Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Guest Blogger: Danielle, Dealing With Cushings Weight Gain

As I have been sharing the outcomes of my past 400lb weight gain, webwide I have met others who have suffered severe weight gains and the outcomes of endocrine illness.  Danielle is a blogger who has faced the severe outcomes of Cushings Disease on her blog Life with Cushings. For many years I did seek support with the Cushings community although I was diagnosed with pseudo Cushings [high cortisol] and severe PCOS, there are many of the same problems and symptoms. When I was in the Cushings community online, many relayed stories of how doctors considered them liars and they had diagnosis delayed. Others still wrote about how previous friends, family members and others treated them differently for their weight. Those who suffer other endocrine problems such as hypothyroidism and other conditions that affect weight also too face these things. The Cushings community offered me much support and information even on my thyroid and other problems and helped keep me going. Danielle's experience regarding her weight gain and what she went through, I relate so much too! So I wanted to share her story and pictures---She is a brave young woman! Thanks so much Danielle!

I was a happy, healthy, active, tall, and thin child.  When I was 22, I was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease.  Cushing’s diseased is caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland that causes your body to produce too much of a hormone called cortisol, which helps your body respond to stress.  Cushing’s caused me to gain over 130lbs on my slim frame, and I topped out at 285lbs.  When I was obese, it was because of an endocrine disease that could have cost me my life, but people that didn’t know me, didn’t know that.  They just saw me as another obese person in an obese nation.

I remember seeing people that I went to high school with, and they would either pretend not to know who I was when I smiled and waved, or quickly turn away and pretend not to know me.  I could tell strangers would stare at me when I walked by, and coworkers assumed I overate like the rest of them.  But I rarely ate fast-food.  I rarely overate.  

I would never get any interest from guys.  My college friends would go out every weekend night and I would stay in, because I couldn’t bear the walk downtown.  I would drive to class, because the cost of getting a ticket was easier than the stares when I sat in class trying to catch my breath for 10 minutes. 

I even found a letter from my freshman year roommate, telling a friend that she hoped I would drop dead of a heart attack from eating too much because I was so disgusting.  

After two brain surgeries and a bilateral adrenalectomy, I am now back to "normal" size at 170lbs and 5’8”.  I never get those looks anymore.  I get more attention from guys.  I don’t feel the stares behind my back.  I don’t get harassed as much at work.  But why?  Why do I deserve these basic rights as a thin person more than a fat person?  

It’s sad when you’re fighting for your life, but your biggest concern is if someone will bring you to tears over a comment or a look, just because of your weight. It’s not fair.

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