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Cushing's Syndrome - How an Accident Led to a Diagnoses - True Story Part 1

Updated on June 14, 2020

Cushing's Syndrome and its effect on one person's life.

This is the true story of how my cousin, and friend (I will call Cherokee-mom) found out she has Cushing's Syndrome and how this disease, has wreaked havoc on her life, health and the effects it has had on her very being.

What is it about this disease that makes it so hard to diagnose? Why only after having an accident was she told that she has this rare disease? Why did they not suspect, and test her for it long ago?

A bucket of fun

Rub-A-Dub-Dub  little girl in a tub Sitting on the porch one day sitting in the water where she loves to play in her healthy days. Who knew that one day she would find out she has Cushing's syndrome?
Rub-A-Dub-Dub little girl in a tub Sitting on the porch one day sitting in the water where she loves to play in her healthy days. Who knew that one day she would find out she has Cushing's syndrome? | Source

A little bit about my cousin

Cherokee-mom has held numerous positions in order to support herself and her children, and she has lost most of those positions because of her battle with Cushing's Syndrome, but not knowing that she has this disease, has kept her living a normal life and made her life at time unbearable. .

Cherokee-mom is a writer also, but the ill effects of Cushing's syndrome while trying to make ends meet, have prevented her from writing and publishing the wonderful stories she has inside her heart and head.

Believe me I know, I am a part of some of those stories.

Cherokee-mom's Independence

Actually way before Cherokee-mom became a teenager, her independence was impressive.

I remember when her little sister was born, and this little girl no more than 4 years old, when the little baby sister cried she went up to the bed and pulled her baby sister off the bed and catching her in her arms gently laid her onto a pad on the floor and changed her diaper. That was at a time when diaper pins were used.

Cherokee-mom, was the 1st born of eight children. She was and is a Beautiful person.

Born in Alabama

Cherokee-mom was born in Alabama, healthy and bubbly. When her father lost his seasonal job, the family moved to Chicago when she was two years old.

She, Cherokee-mom grew up in Chicago, until she was a teen then when her father, lost his job at Centennial Can Company because of the plant closure, he moved his family back to his childhood home in Alabama.

Cherokee-mom worked to put herself through school and college. She got married and divorced, and worked to support herself and raise her two sons to adulthood.

Over the next three plus decades Cherokee-mom was besieged with health problems, (weight gain, diabetes and other maladies) which caused her to lose her employment time and time again, she would always bounce right back and find another job to support herself and her two sons.

Now here she was lying on the street and feeling helpless.

She really does like to fish

My cousin stopped to pose for a picture while fishing.
My cousin stopped to pose for a picture while fishing. | Source

September 6th 2013 - The Accident

Cherokee-mom struggled to get up off the pavement. She had to get up, she has to go to work tomorrow and she has so much to do to get ready, but strong arms were holding her. "Don't move you may have broken bones," "the ambulance will be here soon," the man with the strong arms was telling her.

She felt so helpless. My cousin from the time when she was a teenager, she had taken care of herself and her siblings, and then her two sons, and now this?

Taken to the wrong hospital

When the ambulance arrived and Cherokee-mom was put on a stretcher loaded inside. The ride to the hospital seemed like such a long one, when she was only minutes away from Norfolk General where the accident happened. She asked the EMT, where are you taking me?

He told her the name of the hospital (Cintera Virginia Beach General). Why are you not taking me to the one near my home (Norfolk General?) It is so much closer and my doctor is in residence there, she asked.

Cherokee-mom's last query as to why they were not taking her to the hospital in Norfolk was ignored and the ambulance driver continued on to the hospital in Virginia Beach.

As she was wheeled into the emergency room, she saw the strong arms that had held her to keep her from moving. What are you doing here she asked the man. I just wanted to make sure you were alright A.J said. The man with the strong arms came all the way to the hospital to make sure she was alright, and she thought what a really nice person, to do that for a perfect stranger.

Broken Bones

My cousin knew that her right arm was broken. As the nurses and Doctors worked to make her a little less uncomfortable the more uncomfortable she became.

They pulled and moved her broken arm around, causing excruciating pain, while they tried to stuff her into an MRI machine that was just big enough for a very skinny person. Like squeezing the camel through the eye of a needle, and the humps and broken arm didn't fit.

They told her Ms. Hagood your arm is broken, and we have to get it set. To do that we have to get an MRI. With the hump where the bone was broken showing, she replied, "DO YA THINK?"

And the hospital had called in a orthopedic team to assess the damage.

One of the orthopedic doctors told Cherokee-mom, "IF YOU DON'T GET IN THAT MRI MACHINE, I AM NOT DOING YOUR SURGERY." At which she replied, then I guess you are not doing the surgery. Then he retorted, I am the best, the best orthopedic surgeon there is!

Well I am flat broke, no insurance, no way to pay and can't afford the best, so you probably won't be doing my surgery.

Cherokee-mom was incensed by this arrogant, best there is surgeon. And told him again, it is not happening, I cannot be stuffed in the MRI machine the hole is too small.

And the best orthopedic surgeon there is, stormed out the door.

You can't stuff a two by four into a one inch pipe. What is so hard to understand about that?

You can't stuff a two by four into a one inch pipe. What is so hard to understand about that?

— C. Hagood

September 7th - Wrong Insulin

Cherokee-mom had not taken her insulin, and when she told the male nurse that she needed to take her insulin, that her doctor had figured out what kind of insulin she needed, that would bring down her blood sugars, within minutes.

When her blood sugar was tested, she knew the reading was off the chart, but when she asked what her blood sugar reading is. Her question was dismissed as if she had not asked the question at all.

The male nurse told her, this is normal protocol and I have to follow that protocol and we will work up a schedule for your insulin and then proceeded to give her a shot of insulin, not the kind that had been found to work for her.

When the information Cherokee-mom offered was totally ignored, she told the nurse that if her reading did not dropped by 50 points, by 9 a.m., I am out of here she said.

He replied Ms. Hagood, you can't do that! She replied, just watch me.

I am out of here!

At 9 a.m. Cherokee-mom's blood sugar had not dropped at all, so she picked up the phone and called her daughter in-law and said Layna if you love me, you will come and get me, then rang for the nurse and told them: "You cut my clothes off me, so I have no clothes to put on, so... I need for you to bring me two gowns and a wheelchair to get out to the car, and get this catheter out of me or I will yank it out myself."

Before Layna arrived, Cherokee-mom received a call from her son, Layna's husband Josh. He said mom they told me you could die if you don't stay there. She said I am going to die if I do stay here.

Layna arrived at the Virginia Beach Hospital with her two children in the car with her. Cherokee-mom put one gown on to fasten in the back and the other one like a robe. Then got in the wheelchair and wheeled herself out to the waiting car where her daughter in-law helped her into the passenger's side.

And Layna drove away with Cherokee-mom .......

To be continued - The Diagnoses - Cushing's Syndrome How Does it Manifest itself?

The discovery

The events that led from one hospital to the other that allowed my cousin (Cherokee mom) to the discovery she has Cushing's syndrome.

© 2014 Shyron E Shenko


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