My Cushing’s Disease was due to a cortisol producing tumor on my pituitary gland. I was sent to Hershey Medical Center for the transphenoidal surgery, during which doctors went through my nostril to remove the tumor. I never felt scared about the surgery, only elated that I could be cured instantaneously. It was a challenging time preparing for surgery. As a kindergarten teacher, I had to make sure my classroom was ready for me to be gone for six weeks, and I hoped that I would return to something that didn’t feel like I was the stranger walking back into the classroom. At the same time, my step-father was dying of cancer. I was terrified that we would lose him while I was in surgery or recovery and that I would miss my last moments with him or miss his funeral. I was anal about trying to have my house clean, my laundry done, and the groceries bought. I had to make arrangements for my children, and the list goes on.
I do not really remember anything about the surgery. I was out of consciousness before ever entering the operating room, and of course, woke up in the recovery room. I believe the surgery took under 15 minutes. I had asked the surgeons if I could see the tumor once it was removed, but I was told no. Apparently there are biohazard laws that prohibit this. However, I wish I would have pushed a little harder for that. After all, it was my tumor wasn’t it? Anyway, I was facebooking and sending email a few hours after the surgery. I was not in any great pain or discomfort aside from nausea from the meds that made me not want to eat for the first day. Even so, I was not hungry. I had somewhat of a dull headache, but nothing worse than other normal headaches I had throughout my life as a typical human being. The worst part was the constant feeling that my nose was stuffed up and the forbiddance of being allowed to blow my nose for 6 weeks. My whole face felt full and that fullness extended back into my throat, but there was nothing I could do. I was not allowed to lay flat for six weeks. I was happy to get the news the day after surgery that my cortisol level was zero, therefore the surgery was a success. Of course, this marked the beginning of a new scary condition of adrenal insufficiency, which I will discuss more later. Essentially, on this day, my body became incapable of producing a life sustaining hormone that used to flood through me at toxic levels.