Pituitary News, Issue 15 - Summer 2000.
A carer's account of how his wife's diagnosis of Acromegaly has affected his life and that of their daughter.
My wife has acromegaly. Since it was first diagnosed in 1993, I have always considered the disease to be our problem.
I have been with her during every test and appointment and I have joined her in becoming involved with The Pituitary Foundation. By dealing with the 'problem' in this way, I've answered many of my own questions and this in turn has helped me, to some extent, appreciate and understand the traumas that she has been, and is still, going through. Equally important, it has helped me through the difficulties that her condition has put us and our daughter through.
This is not to say that this is the only or best way to have dealt with such a rare and frightening illness. Things have not been easy; since her operation, Radiotherapy and a multitude of test and scans, Diabetes Insipidus and pernicious anaemia have been diagnosed, not forgetting the hysterectomy performed in 1995. As if that was not enough, she has suffered from severe mood swings and depression. I have also been affected by depression; we have both found marriage guidance counselling a great help.
After all these ups and downs, there is one event that even now remains a vivid memory - saying good-bye and good luck as she was wheeled into the operating theatre. I have never felt so alone and lost, before or since, during the four hours before her return to the ward (it probably wasn't helped by being on my own in London, 100 miles from home).
However, it is not doom and gloom, as we are still together (as strong as ever), both taking Prozac and both looking forward to our 20th wedding anniversary later this year. We have a very bright and beautiful six-year-old little girl and have made many new friends both within The Pituitary Foundation and during my wife's periods of hospitalisation. I am even now overwhelmed by the help and kindness that our consultant Endocrinologist has shown, and we are both proud to count him as a friend.