Wednesday, April 05, 2006

pins and needles

I went for my scheduled appointment with the endocrinologist this morning. The bad news is that my calcium levels are still low, but the good news is that they're not so low that I need to be hospitalized. So I'm still at home, taking calcium supplements and Vitamin D supplements to treat my hypocalcemia.

Hypoparathyroidism can be induced when someone has thyroid surgery. I'll paste a picture here that shows the thyroid and parathyroid glands. (The thyroid gland is the pinkish butterfly-looking meat that wraps around the trachea, and the parathyroid glands are lavender and labeled.) The good news is that my surgeon specializes in thyroid surgeries, the better news is that he visualized all four of my parathyroid glands during my surgery (which means he probably didn't nick one of them), which means the best news is that my angry parathyroid glands causing my low calcium levels will probably only be a transient thing. We're hoping that the surgery and swelling is causing my symptoms, and that it will all resolve as everything heals.

Theres a possibility that my symptoms could be permanent, but we think it's too early to get excited about something that will probably go away in a couple of weeks.

So for now my face goes into different degrees of tingles, as do my hands and fingers. It's annoying, but better than other complications that could be happening. Exciting things we will be looking for will be muscle cramps. If the tingles start cramping, we'll be making a trip to the ER for IV calcium. Certainly not fun or something we want to do, but it's good to know that it's relatively simple fix for the possible complications.

And I've been eating lots of dairy products, too, because even though I'm taking the extra supplementation, I figure it can't hurt. And, Dear Reader, I have intentionally drank milk, too, for the first time in more than 20 years. It's as nasty as I remembered it tasting, but I'm taking one for the team and trying to drink a couple of glasses a day. Trust me, this is huge. HUGE.

Meanwhile, my neck and shoulders are stiff and I'm slowly trying to stretch and get back my range of motion. I'm not in much pain and am hardly bruised at all. Hiccups aren't much fun, but that'll get better as the swelling goes down.

The Hater has been the greatest nursemaid. This morning he helped me wash my hair and get into the tub. He also is the best gopher and hander-to-me ever. He's been absolutely wonderful and there's no award worthy of his goodness and sweetness. I couldn't've asked for a better husband. He'll be safe from the dog house for at least a week or so...

I think my parents will be traveling back to TN tomorrow morning. I'll have my first day of being unsupervised, which I think will be just fine. I'll probably watch movies between my naps and chocolate pudding.

We think the cat senses that I'm not feeling great. She's been exceptionally cuddly and sweet since I've been home from the hospital. Even now as I type she's jumped up next to me, soliciting love. She's ready for me to go to bed, and I can't disappoint my furriest fan.


Kate said...

Cats. Sometimes you wonder what the hell they're doing, then they pull something like this. Gotta love 'em.

Glad to hear all's still mostly well. Take care.

Rachel said...

Congrats on being done with the surgery. When rude people asked me about my "second smile," I had a similar response and told them, "You should've seen the other guy!" One tingle that may not go away for a while - after my surgery, I had some twitching/tingling in my jaw, nose, etc. that fell in a straight line from one end of the scar. It goes away eventually. Best of luck with your recovery!

nicole said...

I'm so happy he's there with you, taking care of you. That will probably go such a long way in speeding up your recovery.

My friend had thyroid surgery summer of last year and I remember that her healing process was blisteringly fast. One minute she could barely speak in the hospital. The next, she was out and about attending all kinds of summer events. You'll be up and running in NO time. :)

Mandy said...

I am sending you well wishes. :)