About Me

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A warm welcome to my Blog and my hope is that you find comfort in knowing you are not alone with your Acromegaly.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2007 - One year after my pituitary surgery

(Picture taken Christmas 2007)
I was 2 months pregnant and miscarried on Christmas Eve 2007. To date (Dec 2008), I have had four miscarriages. I am visiting the High Risk clinic in Ottawa, Ontario Canada inthe new year to understand the reasons for my miscarriages.
I am back taking my Sando once a month. When I was pregnant I had to stop my medication. Because there is not much research on the long term effects of Sandostatin and pregnancy, it is recommended by my Specialist Dr. Serri from Montreal, Quebec Canada that I stop taking my meds. I was being monitored very closely to ensure that my growth hormone would not spike and that my residual tumor would not grow. All in all, our spirits are good. We will just see what happens next.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2006- Post surgery

(Picture was taken one week after my pituitary surgery) I was so anxious to be home to celebrate my son's 3rd b-day.
I started noticing subtle changes...my face and my tongue felt less swollen, my acne cleared completely and my snoring ceased immediately. Although, my nose stayed quite large for a couple of weeks because of the nasal packing. Upon my return home I noticed clear fluid leaking from my nose. I had to be rushed back to Toronto the following day to ensure that I did not have spinal leakage. After 1 full night and no other episodes of leaking, I discharged myself and returned home. (what a nightmare)

Monday, December 15, 2008

2006- Finally a diagnosis

June 2006 - My Family Doctor finally sent me for GH test (it was such a guessing game) and we found very high levels of Growth Hormone and as a result had an MRI that showed a pituitary macroadenoma (3cm). Had surgery in September 2006 at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) with Dr. Michael Schwartz-Neurosurgeon. Small amounts of tumor remains and my Growth Hormone still active. Am required to take Sandostatin, a monthly injection for life, that helps control my growth hormone.

My husband and I think that I had Acromegaly for a good 10 years prior to my diagnosis. I had all the classic symptoms.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2005- The beginning of my health issues

2005 – Picture taken in February. Symptoms continuing to worsen.

The following is a list of my symptoms (which are classic symptoms of Acromegaly) that I was dealing with and had no idea that the culprit was a pituitary tumor.

*I had surgery for carpal tunnel on my left hand first because I still needed my predominent hand as my son was not walking at that time. The numbness and burning were so severe that it kept me up most nights. Washing my hair was a nightmare.

*I had surgery to remove a cyst that was growing underneath my lower lip.

*I had facial swelling like my nose, my eye lids and my lower lip.

*I had many skin tags on my chest and stomach.

*I had terrible pain in my jaw. It cracked alot.

*I had difficulty speaking because my tongue was very thick and had difficulty pronouncing certain words. I would share with my husband that I did not know were to place my tongue in my mouth. It was always in the way (such a strange feeling).

*I was extremely tired and felt horrible.

*My eyesight was blurry and I was constantly cleaning my glasses thinking they were dirty.

*I had insomnia and my husband complained of my snoring.

*I was constantly sweating.

*But my most terrifying feeling was that I did not feel like myself. I could not find the right words to express this to my closest family and friends. It was only when we discovered I had Acromegaly that everyting made sense. I visited many physicians and other health professionals with the above mentioned symptoms before I was diagnosed with Acromegaly [for which was the cause for all my ailments].

Here is a list of Health Professionals I visited before my diagnosis: Dermatologists (acne and skin tags), Massage Therapist & Surgeon (carpal tunnel), Chiropractor (carpal tunnel), Dentist (soreness/pain in my mouth), Ear/Nose/Mouth specialist (cyst), Walk-In clinics (thinking I had severe allergies) and my family doctor, which I visited very often sometimes twice a month for a good 2 years (feeling terrible, insomnia, constantly sick with lung infections).

Noticeable changes in a short time period

It was only after I was diagnosed with Acromegaly that my husband and I went through our family pictures and noticed the subtle changes in my facial features over the years (actually months).
I did feel a change in myself but I chalked it up to being a new mom.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

2004- The beginning of my health issues

2004 – Same symptoms getting worse. Hair suddenly changed, went from straight and healthy to curly, thick and unmanageable. Noticeable changes in face and overall appearance. Increased shoe size. Very tired. Started thinking there was a problem. Expressed many times to my family that I did not feel like myself. I felt unbalanced and swollen.

Friday, December 12, 2008

2004- The beginning of my health issues

Rash-like acne across the forehead, side of my face and chest. I was prescribed Acutane in 2001. I also had swollen hands and feet, small hump behind the neck and constantly had excessive sweating. I also exercised daily.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2002 -The beginning of my health issues

In my early 20’s (mid 90’s) I had stomach and intestinal problems. My symptoms consisted of regular vomiting and many episodes of diarrhea. I had surgery in December 1997 to remove a small part of my intestine. I was told I had diverticulitis, my surgeon said my intestines looked like one of a 60 year old. This was just the beginning of my health issues.