The last nine days have been like nothing I have ever been through in my life.
I must first apologize for being so late on my update. I have been relying on Mrs. Zebra to update friends and family but she has been exhausted the last few days as have I. Spending more than 20 minutes looking at a computer monitor makes me physically ill. This is problematic since my only link to the outside world is social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and the Cushing's Support site.
On Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 my life changed forever. At least I believe that it did. I had 70% of my pituitary gland taken out to ensure the remaining 30% was tumor free. The surgeon, Dr. Marc Mayberg, believes beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he took all of the tumor out. The part that worries me, and to a smaller extent the doctors, is that my cortisol numbers DID drop below 2.0, but did not stay there. I have not had my levels checked since I was discharged that Friday, but it feels like I did crash and stay low since then. Let me tell you, the surgery is touted to be a simple one from a neurosurgeon's standpoint but is nothing short of hell. I woke up to crushing pain from my head, and the Diabetes Insipidus was already flushing my body of liquids. Every part of my body was heavy and ached. Every sound was like an ice pick into my skull as was every beam of light. Blood freely flowed from my nose as did Cerebrospinal Fluid. Thankfully the two CSF leaks I had quickly healed themselves. Then came more blood. During surgery, blood drained into my stomach. It came back up. Mrs. Zebra said walking into my room was like walking into a horror film. I was screaming for help because I had to use the restroom and I was bleed everywhere. All of this masked the pain from my abdomen for days, where they took fat to plug my pitutary cavity. This surgery is something that, unless completely necessary, I do not ever want to go through again. It was as if all the years of suffering were boiled down and injected into my head at once.
This is but about 1/3 of what came up. They dumped the other two before Mrs. Zebra took this.
The light and sound sensitivity were present right up through my discharge, but one other side effect that was not explained to me still lingers. I can not smell or taste anything but sweet and sour. Spice is an acid so its effects are felt, as well as the effects of salt, but nothing else. This makes every meal very depressing.
Each and every morning is hard to get up, worse than my "crashes" before and now that I have started steeping down on my medicine I shiver under my covers from being cold. For the first time in my life, the air conditioning at night is too cold for me. I am not complaining, mind you, just amazed. Between my lows in the morning, my aches and pains all day, and my cold at night, at least for the moment I think my Cushing's is finally behind me.
I take steroids to help me function through the day. Dr. Ludlum gives high doses of Cortef to start, 30mg three times a day. Enough to give me back my Cushing's if stayed on too long. So he instructs to ween by 10mg every 4 to 7 days. I started my first ween Tuesday, day 7 after surgery and 4 days after I started surgery, so I did. I felt it for sure that night. I slept much better than I ever have. Last night, the only thing that woke me up was the nausea that ripped through my body. Not enough to make me throw up, but close. Each day I am vigilant in looking for signs if Adrenal Insufficiency. What worries me is that I truly dont know what A.I. is like because I dont know if I truly every felt it. What is A.I. and what is nausea from drainage from the never ending head cold I have now?
Besides the drainage, and the nausea, the fatigue is more than I could have anticipated. Even on the high doses of steroids, just getting up to use the restroom that is 25ft MAX away from my spot on the couch is enough to make me feel weak and tired. Milk jugs, water pitchers, even my Macbook Pro are way to heavy to carry further than a few feet. This makes dealing with every day events hard. Especially the fact that my Diabetes Insipidus is just barely under control.
My days since arriving back home have consisted of resting and letting Mrs. Zebra's Father help with cooking, cleaning, and the like. He has been a huge help and when he leaves he will be missed more than he realizes. He is giving both myself and Mrs. Zebra a much needed break. For now, I focus on healing and fixing the vast sums of medical bills that come in. $100K just for testing is a bit much, but it is getting take care of. Mrs. Zebra is next. Hopefully she can either get on the new state insurance plan paid for by the new federal law or we will have to do something drastic. She is showing more and more symptoms of this dreaded disease every day. It is a horrible disease, and an almost as equally horrible ordeal for remission. I wish this only on those who refute it's existence or refuse to understand what living this way is like. It is nothing to wish for. My net time is about up for now. Time for a nap.
The Weary Zebra