So, we’ve had a cold for a couple of days, and have used the opportunity of being more or less flat on our back to do a little health research (love that WiFi). The pictures above show the evolution of my mug over the past 18 months or so, during 12 of which I’ve been on massive doses of steroids to control brain swelling left over from radiaton therapy last December.
My face, on the far right shows signs of Cushing’s Syndrome, which Wikipedia describes thusly:
Cushing’s syndrome (also called hypercortisolism or hyperadrenocorticism) is an endocrine disorder caused by high levels of cortisol in the blood from a variety of causes, including… iatrogenic (steroid use).
Symptoms include rapid weight gain, particularly of the trunk and face with sparing of the limbs (central obesity), a round face often referred to as a “moon face“, excess sweating, telangiectasia (dilation of capillaries), thinning of the skin (which causes easy bruising) and other mucous membranes, purple or red striae (the weight gain in Cushing’s stretches the skin, which is thin and weakened, causing it to hemorrhage) on the trunk, buttocks, arms, legs or breasts, proximal muscle weakness (hips, shoulders), and hirsutism (facial male-pattern hair growth).
I left some of the ickier symptoms out, but this pretty much describes how I look and feel. Despite near-daily workouts, my strength and mobility took a nose dive recently when I went off massive doses of decamethasone – apparently my adrenal system has shut down, not needing to make steroids while I was taking them. Hopefully our adrenal mechanism will start working again…