Above photo by Sandro Georgi Photography
Rob has led an interesting life to say the least. He was in the navy for 20 years and has lived in Florida, Alaska, Diego Garcia, Pennsylvania and Virginia. He has been married for thirty-four years and has two wonderful daughters.
He says that all clichés aside, his wife completes him and he wouldn’t have been able to get through everything that life has thrown at him without her.
Though he retired from active duty he is now working long hours as a network engineer supporting the submarine fleet and he loves every minute of it. He loves computers, amateur radio and gardening with his wife in the summer.
Last summer though, he didn’t do much gardening. He’d go to work, come home, eat, and go to bed. His energy was gone. His body ached. He didn’t know what was wrong. He speculated that maybe he had arthritis and that maybe he was aging earlier than he should be.
In January of 2014 he began experiencing debilitating headaches on one side of his head and was treated repeatedly for “sinus infections”. For Rob, this was the beginning of his Acromegaly diagnoses, but in hind sight, he wonders if it all started much earlier. In 2005 he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. This can be a consequence of undiagnosed and untreated acromegaly.
In retrospect, he did have some lengthening of the jaw, and some expansion of the orbital sockets around his eyes. These subtle changes were not initially apparent to him, his family or his doctors. It was a touching moment for him and his wife when within weeks after the surgery, he was able to fit his wedding ring back on his finger for the first time in eight years.
When he finally received a diagnosis of acromegaly he went straight to his computer and found out everything that he could. He had surgery to remove the tumor from his pituitary gland within three months of his diagnosis.
Rob is finally feeling better and is glad to have answers along with treatment. Another huge source of support and comfort for him besides his family was being able to connect with other patients online. Speaking to others who have had similar experiences made him feel prepared for what his journey with acromagely would be like.
He says the “online Acromegaly Community headed by Jill Sisco, was invaluable in giving [him] the information and support he needed.”
Keep an eye out for our video series with Rob to learn more about his experience with acromegaly!