Wednesday, 5 October 2016

144. When Ostrich Had Hyperparathyroidism...

...doesn't have quite the same ring to it as When Owl Had Cancer, so we won't give him his own blog, but allow him to post on Owl's.

Once you put a spotlight onto your inner workings, you start finding things you would never have guessed. In my case, too much calcium in my blood. If you've had breast cancer, that sort of things rings alarm bells in doctors' minds. Oh dear, has the cancer spread to her bones from where it is merrily releasing too much calcium, leaving those bones aching and prone to breaking? When breast cancer goes travelling, it's bones, brains and lungs that are top of the destination list.

But no: the explanation turned out to be far more innocent. Nothing to do with cancer. It's one of my parathyroids that's grown out of control. It is taking its job (which is: taking calcium out of my bones into my blood) far too seriously. Will it kill me? Certainly not, but left to its own devises, it will cause brittle bones prone to falling apart.

But not to worry, Doctor said: they will just do a "little operation" and take the offending article out. I'll still have three left.

All this has taken the best part of a year to figure out, involving numerous scanners, blood tests and discussions. And now here I am, on a tropically hot surgical ward wearing those silly tight stockings and listening to the nurses doing nursy things at the nurse's station a few meters away. No doors on this ward, and therefore not much sleep either, I reckon.

"Is Owl coming?" my daughter asked. But thankfully for him, he is fine. It's Ostrich, we thought, who needs the neck surgery (which is where parathyroids live). Daughter made him several years ago and has noticed that his neck is a bit wonky. Nice to have company.

I've been rather looking forward to it. Now that I've learned how to be a patient, it's quite appealing to give myself over to that role without the worry of, well, dying.

No cooking. No work emails.

I'm a bit surprised by what it involves though. Little operation? Bigger than the mastectomy, it seems. Then, I just turned up in the morning and was home in no time, carrying my drain. Now, they want me here the night before (so here I am, fit as a fiddle but looking like a patient), keep me in for several days, and keep me off work for a month. 

It's midnight and the bleeps are sounding left, right and centre; I'd forgotten about that. And about the tropical temperatures. I'm guessing that tomorrow, the appeal of being a patient will have faded somewhat. But worried? 

"Oh dear," said friend after colleague after friend, "you must be so worried."

Don't worry. This, my friends, is a walk in the park compared with what Owl had to go through. I'll let you know how it went.

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