was the cure-all. I almost got out of his office with a prescription. He did tell me that it would help my �fibromyalgia� and might help with my cold intolerance. He added that it would not help me with my weight.

Nonchalantly, he asked me if I had other symptoms. Oh, I mentioned my vertigo and my borderline high blood pressure, and the �anxiety attack� I had a couple of years ago. I blew off all of my symptoms and mentioned that many of my problems seemed to go away when I got pregnant, so I figured it was just hormonal.

He got a funny look in his eye and started asking me question after question. I was taken to an exam room and looked over. He asked me to come to his office. He explained that he thought I had a pituitary tumor and that he wanted me to have a MRI done of my pituitary. He also wanted me to come back for a series of tests to see how my pituitary and thyroid were functioning.

I didn�t really know what the function of a pituitary was. I really didn�t even know for sure where it was, let alone this discussion of a pituitary tumor. It scared me. It really scared me later when a neurosurgeon reviewed my MRI scans and called me to discuss his findings.

My hormonal panel showed that I had hypercortisolism. I have a pituitary tumor, and I am undergoing testing to try to sort out the source of the hypercortisolism. My symptoms are mild and my testing is sometimes normal and sometimes quite elevated. My doctor is keeping a close eye on me. In time, we will have things figured out. My official diagnosis is hypercortisolism. My doctor feels that it is ACTH-dependent. It can be argued both ways right now, that I either have pseudo-Cushing's, or Cushing's. The dimension of time will tell.

Since I work in healthcare, I have access to a large medical library. I volunteer with the CUSH Organization as the Medical Librarian.

That is enough about me. We are here to help you the best way we can. Please remember that we are patients. We cannot give medical advice. The message boards should not be substituted for a physician. See your doctor.

Rose Marie

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