Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Surgery for Brad, Again

So, if you remember back to May/June, I had surgery to remove a large kidney stone. After the stone extraction, it's time to find out what is causing the stones. They tested my blood, and found that my blood-calcium level was really high. My urologist said it was the highest he'd seen - off the charts. It was so high, that when they removed the stents from my previous surgery, they were calcified. It was kinda gross.
Well, he diagnosed me with hyperparathyroidism - look it up if you want to know all of the details. Basically, the parathyroid gland releases a hormone that regulates the levels of calcium in your blood and bones. They did a CT scan and found that my lower right parathyroid was indeed overactive, with some tumorous tissue, and removing it usually resolves the calcium problem. I went in on January 16th.

The surgery consists of a cut across the bottom of the neck (that's me above). The parathyroids are typically buried in the neck, so my doctor had to do some "digging" to get to it. The red mark underneath is a drainage hole. I had a tube sticking out of my neck for a day after the surgery.
Anyway, the surgery left me with a nice scar, a lot of swelling and a weak voice. The voice returned, and the swelling is still gradually going away. The doctor said it will take a full year for the wound to heal.
My body is still adjusting to the new calcium level, and it is normal now. But since I'm used to a higher level, my muscles thought I was calcium deficient. My limbs fell asleep very easily. I had numbness, twitching, cramping. That stuff is gradually going away, and I should feel normal in a few weeks.


dadTB said...

Boy-O-Boy, Brad... You're truly looking like a real Boyd with the surgery scars!

You, Denny, Jim, and I could write a medical journal with all the surgeries we've had over the past years.

I'll be heading in for more surgery on February 17, 2009. The surgeon has thrown up his hands and said I'm just falling apart.

This time, he'll be working on my right hand and wrist... carpal tunnel (The easy part) will be the first step. After that, he'll turn the right hand over and use an arthroscope to look into my wrist and hand before deciding the best direction to go in.

He'll be shaving down the excess bone growth ('bossing') that has grown in between my carpal bones since the cartilage is now gone. He may be removing a spur in my wrist and fusing several carpal bones in my hand, if he deems necessary.

After that, I'll be wearing a wrist cast for 4-6 weeks during the healing. I'm expecting several weeks of OT afterward.

I just hope the chronic pain goes away. I've been suffering with it for over a year now and have had four cortisone shots in the past three months (Three in the hand/wrist and one in the elbow).

Take care, nephew... I hope you are healing nicely!

Aunt Julie and Uncle Tom

Adam and Samantha said...

That picture looks like it's just above your private(sicko)...see you in vegas