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Teresa G (HB), Pituitary Bio

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pituitary-location

 

I am a 47 year old woman diagnosed with Cushings Disease June 2014. I have always been one of those girls who was curvy, but was a yo-yo in the weight department.

About 1o years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS. I had extra facial hair, extra weight, irregular periods, infertility problems. Boy did I feel good about knowing what was wrong with me!

Then a couple of years after that I had a stress fracture in my right foot. I seemed to take forever to heal, but finally did. I had several uneventful years. I did have pain in my pelvic area for quite sometime before deciding something had to be done. Four years ago, after visiting my gyno, it was decided that I should have a hysterectomy due to fibroids. That is when the fun really started for me.

I really didn’t noticed, but sometime after that my skin became really oily, I had acne (for the first time in my life), and the weight had come on. My hair became quite wavy. And the stress factures started.

First my left foot, the 2nd metatarsal, then the 3rd metatarsal. All in all I have had four different instances of stress fractures in my feet, and one on my ankle. What got everyone’s attention though, was when my hip broke.

I had been seeing a chiropractor for back problems I figured were due to wearing a boot for my fractures on and off for years. My back did not seem to be getting any better. As a matter of fact my hip area seemed to hurt worse. Then, early the morning of January 8, 2014, I was trying to make my way to the bathroom, when I heard this awful noise, felt an even worse pain and down I went. Later the doctors figured I had had a stress fracture that had started to heal in the femoral neck of my hip, but broke.

All of my doctors were scratching their heads. But that was about all. My PCP ran some blood and urine tests, but really did not find anything out. I FINALLY asked every one of my doctors, since they did not know what was wrong, where did they suggest I turn. Each one said and endocrinologist. Of course my next question was “What is an endocrinologist?”.

That was in February 2014. I was referred to Dr. Ferries, one of the few endos in Wyoming. It took a while to hear from her, but when I did, I was disappointed to hear that the soonest I could get in to see her was in June.

In the meantime, I had refractured my ankle. April 1, 2014 I had the ankle repaired. April 7, 2014 I passed my first kidney stone. I let Dr. Ferris know about it. Shortly after that my appointment got moved to May.

My appointment with Dr. Ferries last about 2 hours. After asking all the questions, listening to my story and an exam, she told us she thought it may be Cushings, but needed to do several tests. She let us know that it was something that would take some time.

I did the urine tests, the blood tests, and an MRI. My cortisol levels were way out of the norm. The MRI showed a 6mm microadenoma on my pituitary. I was ecstatic! After deciding to have my little friend removed in Denver, Co, Dr. Ferries sent my referral to Dr. Lillehei at University Colorado Hospital.

I took a few days, but they called to make an appointment. July 31, 2014 was my appointment with the brain surgeon. I was so happy to be on my way to feeling better! I had to tell my story again to Dr. Lillehei, the brain surgeon. He did not see the tumor, so he wanted me to see his endocrinologist. Then I had to tell my story yet again to Dr. Wierman. She told me she was not impressed by my previous tests and MRI. She would like me to do them all again. She told us they had their protocols, and when they did not follow them, they usually got bit. I was disappointed, but understood.

Those results of those tests were inconclusive. My cortisol was not nearly as high. So the next step was IPSS. The petrosal was scheduled for August 18, 2014. The results of the that test were quite definitive. There was an ACTH secreting tumor on the right side of my pituitary. Hooray!! My surgery was scheduled for September 5, 2014.

The surgery went off without a hitch. Colin, Dr. Lillehei’s PA, then informed me that the surgery was the easiest part. He said I would pretty much feel like sh@%. He was right. I am feeling better and better. My skin is not a grease pit any more. I am loosing weight. My appetite sucks and sweets make me even more nauseated. I can manage to make it to aquacise several times a week, though. I am looking forward to the days when I have energy!

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Jessica (JessicaAnn), Undiagnosed Bio

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I’ve been struggling with a lot of health issues for a really long time now, and so far I have been diagnosed with multiple different things only to have the next doctor say the previous one was wrong.  None of them have yet to be able to explain why I am physically in pain over stupidly simple things like doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.

I recently got tested for Cushing’s because my current doctor thought that might be it, and I was certain I did as well based on how much it sounded like me.  However, my 24 hour urine test came back normal.  So now I’m back to where I started, with no answers and losing hope that I’ll ever find out what’s wrong with me.

 

I have previously been diagnosed with the following:

ADHD – 2005

Insulin Resistence – 2005 (later told that was incorrect)

Depression – 2005 (though it started long before then)

Migraines – 2010 (they started when I was in high school, though, so roughly 2001)

Hypothyroidism – 2010 (I was laster told my thyroid looked fine, though I’m on Synthroid)

PCOS – 2011

Fibrocystic Breasts – 2012 (No tests were done, and I’m fairly certain this is incorrect)

Vitamin D Deficiency – 2012

Vitamin B-12 Deficiency – 2012 (probably caused by spironalactone since it apparently causes that)

 

Both the PCOS and Fibrocystic Breasts diagnoses were made without the presence of cysts, though my ovaries are enlarged.

 

My symptoms have included:

 

Headaches

Migraines

Irregular Periods

Severe Menstrual Cramps

Severe Acne

Oily Skin

Heavy Periods

Fatigue

Difficulty falling asleep (I average about 3 hours per night)

Difficulty staying asleep

Weight Gain (started when I was doing 30 minutes of cardio + 30 minutes of weights every day plus watched everything I ate.  I still to crossfit several times a week and watch what I eat)

Hair Growth (upper lip, stomach, neck, chin)

Nipple Discharge

Skin discoloration (neck, under arms, under breasts, elbows, inner thighs)

High Blood Pressure

Fast Heart Rate

Constant Phlegm in my throat (has been there for years and never gets better/only gets worse when I get the flu)

Hoarse by the end of the day/night

Deepened Voice

Difficulty Concentrating

Forgetful

Large Pink Stretch Marks on waist

Lack of period (started about a year ago)

Back pain from doing simple things (has progressively gotten worse/included my hips, neck, and left shoulder)

Nosebleeds for seemingly no reason (most often in the bath tub/shower, sometimes just happens while driving, walking, doing nothing that should cause them)

Depression

Loss of appetite (I usually force myself to eat light meals at work just in case I end up hungry at some stupid time like 4:00 PM)

Nausea (literally almost every day)

Diarrhea (usually after eating)

Often Stressed Out

Irritability

Buffalo Hump

Round face (I actually have pictures of me when I weighed less than in previous ones, but my face was horrible round in the ones where I weighed less)

 

More than anything, I care about getting the back pain, migraines, and sleep issues fixed because that’s what affects my life the most.  One thing I noticed with the exercise is I’ve been able to build muscle in my legs and arms, but there’s been no change to my stomach, and I have dropped no weight/inches off of any of my body (since I know muscle will add pounds).  I have been to numerous doctors, including several Endocrinologists, one internest, a rheumatologist, a breast specialist, and several gynocologists to get things fixed.  All of my symptoms have progressively gotten worse over the years, and I’m just worried with the amount of pain I’m end that I’m one day not even going to be able to walk.  I’m at peace that whatever it is could eventually kill me, but I at least want to know why it’s happening before it does.

 

So far the only lab work I’ve gotten that showed anything was my Vitamin D and B-12 levels were low, and my Testosterone was high.  My doctor said this would not cause the back pain, though.  I just don’t understand how I can have all of these issues at 28 years old to constantly be told there’s nothing wrong with me to cause the back pain.  I have had no trauma that would have caused it (like a wreck or something), so I know this isn’t normal.

 

If anyone has any suggestions on any other tests I can do/possible causes, I would be extremely grateful.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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