Throughout 2015, I knew that something was wrong. I’d lost my zest for life and I was living in hazy bubble. The world was going on around me but I wasn’t quite there and couldn’t figure out why. I continued to go to work and went on the holiday of a lifetime but still something wasn’t quite right. Blood tests came back as normal so I had resigned myself to this new way of life where I simply existed.
The weight piled on and I began to see a different face in the mirror. Who was that person because it certainly wasn’t the person that I knew? I was fit and healthy, so why was my body failing me? CORTISOL. The dreaded stress hormone was raging through my body and causing all sorts of problems. I headed to A&E with blood pressure through the roof and stabbing pains in my hips because enough was enough!
I was finally on my way to diagnosis and after 3 months of rigorous testing, I received a diagnosis of CUSHING’S SYNDROME, which was caused by a TUMOUR on my right ADRENAL. I cannot explain how relieved I was when I heard the word tumour because that was something that could be removed. I wasn’t scared because by that point, I could barely walk and my body was expanding by the day.
After an ADRENALECTOMY in May 2016, I took my first steps to recovery, living with my latest diagnosis of ADRENAL INSUFFICIENCY. Taking STEROIDS daily became the norm and I slowly began to rebuild my fitness and check things off that I couldn’t do with Cushing’s. Getting up from a chair without using my hands; cycling on my exercise bike and springing from one foot to the other with no pain. The simple things that I’d always taken for granted.
Being able to run again seemed like an impossible task but I was DETERMINED. With my determination came JUDGEMENT. People who thought they knew better than me. Should you be doing that? Are you tired because you’ve been running? What they hadn’t considered was that I was starting to live again and this was giving me something to strive towards.
The journey has been a rollercoaster and I have recently weaned off the steroids because my left adrenal is functioning – a day I never thought would come. A target achieved so time to set a new one. I will run the London Landmarks Half Marathon for ADSHG because they have been there offering advice every step of the way and this is my chance to give something back.
Every penny raised helps us support people affected by Addison's Disease, a rare disease with just 9,000 sufferers in UK and Ireland.