🦓 Kind Words for Cushing’s Awareness Month

Many thanks to Cushing’s Help board member, Sharmyn McGraw!

It’s been my biggest blessing in life to help make many people’s lives better. Through the newly available dial-up internet, I joined forces with a small group of wonderful Cushing’s advocates. Cathy Gifford and Mary O’Connor, were my first Cushing’s friends, and are still dear friends twenty one years later. Together we got things moving. Mary, has built the largest Cushing’s support boards, and her admirable dedication continues to help and support patients from all over the world, Cushing’s Help and Support (cushings-help.com).

~ From Cushing’s Disease Helped Shape My Wonderful Life

🎤 Archived Interview: Symptoms and Diagnosis: Cushing’s Message Board Members

As part of this year’s Cushing’s Awareness Challenge, I’ve decided to share our Interview Series again since there was lots of great info in there.

The series is still going on, so if you’d like to be a part of this, just let me know.  You can fill out this form and check off that you want to do an interview – Add Your Bio

There are currently 89 interviews in our series.  This is the second one:

Robin Smith (staticnrg) hosted as Cushing’s message board members called in to talk about their fight for diagnosis and treatment. Robin opened the show with a brief explanation of what Cushing’s is and what the symptoms are.

Listen at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cushingshelp/2008/01/10/cushings-members

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🦓 It’s Time to Sign Up for the Cushing’s Awareness Challenge 2021

I plan to do the Cushing’s Awareness Challenge again. A past year info is here:  https://cushieblogger.com/2018/03/11/time-to-sign-up-for-the-cushings-awareness-challenge-2018/

The original page is getting very slow loading, so I’ve moved my own posts to this newer blog.

As always, anyone who wants to join me can share their blog URL with me and I’ll add it to the links on the right side, so whenever a new post comes up, it will show up automatically.

If the blogs are on WordPress, I try to reblog them all to get even more exposure on the blog, on Twitter and on Facebook at Cushings Help Organization, Inc.  If you have photos, and you give me permission, I’ll add them to the Pinterest page for Cushing’s Help.


The Cushing’s Awareness Challenge is almost upon us again!
Do you blog? Want to get started?
Since April 8 is Cushing’s Awareness Day, several people got their heads together to create the Tenth Annual Cushing’s Awareness Blogging Challenge.
All you have to do is blog about something Cushing’s related for the 30 days of April.
There will also be a logo for your blog to show you’ve participated.
Please let me know the URL to your blog in the comments area of this post, on the Facebook page, in one of the Cushing’s Help Facebook Groups, on the message boards or an email  and I will list it on CushieBloggers (  http://cushie-blogger.blogspot.com/ )
The more people who participate, the more the word will get out about Cushing’s.
Suggested topics – or add your own!
  • In what ways have Cushing’s made you a better person?
  • What have you learned about the medical community since you have become sick?
  • If you had one chance to speak to an endocrinologist association meeting, what would you tell them about Cushing’s patients?
  • What would you tell the friends and family of another Cushing’s patient in order to garner more emotional support for your friend? challenge with Cushing’s? How have you overcome challenges? Stuff like that.
  • I have Cushing’s Disease….(personal synopsis)
  • How I found out I have Cushing’s
  • What is Cushing’s Disease/Syndrome? (Personal variation, i.e. adrenal or pituitary or ectopic, etc.)
  • My challenges with Cushing’s
  • Overcoming challenges with Cushing’s (could include any challenges)
  • If I could speak to an endocrinologist organization, I would tell them….
  • What would I tell others trying to be diagnosed?
  • What would I tell families of those who are sick with Cushing’s?
  • Treatments I’ve gone through to try to be cured/treatments I may have to go through to be cured.
  • What will happen if I’m not cured?
  • I write about my health because…
  • 10 Things I Couldn’t Live Without.
  • My Dream Day.
  • What I learned the hard way
  • Miracle Cure. (Write a news-style article on a miracle cure. What’s the cure? How do you get the cure? Be sure to include a disclaimer)
  • Give yourself, your condition, or your health focus a mascot. Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them. Bonus points if you provide a visual!
  • 5 Challenges & 5 Small Victories.
  • The First Time I…
  • Make a word cloud or tree with a list of words that come to mind when you think about your blog, health, or interests. Use a thesaurus to make it branch more.
  • How much money have you spent on Cushing’s, or, How did Cushing’s impact your life financially?
  • Why do you think Cushing’s may not be as rare as doctors believe?
  • What is your theory about what causes Cushing’s?
  • How has Cushing’s altered the trajectory of your life? What would you have done? Who would you have been
  • What three things has Cushing’s stolen from you? What do you miss the most? What can you do in your Cushing’s life to still achieve any of those goals?
  • What new goals did Cushing’s bring to you?
  • How do you cope?
  • What do you do to improve your quality of life as you fight Cushing’s?
  • How Cushing’s affects children and their families
  • Your thoughts…?
maryo colorful zebra

🥸 Cushie 12-Step Program

I “acquired” this from another site and changed the names to protect the innocent…

As you know many of us Cushies have had or have an addiction to Googling.

I suggest anyone who feels compelled to google symptoms go to the message boards to ask for support instead of typing these or any words such as “buffalo hump” in the google search engine. When this is done all roads lead to one thing…… You Eat Too Much!; You’re Depressed!

So, anyone who is about to hit enter on their computer which feeds their Google addiction…. go to the message boards to ask for help. One of the other Cushies who have achieved “Google sobriety” will help you down of the ledge.

1. Admit for now that you are powerless over your urge to Google.
2. Believe that a power greater than you (that would be other Cushies) can help you off that ledge
3. Decide to turn your “fingers” over to a higher power as you understand it.
4. Make a searching and fearless inventory of what you hope to gain from googling.
5. Admit to yourself and to another human being the exact nature of your addiction to Google.
6. Allow other Cushies to assist you when you are so scared you are thinking about googling symptoms.
7. Humbly ask for Xanax, Klonopin or Cortef in order to calm yourself from googling symptoms
8. Make a list of all the diseases you think you have or have had and survived and have a burning ceremony and then…. take a nap.
9. Cite all Google sites you have searched diseases on and delete them from your favorites/history.
10. When you start thinking….STOP….. do something else, like take an inventory of your test results.
11. Seek through prayer and/or meditation to improve your thought process. Do not travel to “OMG’ or “What if” land (this is a serious suggestion).
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, carry this message to all your Cushie friends and anyone else you know who has a Google addiction.

13. Now I know there isn’t a 13th step, however, if you have noticed you are drinking too much wine or taking too many pills, please remember there are other 12 step programs for that, lol…

So, what about it – what are *your* suggestions to cure Google Addiction?

💉 Helpful Neurosurgeon: Pennsylvania

Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
March 03, 2021

Walter Jean, MD, has joined Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and will serve as Chief of Neurosurgery.

Jean is a board-certified neurosurgeon with expertise in complex intracranial surgery. He is known world-wide for his expertise in complex brain surgery. With nearly 20 years’ experience in both open and endoscopic skull base surgery, Jean has several clinical interests including acoustic neuromas, pituitary adenomas, skull base meningioma, intraventricular tumors, and trigeminal neuralgia. His acclaimed textbook, “Skull Base Surgery: Strategies,” is used by neurosurgeons across the globe to learn about open and endoscopic skull base surgery.

“I’m excited to join LVHN and continue to build on their solid foundation,” Jean says. “I hope to take LVHN Neurosurgery to the next level with robust clinical activity, research and innovation as well as education.”

As a pioneer, Jean utilizes virtual reality in neurosurgery.

“Virtual reality allows everyday people to fly to new lands in video games, augmented reality takes fighter pilots through scenarios training them for the unexpected,” Jean says. “Now brain surgeons and patients can also use these technologies to fly through the brain.”

Why is this so important? Jean says for those who find themselves in need of complex brain surgery, not only can they better visualize their upcoming procedure, their surgeon also gains additional insight. Jean is the only physician in the area using this groundbreaking technology.

“We meet hundreds of patients and explain to them our surgical plan,” Jean says. “That communication can be difficult at times. Once we have a patient’s brain scans loaded into the augmented reality software, they have the ability to see their own anatomy to gain a better understanding. When patients place the headset over their eyes, they are transported to a virtual replica of their own brain.”

The experience offers a visual explanation which is often easier to understand than medical terminology.

Another benefit of this leading-edge technology is that it allows brain surgeons create a surgery plan by simulating different scenarios to find the best approach. “The genesis of the technology is from air fighter pilots. The founders of the company discovered they could use the same technology in the medical field,” Jean says. “Just like fighter pilots, brain surgeons are able to practice unique scenarios to be fully prepared for their mission.”

Jean comes to LVHN from George Washington University Hospital, where he was a professor of neurological surgery. A native of Hong Kong, Jean attended Princeton University, where he graduated summa cum laude, and Cornell University Medical College, where he graduated at the top of his class and was elected Alpha Omega Alpha, a medical honor society. He completed neurosurgical training at the University of Minnesota, and fellowship in Skull Base Surgery at the University of Cincinnati.

Jean’s academic credentials includes being Program Director at Georgetown University for 7 years. He has authored numerous scholarly publications and has an international reputation as an energetic lecturer and passionate teacher of neurosurgery. Jean serves as reviewer for many high-impact journals such as the Journal of Neuro-Oncology, World Neurosurgery, Operative Neurosurgery, and Journal of Neurological Surgery, Part B. He is an active member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the North American Skull Base Society and serves frequently as faculty at their national meetings.

$$$ Attention Cushing’s Patients ~ Patient Advisory Board $$$

Cushing’s Syndrome Patient Advisory Board: Patient Qualifier

Virtual Patient Panel for Cushing’s Syndrome Patients
Patients that are accepted will be compensated for their participation.

Q1: Are you a U.S. Citizen and at least 18-years or older?

Q2: Have you been diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease (CD) or endogenous Cushing’s syndrome (CS)?

Q3: Did your doctor find a tumor on your Pituitary Gland?

Q4: You must currently be taking a prescription medication to treat your Cushing’s. The medication must include ONE of the following:

  • ketoconazole
  • ISTURISA® (osilodrostat)
  • KORLYM® (mifepristone)
  • SIGNIFOR® (pasireotide), OR SIGNIFOR® -LAR (pasireotide).

Q5: You must have been on your current medication for at least 1-month (ISTURISA-only), and all other Cushing’s medications for ≥3-months.

If you answered all the questions YES and are taking a prescription medication to treat your Cushing’s, please contact:
KIRSTEN YORK, Vice President of Discovery, at ENTRADA.

💉 Helpful Doctors: California

Dr. Daniel Kelly, a board certified neurosurgeon, is Director of the Pacific Neuroscience Institute and Professor of Neurosurgery at the John Wayne Cancer Institute.

Considered to be one of the best neurosurgeons in the US and a multiple recipient of the Patients’ Choice Award, Dr. Kelly is internationally recognized in the field of minimally invasive keyhole surgery for brain, pituitary and skull base tumors.

He has one of the world’s largest series in endonasal surgery with over 2000 procedures performed including over 800 endonasal endoscopic surgeries, and over 2000 craniotomies for brain and skull base tumors. His current surgical practice encompasses the full spectrum of brain and skull base tumors, both benign and malignant, treated with minimally invasive and conventional approaches.

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❓Can You Help?

Hi I recently became aware of my possible buffalo hump after xrays of my neck were normal except for a fat pad at the base of my neck.

After reading of some of the symptoms of Cushings it was a light bulb moment with so many symptoms being similar to what I’m going through.

I have extra fat in my sternal notch as well, looking at these pictures do I have a moon face, etc.

I’m waiting for the results of my 24 hour urine test.

Thought I would ask to see what you all thought. Thanks for your help.

This potential Cushie has posted several photos here.

Please respond here, on the message boards, or in the original post.

Thanks!

❣️The Message Boards Turn 20 Today! ❣️

 

 

Today  is the birthday, or anniversary, of the boards starting September 30, 2000 (The rest of the site started earlier that year on July 21, 2000)

As of today, we have 73,024 members who have made countless posts.

Find the message boards here: http://cushings.invisionzone.com/

 

📰 WP Thyroid and Nature-Throid recall-August 2020

Dr. Friedman prescribes various thyroid hormone preparations to his patients with hypothyroidism. This includes natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) of which two preparations are WP Thyroid and Nature-Throid, both made by RLC Labs. On August 25, 2020, RLC Labs announced a voluntary, consumer-level recall of all lots of Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid tablets because somel ots contain less than the required 90% of the active ingredient as determined by the FDA. The RLC spokesperson said to Dr. Friedman that one lot of WP Thyroid and lots of Nature-Throid contained between 87% and 90% of the labeled amount of levothyroxine (T4) or liothyronine (T3). The recall did not disclose which of the lots were affected and all lots are recalled, not just the affected lots. According to the recall, if a patient receives a sub-potent tablet, hypothyroid symptoms may not be controlled. To date, there have been no reports of adverse events related to this recall. Patients who have had an adverse event should contact RLC Labs.

RLC Labs advised that patients should talk to their healthcare professional before they stop taking their Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid medicine. Consumers with questions about the recall can email RLC at recall@rlclabs.com or RLC Customer Service  (877) 797-7997. Patients may return unexpired Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid tablets to their pharmacy who are legally required to refund the cost of the tablets. Currently no lots of Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid tablets are commercially available, so a replacement with the same product is not an option. It is unknown how long it will be before Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid become commercially available.

Dr. Friedman has several comments about this recall. This is the second recall of desiccated thyroid as some lots of NP thyroid were recalled in May 2020. Dr. Friedman sees this as unfortunate, but still believes desiccated thyroid is a good option for patients with hypothyroidism. Secondly, the “subpotent” Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid pills are only slightly less potent than stated in that only a few lots are between 87% and 90% of the T4 and T3 levels. For most patients, they will not have symptoms from these subpotent pills and if they are taking a lot that is subpotent, the dose can be adjusted based on laboratory levels at your next appointment with Dr. Friedman.

According to Dr. Friedman, patients taking Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid have three options: 1) they can continue taking Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid knowing they may have a subpotent lot and knowing that they may not be able to get a refill at least temporarily. 2) patients can be switched to Armour thyroid, NP thyroid or have a compounding pharmacy compound the equivalent dose using USP grade porcine powder. Please let Dr. Friedman’s office know if you would like to go on a different desiccated thyroid product (and which one) and what pharmacy you would like to use, 3) Dr. Friedman has a small supply of desiccated thyroid that is available at his clinic for those in Los Angeles on the last Tuesday night of each month. He will not be able to mail desiccated thyroid. Please contact his office about this option.

Patients do not need to contact Dr. Friedman, but if you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Friedman, please email us at mail@goodhormonehealth.com or schedule an appointment on his website at goodhormonehealth.com.