Thanking Medical Staff

I was thinking about this over the last few days.  My thoughts were sparked by a news item from England called “Patients say thanks to hospital stars“.

The Big C cancer centre and a nurse described as a “guardian angel” have been picked as the champions who go the extra mile from hundreds of staff put forward by patients.

Individuals and departments at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital were nominated for the hospital’s patient choice awards.

It’s so easy to complain about things when everything seems to go wrong, we don’t get the care we think we deserve, or the diagnosis we know we have.

Has your life been improved by someone who has done a bit more?  How many of us take the time to thank people who have helped us?  My husband is very good at this.  Regrettably, I’m not but I’m going to try.

Medical treatment of Cushing’s disease: Overview and recent findings

Published Date October 2009

Journal: International Journal of General Medicine

Stephanie Smooke Praw1, Anthony P Heaney1,2

1Department of Medicine, 2Department of Neurosurgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Abstract: Cushing’s disease, due to pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) hypersecretion, is the most common etiology of spontaneous excess cortisol production. The majority of pituitary tumors causing Cushing’s disease measure <1 cm and the excess morbidity associated with these tumors is mostly due to the effects of elevated, nonsuppressible, ACTH levels leading to adrenal steroid hypersecretion. Elevated circulating cortisol levels lead to abnormal fat deposition, hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, muscle weakness and psychological disturbances. At experienced centers, initial surgical remission rate via transnasal, transphenoidal resection approaches 80% for tumors less than 1 cm, but may be as low as 30% for larger lesions and long-term recurrence in all groups approaches 25%. Residual disease may be managed with more radical surgery, pituitary-directed radiation, bilateral adrenalectomy, or medical therapy. This paper addresses current and novel therapies in various stages of development for Cushing’s disease.

Keywords: Cushing’s disease, treatment, pasireotide, PPAR-γ, 11 β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase inhibitors, dopamine agonists

Download article (Free!):

Misconceptions About Cushing’s

Cushing’s.  So many people are confused by what it is and what it isn’t.  They may have heard of it because a dog they know has it – or, these days, a horse, ferret, rat.  Seems it’s way more common in lots of animals but not people.

If people have heard of the “animal version” they might say “Yeah, my dog had that and it was easy to diagnose. We just gave him medication…

When we first started having bios on the website, sometimes people would say that they had Cushions Disease.  At first I wondered about that but then it started to make more sense.  If you’ve never heard of the disease,  the doctor mumbles something.  You know you’re a little “fluffy” and cushions makes a lot of sense.

Twice in the last week I’ve seen Cushing’s described as Crushings Disease.  That sort of makes sense, too.  Cushing’s crushes your plans, relationships, credibility, pretty much everything.

Other misconceptions involve Cushing’s symptoms.  Others, especially doctors, will see you gain weight and assume you’re eating too much and a good diet will fix everything.  Or see that you’re depressed (who wouldn’t be!) and offer anti-depressants.

Doctors may say that Cushing’s is too rare, that they’ll never see a case of it in their practice.  But rare doesn’t mean that no one gets it.  Rare doesn’t mean that doctors shouldn’t test for it.

Then, the anatomy just isn’t right.  People say that they have a brain tumor instead of a pituitary tumor.  I just read this on another site: The pituitary gland is on the bottom of the brain… Umm – not exactly ON the bottom of the brain but maybe close enough for people to get an idea.

What sorts of things about Cushing’s/Cushions/Crushings that just weren’t quite right?

Interview with Laura (LauraNG) October 29 at 9:00PM eastern

October 29 at 9:00PM eastern, Interview with Laura (LauraNG)

This interview will take place at 9:00 PM eastern – please note later time!

Laura has been struggling since 2007 with various odd things happening to her body.

In March of 2009 she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroid.

Her bio contains a long list of symptoms she has and she has been misdiagnosed with Obesity, Diabetes, Kidney stones, Depression, MS, Manic/Depressive, TIA, Anxiety – stress, Not exercising enough, Not eating properly, Abusive relationship (due to bruising).

In responding to the email confirming this interview Laura wrote:

“When I started reading the bio’s of people like myself, I started to cry tears of relief that what I may have, is actually ONE real thing. I cannot tell you how happy I was to find your website and I think it is wonderful that so many people who truly understand how frustrating it is to think we are alone, are willing to put themselves out there as beacons of hope for the rest of us. I felt so strongly, that I wanted to add my bio and offer myself for interview. If I can help one person feel a little calmer while they go through this process, I am more than willing. I don’t know if I have Cushing’s but if I do, it is important to me to reach out to others because the attacks coming from the physical and mental side of this illness, deserve to be exposed and recognized. Even though I am feeling a bit humiliated, reclusive and embarassed because of what it is doing to me.”

Read Laura’s entire bio at

You can listen live at The archives are usually up about 30 minutes after the end of the show and in our podcast area of iTunes by Friday.

The Call-In number for questions or comments is (646) 200-0162.

Is Cushing’s really that rare? Or is it simply undiagnosed?

Here are some thoughts from the Cushing’s Help message boards over the years.

  • Is this really such a rare disease, or more of a rare diagnosis? I mean, I remember when Thyroid issues were taboo and non-existant to regular docs, but now they all see to know something and are recognizing the issues…Seriously, if only 10-15 in every million have Cushings, how on earth did a well visited forum get created???
  • My personal opinion is a rare diagnosis….I see people with acne covered red moon faces, frontal obesity and a hump and just shake my head. If I can talk to them I will mention it but I am super sensitive about my weight and don’t want to insult anyone.
  • I believe it is both. The disease itself is rare, but more and more people are coming forward. I don’t think it is as rare as they think it is in research. It is also rare to find an educated physician for this disease. They are out there, but why aren’t there more? This makes for rare diagnosis. It is not like I can walk down the street and see tons of people with cushings symptoms, but now that I am aware of it I DO see some.
  • i believe until it is not so underdiagnosed we will never know if it is actually rare.
  • I don’t think it’s as rare as doctors think it is. I think the problem is they send people out based on individual symptoms versus looking at them all as a package. For example I got sent to: a psychiatrist for depression, a gastroenterologist for stomach stuff (diarrhea and constipation), an endocrinologist for the hormone/insulin issues, a neurologist for the headaches, an OB/GYN for the “missed periods” and an opthamologist for the vision issues. None of them talk to each other and none of them work together. How could they make a diagnosis of anything other than their specialty based on that? I think until docs take a team approach, it won’t be diagnosed more.
  • We all tend to think it is rarely diagnosed, more than it being a rare disease. Then, you get into the whole idea of, what causes it anyway?

    Who knows? Nobody knows for sure, but say it is from our environmental issues. Maybe it’s from chemicals we are exposed to, and this is how our bodies react. Then if it is environmental, you will start to see more and more people with it because more and more people are exposed to the same environmental issues. Maybe the same thing causes cancer in some people, and pituitary tumors in others. I’m not saying this is the case, I’m just throwing ideas out there. You didn’t hear of Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia 30 yrs. ago either. Maybe in another 30 yrs., Cushing’s will be a disease that most people know about. That would mean more people getting diagnosed, and it would seem that Cushing’s would be on the rise, but awareness is probably the key.

  • What do YOU think?
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