The first thing I am being asked these days is how I'm feeling. First thing I want to say is that I feel grateful to have gotten the tumor out and to be living and breathing. Second thing is... I feel like crap and recovery sucks. I'm sorry to disappoint those who are waiting for me to get better so we can catch up and enjoy our lives together but this process may take a while... I feel the same but worse. The Cushing's syndrome is gone but that doesn't mean that I am back to my normal self. Not yet atleast. I still have to deal with the aftermath of what this illness has done to my body and mind throughout the years that I've been living with it. As you can see my headline use to say "from diagnosis to recovery", but I now added "cure". Silly me for thinking being in recovery is the same as being cured. They are two very different things and I am no where near being or feeling cured. Being cured I would say is when my remaining adrenal glad wakes up and starts producing the hormones it should then sends the message to my pituitary gland to balance more hormones so I can function normally physically and mentally. Mainly cortisol is what my body needs. Funny how it created so much problems and imbalances in my body --got rid of it, but now I am struggling to get some of it back in order to function and live. I am barely learning what this recovery process really is.
Okay so how am I really feeling? Like a punching bag. I feel as if I still have Cushing's with all the symptoms but magnified. Now that I don't have cortisol, I don't have any anti-inflammation help so I feel every ache and pain in my body. To top things off I don't know if it's because of the chemical imbalances in my brain or the medication i'm taking but I am experiencing extremely poor memory, concentration and confusion. I am struggling to write this post I keep looking back to reread because I forgot what the previous sentence I wrote is about. I find myself standing around forgetting what I was going to do, blanking out, fumbling and switching words during conversation, and last night thinking the my phone was the remote. lol that is funny but not really when the forgetful person is you. You know the feeling of struggling to look for your keys before leaving the house, you look everywhere and in the end it was in your pocket or on the countertop.. Well that is how I feel all day lol. The alarming thing is that it is appearing to gradually get worse ever since the surgery. I seem to not comprehend anything people are saying and my short term memory is terrible so forgive me if this entry sounds repetitive or not make sense. I see muffin laughing at the tv but I just feel confused because I can't follow the plot. I asked him to rate my cognitive functions from when we first met and he told me I use to be so sharp and was a 10 and now I am a 6!! I need to start playing suduko and crosswords!! When I wake up, as one of my cushie friend describes is feeling like I am waking up from the dead no joke. My limbs are aching and I had no idea I had arm pains until now. I am so itchy from the dry skin and my hair is falling out double the amount. I've been writing down all of my symptoms and concerns on a note pad and talked to my docs. They say it's all normal and its usual symptoms of cortisol withdrawal. I have not experienced the vomiting and shakes but that is probably because I am on 30 mg of hydrocortisone daily. My body is not accustomed to that less of an amount but it will and gradually I will have to work with my docs to slowly taper off the meds each month until lefty wakes up. which could take up to a year. I wanted to try to taper off the meds myself but I read horror stories of adrenal insufficiency or crisis where the women end up in the ER. I do not want to end up back there! Another girl I talked to said she self tapered and was about to pass out before her roomate found her. I may be stubborn and like to self experiment but I do not want to go back to hospital so I will take my meds at correct doses and time =]. I just hope I don't forget!
I also made a list of the good things. The moonface has been shrinking, I'll post up some before and after pics soon. My family members say I am more upbeat. And I have been sleeping ALOT. I can literally close my eyes and take a nap right now. I feel less bloated from not retaining salt. I've lost 5 lbs of like water weight I was retaining and my appetite is feeling normal again. my shoes are loose on me again. My surgeon said my wounds are healing slowly from the surgery but that is expected from cushing's, still they are healing. This recovery process is tricky, my doc says the symptoms of cushings is a lot like the recovery symptoms. I understand why people say it is slow and frustrating.. I also experience chills at night and shooting muscle pains. I also feel my allergies again. Which is a good thing to feel right?
To those of you who want to see me, I'm sorry I cannot be the friend, sister, cousin, daughter, niece I can be right now. As much as I try to push, I cannot physically and mentally make my body recover any faster than it wants. I need to learn that patience is required throughout this whole process. There is no shortcut in looking and feeling healthy. Everyday I am relearning what my body is telling me. Actually i'm learning how to live life again. Mostly I just feel confused but I am trying my best... I use to feel so betrayed by my body but now I need to listen to it. I have nightmares every night about Cushing's returning and fear I will forever be broken. I fear the most that the anxiety, depression, and panic attacks will come back. I want to make sure they are gone for good and never return. I know right now a lot of things are out of whack and that's why I feel the way I do and the prolonged recovery adds to the frustration. But now when I wake, I know things can only get better day by day. I texted my surgeon to thank him for fixing me and he responded "it will take some time and adjusting but rest assured you are fixed-- do everything to remember you are fixed now."