Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wondering about the past

Technically, I didn't start to think about Cushing's until about 1983 when I was gaining weight uncontrollably even though I was staying faithful to my Weight Watcher's diet AND working out at the gym nearly every day.

I was always a chubby kid. Now I have to wonder if there was something lurking way back then. In 5th grade my parents were concerned about my weight and mentioned that my mom would have to get me a girdle. A few weeks later, when a new one arrived at home, I was worried but it turned out to be for my mom, not for me. Talk about a low blow to the self-esteem, though!

Later on, still chubby, my father went every now and again (maybe once a month?) to an endo in Providence. In those days, that was a big trip. I never knew what was going on - my parents didn't confide much in me, but later I wondered what kind of endocrine issue he might have had.

As a young adult, I know he had had awful, huge, acne. The kind where he stood on a stage in front of medical students. Maybe that was related to HIS secret endo issues.

Later, when I was a young adult, married only a few years, I had that awful, huge acne, too. Kids in the street would point and laugh at me. From people's expressions in the store, I gather that they were repulsed by this stuff on my face.

I couldn't take it anymore and got to a doctor. I was expecting the usual tetracycline I had taken throughout college. The doctor said that this acne was too bad for that. He injected antibiotics directly into each individual eruption. Then, I got the tetracycline.

I had trouble getting pregnant. I had a miscarriage early on. I finally took fertility drugs but they made me nuts. I was blessed to have one child. I am also an only child, as is my father.

I think that there are several generations of endo issues here. When my son was a teenager with awful acne, I had him tested for Cushing's before I took him to the dermatologist.