Friday, June 24, 2016

Parathyroid Surgery

Events in this post took place the end of October and into November in 2006.

Sunday, October 29th was a beautiful day. Kathi and I were staying at the Green Caye RV Park in Dickinson Texas. We visited both of our sons in California during the summer and now we were in Texas so Kathi could get her medical needs attended to at the Houston Medical Center. We expected to be there for a few months until the source of her problems could be determined. She was scheduled for parathyroid surgery on Wednesday, November 1st. We were hopeful that that surgery would solve all her medical issues and all would be right with the world.

Anyway, Sunday was a beautiful day and we were glad to be alive. We drove around for a while, but spent most of the day in reading and watching TV. Kathi talked to my sister, Carol Jackson and found that Lloyd’s stomach problems seemed to be resolved for the time being and they were moving their RV from the Escapees park in Livingston, TX to the Almost Heaven RV Park near the medical center. They wanted to move to Green Caye near us, but there were no spaces available at that time.

Monday we got the results back from the nuclear stress test the cardiologist had done on Kathi the previous week. All results were okay for surgery. Her mitral valve was leaking a little and her aorta was fine. Kathi also talked to her nephrologist and found her kidney function was only 54% -- how do they know these things with that kind of accuracy? Kathi agreed to see both doctors again after the parathyroid surgery. We also expected to have to see the endocrinologist again after the surgery, just in case her hormones did funny things after some of the parathyroid was removed.

The parathyroid procedure is different every time, because parathyroids are not always in the same place. The process is to locate the parathyroid tissue in the upper chest area. One of the problems surgeons had with parathyroids was that they did not know how much or how many to remove. People normally have four, two on each side of the chest. Since parathyroids work no matter where they are located in the body, surgeons sometimes remove a parathyroid from the chest and transplant it into a patient’s arm. That way if additional parathyroid tissue needs to be removed, the surgery is less complicated.

Kathi had the parathyroid surgery done at Methodist Hospital. After the surgery and while Kathi was in recovery, Dr. Marvin gave me a recap of the surgery. He thought he removed about 2 and one half of her four parathyroids. One of them was lower in her chest and hard to find. He explained that the tissue where the parathyroids were attached looked similar to the parathyroid tissue. He removed small pieces at a time and had them examined to assure he was removing parathyroid tissue. I am glad he knew what to do, because his explanation was more than I could comprehend – of course my mind was on Kathi and not the doctor.

I spent the night with Kathi at the hospital and she slept most of the night. I took her home on Thursday. She slept on the ride home and on into Thursday night and late into Friday morning. She still does not remember much about those first few days in November 2006.

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