The diagnosis

Okay.  Yes, I have been whining quite a bit lately.  It turns out, justifiably, except you probably didn’t want to hear the whining anyway.  I saw my doctor last week and had another blood test.  Back in April my parathyroid hormone was elevated.  My calcium level was fine, so they said it wasn’t a problem and retest in six months.  Well, it’s not quite six months, but we retested anyway.  I have hyperparathyroidism without elevated calcium — a consequence of my gastric bypass surgery.  Symptoms of said disorder?

  • Fragile bones that easily fracture (osteoporosis)
  • Kidney stones
  • Excessive urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Tiring easily or weakness
  • Depression or forgetfulness
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Frequent complaints of illness with no apparent cause
  • Nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite

My bones are not fragile (yet), and I don’t seem to have the vomiting and loss of appetite, but I have everything else on the list.  So, at least you now know why I’ve been whining so much.  The treatment for this — for me, anyway — is to take more and more calcium each day.  Four to five of those lovely huge horse pills instead of my current two.  This will hopefully prevent my body from robbing the calcium from my bones so they don’t break.  I hope it will do something for the joint pain and fatigue too.  I’ve had enough of that.  I have also decided to appeal the denial of a revision weight loss surgery for myself.  If they change my gastric bypass to a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, I will get my pyloric valve and intrinsic factor back, which will aid in my absorbing nutrients from my food, so I don’t have to have all these bizarre medical conditions and take a lot of supplements.  I thought I knew all the hazards of the bypass before I had it.  These were not things they warned about.  Still, I suppose that I am more comfortable in this smaller body, but I could really do without things that make me whine incessantly!

The usual treatment for hyperparathyroidism is removal of the parathyroid glands.  In my case, however, there is nothing wrong with my parathyroid glands.  They are simply trying to compensate for my inability to absorb calcium.

I’ll be drinking more milk, taking the big pills, and doing my best to feel better.  While it’s not terrific news, it’s nice to finally have a reason for my complaints.

On the trail

of the cause of the pain and stiffness.  I don’t know what I’ve done to myself that will not let my right arm relax, but I think I may have found part of the problem today.  It might be my neck.  I sort of suspected this before, and my stretches and ice/heat applications have focused not only on my shoulder, but my neck as well.  Today I decided to go back to where I started, with my nice little heated massage pillow.Homedics pillow

I had already been feeling fairly tense when my health insurance enrollment guide landed in my mailbox.  It reminded me that there is an informational meeting tomorrow.  I tried to read the benefit guide and it just is so full of legalese that it made me even more tense.  So, I decided I’d lie down on the pillow.  It felt relaxing, but I could really feel a pull in my muscles coming from near my spine at the top of my back.  I moved the pillow and thought I would rocket through the ceiling!  You know that bone at the top of your spine, right before it goes up into your neck?  Ya, that one.  Well, the muscles to the right side of it are so knotted that pain shot through my shoulder and down my arm, as well as up into my neck.  I did my best to stay with the massaging for a while, and I think I’ve worked some of the stiffness out.  Hopefully, that will get rid of one of the major sources of pain I’ve been feeling lately.  If not, I have an appointment with the doc tomorrow — after the insurance meeting.  In addition to the recent pains, I need my flu shot, a retest of my parathyroid, and a yearly update of my meds.  So, the trip won’t be wasted if I start to feel amazingly better.  Why didn’t I just jump back on this thing on a regular basis?  So, the good news is, I may stop whining soon.  Aren’t you pleased?  If you’re a quilter and you don’t have one of these pillows, I’d highly recommend it.  They’re made by Homedics.  It can really get the tension out of your neck and shoulders after a day of quilting!

In other news, we’ve had some rain today.  Much appreciated, as we’re 16″ below normal rainfall in the Willamette Valley this year, and we are beginning to feel a bit crispy.  My lawn is almost shouting for joy.  It’s managed to absorb a bit of the morning mist we’ve had lately and was getting slightly green, but I think today’s downpour may just help it turn the corner. I was thinking I wasn’t quite ready to let go of summer yet, but now I’ve decided I’m really ready for fall.  Bring on the rustling leaves, the soft slant to the late afternoon sun, and that wonderful earthy smell that comes with autumn.  Not to mention the gorgeous full moon to be seen tomorrow night.  Well, if the clouds go away.

I’m going to see if I can get a few small pantograph quilts done today.  Chances are the IQ may be able to handle life without the stitch regulator.  I can’t do it for custom quilts, but we might make it through a few digital designs.