January 28th 2007
In my late 20's I began to experience ailments that could not be contributed to my age, or other extenuating circumstance, continuing through my mid-40's. I began experiencing nights sweats; sporadic tenderness in certain unmentionable locations; hair loss increased (by the brushful daily); and in time female dryness and irritation; unexplained weight gain & water retention; hypertension; hair growth in non-female areas (hirsutism); Type II Diabetes; with the onset of the weight gain my feet swelled and began to be painful when walking - I was pinching a nerve in the center of my feet; vision changes increased; antiperspirants & deodorants were useless; loss of temperature control - I was always warm; and to top it all off, my periods became highly irregular; I was deteriorating.
At my annual check-ups, I would bring out the latest in a series of ailments, but some came and went with time. We would try to treat the symptom of the day, though some were untreatable, and we could only record the complaint.
Finally, in spring 2005, my GP and I had yet another conversation on the topic. I opened with, "If we don't figure out what is going on, they'll be calling me the 'bearded lady' before too long." I had documentation as to the irregularity of my cycles over the past 2+ years. This with some of the other recent complaints, water retention and rapid weight gain in a brief period, finally triggered a thought in the good doctor and he referred me to an endocrinologist. My appointment with the endo doc, finally put a name on my condition. Cushings Syndrome.
All of my decade plus long complaints FINALLY had a name! More research on my part confirmed it, even before the MRI came back with the true analysis. I had a tumor on my pituitary, that as it grew and progressed ultimately caused all my issues. Specifically, it was a micro-adenoma tumor, and due to it's position on the pituitary and the type that was, caused excessive cortisol to be produced, thus creating a trigger for abnormally high adrenaline. This of course caused everything else to fall out of alignment, hormonally. With the tumor found, I then had Cushings Disease.
We have a target and could schedule a date for surgery. I chose later in the year, due to the level of activity taking place. I wanted to get past Harold's surprise 50th birthday party, and enjoy the weekend at the working choir retreat that year. Surgery was Sept. 30, 2005.
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