Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I found an interesting article about the Texan's Brian Cushing. I thought it insightful, compassionate, and empathetic towards an NFL player with problems that seem no one understands. I also thought it would be a chance to write something less depressive than Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am, in no way, diminishing the importance of this disease. To be honest, I just couldn't pass this one up.

May 14, 2010

Interesting take on Cushing from a pituitary patient

This morning, I received e-mails from Melissa Taylor Slovacek, a Houston native. She describes herself as a Texans fan and a Brian Cushing fan as well as a pituitary patient. She asked me to forward her original e-mail to Tom Condon, who is Cushing's agent.

I thought the one or two of you who might not have made up your mind about Cushing's guilt may find this interesting. Slovacek gave me permission to run her e-mails. Please read everything she writes because it may shine some light on what Cushing's going through.

Here's a little more about Slovacek, in her words:

I am a new patient to Mass Gen. My 1st appt is Monday. However I have seen many neuroendocrinologists, endocrinologists, and neurosurgeons. I had pituitary surgery 1 year ago. Not cured. I have never had high hCG other than when pregnant.

I do not know what is the truth. I only offer a perspective of a pituitary patient who has learned about the hormones on my three year journey seeking a cure to my endocrine issues. A neuroendocrinoloist would best be able to discuss what is possible or probable

• • •

Mr. McClain,

You have my permission (to use name and print e-mail), as it is so important to educate the public about the damage pituitary issues can do to a person's life. In fact, one in five people have pituitary tumors, and most do not even know what or where the pituitary is. It is the master gland, and it is the command center for every hormone produced in the body. The pituitary is even protected by a bony structure — just as the brain is protected by the cranium.

In addition, I am a member of and have found reliable information through the Pituitary Network Association. Doctors available for commentary are listed on the PNA's media contact page. Perhaps someone is available to talk about the relationship between hCG and testosterone in terms of that HPA axis.

While all of the media aspects are good for undiagnosed and diagnosed pituitary patients, I do not want to overlook the despair that Brian Cushing is facing, as Houston, the football community, and the world question his integrity and question his abilities. In the end, I hope that Brian finds the medical care he needs to resolve any medical issues he may be facing. I will be praying for that.



• • •

Dear Mr. McClain

I read your article about Mr. Brian Cushing and his positive hCG test today. In response, I sent the following message to Tom Condon. I am concerned for Mr. Cushing's health. It is very important to me that he is treated, as pituitary/adrenal patients are overlooked and worn down by their diseases "rareness."



• • •

Dear Mr. Condon,

I recently read the Houston Chronicle story about Brian Cushing's hCG positive test results. As a person with undiagnosed pituitary issues, my heart goes out to him. I also know what it is like to know something is wrong with your body, and not to know what it is and what to do about it. So, I felt I needed to write to try to reach Mr. Cushing.

The article states that Brian has tested negative for testicular cancer, fortunately. It also states that he has seen doctors in several cities. Of course, I am totally unaware of any testing that Mr. Cushing has undergone. I just wanted to make sure his doctors have tested all of his pituitary and adrenal hormones. Hormones produced by the pituitary and adrenal glands lead to the production of hcg then testosterone. For a basic description of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, this is helpful: adrenal gland wikipedia entry. My point? I am wondering if a neuroendocrinologist is among the specialists on Brian's medical team. These doctors specialize in the HPA axis. Other doctors underestimate the significance of the complex hormonal dominoes that fall and the impact on nearly every bodily function. In addition, tumors are difficult to see on brain MRIs because of the small size of the pituitary (pea sized!). Unfortunately, patients with these issues are often bounced around hopelessly from doctor to doctor with help, if any, coming only years and years later.

I am headed to Massachusetts General (Harvard) in Boston on Monday to meet with the team at the Neuroendocrine Clinical Center. They are highly regarded, and if Brian has not seen a neuroendocrinologist, this may be a good place to start.

I hope Brian gets the help he deserves. If I can help in anyway, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Melissa Taylor Slovacek                       Thank You Melissa.......theblogmeister

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