Friday, June 29, 2007

Q's Recovery

(guest blogger - Val's husband, Q)

Val wanted to post an update on my recovery from Cushing's Syndrome, so here is. I'll try not to be too dull, but Val is the writer in the family.

I had the operation to remove my left adrenal gland back in January, 2006, because a tumor attached to the gland was causing it to produce too much cortisol. As my body had an excess, my other adrenal gland stopped producing it all together and went dormant. The hope was that once the tumor was removed, my body would eventually start producing cortisol at a normal level again. This has not happened yet, and so my endocrinologist has doubled my daily hydrocortisone dosage, to approximate the bodies normally produced amount.

Until now, my dosage had been steadily decreasing since my operation, from a high of 50mg/day, finally down to 5mg/day a few months ago. When I dropped to 5/day, I was getting so tired, that it was difficult to function anymore. I went back up to 10/day about a week later and was hoping that the latest tests would indicate my body had started to produce cortisol naturally. But I guess my increasing fatigue is due to my body having too little cortisol, because it's only getting it from the pills I take.

So, now I'm back up to 20mg of hydrocortisone a day, 10mg the moment I wake up (thank goodness for Siamese Daylight Time), 5mg at noontime, and 5mg in the late afternoon. This should echo the bodies natural production of cortisol, which starts at about 4am to get the body ready to wake, continues then slows throughout the day, and stops in the evening to allow the body to sleep.

I may have to continue taking these pills, three times a day, for the rest of my life. But Val is the optimist, telling me it's not that bad and could be a lot worse. I'm hoping the increased dosage will get my energy level back up to normal.


Ms. Val said...

Val is the writer in the family.

That doesn't bode well for the rest of the family!!!!!

Anyway, when the doctor said that your recent fatigue was caused by your body not making its own cortisol, you heard: "adrenal failure". I heard "this is not a relapse".

Here's how it looks from my angle. Last year, I was staring in the face of widowhood. Now, I'm facing monthly pharmacy trips to buy $10 worth of pills. That's a huge, HUGE, HUGE leap!!!!

I'm just glad I it's easily treatable.

homo escapeons said...

I think that Val's angle is pretty solid.
Either way that is certainly quite an experience. Never heard of Cushing's Syndrome. I am always amazed that they can pinpoint the epicentre of chemical imbalances.

It could be a lot worse. Did you remember any of your High School Chemistry when you were going through all of this?

Take Care and stay out of the sizzlin''Zonee heat YIKES.
Oh and btw give us back the JETS!

kj said...

don't take this the wrong way: you two deserve eachother.

it is wonderful to so clearly see your love for oneanother. my guess is val knows what she's talking about!

Ms. Val said...

Cushing's Syndrome is a very rare ailment that occurs when the body is producing too much of the cortisol hormone. Symptoms include centralized weight gain, chronic fatigue, diabetes, and at least a dozen other ailments. It's caused by a tumor on either the adrenal gland (CS) or pituitary gland (Cushing's Disease). It's most common in dogs or horses...very rare in humans, and even rarer in men.

And you can have the Jets, but you'll have to fight my neighbors for them. They have Coyotes paraphernalia on their cars, hanging on the garage walls, refrigerator name it.

I know the way you meant it. :-) Thank you. In Q's defense, I think he's a little dejected because the possibility of having to take cortisone pills for the rest of his life means that he will never be completely recovered.

Irene said...

Ms. Val, I wish your Q a safe and speedy recovery. Now is as good a time as any to shower him with all your tender loving care! ;p said...


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