Sharon's Story - Pituitary Awareness Month
October is not only Black History Month but also Pituitary Awareness Month. It’s incredibly difficult to open up about this but I’m hoping to bring awareness to pituitary conditions. 11 years ago I was diagnosed with Hypopituitarism and it changed my life.
The journey to diagnosis took a year that included many visits to my GP and A&E. I was 21, in a healthy relationship, thriving at uni and enjoying everything life had to offer. However everything changed the day I experienced that first migraine in March 2009. It was the start of a very confusing, frustrating journey that still continues to this day. Daily symptoms included migraines, fatigue, vomiting and weight loss.
Seven months later I was referred to an Endocrinologist. By March of 2010 I was struggling to finish my projects. Brain fog was causing me to forget the most basic items for uni. But I was holding on for my first appointment at the hospital. I just wanted to be “me” again. At the end of March I was in my local library with my mum preparing my uni work for assessment. I received a call from the hospital to come in immediately and my brother drove us there. They were both holding me up as at this point, I was thin and exhausted.
The nurse told us I had a tumour on my pituitary gland that would need to be removed as soon as possible. We were in shock. Everything else after that was a blur. That day I started medication and informed my tutor I couldn’t return to classes. I had surgery to remove the tumour in August 2010.
And since then I feel like life has been very up and down. Day to day, fatigue is a big issue for me. It is often difficult to enjoy things I did before. On bad days I have to decide what I spend my little energy doing. Weight gain due to steroids is very difficult to deal with as I don’t look like “me”. Hypopituitarism is a rare chronic condition and I will take medication for the rest of my life. This long caption is only part of my journey. The last 11 years have been full of ups and downs. It is incredibly hard to accept that this is my life but I have the best support system in my family and close friends.