For eight years, I dealt with Parathyroid disease, and no one knew what to do. Parathyroid disease is something that typically plagues middle aged women, so when I was diagnosed, no one knew what to do. Here is a little video explaining what it is,and then I will get more into what it is like having it:
When I was diagnosed I was 12 years old. It started out with me getting sick and we thought it was just a stomach bug. I went from hanging out with friends every day to begging my mom to make them leave. There was something wrong. I had gone to the hospital in previous years for really weird things, but the doctors always just shook it off.
Long story short, I was rushed to the hospital because my calcium was way higher than it should have been for someone who wasn’t in a coma. I became the talk of the hospital, and doctors from all over the hospital were coming down to see me….. they had never seen someone with calcium levels that high.
I stayed in the hospital that first time for two weeks while they ran various tests on me and tried to figure out what was wrong. I could sit here and talk about the hospital stays for thousands of words, but that is for another blog. I wanted to tell you what it was like living with it, because a lot of people don’t know. So here it goes…
For the eight years I was in and out of the hospital and traveled for so many surgeries. In between that time, there were a lot of symptoms that I had to learn to live with. One of the biggest ones was fatigue. I was always tires. From the moment I woke up till the time I went to sleep my eyes would be heavy. I had a hard time staying awake all the time. When I went to college, I had friends that would love to stay up late and hang out. I always felt like the party pooper who would have to leave the fun early and go to sleep. Over time there were inside jokes that were made, memories made, and I was missing out on all of it. It made me sad, but there was no way I could stay up. I tried explaining that I am just tired all the time to my friends so that they knew I wanted to hang out with them but physically couldn’t, so I hope they understood.
Another thing I had to learn to deal with was trouble paying attention in class. Class was a lot harder for me than it is for some other people. I really had to do a lot of work outside class to even understand what was going on. I had trouble both paying attention and with memory. I would forget things I had studied by the next day, and I was so frustrated, because I knew I could do it. Ever since I have been cured, it is amazing how good my memory is compared to what it was back then.
I also had to live with bad anxiety and depression. Here is my blog post about dealing with mental health problems that I wrote not too long ago:
I still have moments of anxiety, but am able to convince myself I am okay and then it is gone, which is a big step up from how it used to be.
Heart Palpitations were something I had to constantly deal with. My heart was always skipping a beat. Even though I went to the hospital for it and they told me that it was nothing to worry about, it was still very scary. Anything to do with the heart is scary. I get them very rarely now, but before my last curing surgery, I got them multiple times a day.
It was easy to constantly feel lonely because no one understood what it felt like. I felt rotten 24/7 and it was hard to watch people out enjoying life and having fun, because I never felt that way, which leads me to my next point…..
It made me have mood swings that caused me to lash out at the people I love. I know I shouldn’t do it to myself but some of things I said to people I wish I could take back. I haven’t had a moment like that since I have been cured, and I am so very grateful.
Parathyroid Disease affected everything in my life. People would tell me not to let the disease define me, but it seemed like it turned me into a whole other person. Basically, my body was slowly shutting down (more about that in the video above), and everything was affected by it.
I hope this sheds some light and shows those who are dealing with an illness that they are not alone. I also help this shows those not dealing with it to be understanding.