Mary Anne Radmacher
What a whirlwind trip I was on. Last Monday, we set off for the Mayo Clinic in. The weather sucked! Snow and ice, and all kinds of road closing reports. We headed out and stopped at a DOT (Dept. of Transportation) station to check and see if US 63 was going to be open. We were told that it still was open, but they didn't know for how long. Hubby kept driving until we came to a barricade that was marked "ROAD CLOSED". And he drove around it! I kept waiting for him to find some place that was not neck deep in snow, to turn around. When I questioned him about it, he said that we were going to get there one way or another. So, slowly but surely, we did make it. Sometimes driving 27 mph. Whew.
We stayed at a hotel that is connected to Mayo. It is so cool. You just walk underground in the subway tunnel, as they call it, in nice carpeted hallways to get to all the buildings. The most time it took us to get to any of my appointments from our hotel room was 5 minutes . . . and that's with me limping along. Location, location, location.
The clinic is amazing, and the people are fantastic. Tuesday morning I had a blood test at 6:10 AM, then bone density tests at 7:00 and 7:50. At 8:20 I had an electrocardiogram test, at 9:00 there was an ultrasound head neck exam, and then the evaluation of all the tests at 12:30.
Wednesday I had a nuclear medicine parathyroid does at 8:00 AM, then the parathyroid scan at 10:00. At 3:30 there was the endocrine consultation. This is where I found out that I was really going to have surgery the next day. Evidently, I had hyperparathyroidism, which has nothing to do with the regular thyroid. This little bastard was really acting up and going bonkers. It was time to get rid of it!
Thursday, I checked in at 8:30 AM,. Man, I was thirsty, but they said they wanted me dried out as much as possible. Right before surgery the doctor had prescribed 2 Tylenol. I told the nurse, "Good. I get to take it with water, I'm dry as a popcorn fart!" I was a good girl and took a tiny sip to take the tablets. She winked at me and said, "I think those pills got stuck. You'd better drink a bit more water." Eureka!After getting a lot of prep done, went to surgery at ll:30. Got out of recovery around 4:00.
In the meantime, my son, Dan, had driven over from Medelia, Minnesota, to be with Hubby while I had the surgery. I was pleased to get back to my room and see him with his dad. When the surgeon came in to tell us what had gone on, it was really interesting. We all have four parathyroid glands. The one he removed from me was 40 (yes, I said 40) times larger than normal. A regular gland is about the size of a pea, but this sucker was like a small carrot! He told me that immediately after it's removal, my heart, muscles, and nerves were going to be loving me now. Something (I can't remember what) was supposed to be rated at 10 to 67 in a normal person, but my tests showed that I was at 1,600. Wish I could remember what it was. (Chemo brain and anesthesia brain). I asked the doc how long I had had the tumor. He estimated 10 to 12 years! That explains a lot about my not-so-clear thinking over the past decade. Anyhoo, I am feeling great. I got to remove the bandage on my throat today and was shocked. There was absolutely no blood on the bandage, the incision was a 3 1/2 inch long cut which looked like a thin, red pen mark. They must have glued the cut shut.
That guy was a surgeon rock star!!!!! I have had little pain, and best of all, most of the leg pain that I have been suffering the last two years is almost gone! The stupid gland has a lot to do with different body functions. Who knew? The only complication I have had is . . . well, there is an issue with my voice. He warned me that there might be a problem with my vocal chords, since the vocal nerve is so close to the parathyroid. I am hoping that it is just bruised a bit right now. If not, I can live with a weird voice. Hubby said it sounds like a combination between Olive Oil and Donald Duck. In other words, I now talk like a cartoon character! sigh It's better than not have a voice at all. Right?
So that is the saga of Janene. We are all hoping that this will finally eliminate the leg pain that I've had so long. Mayo was my last chance. I've seen a chiropracter, a nerve specialist, and exams from all the rest of my doctors. This may be the answer. And if any of you ever get a blood report that shows you have elevated calcium in your blood, you might want to have your parathyroid checked. I was just lucky enough that my oncologist's wife had had this and he recognized all my symptoms. Talk about lucky!!!
So, back to the old grind. I need to finish some laundry. Oh, by the way, I tried folding my king sized sheets like Marie Kondo (the super dooper neat person who keeps everything crazy neat) does. Didn't work. That little lady can zip zip zip and fold all kinds of clothes and bedding in a flash. But she does it so fast, I can't follow her on the videos. So, I ended up with my usual large, squarish, odd looking bundle of bedding. It works for me.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND GOD BLESS OUR COUNTRY