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Suzanne's Story...

My story began back in January 2005 when I was sick with Bronchitis and pneumonia with the ground covered in snow. A single Mom with a 12 year old girl, living in a trailer park, self employed with no health insurance. Lived with the illness for 6 weeks, determined to conquer on my own without having to get a doctor to fix it.

I am 5'2" and weighed about 185lbs at the time, attempting to diet and exercise to get the weight down. My blood pressure starting to get really high 180/135 on average. I finally had enough of being sick and went to Urgent care. They took chest xrays and told me that I had walking pnemonia. Sent me home with anti-biotics and blood pressure medicine. Told me to schedule an appointment with a doctor to monitor my blood pressure.

At the time I noticed "fat pads" in my neck and my weight starting to climb (peaked at 220lbs at the time of my surgery) I was experiencing severe pain in my rib cage.The Doctor examined my chest xray and said that he could not explain the swelling in my neck, it appeared to be FAT deposits. However, he did notice that I had a fractured rib. He could not believe it since I had no direct blows to this area. He said if you were 70 years old I could see that the coughing could cause such a fracture. As I recovered from the pnemonia and the fractured rib I decided that I had better make Health Insurance a priority.

In May of 2005 I became Insured and scheduled an appointment with an internal medicine doctor for a complete physical. He ran some test and the results reflected "High Cortosol Levels"! The first thing he said to me was "you look like you may have Cushings Disease". He saved my life! He immediately sent me to an endocronologist for further testing.

I was on the internet researching "Cushings". I had every single symptom! Started the process of testing and I passed every single urine test with flying colors and then the final test was my MRI in October 2005 which detected a 3mm tumor on my pituitary gland.

I was immediately referred to a Neuro Surgeon Hilary Flemming at Washoe Medical Center in Reno. My Transphenoidal surgery to remove the tumor was on November 13, 2005. The surgery was successful, the tumor was benign and they were able to keep my pituitary in tack! I have been on Hydro-cortozone since then and now March 17, 2005 I am down to 10mg day and my ACTH and Cortosol levels are witin range, just not quite where my Doctor would like to see them.

It has been a LONG road to recovery and I still have not lost much weight. My doctor says as soon as I am off of the steroids completely, I will start to experience the weight loss. I am confident that I will fully recover in due time! Funny how the pituitary is the "Control Center", I have learned through this illness to let go and let God! Funny how it took such a serious illness to get me to LET GO!

I connected with this site in the very beginning of my diagnosis and am very grateful for all of the information and insight I have received. I knew that eventually I would share my story and join the Group! Thank you to all of you for sharing your stories and I look forward to being a part of the group!

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