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Woman Believed to be Drunk for Two Years Actually Had a Rare Tumor

Update Date: Jul 17, 2013 03:14 PM EDT
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Oftentimes when people appear to be drunk, they most likely are drunk. For Rosemary McGinn, however, she was falsely accused for two full years of being constantly intoxicated. According to the coworkers of 54-year-old, McGinn who is a realtor from Rockland County in New York acted strange on certain days. These actions very much resembled those of a person who drank a little too much. However, after several episodes, McGinn finally discovered that she had an extremely rare tumor that was causing her sugar levels to fall rapidly, leading to her abnormal behavior.

"What happened was I noticed a few time I would get weird," McGinn admitted to ABC News. "I felt just not myself. I couldn't explain it to anybody else."

McGinn's symptoms started to show around Easter 2011. At one point, her co-workers felt that they needed to send her home early from work believing that she was intoxicated. Shortly after that incident, McGinn started to have memory problems. She forgot appointments made with clients, her home address, and eventually also the president of the United States. It was not until she was checked out by two paramedics who discovered that her blood sugar levels were dangerously low that she discovered she had an underlying health issue. Normal blood sugar levels are between 70 and 140 milligrams per deciliter. McGinn's levels were hitting 25 milligrams per deciliter.

At first, the doctors were unable to find the source of her problem since her insulin levels remained normal. For one year, McGinn was forced to carry candy and sugary beverage everywhere she went, which lead to a 25-pound weight gain. Eventually, the symptoms returned and McGinn finally sought medical help from Mount Sinai. There the doctors located a tumor on McGinn's pancreas that was only one centimeter in diameter. In that tumor, the doctors discovered that it consisted of islets, which are cells that make insulin. These islets had gone awry, produced insulin all the time and puzzled the doctors who were trying to treat McGinn. Once the tumor was removed with laparoscopic surgery, McGinn's blood sugar levels started to rise up. She is now normal and back to her daily routine without getting any stares.

"For almost two years, I wasn't living," she said. "They basically saved my life."

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