Pat's Story

AGHDaware = Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency  Aware...

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My name is Pat, I'm aged 65, and live in NSW, Australia.

My encounter with my Pituitary Gland began in February 1992.  For some time I had noticed I had lost an amount of body hair, had low libido and could sleep at the drop of a hat. These symptoms I attributed to encroaching old age, after all I was 51.  Eventually I asked a doctor acquaintance to give me a referral for a CAT scan.  I realised something was amiss when I noticed that lots of onlookers were crowding into the control room.  I had a tumour the size of an egg.

Next came the first visit to an endocrinologist who started me on Hydro Cortisone, I took off like a scaled cat, more energy that I had had for years, long bush walks lots of physical activity, my poor wife was left in the wake.  In April I had my first operation, the tumour was very virile (which was more than some of my other bits) and all that was achieved was to cut a chunk of “the root” out. This was to be followed up with radiation therapy, but before this could be arranged the tumour began to soften and flop over both optic nerve bundles, which caused a lot of concern.  I should mention that initially the tumour was putting some pressure on my left eye, but it was not picked up by the optometrist as some years before I had had some macular degeneration of the left retina which obscured any observation.

A second operation followed shortly after this discovery where it was possible to suck out a fair percentage of the tumour, radiation therapy then followed shortly after that and now fourteen years later very little remains.

 By this stage I was on full hormone replacement and was very lucky to get involved with an adult GH replacement study that was being done at Westmead.  Although replacing my other hormones certainly had a very positive effect, adding the GH turned my health and activity levels back ten years.  I was able to continue running my company, be involved in several large projects and undertake a considerable amount of travel both local and overseas.  The GH study did not improve my IQ, nor turn me into a star basketball player, but it certainly improved my liver function and general feelings of wellness. 

In 1996, I had to have a hip replacement which was preceded by a bone density test which showed bone strength of about 120% of a young male.  About a year ago I had a follow up test which showed a jump to around 135%.  The test was done on the same machine by the same operator.

 Initially I was injecting 1 IU per day of GH, but my tests were indicating the levels of a 20 year old so the dose has been reduced to 4 IU per week which is giving levels more in line with my GOM status.

 I would strongly support that GH be put on the PBS for adults as I am sure that in the long run the cost would be off set by reduced hospital and other medical costs in later life and allow people to work longer and pay more tax.

This Page Refreshed: Saturday, 12. April 2008

 

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