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Pituitary Tumors and Mental Health

Pituitary Tumors and Mental Health

Pituitary tumors are not uncommon. In fact, up to 1/4 of brain tumors are pituitary tumors. These tumors are almost always benign, but can cause a wide range of symptoms depending on whether they are functioning (secrete hormones) or nonfunctioning (don’t secrete hormones). Symptoms depend on which hormone is being oversecreted and/or what structure(s) the tumor is pressing on, such as the optic nerve or pituitary stalk. Simple blood tests can be indicative of hormone oversecretion. Imaging, specifically MRI, can…

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The Year After Brain Surgery

The Year After Brain Surgery

A year ago today, a tumor was removed from my head. The four-hour brain surgery itself was uneventful. I woke up pretty crabby afterwards. But when you go into the OR feeling fine and wake up with the world’s worst headache and sore throat and¬†you can’t breathe through your nose or smell anything? Not to mention the constant run of blood and gunk draining out of your nose and down your throat, enough to make you unpleasantly sick. That’s enough…

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Sick Beauty Standards

Sick Beauty Standards

“But you don’t look sick.” A statement so many people with chronic illness are tired of hearing. Say that to someone with a chronic illness and what they’ll really want to do is slap you upside the head and say, “That’s because I spent 20 minutes perfecting my face this morning!” Honestly, we all know makeup can turn anyone into a beauty; that’s what it was invented for! A little foundation can hide some blemishes and even out your skin…

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Inside the Mind of a Sick Person

Inside the Mind of a Sick Person

“What do sick people think about? How do you know when you start to be a sick person?” This statement by author Nina Riggs in her memoir, The Bright Hour, was spoken when she woke up one morning shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I read it, it gave me pause. I tried to remember if I had ever had a similar thought and couldn’t locate one anywhere in my memory, although that’s not saying much nowadays….

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Coping with POTS

Coping with POTS

I was recently provided with a very well-written article about POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) by a fellow POTSie who sees the same specialist I do. The article was written by the specialist, his nurse, and some of his patients who are in the healthcare field. Please feel free to share the article with friends and family members! ūüėä While I enjoyed all aspects of the article, the part that surprised me the most, mainly due to the fact that…

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Nocturnal Musings #23: Out of Hell

Nocturnal Musings #23: Out of Hell

I have to go there today. That place. That hospital of which I am deeply afraid. For a follow-up visit with my endocrinologist to check my prolactin to make sure my tumor is still in check, even though my¬†MRI from two months ago¬†(7 months post-op) was clear. I can already smell the smells. Starbucks, of all things. Alcohol wipes. Plastic tubing. Fluid bags from patients going for walks. I can smell a TPN fifty yards away. Occupational hazard. I can…

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Friends, Can You Help Me?

Friends, Can You Help Me?

I’ll try to keep this short and sweet so as to not burden anyone. I need help from you, my faithful readers. The brain fog caused by one of my medical conditions, POTS, a form of dysautonomia, has made it monumentally difficult for me to think. It’s like…my thoughts won’t connect, or certain parts of my brain won’t talk to each other. I can almost feel this void in the middle of my head, like a bridge is out over…

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Abandoning the Dream

Abandoning the Dream

Seven years ago, I graduated from pharmacy school with my doctor of pharmacy degree. Seven years ago, I moved to a new city as a newlywed, fresh back from our honeymoon. And seven years ago today,¬†June 14th,¬†I¬†started my career as a pediatric pharmacist. My dream job. And now I wonder…was there even a point? We started off as children. Teenagers right out of high school dedicating ourselves to a highly esteemed profession, one which consistently ranks very high among the…

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The Last Shift

The Last Shift

If you’ve been following my blog since before October 2016 or so, you might remember that I attempted to return to work on October 24th, six weeks after my brain surgery. You may also remember that it was a complete disaster and I have been unable to work since. But since that was a one-off failure, I don’t count that day as my last day of work. The day that gets that designation in my book is June 10th. That’s…

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Is My Illness My Fault?

Is My Illness My Fault?

For me, 2016 was the year of the surgeries and bizarre diagnoses. Three surgeries, to be exact, spanning over a period of four months. Once the surgeries were over, I thought that once I had an adequate recovery period, I would be back to normal. I’d be able to return to work, from which I’d had to take an extended leave of absence, and I could put the entire year behind me as a gargantuan fluke. But it was not…

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