Pregnancy can do strange things to a woman’s body. I had my son more than 4 years ago & my body has yet to return to normal…
When my son was about one, I gave up on losing the 40+ lbs of pregnancy weight. I’m a fitness instructor & know how to eat right & lose weight, but nothing I did seemed to have an affect.
Over the next 3 years, I started experiencing symptoms related to Cushings disease. Individually, these symptoms don’t appear to be all that alarming, but collectively they can become life threatening.
All this time, I thought the symptoms I was experiencing were over exaggerated figments of my imagination…The inability to lose weight & continually gaining weight, bloating & water retention, puffiness in the face, insomnia, hot sweats, bruising, extreme fatigue and my favorite – a buffalo hump (my husband pointed this out to me about 6-8 months ago, concerned that I had poor posture spending so much time on the computer).
About 3 months ago, I decided to try to reclaim my body again and started working with a personal trainer. Two & half months passed with NO change. WFT?! I was at the end of my rope & came to the conclusion that something has to be wrong with my body. I was weight training for 40 min. 3x/wk and doing cardio 45 min 3 or 4x/wk. I had even resorted to eliminating carbs from my diet. Basically starving myself.
I went to my doctor to get a full check up. She took my blood pressure & it read 180/92! I was a stroke victim waiting to happen. I explained my exercise routine & my inability to lose weight. What’s wrong with me???
My blood work came back abnormal…Based on the initial results, she suspected it might be Cushings disease. She requested that I undergo more testing. Apparently Cushings disease is rare, affecting less than 200,000 people in the US population and is often times misdiagnosed.
After nearly a month of testing (blood work, urine collection and a MRI), it’s been officially confirmed that I have Cushings disease.
I’m bitterly conflicted. Apart of me feels relieved to have an answer as to why my body is the way it is. It validates all of the symptoms I tried so hard to brush off. For the same reasons, I’m frustrated that I lost more than 4 years with my body (Prior to getting pregnant, I was in the best shape of my life & loved to be active. I had completed my first Olympic distance triathlon in 3 hrs & 33 min and was training to climb Mt. Rainier).
There are two types of tumors that cause Cushings disease: pituitary tumors & benign adrenal tumors. Good news is that this disease is fully treatable with surgery. Preliminary MRI results show that I have a 3 cm benign adrenal tumor.
I still have a long road ahead, with more testing, additional doctor evaluations and eventually surgery. My doctor has informed me that once the tumor is removed, my body should return to normal, what ever that means…
My greatest hope is that my body will feel good on the inside AND outside. I’m ready to conquer my next triathlon…