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hyper parablabla

Today I saw the endocrinologist at St. Mike’s. As usual, I send my prayerful thanks to Tommy Douglas – Dr. Josse and his intern Ray were efficient, thorough, personable. My family doctor had done her job, and the results of all the tests were assimilated and presented. At first, the word ‘cancer’ was mentioned as a possibility, but soon I was told this was not a threat in my case, not to worry. Fine with me.

I have what is apparently quite a common condition called primary hyper-parathyroidism. One of my four tiny parathyroid glands is malfunctioning, leading to a problem with my body’s processing of calcium; an operation will remove the offending gland. Overnight in St. Mikes, only one night if all goes well, and a small scar on the neck. My mother just died in a hospital after spending months there; the very thought of lying in a hospital bed makes me want to throw up. But this operation will fix what’s wrong, perhaps improve my osteoporosis. A Runfit-loving cheese-monkey like myself should not have full-blown osteoporosis, but I do. So this operation will help bring my calcium back into functioning order. Good news. Lucky me.

Moving right along.

Oh, and don’t do yoga, I was told. Could do damage to the spine. Who knew?

Normally, the first person I’d call with all this news would be my mother. She loved medical things, as someone who’d dealt with every particle of her own body at some point or other. She would have been thrilled to discuss all this. My daughter, whom I told instead, is mildly worried. She has other concerns – Eli now not only crawls, he scrambles, and is pulling himself up on tables, sofas, chairs, bookshelves. Her work has just begun.

Last night, my Tuesday home class blessed me and each other with their courage and craft. And tomorrow, just for a treat, I take the train to Ottawa with my dear friend Lani, to begin the distribution, between my brother and me, of my mother’s jumble of possessions. Please God, allow me to keep my sense of humour for the entire weekend, until Sunday late afternoon, when we get home. And then Anna has invited Lani and me to her place to eat nachos and drink beer. They’ll watch the Superbowl, and I, the fancy footwork of my grandson, whose fresh young parathyroid glands, I hope, work perfectly.



10 Responses to “hyper parablabla”

  1. theresa says:

    Beth, my mother-in-law had this surgery in (I think) 1997 and made a full recovery, quite quickly. (I think I'm remembering correctly that David Denby of the New Yorker writes about his mother's hyper-parathyroidism in Great Books, is account of returning to university in his middle years to take some courses he felt he hadn't fully appreciated as a young man. The chapter about his mother was first published in the New Yorker and revolves around his rediscovery of King Lear…) Anyway, best of luck with it.

  2. Beth says:

    Theresa, good to know, thank you. I'll look for Denby's account. I found out tonight from Auntie Do that my own mother had the surgery, along with her many other surgeries. So – a new adventure. Maybe I'll try to rediscover King Lear too.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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