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Louise P., Adrenalectomy

Many of you are aware that it has been 3 years since my surgery to remove one adrenal gland. I thought I would wake up and be myself in a few weeks. How wrong I was. I was a recluse in my home for almost a year. I had a puffy face, extended abdomen, and thinning hair. I was (and am still) on replacement hydrocortisone due to my non-functioning adrenal. I was exhausted, slept until noon, was weak, had no attention span, retained little, was in pain, felt like a walrus, was embarrassed to go out, cried constantly, and wanted to die.

I thought. “This is it? What am I going to do? Where am I going from here?” I’m so ugly, I don’t want to go out, I can’t focus, and I can’t commit to anything because I don’t know how I am going to feel. Is this it? But, over time, my attitude began to change.

So I can’t do what I did, I don’t look like I did, I am no longer superwoman, but what can I do? I don’t focus on what I can’t do, I focus on what I can, and that brings me joy. I enjoy every day. When I wake up, I thank God for the day. I was never a religious person but I have become a spiritual being. I know now, after 49 years, that there is a plan for all of us. We do the best we can. We love people, treat them as we would like to be treated, bring some happiness to others less fortunate, and make a difference.

What do I want to be remembered as? Someone that was attractive, successful, a wonderful friend, devoted mother, loving daughter? Yes, but more importantly, someone that has made a difference. No matter how big or small, someone’s life has been a touch better. I have chosen this foundation to try to make a difference: by helping others obtain a correct diagnosis, or locating a Cushing’s specialist for someone. Both of these I believe are top priorities. This was my way of making a difference, but all of us have different gifts that we can use to make a difference in so many different ways. I would also like to share the following quote from “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williams.

“Many people have spoken of their illnesses as a “wake-up call”. That means wake up and experience life – wake up and bless each morning, wake up and appreciate friends and family. I have heard people with critical illnesses say that their lives only really began when they were diagnosed.” So it was with me.

Member 080387
Newsletter: 1995
State:  Massachusetts

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