Parathyroid: Surgery scheduled!

I’m going to cheat and take this from an e-mail I wrote earlier, with a few edits and additions…

I went into Boston today to meet with the new surgeon. He was lovely, much more personable than the last one, and so much more knowledgeable about parathyroid disease and the parathyroidectomy–he also does significantly more of them in a year than did the other fellow I saw. He said that he did understand where my last surgeon was coming from on the waiting thing, that that is usually the stance they would take with someone who is young, has only slightly elevated calcium, and is asymptomatic. He also agrees that being so young, there’s a greater risk of another adenoma becoming a problem later on, which factors into that desire to wait. But, unlike the other surgeon, he believes from what I told him that I am, in fact, experiencing too many symptoms to ignore this. Like he said, “You’re a writer and you can’t concentrate? So really I’m all that stands in the way of the next great American novel.” Ha ha. (No, I don’t think I’m on my way to writing the next great American novel. Far from it. But I was amused nevertheless.)

So I am having my surgery on September 20th! (Bar any emergency surgeries on his part.) I am so happy, excited, relieved, and terrified all at once. He said it is going to be tricky–people like me without positive scans may just have had a bad scan (scans, in my case) done, or it could be some rarity like an extra gland, or an adenoma that’s hiding in my chest or in the thyroid itself. I’m going to have another ultrasound done by someone more experienced in hyperparathyroidism either on the same day as or close to my pre-op procedures. I also had a lot of blood taken today (I think I counted somewhere around 10 vials!), because he wants to check my levels and to test for signs of the MEN1 gene, just in case.

For a week pre-op, he also wants me to stop taking all medications and vitamins, except the vitamin D. I guess there’s still just too much back and forth on the D issue. Like my endocrinologist, he believes that taking the D is important because without it balanced post-op, the calcium levels with drop too low instead of evening out. So I’ll do that. My issue is with ceasing things like ibuprofen and Excedrin—they’re how I survive my (almost) daily headaches. I may very well be one cranky little thing the week leading up to this surgery.

Regardless, this phase of my life is hopefully coming to a close in less than three weeks. Fingers crossed I don’t have any of those pesky rare complications.

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