A long and winding road

It’s time to explain why I’m not posting much and why you’ll probably get a bit fed up if you followed this blog for nail art and reviews. I do still fully intend to keep up with the other sections but it’s something that will fall by the wayside somewhat and posts will probably remain few and far between for a while and mainly be health related when they do appear. I’m currently being diagnosed for a rare disease called Cushing’s; only 20 – 60 people in the UK are diagnosed with this every year.

I have to start with how the doctors have even come to this conclusion really because it just makes me laugh a little with how mundane the reason was and just how one thing can lead to another.

If you’ve read any of my other health and fitness posts you’ll know I do a lot of walking (average 8 miles a day during the week) and am also obsessed with clubbersize. Back in September 2017 I noticed I was getting some pain in my right foot if I moved it in a certain way but I just assumed I’d injured it whilst working out and left it to get better by itself. It didn’t. Early December I booked a doctors appointment to take a look at it figuring after 3 months of increasing pain it was probably a more serious injury. I eventually got diagnosed with a Morton’s Neuroma and told to stop doing exercise whilst getting it sorted. No more walking and clubbersize for a while.

Now I do think overall the NHS is great but they are so slow. I didn’t get my referral to a podiatrist until April, my first (and hopefully only) steroid injection for it until July and so in the meantime I went to a local private podiatrist to see if I could get help for the pain. She was excellent but as she was looking at my feet she commented that I had particularly dry skin and asked if I’d always had it. I said yes, but I just thought it was from the amount of walking that I have always done and it just toughens up your feet. Her response was that it was indicative of thyroid issues and I should probably get a test done just in case.

Once I would have ignored that but thanks to my clot I’m a little more paranoid when it comes to medical stuff now particularly if it’s someone qualified who brings something up. So off I trot to make an appointment. The GP asks why I’m requesting the test and I’m not instantly shot down. I can get a blood test with the surgery’s nurse that day and am told to make an appointment for the results. This is where I’m very lucky as there is one available the next week with my favourite GP who treated me all through my clot. I choose to book with her.

So I head back the next week for my results. No indication of thyroid issues. Most other GPs at my surgery would have said “All negative, you’re fine, bye” but not Dr Ishaque. She says “All negative, you’re fine… but you look different.” She hadn’t seen me in nearly a year by this point. I just laughed a little and said I’d put weight on but she dismissed this saying I had but not enough for my face to look so different. She put on her thoughtful face, started asking if I’d noticed x, y and z, had a little physical examination of me and had a good search around on her computer.

She basically thinks I have what they call a “moon face”; a very classical symptom of Cushing’s. I’ve since researched into Cushing’s and I have a good 25 – 30 symptoms that fit Cushing’s. I’ve spent 2 years dismissing most of them as a lot are things that can be attributed to each other, such as feeling tired because I’m not doing exercise due to the Morton’s Neuroma and putting on weight, or feeling irritable because I’m doing 5 people’s jobs at work and am therefore stressed!

Dr Ishaque got me to do a blood test which showed slightly elevated cortisol but not much however it’s apparently quite often not very accurate. There is also a 24 hour urine collection test which I’ve just done and am waiting for the results; these too are often not hugely accurate and get repeated a few times. I’ve also been referred to a specialist just in case it comes back positive though from the sounds of it the specialist will take me on simply for diagnosis as well as it’s such a long term and specialised thing. So whilst I was waiting on diagnosis before mentioning anything it seems it could take quite some time and I’d rather people know as some of the symptoms are mental and ones I’ve noticed for a long time, such as irritability which is nothing like me or fatigue and lack of desire to actually go out and talk to people.

I’ve read up a lot on it already and it’s a horrible disease. It affects pretty much all your hormones and therefore pretty much every part of your body. I really feel for those going through it and it’s not something you quickly get over though it is treatable thankfully. Weirdly I’ve known of the disease for most of my life as horses can get it though I never knew what it actually was. Dogs and cats can too!

So for those who know me personally if I don’t want to talk to you, meet up with you or snap at you it’s (probably) not your fault but could be this disease. For those who read this blog I want to post and randomly ramble about things but I have a lack of focus and concentration at times and of course am obsessing slightly over the diagnosis so please bear with me. And for anyone else going through this diagnosis or being treated for Cushing’s I hope you’ve got a great support group and medical team and hope some of my posts might help you. If you are going through it please reach out to me in the comments as I’d love to hear from others. One of the biggest things I learnt from my blood clot was that you can’t beat having a group of other people who have been through the same thing to help you through.

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