Retired elementary school teacher Jessie Brown takes time to enjoy the pleasures of daily life. She goes for long walks with her dogs, King Solomon and Baby Ruth. She spends time with her children and grandchildren who live near the farm where she and her husband, Tom, make their home in rural Marshall, Arkansas. She plans the holiday meals she’ll be making for her family, who are particularly looking forward to her much-loved turkey dressing at Thanksgiving.
This year, these ordinary enjoyments are especially meaningful, because for the last two years, Jessie couldn’t do any of them. Confined to bed much of that time with a constellation of mysterious symptoms that left her immobile and in pain, Jessie wasn’t sure she would ever be able to reclaim the busy, happy life she loved.
“My face was swollen; my legs were swollen. I kept falling down. My hair and nails were breaking off,” she says. “I had a lot of bad symptoms. I knew something was wrong. I went to doctor after doctor, but they all had a different opinion.”
After almost a year and a half, Jessie was diagnosed with Cushing syndrome.