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sjw (Jane W), Adrenal Bio

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My name is Jane and I am 76 years old. I was recently diagnosed with Cushing’s Syndrome after years and years and years of suffering symptoms.

My doctor for the past 7 years said that I had pre diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, fatty liver, asthma, emphysema, obesity, anxiety and depression. She missed that I have actual diabetes and often told me that if I would only eat right a lot of these problems would go away. She missed the leaky heart valve, COPD, and most important, the Cushing’s.

in 1997 another doctor told me that I had a harmless tumor on top of my kidney. He said it was nothing.I shouldn’t worry about it, just forget about it, it was nothing, That was about the time my weight began to go out of control. So for at least 30 years I have not known what was wrong with me.

I spent 2 weeks in the hospital with depression while on a 600 calorie diet and I gained weight. My new endocrinologist said he was scared when he first saw me. But he has promised to take care of me because nobody else has. He has started me on Korlym and I was feeling a lot better at 3 weeks, after losing 17 pounds with no effort. Now though, I have started a new trial. This new drug does not block the progestin so in the long run will be better for me.

We shall see. I can only hope.

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In Memory: Bettye Jean Douglas, September 28, 2016

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Born:  March 30, 1938

Passed:  September 28, 2016

Bettye Jean Douglas, age 78 of Smyrna, Tennessee, died Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at her home. She was a native of Hickman County, Tennessee, and was preceded in death by her first husband Carl Jenkins, and parents James McKinley and Susie Louise Lampley Wright, and siblings, Marie Wright, Pat Nichols, Nellie Tidwell, and Jessie Wright. Mrs. Douglas was a member of Rural Hill Church of Christ and had worked at Ingram Books.

She is survived by her husband, of 23 years, Wendell Douglas; children, Christopher Jenkins and wife Gina of Murfreesboro, Charmaine Herron and husband Steve of Mt. Juliet; step-children; Danna Douglas of Whites Creek, Wendy Morales of Whites Creek, and Kellye Douglas of Whites Creek; grandchildren, Isabella, Matt, Ben, Chip, Gino, Kendell, Jonathon, Michael; great- grandchildren, Steven, Bently, Austin, Gavin, Taylor, Gracie; brother, Billy Ray Wright of Kentucky.

Bettye’s funeral service was held at 10:00AM Saturday, October 1st, 2016 at Woodfin Chapel, Smyrna, Tennessee. Brother Gary Hale officiated. A graveside service followed at 2:00PM Saturday at Five Points Church of Christ Cemetery in Bon Aqua, Tennessee.

Born March 30, 1938, Bettye was tall and thin all of her life, and as beautiful on the inside as on the outside.  Bettye was a beautiful Christian woman.  She loved to laugh and loved a good joke.  She was all about her family and loved family gatherings.  She also loved to travel.  Her favorite vacation destination was Hawaii.

Bettye had two best friends, other than her beloved husband. Gina, her daughter-in-law, and Charmaine Herron, her daughter.  Her daughter Charmaine joked that they were a mix between Charlie’s Angels and The Three Stooges.  No matter what they were like, they had a lot of fun together.

More than anything or anyone, Bettye loved her Lord Jesus Christ.  Bettye passed away due to complications of Cushing’s disease.  Once she was finally diagnosed, a decision was made against surgery and Bettye was put on the cortisol-lowering medication Korlym.  Though she had initially gained weight from Cushing’s disease, as many patients do, she rapidly lost weight and was admitted into hospice care soon after.

Most cannot find the words to describe what Bettye went through during her last months on Earth.   To those left behind, the pain is almost unbearable, but those that loved Bettye find comfort in the knowledge that her health nightmare is over and that Jesus has her now and forevermore.

Credit to Woodfin Chapel and Charmaine Herron

Right diagnoses, drugs help woman return to normal life

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You could almost say things have returned to normal for Patricia Kleinhoffer in her family’s home, if there was a such thing.

What with living in a house with her husband, mother, brother, and four of her five non-biological children, things tend to get a little hectic, Patricia said.

“There’s no such thing as normal in this household,” she said.

But that’s just fine with Patricia, who welcomes the chance to spend more time with her family — that is, while she’s not working on her master’s degree.

Gone is the need for a nap every few hours; gone are the debilitating migraines; gone are the anxiety attacks that make it difficult for her to leave her home.

Those symptoms, a result of the Cushing’s syndrome she was officially diagnosed with in 2009, have largely subsided. Since she began taking mifepristone, which became Food and Drug Administration-approved in 2012, she also has lost almost 100 pounds and has seen a drop in blood pressure.

“I feel like a person again,” she said.

Cushing’s is a disease in which patients produce too much cortisol, a steroid hormone. It can produce tumors, diabetes, infections and other symptoms if left untreated and can even be fatal.

Patricia also had tumors, though hers were unrelated to her Cushing’s.

The medication, sold under the brand name Korlym, is a cortisol receptor antagonist, said Dr. M. Tufail Ijaz, an endocronologist at Genesis HealthCare System in Zanesville. Though it doesn’t cure patients like Patricia of Cushing’s, as they still produce cortisol, it does prevent the cortisol from taking effect.

Endocrinologist finds fulfillment in local practice

Ijaz, Zanesville’s only endocronologist, has five patients, including Patricia, currently taking the medication. Just hundreds are taking it across the country, he estimated.

On a recent weekday evening, Patricia sits on her couch surrounded by much of her family.

Though she and her husband Chris have never been able to have their own children, they’ve taken custody of five, four of whom are relatives from Patricia’s side of the family. All of them have some sort of developmental disability, she said.

At 5 p.m. on this day, the house is bustling, as four of the five kids still live there.

It’s moments such as these that Patricia said she’s glad to have back.

Not too long ago, her Cushing’s was exhausting her daily. She could barely stay awake more than two hours at a time, her memory was poor, and her weight made it difficult to even move around. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect, Patricia said, was seeing the toll it took on her children, but especially Chris, who became the main caretaker for the children.

“When you’re like that and you’re in that position, you feel useless,” she said. “It was hard for me to watch the effects it had on my family.”

Many of the symptoms started appearing long before her diagnosis, she said. Though she’s now 47, she remembers seeing signs of Cushing’s as early as her 20s. One of the first things she remembers noticing was a bump on the back of her neck, which she described as a buffalo hump.

But in the years to come, the depression, weight gain and diabetes began.

Her condition left her doctors and family searching for answers.

“We didn’t have a clue what was going on inside,” Chris said. “She was eating like a bird and she was gaining weight.”

Many of Cushing’s symptoms mimic other diseases, making it difficult to diagnose. Though she was seeing specialists in Columbus, she was never tested for Cushing’s.

“You can’t blame a lot of people for missing that diagnosis because it comes in stages,” she said.

After working for nine years as a staff assistant in the Genesis radiology department, she quit her job as her mental condition worsened. After she had her first brain surgery in 2008 to remove a tumor, she took a break from undergraduate school at Ohio University-Zanesville, as a traditional class setting became too much to handle.

Then in 2009, Ijaz opened a practice in Zanesville, and Patricia signed up for an appointment. The first thing Ijaz asked her was whether she had ever been tested for Cushing’s.

After tests came back positive, she had another brain surgery, underwent radiation treatment, and took several medications. In the meantime, Ijaz had learned of a new medication awaiting FDA approval: mifrepristone.

“We were waiting for it, waiting for her specifically,” Ijaz said. “When it came (in 2012), we started her.”

Patricia got her bachelor’s degree in 2013. She’s now taking online classes at OU-Z to get her master’s degree in applied behavioral analysis. She said she hopes to be back to work within a year, this time with the goal of working with at-risk youths and adults.

Throughout her ordeal, Patricia has maintained a sense of humor. As she sits in her home, surrounded by family, she deadpans about her weight gain and other symptoms.

She downplays her trials with not only her sense of humor but also her humility. Though she said she’s typically a private person, she wants to be an advocate for others going through something similar.

“People look at it like it’s some amazing thing and it’s not,” she said. “It’s just living.”

elagatta@zanesvilletimesrecorder.com

From http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/story/news/local/2015/05/30/right-diagnoses-drugs-help-woman-return-normal-life/28224447/

 

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Kelly (Kelly Jo), Pituitary Bio

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pituitary-location

 

My official journey with Cushing’s started in May 2007 when I broke my hip by stumping my toe.  Dr fixed me and sent me on my way.

About two weeks later I developed a PE and was in ICU for 5 days.  It was there that the drs took note of my appearance (I looked very Cushinoid at this time) and that I had broke a hip the way I did.  They sent me to their clinic and the dr there took about 10 minutes of looking at me and asking me questions and told me she thought I had Cushings – which I had never heard of.

So off for test I went and it was confirmed.  At this point I had probably already had Cushings for 10 years but my past dr never once really heard my complaints and just told me I was fat and how easy it is to lose weight.

I had to wait till Feb of 2008 to have my first surgery since I was on blood thinner due to the PE.  We all thought the surgery was a success but three years later back it came.  So another surgery in Jan 2011.  Then again three years go by and it’s back.

This time it was decided that surgery wasn’t an option so we went with Gamma Knife radiation.  I am now in wait mod to see if it that worked and let me tell you it’s no fun.  Not knowing and not going to know for sure for a year or two is really hard.

The meds I’m on (Korlym) really make me sick too.  I’ve sometimes wished I had chosen to have my adrenals removed (which if this doesn’t work I will) and just be done with it all.

Some days are easier than others – some days I just want to say the heck with it all but I know that’s not an option.  I will never be done with it, as none of us will.

I have great family (the best husband every!) and friends that are there for me but let’s be honest they don’t really know and can’t really understand what we are going thru or how we feel.  I say I just want to be normal and me again but honestly I don’t even know what that is.  So for me I enjoy the good days and deal with the rough / bad days knowing that God does have my back thru it all.

Good luck to us all!
Kelly Jo

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