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Jody (jodiann), Adrenal Bio

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Originally posted January 6, 2008

My mother had Cushing’s Syndrome with pheochromocytomas and had a bilateral adrenalectomy in 1968, but developed pneumonia post surgery and died after 3 months in intensive care.

I have thought that I was starting to develop symptoms and was even see in her endo Dr. for years, but I was always told I was being paranoid. Then in the past ten years I have gotten diabetes, the buffalo hump, put on 100 pounds, sore joints, hypertension, low potassium, high cholesterol etc.

I finally got a CT scan due to shortness of breath, and asthma, and they found bilateral multinodular adrenal hyperplasia.

If it’s not Cushing’s Syndrome, then is there something else adrenal wise it could be? It sure seems like Cushing’s to me.

Update December 30, 2007

I was diagnosed with Cushing’s syndrome approx. 3 years ago, after gaining over 100#s, developing diabetes, high blood pressure, fatigue,muscle weakness, moon face,buffalo hump,many tests later,it was discovered that I had bliateral multinodular adrenal hyperplasia,and got the diagnoses finally,,,

my mom died from complications from a bilateral adrenalectomy in 1978,she had Cushing’s syndrome with pheochromocytomas,,so I watched her symptoms develope, and had felt sure that I was getting the same things, and finally it was confirmed,just a little difference in the diagnosis,,

however,I am having a terrible time getting any understandin, sympathy, or belief, from my oldest daughter and her husband. They believe,and tell me often, that all I need to do is diet,and exercise,and I would lose this weight,and look like I used to,,it is so depressing,frustrating,and hurtful,,,

the depression you get with the disease just adds to make me feel worse,,I’m taking an antodepressant, but they brought this up again at Christmas,due to me not wanting them to invite people that I hadn’t seen since before the big wt. gain,and appearance changes,,,I ended up crying most of the afternoon,,and it makes me feel like such a baby,,,,

I’m usually pretty good about not needing any body but myself for support,,but this just really has hurt me. I’m thinking of sending them pictures of patients with the disease that I’ve gotten on the internet,,although the son in law said he had done his own research and found that diet and exercise apparently was all that we needed to do,,,don’t know where he found that info from though,,,

Update January 6, 2008

CUSHING’S SYNDROME

I was finally diagnosed in approx. 2004,after I had developed diabetes,htn.,shortness of breath, IBS, high cholestero,major muscle aches,moon face, buffalo hump,and my hands and feet had actually gone up one ring,and shoe size and also had on-going depression, mood swings, anger issues,I could watch myself gain weight.

I joined curves,went every night after work, and still gained weight,,even after exercise for those three months I never did seem to regain any muscle strength or ability,,I still had trouble getting up from chairs,or walking any distance, unless I was pushing a grocery cart, or a stroller,,,I had trouble even carrying my groceries in from the car,i would be so out of breath,,I had to get a disabled parking sticker so I could get into work,,,as I was so out of breath if I parked in the lot across the street it would take me three stops for breath each day to make it in,,,and tired, I was so tired,,my favorite past time was sleeping,,I could sleep any time, and still be tired.

My mom had died from complications from a bilateral adrenalectomy due to Cushing’s Syndrome in 1978, and I had watched all of the changes she and her body had gone through,and felt sure that I had developed the same things, but I couldn’t get anyone to listen to me,,,until a unrelated chain of events lead to me getting a U/S of my chest, and a sugested follow up,which I got on a larger scale which showed something wrong with my adrenal glands, then an MRI of them revealed bilateral multinodular adrenal hyperplasia,,,and finally I got hooked up with a good endocrinologist,,am now getting better follow-up of my diabetes and am on ketaconazole to suppress the cortisol production,,which has helped somewhat,and is stopping the excess cortisol,and no more weight gain,,,but hasn’t gotten rid of any of the symptoms either.

There are a lot of times that I look in the mirror and wonder where I am, or where the real me went to,,I don’t look like the me that I used to be at all,I have gained over 100lbs.in the past 13 years,,,and the fight against the depression, the muscle aches and pain, and fatigue every day or so exhausting,,my Doctor doesn’t want me to get the adrenalectomy due to the loss of all steroids,and how difficult it is to regulate them after the surgery. He also told me that you lose you fight or flight response because you don’t have any natural adrenaline,so your reaction time is not very good,,,,,and I have three grandkids that I drive iwth and take places,and I am a nurse and have to be able to react fast,,,,I also feel that he doesn’t think that I am a good candidate for surgery.

So there it is,,and here am I,,,trying to deal with everyday life, and the lack of any understading or sympathy from some of my family,as they feel that I have gained this weight on my own, and if I just ” took better care of myself,and got some exercise” I would feel and look better,,,,,,,as if any one would do this to themselves,,,,,,:>( ,,,,,,,,,,oh well,you guys understand at least,,,,,,thanks for listening

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Archived Interview with Kathy C, Pituitary Patient

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Kathy was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor in 1991.

At the time the only symptom she was aware of was a severe headache. She had a transsphenoidal resection followed by radiation therapy for 23 days. They said they could not remove all of the tumor.  She is now on Signifor and Cabergoline.

Read Kathy’s entire bio at https://cushingsbios.com/2014/04/27/interview-may-7-with-kathy-c-pituitary-patient/

Listen to Kathy’s Interview here.

Kathy’s Interview is also on the CushingsHelp Podcast

Interview May 7 with Kathy C, Pituitary Patient

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My name is Kathy Casey. I am a 63 year old retired school nurse. I am married with two wonderful sons and a grandson. My husband and I live in the mountain town of Mt. Shasta in northern California. I have always been athletic.

In 1995, I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. At the time the only symptom I was aware of was a severe headache. I had a transphenoidal resection by Dr. Wilson at UCSF Medical Center followed by radiation therapy for 23 days. At the time they said they could not remove all of the tumor.

In 2008/2009. I exhibited symptoms of Cushing’s and my cortisol level was outrageous, and I had to be hospitalized initially for a potassium level of 2. I returned to UCSF and Dr. Anwar Sandeep operated . By removing part of the tumor. My Cushing symptoms resolved. However, he said that the tumor was not encapsulated and was invading the cavernous sinus and stella turcica so it was still not possible to remove it all.

I was OK until December 2013 when I began exhibiting the symptoms of Cushings. One of my 24 hr. urines was 14,000. I had to be hospitalized for a potassium level of 1.9. Dr. Heaney said he has never seen a cortisol level that high. This time I decided to go to the UCLA Pituitary Tumor and Endocrinology Program where they were more oriented to follow-up and treating this disorder. Dr. Bergsneider decided that surgery was not an option. He and Dr. Heaney decided radiation was not an option. So now I am being followed by Dr. Heaney to see if medication can help.

I am now on Cabergoline 0.5 mg three tabs twice a week and Signifor 0.9 mg subcutaneosly twice a day. I think they are alleviating some of the symptoms. However, the Signifor caused my blood sugar to rise, and I had to go on Metformin which is causing nausea to a point where I have a hard time eating.

Anyway, this whole situation is depressing and overwhelming. I am tryng to stay positive, but I wonder how it will turn out. I am fortunate to have a supportive and helpful husband.

I am interested in communicating with people who may be going through a similar experience and learning more about this rare condition.

Kathy will be interviewed May 7, 2014 in BlogTalkRadio

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Kathy C, Pituitary Bio

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My name is Kathy Casey. I am a 63 year old retired school nurse. I am married with two wonderful sons and a grandson. My husband and I live in the mountain town of Mt. Shasta in northern California. I have always been athletic.

In 1995, I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. At the time the only symptom I was aware of was a severe headache. I had a transphenoidal resection by Dr. Wilson at UCSF Medical Center followed by radiation therapy for 23 days. At the time they said they could not remove all of the tumor.

In 2008/2009. I exhibited symptoms of Cushing’s and my cortisol level was outrageous, and I had to be hospitalized initially for a potassium level of 2. I returned to UCSF and Dr. Anwar Sandeep operated . By removing part of the tumor. My Cushing symptoms resolved. However, he said that the tumor was not encapsulated and was invading the cavernous sinus and stella turcica so it was still not possible to remove it all.

I was OK until December 2013 when I began exhibiting the symptoms of Cushings. One of my 24 hr. urines was 14,000. I had to be hospitalized for a potassium level of 1.9. Dr. Heaney said he has never seen a cortisol level that high. This time I decided to go to the UCLA Pituitary Tumor and Endocrinology Program where they were more oriented to follow-up and treating this disorder. Dr. Bergsneider decided that surgery was not an option. He and Dr. Heaney decided radiation was not an option. So now I am being followed by Dr. Heaney to see if medication can help.

I am now on Cabergoline 0.5 mg three tabs twice a week and Signifor 0.9 mg subcutaneosly twice a day. I think they are alleviating some of the symptoms. However, the Signifor caused my blood sugar to rise, and I had to go on Metformin which is causing nausea to a point where I have a hard time eating.

Anyway, this whole situation is depressing and overwhelming. I am tryng to stay positive, but I wonder how it will turn out. I am fortunate to have a supportive and helpful husband.

I am interested in communicating with people who may be going through a similar experience and learning more about this rare condition.

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Brian (Brian), Adrenal Bio

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In 2011, I realized I had Cushing’s Syndrome. I was a 30 year old male with several complications: swollen feet, swollen legs, stomach looked 9 months pregnant, hair fell out, memory loss, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, diabetes, mood swings, depression, urination every hour during the night, bright pink stretch marks, etc.

After changing my doctors several times for misdiagnosis, I was finally tested for Cushing’s Disease/Syndrome. I contacted the National Institute of Health and doctors advised me to come in immediately. I survived 2 months living at NIH, while doctors ran several tests to determine if I had Cushing’s Disease or Cushing’s Syndrome. I had Cushing’s Syndrome and my tumor was found in my right adrenal gland.

After sucessful surgery, I did not have the energy to get out of the bed for almost a month. I was taking almost 10 pills per day including cortisol, high blood pressure medication, potassium, etc. I lost 40 pounds after surgery going from 208 pounds to 168 pounds and after 6 months, I was taken off all medication. I beat Cushing’s Syndrome and Diabetes!

Now, I am 32 years old. I am in great shape and finally got my life back. I do not have any complications. The only sign of Cushing’s Syndrome are the stretch marks and a scar from removing the tumor from my adrenal gland.

I just wanted to meet other people going through a bad disease and help out if possible. I am here if anyone has questions or just want to talk.

~ Brian

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Sue, Undiagnosed Bio

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A Golden Oldie

Hello – My name is Sue and I’m 42 years old.  Before Friday, 10/15/10, I had never heard of Cushing’s.  I went in for a physical and had routine blood work done (fasting) and then went in the next day for a cortisol and aldosterone test.

This was a new doctor who didn’t know my history… she noticed my ::blush:: beard, red puffy face, and central obesity and then started asking me some questions.  I stll had no idea why this many questions.  She said that she wanted to get an abdominal ultrasound and wanted me to seen an endocronologist.  Ummmm…. ok… still had no clue. After my cortisol came back at 23, she called me back in and explained that she wanted to get a CAT scan of my abdomen.  I asked her what this was all about, and she said that she thinks that I have Cushing’s.

I have been on blood pressure medication since 1998, and my ‘normal’ bp is 135/90.  At my physical it was 155/100, another warning sign… she doubled my meds and had me come in the next day.  BP was better 145/90, but was still high… so she prescribed an additional medication.

I don’t want to make this too lengthy, but I have several other symptoms too…  I am currently disabled due to depression/anxiety, and I have even gone through ECT treatment twice for it.  I take meds for depression, anxiety, sleep and psychosis.  I have to take a potassium pill every morning to maintain a healthy level and some mornings I can’t even move for a while due to joint pain.  Hot flashes and night sweats are not frequent, and I thought I was going through the beginning of menopause.  At times I would have sweat dripping off of my forehead.  If someone would look at a picture of me and see if maybe I resemble a Cushie??  I am waiting for the appointments, but the more I read about it, the more it sounds like me.  Thank you.


Sue also submitted a second version of her bio:

Hi!  My name is Sue, I am 42 and I live in Central Massachusetts.  During my physical with a new doctor, my blood pressure was found to be high, even though I have been on Hypertensive meds since 1998.  She doubled my dose, and it was still high.  She then put me on an additional medication, and that took it down a little bit. She then noticed my razor stubble on my neck and chin and asked about that.  Prior blood work showed that my cardiac inflammation was 5X’s the “high” limit (2 years ago) and the doctor at the time told me to take 1 adult dose asparin a day.  I had severely low potassium and she told me to take a supplement.  I am 5’5″ and weigh 224 pounds an it’s literally ALL in my stomach and cest and back.  My face is all puffed out and red and splotchy.  I suffer from sleep apnea and I lose my breath if I lay down flat on my back.  I thought I was having hot flashes, because I have been having night sweats and during the day I sometimes get so flush and hot that the sweat literally drips onto the table.  I have rosacea and I flush easily.  I am disabled due to depression/anxiety/psychosis and I have even undergone ECT treatment for it (electroconvulsive therapy-shock treatment)

I was reading some of the bios and started to cry…  I could see me in so many of the stories and pictures.  Could it be possible that all of my issues are related to this disease that I had never even heard of before?  I do not want to be sick, but if it is Cushing’s that I have, I will have hope that I haven’t let myself go. 🙂  You all seem to be very loving and supporting.  Thank you for being here.

There are other symptoms I have, but these are the most bothersome.  My blood cortisol level came in at 22 and my aldosterone was high also.  I am waiting for an appointment for an abdominal CAT scan and a referral to an endochronologist.

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Linda, Pituitary Bio

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I Am 52 yrs. old . My sympmtoms began when I was 40 yrs. old. I was at at a yearly physical.  I was extremeley athletic. I used to ren 70 miles a week. when I was 17 to 19… dopamine I believe kept me well.

One year prior to my  symptoms ..I was 39. I was very fatiquiged..my children were suffwering. They were 6  and 9.  They are now 17 and 20.  I feel I stopped raising them at this age.  If any of you have seen the Sting  the movie with Paul Newman obbserve that he  dunked his head in ice.  I was at Lincoln city , Oregon when I attemted this. procedure. I say procedure and I didn’t even know a tumor was forming on my pituairy gland. Who kneew? Not me. It didn’t even occur to me that a growth was growing in my brain!!

I went from 135lb to 265lb. in 3 months. I was so frightented!!!!!!!!!! My doctor told me to go to an encronologist…very important DOCTOR!!! Most doctors do not have the slighist idea what Cuhing’s is ..Dogs ,horses, and PEOPLE get it. Some doctors are either dumb or totally ignorant. The    E. doctor said it looked like I had Cushing’s syndrome. I then made him fall off his chair in laughfter! My family and I recently put a family dog down with Cushing’s disease. I wanted to know if it was contagious?? No, he said wiping his eyes from laughing. He appologigized when I started crying.. I wanted to know how I got it. My dogs was in the adrenal glands. Fatal. We said goog-bye to BUDDY>> My doctor said he hoped I did not have the same dianosis.

After thousands of dollars later..Thank goodness we had great West insuanarce..Get it if you can. Covered everything 100 percent. Discovered a benign tumor on my left pituiary gland. They removed it through my nose . I also had my 9th sinus surgury. It was also from my left nostril. I got fake diabetes. It went away when I left the hospital. The weight started dropping with the help of a nutrisionist. I was taking hydrocortisone. pills.  I lost 65 lbs. A few years later my head started  hurtimg worse.

After One day of test at a major University OHSU I was diagnosed again with the same tumor . but 3x’s bigger . Surgery through my mouth.  Weight came back and some. I asked what my options were? #00lbs, heart attack and death. They told me to remove my adrenal glands. I did. I now have diabetes ,I take 200mg. because my thyroid is so large. Guiess what?? My immunec system is nill.

I wanted to be healthy I loved bananas… get what I got ?? I got the e-coli scare with the spinacach in the bag. E.R. 3 weeks . Everyone in yellow smocks..  No visitors! June 2007… I lost 40 lbs. I was going out to lunch with my husband saw double.  Uncontrollable votimiting… E.R. Encronologist. or family doctor. After driving 90 miles an hour 45 minutes away we arrived. I was talking all the way through it . No pulse ..I said am I dead? My doctor said Shut up. No heartbeat. I said am I dead yet? She said shut up agin. I wass vvvvvvvvv teching. I said where are the cameras for HOUSE the t.v. show. I sell novelty neck ties my huband Allen just so happenned to be wearing a Bug’s Bunny tie…I guess you know what i said ..What’s up doc??

The Paramedic behind me was 2x’s larger than my husband He said I was going to the hospital. They put me in the ambulance. Allen asked my husband if he wanted to come . He said he would follow. When they closed the door Allen said if you feel anytjhing  hit my knee. 10 seconds later I hit his knee as hard as I could. I felt an elephant!! If you want me to tell you what death is ask me. I died for 5 seconds. plus I was clinically dead at the doctor’s office. My potassium level was7 normal is 4.2 to 5. If anyone has seen Austin Powers drinking poop quadruaple it    I attempted to drink it.  Started vomiting it. A Doctor was walking by…USE ANOTHER ORAFACE!!!! The butt. I was drowning. Needless to say , my children were screwed up again.. I called the oldest Brandon ,the youngest Nathan and a very nice gentleman if i wasn’t married I would marry him…SHAROn 14, MEGAN 11 and ALLEN!! I now take fludocrt and hydrocortisone @ 4:00 P.M.  everydyt. If I miss two consecutive days I will die.

I am also Bi polar I feel their is a correlation with Cushing’s disease. I take Depacote etc. 12 more pills plus hydrocortosone in the morning too! I Have 2 books at home Manic Depressive Disorder. By Fredrick Goodwin and Jay Jamison. Worth reading. Stated Cushing:s disease is derived and assossiated with bipolar. I believe I have been bi polar from birth.  Only episodes  I had as a child…TRAUMA!!!!! I now have addison’s disease too! What else could go wrong?

By the way, I have a theory  bipolar is assosiated chromosome 13.  I also think cancer is a virus. Hit or miss. Cushing’s is fatal i not treated properly. Adrenalectomies are the worst . Take Vicatin .I threw it at my husband I did not want to get addicted to it like House. I used ice 24/7. I won’t go into the detatails it was bad. If you do get one , move I used a swifter, and a cane. No wheel chair or death for me!! I’m a fighter!!

 

Thank you for allowing me me to tell my story. I want to write a book about my experiences. I hope there is a publisher out there so I can get my Life story across!!

 

Sincerely,,

 

Linda

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