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Shelley's Story

At first I thought my symptoms started when I was about 33, I was married with two great kids, and was experiencing overwhelming fatigue and severe plantar facsiitis due of my right foot. The fatigue I attributed to being married, with two small children and a very busy schedule of home, work and a return to school to earn my teaching certificate. Now I believe I have experienced problems since I was quite young.

It was after finding these boards, learning what others have gone through and meeting with Addison's sufferers, that I started looking more objectively at my personal health history. I shared some of the same experiences as those dealing with Addison's: chronic bouts of bronchitis, unexplained episodes of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, extreme salt cravings, times when you suddenly "wake-up", and you're not sure how you got there or what you've been doing for extended periods of time---this explained my experience with high school biology---when one day, I suddenly seemed to "come to" and had no idea what had been going on for the previous 9 weeks.

In addition to meeting with my regional Addison's support group, I continued to do more research on Cushings. I have not been diagnosed yet, but after going through hell with way too many local doctors, I finally was checked out by Dr. F at OHSU, where it was found that I have a pituitary tumor. During my time at OHSU, it was not secreting---but I believe I suffer from some sort of cyclical Cushings (as per Dr. L.'s initial phone consultation).

Like many Cushings sufferers, I have experienced a wide variety of odd symptoms, and like many of you, I was dismissed, misdiagnosed, and misjudged. It's only been through active participation on the message boards, that I have been able to finally start putting some of the pieces of my particular puzzle together. Thanks to all who have shared and consoled and counseled and just plain listened to all I've gone through.

I would also like to thank Shar McGraw and Mystery Diagnosis for helping me find answers the doctors could not give me. It was Shar's experience with sudden belly bloating that caught my attention. Here was someone on national t.v. sharing how she woke up one day unable to wear the clothing she'd worn the night before. It was then I knew that my prayers, and the prayers of my family had been answered. This was the break I had been looking for for more than 15 years. Suddenly I wasn't alone---and once again, I had hope.

Thanks everyone for all you do---I am sorry you've had to suffer with so much---but I want you to know that it hasn't been in vain---you've helped me and inspired me, to help myself and others. Thanks to all of you.

I would like to express a special thanks to MaryO and others, who've worked so hard to bring an enormous amount of information right to us. I've visited a small portion of the site---and it's astounding to me all the work that has gone into this. MaryO, you are a testament to the power of ONE. You've single-handedly saved many lives, I'm sure. Thanks again.

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