Monday, January 2, 2017

New Beginnings

Today seemed very appropriate for posting an update to the Cushing's Trail as it is the first day of the new year and has me, just as in all preceding years, has me reflecting on all that has transpired in my life to date and in what ways those things have affected me personally as well as the people I have shared my life with.

Today also marks the passing of three full months from the day of Surgery to remove the Putitary Tumor that is signature to Cushing's Disease. 

So, today marks a significance that is, at least slightly elevated from the traditional New Year beginnings of my past experience. It would be of tremendous understatement to simply say that quite a lot has transpired over this last year, but I would be a fool to think that I could begin to relay all the fine details that would prove that statement to be true. The biggest hurdles being that I have realized that a large part of this disease both in development as well as retraction or recovery is seated within the mental / emotional realm. That funny little place hidden to the outside world. And though there be physical changes to the external that imply progress, It is the internal battlefield that rages undetected and explainable. Being the victim caught up in this web is frustrating and difficult as you find yourself caught up in the sway of faulty delusions and endless emotional exchange that erodes that internal trust of judgment for which you are tempted to believe only to have it swing full width and knock you from your feet. Unfortunately, the world around you is kept oblivious to this war within and based on the merits of your physical appearance, shower you with loving praise regarding the speedy recovery. 

There is just no way of being able to competently reveal the truth of the matter and to see the earnest enthusiasm from these caring hearts makes it a tragedy to consider a reconciliation at the cost of a slain heart. 

But, the brighter side of all this is the fact that as I have become more aware and in tune with the tricks of hormone imbalance, I have slowly been able to develop a method for dealing with it, which seems to be consistently improving with every passing day! There has been a gradual but noticeable increase in "good" days vs. the "bad" ones and I find myself becoming more positive and energized toward my progress.

As for the physical changes I eluded to earlier, these have increased to a very noticeable rate of change in the positive direction. Where it painfully slow within the first two months following the surgery, this last or third month has really taken off for me. It has not come without much work, however. But with tremendous support of my wonderful girlfriend, who has helped me to remain faithful with a daily exercise regimen to the tune of 3-4 hrs/ day at the community health center. Real progress has begun to show. In the beginning, it was difficult to even walk from the parking lot to the entrance of the facility, let alone to attempt much physical exertion with any specific mechanical equipment.

 During this period our visits were shorter and more deliberate with the majority of our time being spent in a neat little feature called the "Lazy River", a constantly flowing ribbon of water that is 3'-9" deep and winds around to complete a sort of track that is aprox. 1/16th of a mile per lap. This activity was perfect in that it was very low impact and to walk against the current providing a resistance that not only began to rebuild the muscle in my legs but to stretch out the overly tight Achilles that had ruptured months before this, in turn began to add flexibility back to my left ankle. Another benefit of this exercise is it's ability to effectively burn a few calories along the way. All things combined served to provide a very effective and enjoyable therapy. 

The over-all results have been of a snowball type effect. One of the biggest and most noticeable areas of concern for me was with my weight. Something that the Disease had taken control of and, by the time of the surgery had brought me to a staggering 257 pounds, which for me, was about 50 lbs over what I had allowed myself to be prior to the onslaught of symptoms related to Cushings. But I am happy to report that as of two days ago I have successfully shed a full 30 lbs since the day of surgery and for as best as I can tell, it doesn't appear to be done just yet. The exciting bonus being that as I progress along and feel a little bit better, I am steadily becoming more mobile and active, which just further emphasizes the results. Of course, all of this makes me very excited indeed!

And last but not least, I would be missing the single most important aspect that has dramatically impacted the course of this entire compilation of events, from beginning to date and that is the unconditional, persevering, extraordinary support of so many absolutely incredible people and most specifically my girlfriend Nicole, who has been right there by my side in full sacrificial mode throughout this entire ordeal without complaint. She has proven to be so positively influential, and an exceptional gift through and through.

 Each and every one of my precious kids along with their special friends have also been treasures beyond expectation with each expressing their own individual capacities to love, serve and bare patience through difficult and trying circumstances! 

 Also, my Mother and her husband who traveled half the countryside to be here physically on-sight and offer their love and support during the surgery, but have just always, without fail, been available to lean on 24/7, around the clock. 

And on and on the list goes with just so many great people all of whom have shown me in so many ways the power and blessing of relationship and community and the dramatic impact that this can have on a persons life and how fortunate I am to be among such a strong representation of this effect. I cannot say enough to be complete in my gratitude. 

This is as much as I can share to this point as to the place that I have come since my previous post. And as I have said before, it is my hope that the information I share within these articles might help to inspire strength, courage, hope, perhaps some information for anyone who might be suffering from this crazy disease or perhaps someone who knows someone that is caught in the vicious grips of Cushings. I don't think that I have ever said it before now, but I would love to hear from anyone that might have a story or can relate or just anything that you feel urged to share here. I firmly believe that there is a greater potential for effectiveness and intelligence with the convergence of shared thoughts and experiences.