Guest Post- Kate’s Story #1 – Battling Medical Odds

I am very lucky to know a lovely lady by the name of Kate! You’d never know to talk to her but Kate has had her fair share of ups and downs over the past few years and has been brave enough to share these with everyone on C&C. This is a two-part story, and the second part will be posted tomorrow. Please leave Kate a comment after reading if you have a minute or two.

Nicki x

Well Nicki has asked me to blog for you today and gave me a few ideas about what to talk about. We’ve known each other for a few years now and she has been with me through the hardest years of my life so she had a few ideas but I think this way I can include all of it and hopefully not bore you all to tears!  Nicki and I met when we were both selling children’s books with a well known franchise, we both had young children and I was child minding. Neither of us had a background in sales, I was a Primary School teacher and was childminding and selling the books in an attempt to stay at home with my daughter and give her a good start in life.  When I started my childminding business it was the first time I had attempted to run my own business, my Mum was a teacher and my Dad worked for BT until he retired so the idea of not knowing how much money was coming in every month terrified me. To compound this, I had married someone who had his own business so we now had two unreliable incomes and a baby! I continued to child mind for 3years and sold books alongside that, which I loved. I learned so much from running these two businesses; accounting, promotion, marketing, making phone calls (which I have always hated) and patience! However, when my daughter was 2yrs old we started trying for another baby and after 12 months of differing diagnoses I was finally diagnosed with Acromegaly, a pituitary tumour. I had been in a lot of pain, all over and had been very short tempered for a while, but I had a three year old who still woke me up between 4 and 8 times a night and was running two businesses, looking after two toddlers and running a home, while my husband was doing a full time degree and juggling two jobs and two bands so we never saw each other and he certainly wasn’t about to help with either our daughter or the house. I had also put on a lot of weight, my feet had gone up 4-5 shoe sizes and I had had to have my rings made 6 sizes bigger. Acromegaly is an incredibly rare condition which usually affects men in their fifties which causes you to produce too much growth hormone so my face had completely changed shape and I was growing in a variety of ways. After 6 months of hospital appointments and MRI’s they decided to operate but they warned me that there is no cure for the condition I had and I wouldn’t be able to have any more children.

The pictures below were taken 4months before my surgery and 15months after surgery.

Within 24hrs of my surgery there was a noticeable difference in my hands and face and after my 6 weeks convalescence I finally stood up from my parents sofa (where I had been looked after so my daughter didn’t run me ragged!) and my pyjamas fell off! I had lost 2 dress sizes and 3 shoe sizes in 6 weeks! I had stopped childminding by this point as I wasn’t well enough to deal with the stresses of the job, but continued to sell the children’s books and loved it.

Then six months after my surgery I discovered I was pregnant, much to the surprise of my consultant! With hindsight, it perhaps wasn’t the most sensible thing to do, particularly when I realised that your pituitary gland increases to three times its normal size during the first 3 months of pregnancy, this was a ridiculous amount of pressure to put on my poor pituitary gland but 9 months later I had a beautiful baby boy! I may not have had a natural birth but despite the consultants saying that I wouldn’t be able to breast feed I fed him for 14 months! I honestly wouldn’t change a thing, if I hadn’t had my son when I did, I may never have conceived and I was desperate for another baby.

All in all though, over the 5 years from me getting pregnant with my daughter, through my illness and then into my pregnancy with my son I had been pumped full of unnatural levels of hormones and my brain and many other key parts of my personality had just shut down. Once my son was born it was like a light bulb was switched on; I needed to regain my personality, I needed to rediscover the intelligent, thinking woman who once lived in my body and I didn’t want to see books, I wanted to do something valuable which would really make a difference and give me a sense of fulfilment.

Part Two of this story will can be found here

To find out more about Kate you can visit her own blog, website and Facebook page.