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My Addison's disease

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 09 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:645

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  1. Kathleen Hilditch
  1. Leamington Spa

    Over 40 years ago I was frail, listless, and bewildered, yet no one, including my husband and doctor, seemed to notice that I was unwell. Trying to keep the house clean and the children cared for was a great effort; they were only 7 and 5 years old.

    I ceased to feel guilty about my neglect of the children

    The first sign of illness was noticed by my dentist: blue marks on my gums. When I next visited my doctor he was unconcerned. About a year later the marks appeared on my nails. I became very thirsty, craving for beer, but rarely had the money to buy any.

    My hair was lank and dull, I was very thin, brown pigmentation began to spread up my arms and on my cheeks; I was depressingly unattractive. This did not help the deteriorating situation with my husband. Work took him away regularly, but he grew less and less interested in me; finally I was told of the girlfriend in London. Each weekend when he was at home I tried to seem full of …

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