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I had Graves Disease. When sent to an endocrinologist, he noticed my raised blood calcium and realized I also had a parathyroid adenoma. Because I reacted to the 2 meds that can control Graves Disease, my thyroid had to be either removed or destroyed by radiation...so they did an op removing both my thyroid and my parathyroid. It was easy for them to see, since the affected parathyroid was an inch in size, instead of like a grain of rice.
Post op I was on meds to slow my heart rate to prevent thyroid storm and on huge amounts of calcium to deal with the parathyroid. Unfortunately the hospital pharmacy was out of Vit D, so I wasn't getting any...it was a long weekend and no more Vit D would be in till Tuesday, I was operated on on a Friday.
On the 3rd day post op I began to feel as if I was shaking all over, a very rapid tremor that was not visible. My scalp felt like I had things crawling in my hair. I was running to the loo every few minutes, feeling like I had a urine infection...but testing showed my urine was normal. Gradually my face began to feel stiff, then later on I felt like there was a toilet roll shoved up inside my vagina...weird feeling. I was telling the nurses...but although the dr came to see me, he didn't have any experience with my condition. When I felt the stiffness vaginally, I hit the buzzer again and insisted I was getting worse. He took a blood sample which showed my calcium levels were dropping rapidly. I had tetany.
The hospital found another patient who was getting Vit D and took some of that patient's meds and gave them to me with more calcium and my symptoms rapidly disappeared.
It has now been years. I did not have excessive hunger or weight gain. My main symptoms have been a tendency to cramp now and again. I know I had had raised blood calcium for 7 years prior to diagnosis, so I believe my other parathyroids sometimes are slow to work. I just take a handful of calcium tablets when I cramp and that tends to deal with it.
But my mind is affected.
I can no longer concentrate when I am really tired, or sick or stressed. I lose information, which comes back later.
The most dramatic example of this was when I was working on a cattle station in remote Western Australia (I live in Australia). Once a week I would drive around checking windmills were working, that tanks were full and that troughs were not leaking. This was a 2 day job, one day I would do 130km around half of the station, the next day about the same distance the other half.
One day I arrived at one of the windmills, one I had always found easily and knew my way from well. I had been there 10 weeks in a row and it was easy to find with a good road. (Some areas the tracks would disappear, so not all were so easy). Anyway, I arrived at 88 (all the windmills are named) and could not think of where the track to the next windmill was. I looked around and there was a track leading off, but I was sure it was not the one. Eventually I tried it, since it was the only one I could see, but it took me back to a windmill I had already checked. I returned to 88 (30km round trip) and this time tried a track that branched off the one I had tried. But that took me back to the same windmill that I had already checked. Returning to 88, I ran out of daylight and had to unroll my swag and sleep there that night. The next morning I woke up, thought "You idiot! You backtrack here!" went back along the track I came in on and found the track to the next mill I needed to check.
This was the most dramatic example, but many times I simply lose info and it is not available till after I have slept or relaxed for quite a while.
I had to give up my job as a school finance officer because I would forget how to do things I normally did regularly. Or make other dumb mistakes.
That is how I came to be going bush and working on cattle stations.
I am curious to know if anyone else has similar problems.
I don't know whether it is the thyroidectomy, or the parathyroidectomy, or neither that have caused my weird inability to think at times. I joke about it, say I am going blonde rather than grey, since I get ditzier as I get older....but I do wonder.
I have also finished my change of life, before the ops.
Looking forward to hearing from people who have experienced the same sorts of surgeries.
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