Welcome to my Cushing’s blog again dear readers:
Today I’m going to treat you to some pictures. One is fairly explicit as it is of a younger Cushie who decided to do a picture of herself in a bikini so folks could see what Cushing’s has already done to her body. I have her permission to use her picture and plan to point out a few things from it. So here it is:
Look at her face, how round it is. That is called a “moon face” and is one of the signs of Cushing’s syndrome and disease. Next is the “buffalo hump” behind her neck. Because of the color of the door in the background it doesn’t stick out that well. But if you have the ability to zoom in and look it is there. Note how her fat is somewhat concentrated on her torso. In her case it’s not as extreme as some I’ve seen, myself included, but her obesity is somewhat truncal. Lastly get a load of those stretch marks! Those are huge and stick out prominently. Every Cushie knows the look of those, as do pregnant women. But then women enter a pseudo-Cushingoid state while in pregnancy and stretch marks like those are the bane of their existence aren’t they. And look at how dark some of them are, especially those towards the back. That isn’t just a play of light as Cushing’s stretch marks are often darker than normal, even sometimes achieving a dark purple in color.
Usually we only get to see this sort of thing from nude pictures taken by doctors. And those aren’t the easiest pictures to get to see much less legally use. So I’m thankful to this lady for having this picture done and even more thankful for her permission to use it.
Now for a few before and after pictures, the first is a single picture a lady posted on Facebook showing before, while she had Cushing’s and after:
The lady is clothed in this one, of course. However, one can clearly see what truncal obesity looks like as hers is more pronounced in the picture of her as a victim of Cushing’s. See how skinny those arms are in comparison to the rest of her body? That look of toothpicks stuck into a basketball is the classical look of the Cushie as the disease progresses. Cushies both tend not to have much fat, if any, on the arms and legs and they’ll lose muscle mass as well. Hence the distinctive profile we see here in this picture.
Next I’ll give you a picture of my mother:
That’s my young bride with her back in early 1982. But focus on mom. The way she’s dressed you can really see most of the symptoms we’ve discussed today on display. You see the moon face, the buffalo hump and the pronounced truncal obesity. Mother was almost fifty in that picture and only had about fifteen more years to live before the ravages of the disease took her. Later in life mother developed COPD and extreme heart problems, both diseases morbidly obese people often die from. Mother was never officially diagnosed with the disease although she had virtually all the known symptoms of the disease, including the mental health issues. The doctors just weren’t interested in going down the road as they were thinking horses instead of zebras.
Finally, I’ll finish up with two more photos. The first one is a “before” picture of me at age fifteen in 1971:
The next picture is my graduation picture from Waycross College in 1994 when I received my associate’s degree before moving on to a university. I’m thirty-eight years old in that picture:
That’s quite a change, isn’t it? I’m obviously extremely obese and have the classical moon face in that picture, more so than in my later pictures. I was probably around 400 pounds in that picture. That’s what Cushing’s syndrome does to a person.
Of course the picture isn’t all negative. That last picture is on the occasion of my first graduation from a college. I would go on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in the same field, though I haven’t been able to get a job because of my disability. I still have those and smaller triumphs in the face of Cushing’s syndrome and still try my best to spit in its eye. I’m hoping that my next visit to my endocrinologist will have some good news and that I may finally get treated.