A Medical Problem; Why I have been missing - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Default A Medical Problem; Why I have been missing

I know it it not unusual for me to disappear for weeks and even months at a time, so no one probably noticed my absence for the past few days.

About 18 months ago my primary care physician noticed that my blood calcium levels were increasing, but not out of the normal range. By six months ago they were above normal. High blood calcium causes muscle weakness, interferes with nerve function, including brain function (ability to think straight, shortened attention span, short term memory problems, decreased tolerance for "fools", etc.), promote growth of kidney stones, causes constant feelings of tiredness, interferes with sleep, greater tendency to form blood clots, greater risk of stroke, and other things. In general one feels lousy. The cause for high blood calcium is an overactive parathyroid gland.

Parathyroid glands do one thing: bring calcium into the blood. The source is bone. There are four parathyroid glands normally found on the back side of the thyroid gland. Each parathyroid gland is normally the size of a grain of rice. Normally when blood calcium levels are within the normal range, the parathyroid glands stop producing the parathyroid hormone, and when blood calcium levels drop below the normal range, production of the parathyroid hormone resumes.

Sometimes something happens, and even now it is discussed in this way by experts, and one of the parathyroid glands begins to grow, pumping out parathyroid hormone without normal control. People of ages 12 into their 90's may have this happen. Approximately 1 to 2 out 1000 people will develop this condition. It strikes women about twice as often as men. Hyperparathyroidism leads to osteoporosis. (Because I am paralyzed from the stomach down and so am confined to a wheelchair I was already fighting bone loss from the pelvic bone and femurs.)

The only treatment for this hyperparathyroidism is surgical removal of the overgrown gland. Almost immediately upon removal, the person feels much better; back to normal.

On July 1 I had my overactive parathyroid removed. In a simple case the surgery takes maybe 30 minutes. My case was known to be more difficult going in. Even then the surgery was more difficult and lasted much longer than expected, but people who talked to me later that day said I sounded much stronger. I was released the next day.

I certainly do not think I am an overly important member of this forum, but I am one among many. Given the estimates I have seen for the number of Router Forum members, it is a virtual certainty that there are several other members of this Forum who have this same problem. I want others who have any of the symptoms I listed earlier to be aware of them and perhaps seek medical advice.

Vegetarian Arthritic Paraplegic Wannabe Routerologist
The RouterForums member formerly known as mftha or th-alton
"Teach your children what we have taught ours, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."
-attributed to Chief Seattle of the Native American Suquamish Tribe
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Last edited by TWheels; 07-04-2010 at 08:11 PM. Reason: correct omission of important risks
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 08:34 PM
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Thanks, Tom, for sharing this important information. Glad to hear you are doing better! Welcome back!

By the way, you are an important member of this forum, as is everyone who takes the time to share his/her experiences with us.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 09:58 PM
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Glad to hear you are on the mend Tom.
Ditto as to what Cassandra said.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 10:04 PM
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Tom, thanks so much for posting this. I wonder how many people experience these symptoms and have no idea what is happening.
Cassandra is absolutely right.. you are VERY important to us all, as much of a family member as we can have on this forum.
I am glad to hear you were properly diagnosed, and hope that your surgery was successful. I hope your recovery is speedy and normal.
Until this post I knew nothing of parathyroid glands. Thanks for the education!

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 10:06 PM
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Thanks for that update, Tom

"but I am one among many"

We are always interested in what our 'family' are up to.

I hope you are feeling much better.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 10:17 PM
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I am glad that You are back! I must comment on Your importance. You are a very inportant member. You may be only one of many, but with out You, the unit isn't complete. I wish You much better health, and much more energy.

John 3:16

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 11:43 PM
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Welcome back, neighbor. I'm glad your hospital stay was short and hope your recovery is also.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-05-2010, 09:43 AM
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Because of all your recent posts Tom, I must confess to not realising your absence. Here is me worrying about spending part of this Wednesday in hospital just to have a couple of Cortisone injections in my neck which is insignificant compared to your problems. I do hope that your improvement follows a 60* trajectory. As for importance on the forum Tom, who else but you would have the patience to give serious answers to my sometimes controversial subjects.


Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend. - Plautus

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-05-2010, 12:42 PM
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I wondered where you went.

Glad to hear you are OK and doing well

Welcome Back

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-05-2010, 02:34 PM
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Glad to see you back, Tom. The very best to you. Take care, buddy. I know you will.

Gene Howe
Snowflake, AZ

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