Jenn (StaceyJenn) was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, and a host of other ailments in 2001 (candidiasis, intestinal permeability, 22 latent food allergies). Once diagnosed, she was on specially formulated hydrocortisone for 7 years as she was allergic to the fillers in the meds. Her doctor stopped practicing and she was transferred to his associate. She switched StaceyJenn to medrol. After Cushing’s symptoms, a new endo started weaning her off the medrol…
Myth: After a “cure” for Cushing’s, everyone heals and goes back to normal. All Cushing’s patients can easily heal with no repercussions after Cushing’s. After pituitary surgery or a Bilateral Adrenalectomy (BLA), life is great and being “cured” means having a “normal” life! After all, surgery is a “cure” and about 6 weeks later, you are back to normal. “Say, you had surgery XYZ long ago! Shouldn’t you be better by now?!!!!”
Fact: I can not even tell you how many people asked me “aren’t you better yet?!” after both of my surgeries! There are too many to count! There is a misperception that surgery means a cure and therefore, healing should happen magically and quickly. No! No! No! This is far from the truth.
The sad reality is that even some medical doctors buy into this myth and expect quick healing in their patients. However, they are not living in their patients bodies nor have they obviously read the extensive research on this. Research has shown that the healing process after surgery is a long and extensive one. One endocrinologist, expert from Northwestern, even referred to the first year after pituitary surgery for patients as “the year from hell”! He literally quoted that on a slide presentation.
It takes at least one year after pituitary surgery, for instance, to even manage hormones effectively. Surgery is invasive and hard. However, the hardest part comes AFTER surgery. This is when the body is compensating for all of the years of hormonal dysregulation and the patient is trying to get his/her levels back to normal.
There is a higher rate of recurrence of Cushing’s then we once thought. This means that after a patient has achieved remission from this illness, it is likely to come back. In these cases, a patient faces other treatments that may include radiation, the same type of surgery, or an alternative surgery.
For many pituitary patients who experience multiple recurrences, the last resort is to attack the source by removing both adrenal glands. This procedure is known as a Bilateral Adrenalectomy or BLA. In these cases, it is said that the patient “trades one disease for another”, now becoming adrenally insufficient and having Addison’s Disease. Both Pituitary and Adrenal patients are faced with a lifetime of either Secondary or Primary Adrenal Insufficiency.
Adrenal Insufficiency is also life threatening and adrenal crises can potentially lead to death. Additionally, research says that BLA patients take, on average, 3-5 years for their bodies to readjust and get anywhere near “normal”. Most patients will tell you that they never feel “normal” again!
Think of these facts the next time you feel tempted to ask your friend, family, or loved one, “why is it taking so long to get better after surgery?”. Remember that in addition to the aforementioned points; problems from Cushing’s can linger for years after surgery! One Cushing’s patient stated, “I’m 5 years post-op and I STILL have problems!” This mirrors the sentiments of many of us in the Cushing’s community. Please be conscious of this when supporting your loved one after treatment.
You can find more information in the following links:
Blue and Yellow – we have those colors on ribbons, websites, T-shirts, Cushing’s Awareness Challenge logos and even cars.
This is the yellow PT cruiser I had rented for the Columbus, OH meeting in 2007. I didn’t ask for yellow. That’s just what the rental company gave me. Somehow, they knew.
This meeting is the one when we all met at Hoggy’s for dinner although some of us travelers stayed at this hotel.
I’m the one in yellow and blue.
Later in 2007, I bought my own truly Cushie Car. I even managed to get a butterfly on the tags.
So, where did all this blue and yellow come from, anyway? The answer is so easy and without any thought that it will amaze you!
In July of 2000, I was talking with my dear friend Alice, who ran a wonderful menopause site, Power Surge. We wondered why there weren’t many support groups online (OR off!) for Cushing’s and I wondered if I could start one myself and we decided that maybe I could.
I didn’t know much about HTML (yet!) but I knew a little from what Alice had taught me and I used on my music studio site. I didn’t want to put as much work <COUGH!> into the Cushing’s site as I had on the music studio site so I used a now-defunct WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web editor called Microsoft FrontPage.
One of their standard templates was – you guessed it! – blue and yellow.
TaDa! Instant Cushie color scheme forever. Turns out that the HTML that this software churned out was really awful and had to be entirely redone as the site grew. But the colors stuck.
Now, in this day of mobile web browsers and people going online on their cellphones, the website is being redone yet again. But the colors are still, and always, blue and yellow.