Drawing: SYNACTHEN-test

Last April, I landed myself in the ICU after what was probably a bad reaction to medication. As they treated me, they also took an MRI and discovered a cyst in my pituitary gland. Over the year it grew at a rather alarming rate, so it was surgically removed in December 2015.

My therapist suggested that I do some drawing to try and deal with what happened. This is the first one I’ve done.


Originally, I wanted this to be an ink pen sketch. But while I could tell what it was supposed to depict, I doubted that others could see it and when I asked people it was confirmed. So I decided to use ProMarkers to colour it, producing a neat comic book-feel which I really like.

This is my arm during my first SYNACTHEN-test in August. Crash course in pituitary gland function: it’s sometimes referred to as the master gland due to its control over a lot of our hormones. One hormone under its control is ACTH, which sends a signal to the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. During a SYNACTHEN-test, synthetic ACTH is injected and the medical personnel then draw blood to test the level of cortisol. If your body responds properly to the stimulation, you’re not suffering from adrenal insufficiency. Mine didn’t respond as it should have.

Basically this is a picture of the time I got my diagnosis of secondary adrenal insufficiency confirmed, which sucks. I don’t know if it’s due to the personal significance, but I feel that this is quite the scary image.

September 3d 2016.

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