Skip to main content

Cushing's Awareness Challenge - Day 17 - Being Fat

I was fat, even considered "morbidly obese" at my highest weight.  As anyone reading this blog probably already knows that one of the most devastating symptoms of Cushing's is the dramatic and uncontrolled weight gain.

This article from the New York Times explains how the fat stigma affects people all over the world.  At my highest weight, I was 285lbs.  I had trouble walking short distances and turned down a lot of activities because I was worried about climbing stairs or walking while people were with me because of how difficult it was for me.  Now, I am 179lbs (yes, every pound counts now!), and have changed almost nothing about my eating habits (which aren't that great) or activity level, though I am slowly building my exercise tolerance.

I never got attention from guys while I was fat, and even my friends might have been embarrassed for me.  My college roommates would try to convince me to go for a walk with them or walk to class, but I usually drove alone.  I have been told I was too fat to shop at certain stores, even told to take off my sweatshirt so a salesgirl could measure me and THEN tell me that they had nothing that would fit me - how humiliating.  Needless to say, I have not stepped foot in that particular store since.

Most people think that if you are fat, it's your own fault.  Sometimes, that is the case, but a lot of times, weight gain is due to a medical or psychological condition, medications, or a person's genetics.  In my case, it was due to Cushing's, but since it took so long to get a diagnosis (and a cure!), I felt like a failure.

Having people look at you differently because of the shape or size of your body is one of the hardest things.  Now that I am thinner, it amazes me how much better I am treated in public.  People wouldn't stop talking about how great I look at work and asking me what I did to lose the weight.  The receptionist at the hair salon I have been going to for about 2 years was kinder and chattier. People at stores that I have never been able to shop at before have been more than accommodating.

Have you ever been treated differently because of what you look like?  How do you deal with the stigma?

(I will work on taking some pictures for you!)




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Talk About the Sh*t you Don't Want to Talk About

I haven't updated this blog in a very long time.  I actually deleted a ton of posts while I was applying for social security disability. I posted about Cushing's Awareness day earlier this week on facebook, so I guess I'm in a sharing mood. Anyway, for anyone who even reads this, I was watching a documentary on Netflix about a teenager with anorexia and mental illness who found meaning in her life through yoga. (It's called I Am Maris). It's kind of the reason for this post. To start - let's go back to June 2018. My grandmother died.  She lived a wonderful long life, but it was especially hard on me.  She was the reason I got out of bed every day, my best friend, and so much more. I actually don't remember how I got through most of the summer. In the span of two weeks at the end of August, my mom turned 60, we went on a family vacation to the vineyard, my best friend got married, and I wanted to kill myself.  Yeah, you read that right. The day after re

The Challenges of Getting a Diagnosis

I have been asked about this so many times, and talk about it a lot, whenever someone asks me about Cushing's.  So many people have the same experience - KNOWING you have Cushing's, and seeing 5, 10, 20, or more doctors over the course of many years before you officially have a diagnosis.  I would say this is one of the most common links I have with other "Cushies".  We all fought for a diagnosis, heard we were just fat and depressed, waited with hope after every test, until a day came when one test came back high, or a brain MRI showed a tumor in the pituitary gland. I think the reason I haven't written about it is because it's one of the hardest things to sit down and spend time on.  It's painful, and of course, I can't help but wonder what my life might be like today if I was diagnosed sooner.  Would I have needed an adrenalectomy?  Or for that matter, a second pituitary surgery? Would I have as many health issues after Cushing's?  It's ha

Cushing's Awareness Challenge - Day 23 - The Diagnosis and Treatment Process of Cushing's Disease

For many people with Cushing's it takes months, years, or even decades before finally getting a diagnosis and help.  For me, it was 5 years from when I thought I had Cushing's until my endocrinologist told me I did indeed, have Cushing's Disease. Once you read about Cushing's and think it sounds just like you, here's what you will have to do to get rid of the excess ACTH or Cortisol source 1. Find a reputable endocrinologist that other people with Cushing's have had good luck with.  You can find a list on Cushing's Help  HERE .  You can also ask someone that has been diagnosed on the Cushing's Help boards or on the Facebook group which doctors they see. 2. Make and appointment, and be patient!  Sometimes the endocrinologist has to do multiple tests over a period of time, and those results can take a while to come back.  Some tests to expect are 24 hr urine free cortisol tests, midnight salivary tests, dexamethasone suppression tests, or random/midn