A Cushing’s Collection: A Humorous Journey Surviving Cushing’s Disease, Diabetes Insipidus, and a Bilateral Adrenalectomy

 

The author of this book has submitted a bio and is a member of the Cushing’s Help message boards.

From Amazon:

Diagnosed with a rare disease that only affects between two and ten people per million, Marie Conley used emails to communicate with family, friends, and co-workers to keep them apprised of the diagnosis and prognosis of Cushing’s disease and the many complications she experienced on this journey. Her ironic humor and raw, emotional approach helps bring hope to those touched by this rare and unrelenting disease.

In her mid-thirties, Conley, who strived to keep herself healthy while maintaining the delicate balance of raising a young child, keeping a home, and a demanding career, began to experience a variety of unexplained maladies inconsistent with her life style.Because of the elusive nature of Cushing’s disease, the treatment is a long and complicated process of trial and error.

At this time, there is no cure, largely due to the fact that Cushing’s disease is considered an “orphan disease.” As is her nature, she has decided to “adopt” this “orphan” and is doing everything she can to bring awareness to this disease.Conley’s tenacious spirit and determination would not allow this insidious disease to triumph over her life. Armed with her laptop as the only weapon available in the sterility of the recovery room, the author attacks the keyboard with a vengeance to let friends and family know that in this battle, there is no surrender.

Day 29: Cushing’s Awareness Challenge 2017

People often ask me how I found out I had Cushing’s Disease.  Theoretically, it was easy.  In practice, it was very difficult.

Ladies Home Journal, 1983In 1983 I came across a little article in the Ladies Home Journal which said: “If you have these symptoms…”

I found the row with my symptoms and the answer read “…ask your doctor about Cushing’s”.

After that article, I started reading everything I could on Cushing’s, I bought books that mentioned Cushing’s. I asked and asked my doctors for many years and all of them said that I couldn’t have it.  It was too rare.  I was rejected each time.

Due to all my reading at the library, I was sure I had Cushing’s but no one would believe me. My doctors would say that Cushing’s Disease is too rare, that I was making this up and that I couldn’t have it.

 

In med school, student doctors are told “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras“.

According to Wikipedia: “Zebra is a medical slang term for a surprising diagnosis. Although rare diseases are, in general, surprising when they are encountered, other diseases can be surprising in a particular person and time, and so “zebra” is the broader concept.

The term derives from the aphorism “When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don’t expect to see a zebra”, which was coined in a slightly modified form in the late 1940s by Dr. Theodore Woodward, a former professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Since horses are the most commonly encountered hoofed animal and zebras are very rare, logically you could confidently guess that the animal making the hoofbeats is probably a horse. By 1960, the aphorism was widely known in medical circles.”

So, doctors typically go for the easily diagnosed, common diseases.  Just because something is rare doesn’t mean that no one gets it.  We shouldn’t be dismissed because we’re too hard to diagnose.

When I was finally diagnosed in 1987, 4 years later, it was only because I started bleeding under the skin. My husband made circles around the outside perimeter each hour with a marker so my leg looked like a cut log with rings.

When I went to my Internist the next day he was shocked at the size of the rings. He now thought I had a blood disorder so he sent me to a Hematologist/Oncologist.

Fortunately, that new doctor ran a twenty-four-hour urine test and really looked at me and listened to me.  Both he and his partner recognized that I had Cushing’s but, of course, couldn’t do anything further with me.  They packed me off to an endo where the process started again.

My final diagnosis was in October, 1987.  Quite a long time to simply  “…ask your doctor about Cushing’s”.

Looking back, I can see Cushing’s symptoms much earlier than 1983.  But, that ‘s for a different post…

 

Webinar: Growth Hormone Replacement: Not Just for Kids?

Thu, Mar 23, 2017 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

Presented by:

Susan L Samson MD PhD FRCPC FACE
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Medical Director, Pituitary Center at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center

Learning Objectives: At the end of the session the learner will be able to:

1) Discuss the testing approaches for confirmation of growth hormone deficiency in adult patients with pituitary disease
2) Understand the far reaching effects of growth hormone throughout the body
3) Describe the potential benefits and adverse effects of growth hormone replacement therapy in appropriate patients

Presenter Bio:

Susan L. Samson MD PhD FRCPC FACE is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She is originally from Canada and completed her medical degree at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) and Internal Medicine training in her hometown of Calgary, Alberta. She moved to Baylor for Endocrinology fellowship training and then joined the faculty. She is the Medical Director of the Pituitary Center at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center where she is part of a multidisciplinary team – with Dr. Daniel Yoshor (Neurosurgery) and Dr. Mas Takashima (Otolaryngology)- who are committed to excellence in surgical and clinical outcomes for pituitary patients. She currently serves on the board of directors of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and is a member of the Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Scientific committee. She also is involved in training future endocrinologists as the Endocrinology fellowship program director. Dr. Samson has a basic science lab and has also been involved as a site principal investigator for pharmaceutical clinical trials of therapies for pituitary disorders. She has been awarded the Fulbright and Jaworski L.L.P. Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching and Evaluation as well as the Rising Star award at Baylor College of Medicine. Her major clinical interest is pituitary disorders including pituitary adenomas, hypopituitarism, Cushing’s disease and Acromegaly.

Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6691253214341976066?utm_source=newsletter_232&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=webinar-announcement-growth-hormone-replacement-not-just-for-kids

Webinar: Endoscopic Endonasal Surgery for the Treatment of Cushing’s Disease

Mon, Jun 13, 2016 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT


Presented by:
Dr. Maria Koutourousiou

Webinar DescriptionAn update on the diagnosis and treatment options of Cushing’s disease. Description of the endoscopic endonasal approach for the management of CD. Surgical videos demonstration and comparison with the microscopic transsphenoidal approach. Surgical outcomes and adjuvant treatment.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Mary Koutourousiou is an attending Neurosurgeon and Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville. She is the Director of the Pituitary and Skull Base Program. Dr. Koutourousiou received her M.D. from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and completed her neurosurgical residency at the General Hospital of Athens “G. Gennimatas”, in Greece. She underwent subspecialty fellowship training in Endoscopic Pituitary Surgery and Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery at the UMC St. Radboud, Nijmegen, in the Netherlands. She moved to the United States in 2010 and completed four years of research and a clinical fellowship in Endoscopic and Open Skull Base Surgery at UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Koutourousiou has published extensively in the field of endoscopic skull base surgery. Her studies have been presented in national and international neurosurgical meetings. Dr. Koutourousiou’s work in skull base surgery has been recognized by the European Skull Base Society and the World Federation of Skull Base Societies.

Day 29, Cushing’s Awareness Challenge 2016

People sometimes ask me how I found out I had Cushing’s Disease.  Theoretically, it was easy.  In practice, it was very difficult.

Ladies Home Journal, 1983In 1983 I came across a little article in the Ladies Home Journal which said “If you have these symptoms…”

I found the row with my symptoms and the answer read “…ask your doctor about Cushing’s”.

After that article, I started reading everything I could on Cushing’s, I bought books that mentioned Cushing’s. I asked and asked my doctors for many years and all of them said that I couldn’t have it.  It was too rare.  I was rejected each time.

Due to all my reading at the library, I was sure I had Cushing’s but no one would believe me. My doctors would say that Cushing’s Disease is too rare, that I was making this up and that I couldn’t have it.

In med school, student doctors are told “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras“.

According to Wikipedia: “Zebra is a medical slang term for a surprising diagnosis. Although rare diseases are, in general, surprising when they are encountered, other diseases can be surprising in a particular person and time, and so “zebra” is the broader concept.

The term derives from the aphorism “When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don’t expect to see a zebra”, which was coined in a slightly modified form in the late 1940s by Dr. Theodore Woodward, a former professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Since horses are the most commonly encountered hoofed animal and zebras are very rare, logically you could confidently guess that the animal making the hoofbeats is probably a horse. By 1960, the aphorism was widely known in medical circles.”

So, doctors typically go for the easily diagnosed, common diseases.  Just because something is rare doesn’t mean that no one gets it.  We shouldn’t be dismissed because we’re too hard to diagnose.

When I was finally diagnosed in 1987, 4 years later, it was only because I started bleeding under the skin. My husband made circles around the outside perimeter each hour with a marker so my leg looked like a cut log with rings.

When I went to my Internist the next day he was shocked at the size of the rings. He now thought I had a blood disorder so he sent me to a Hematologist/Oncologist.

Fortunately, that new doctor ran a twenty-four hour urine test and really looked at me and listened to me.  Both he and his partner recognized that I had Cushing’s but, of course, couldn’t do anything further with me.  They packed me off to an endo where the process started again.

My final diagnosis was in October, 1987.  Quite a long time to simply  “…ask your doctor about Cushing’s”.

Looking back, I can see Cushing’s symptoms much earlier than 1983.  But, that ‘s for a different post.

Sleep, the Goldilocks and the three bears of Cushing’s Disease and after

Read the whole article at  https://zebraontheside.wordpress.com/

Insomnia was one of the first things that troubled me enough to try to get help for with Cushing’s Disease. By my last year in music school, I had flipped my schedule around. I felt best and got more done if I practiced through the night and slept through the day. That year was wonderful for productivity because I was able to do what worked best with my body. A couple of years later, my sleeping problems had taken over my life. I was trying to get a diagnosis. In school for a second and third bachelor’s degree while working at Starbucks, I barely slept. Because I wasn’t sleeping, I decided to just keep busy….