Paranormal Romance Author of The Dream Series, Gladys Quintal, shares a personal story.
Instead of writing about my books, I thought I would share my experiences with another subject close to my heart.
You have probably never heard of the word Hyperparathyroidism? Neither had I up until about 15months ago. Your parathyroid glands are tiny – about the size of a grain of rice and are positioned behind your thyroid gland (normally), their sole purpose is to control the calcium circulating in your blood.
I had been suffering from pain and fatigue for over a decade, doctors couldn’t find the source and so I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and told there wasn’t a lot I could do apart from pain medication, physio and antidepressants. At least now I had a diagnosis – or did I?
My blood pressure had been spiking for years, but all of a sudden just over a year ago it went very high and wouldn’t come down. I felt very close to passing out and was home alone with a 9 month old baby and 6 year old.
I rang my 19 year old daughter to come and watch the kids while I went to the doctor and the next thing I knew, I was being shipped off in an ambulance. It was one of the scariest times in my life, but it was also the turning point that would change my life.
A young doctor at the ER decided to check my calcium after hearing about the fibro and bp spikes and discovered it was high. Next my parathyroid hormone was tested – which was also high. At last I had a real diagnosis and possible cure! HPT – meaning one or more of the parathyroid glands had gone hyper and was stripping the calcium out of my bones and putting it into my bloodstream. Left unchecked, it could cause osteoporosis from the lack of calcium in your bones, the high calcium in your blood causes brain fog, fatigue, reflux, moodiness, weight and heart problems.
At this stage I was thinking that all I had to do now was find a specialist and have surgery – hey presto, cured! I had no idea how hard it was going to be to get this surgery. My GP referred me for the imaging tests and to see an endocrinologist. I hope I never have to see another endo in my entire life. I saw 2 and they both made me feel terrible, as if I was some overweight, middle-aged housewife looking for sympathy or drugs! All I wanted was to get this thing cut out of me – not too much to ask?
In the end, I asked my GP to refer me directly to an endocrine surgeon and to cut a long story short, I had surgery 2 and a bit months ago. I am feeling so much better already although I still have a long way to go. Also through researching my symptoms, I have discovered a lot of sites dedicated to this and similar problems. I have learnt that if you are a woman and have an endocrine problem (eg: adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism or HPT etc) you are going to have a hell of a job getting a diagnosis and getting treated, unless you are willing to fight all the way.
I am just glad I was prepared for the fight as I am now on the road to recovery!
The moral of the story? If you believe you have something wrong with you – do not let doctors fob you off with things like getting old, menopause or depression – without giving you a thorough check-up. Basic tests that should be their first port of call like: TSH, FT3, FT4 and calcium for a start. If you are not happy with the doctor you have, then find another one. It is your life and you deserve to be able to live to the fullest.
Read about my own personal journey to diagnosis and treatment and all the obstacles along the way.
Gladys Quintal’s - The Dream Series
Book 1 (The Man of My Dreams) is free on Amazon.com, iTunes, Sony, Smashwords….
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