An Unexpected Twist - By Ana

My story is like any other one of an acromegaly patient, well maybe with a little Latin twist. Very active, physically and intellectually, in the prime of my life, hopes, dreams, places to go, people to meet.

All of a sudden everything starts to become an uphill battle; I go from 20 minutes step-ups to stepping out of bed in 20 minutes, from jogging to juggling to stay awake, from pushups to pulling my pants up, from sweating in the gym to sweating in bed. Probably all too familiar for acromegalics.

My first encounter with the physical change was when after 3 years, I go back to my home town to visit family and friends, and to my surprise, some didn't recognize me due to the "weight gain"(20lbs.). Others mentioned that my features had changed. A Physician friend indicated that the hair growth could be an effect of the hormones in our food, and suggested to eat less chicken. All of these only came to ratify my discomfort not only physical, but emotional; where I looked at myself in the mirror and was seeing a different woman. My professional background made me very aware of the changing proportions, worrying more when accompanying lack of energy and the increasing pain. If this is aging, how can people live to a hundred? I'm only half way there.

Turning 50 meant falling apart one piece at a time and with it the pilgrimage to my doctor's office. After multiple visits, he simply thought I was becoming depressed and overweight due to menopause, but I insisted that I was very happy with my life if I could get rid of the bone pain.

As a last resource, he ordered a total bone scan with no outcome. I started to question myself, my doctor and my family who thought I was making up the pain to get attention. At work, I discreetly compared my hands and feet with coworkers that were older and heavier, it didn't make sense what I was seeing. In my neighborhood, I compared myself with friends my age and I could not do what they were doing. So I was secretly devastated.

My last child headed off to college and I headed off to find a doctor that could find the root of my deterioration. It didn't take but one visit, I explained carefully ALL the items in my list and finished with, I can find an explanation to all of the above, but can't find one for "why can't my shoes fit from one season to another?" She looked at me and said, come back tomorrow on an empty stomach and a pair of shoes that you have worn last season, I think I know what it is.

Sure enough she did. That same day I had a precise diagnose. I WAS NOT CRAZY...