Carol's Story

AGHDaware = Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency  Aware...

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Above: Carol - Before her tumour

Above: Carol ( Middle ) Overdosed on prescribed steroids

Above: Carol ( Left ) Overdosed on prescribed steroids

Above: Carol ( Left ) Fighting fit on appropriate levels of steroids and replaced with Growth Hormone

Above: Carol ( Left ) Fighting fit on appropriate levels of steroids and replaced with Growth Hormone

Hi Jennifer,

Jenn, you are an inspiration and a blessing to those of us who are GHD. I promised you I would send you my journey so far….

My name is CAROL and I am 51 years old. I had a Rathke’s Pouch tumor removed 10 years ago. The operation was successful, but the follow up treatment has been the greatest challenge of my life so far. I was overdosed on steroids for seven years. The first endocrinologist put me on Cortate and the second on Hydrocortisone. Cushing syndrome was the result.

My GP was talking about the necessity for a liver transplant. I had a fatty liver since I had put on an enormous amount of weight. I was constantly hungry and tired. No diet or exercise program can counteract the effects of steroid overdose. I went to many health professionals and tried every thing I could think of without success. My health progressively deteriorated and I felt helpless to turn it around. What I needed was a miracle.

My condition is called Panhypopituitarism. I have virtually no hormones since I have no pituitary gland. When my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer I gave up teaching Preschool so I could care for her. My mum was my priority, and I didn’t have the energy to look after 25 four-year-olds as well.

 One day my mother asked me to pray for her. Then she said to me, “Goodbye. I’ll see you again.” The next morning I was out walking and I asked God to take her home because she had suffered enough. A few hours later she died peacefully by my side.

Now I was living alone and caring for myself became increasingly difficult. Trying to exercise, I broke some bones in my foot and also broke a rib. Life was a struggle. Looking in the mirror I saw a person I hardly recognized. My self-esteem was rock bottom. Unless I was to find someone who could help me, I sensed I wouldn’t live much longer (I was 44 at the time).

In desperation, I asked God to show me what to do. An invitation came from the Leukemia Foundation to hear a lecture given by endocrinologist, Dr. Winnifred Lee. At the end of the lecture, I approached her. She told me she “spotted me in the audience,” and asked if I was “a cancer patient on massive doses of steroids”. Though I was a total stranger, she took an interest in me and without her medical care; I am convinced I would not be alive today.

She prescribed Prednisolone (a different steroid) and reduced the dose very slowly. My weight dropped from 62 to 53KG and my liver function, as well as my other blood test results came out normal. My problem was I still had little energy. Everything I had tried to boost my energy levels proved ineffective.

 I finally decided Human Growth Hormone might be worth a try because the research on the internet looked promising. In Australia, the government seems to be of the opinion there is no scientific evidence Growth Hormone is beneficial for adults. Undeterred, I got a referral to the endocrine clinic at the PA Hospital, Brisbane. Dr Ross Cuneo is a world expert on GH in adults. I had to do an insulin resistance test which proved I had virtually no GH in my body. I am now permitted to take GH by private script only. The cost for my budget is astronomical!!

The good news is now I have lots more energy. I hired a personal trainer and joined a gym. After two years training, I no longer have osteoporosis. I do heavy weight lifting, boxing, rowing, running, circuit training and any other weight bearing exercise I can. I also do Body Balance (Pilates, Tai Chi, Yoga combined) for core conditioning and to keep my body flexible.

GH strengthens the muscle around the heart and helps prevent muscle-mass wastage as well as osteoporosis. Steroids thin the skin, but GH thickens the skin etc. etc. The benefits are many, including my narrow waistline that I hadn’t seen in a very long time.

After 6 months on GH, I became allergic to it. I found an Allergist and went through a desensitizing treatment program, the same that they use for diabetics allergic to insulin. It worked!! The endocrinologists at the Hospital were surprised. Perhaps I made medical history??

What I have learned is this: when your health goes seriously wrong, YOU have to take responsibility for the outcome.. Because of God’s grace and the help and support of so many others, I enjoy the life I do today. For that I am forever grateful. People living in Australia today pay a high price for Growth Hormone. Not taking it, for me at least, comes at a much higher price.

 

This Page Refreshed: Saturday, 12. April 2008

 

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This Website Created:  Tuesday, 01, August, 2006