Friday, November 14, 2014

Ice Cream Daily: That's the Ticket!

Remember I told you about this condition I had called hyperparathyroidism, which was discovered after some routine bloodwork revealed decreased levels of vitamin D in my blood, along with elevated levels of calcium?
And to cure this condition, surgery to remove an enlarged parathyroid gland was required (which I had, on October 8, and which went off without complication)?
Well, the surgery revealed that that crazy tumor-like gland, which over the course of who knows how many years had sneakily swelled from its normal size (about the circumference of a pencil eraser) to the size of a walnut, had been busy causing calcium to leech out of my bones and spill into my blood, without me ever knowing it.  It had been working overtime doing this, to the point where the other three calcium-regulating parathyroid glands on its team had just gone to sleep, figuring that they'd been benched by the "it's all about me" walnut-sized superstar.

As part of the tests that were done to confirm the diagnosis in the months leading up to the surgical procedure, I had to have my first-ever bone scan, and it was determined that I had developed "significant" osteoporosis because of my hyperactive parathyroid gland.  At the time I found this out, I never thought to ask for a definition of the term "significant."

Well, yesterday I had a follow-up appointment with the endocrinologist who diagnosed the disease, and I asked him how bad my bones actually are.  I was not really expecting the answer this doctor gave me: he said I have the bones of a 70-year-old.  As I was trying to absorb this discouraging bit of information, he amended his statement: "Well, I'd say a 70 to a 75-year-old."  Oh, thanks, doc.  That's much better!

I am 56 years old, and my bones have aged way ahead of the rest of me.  There is a slight chance that they could repair themselves a little, now that the offending gland has been removed.  With vitamin D supplements and a calcium-rich diet, I might see a little improvement--and they should at least stop deteriorating at the rate they were before the cure.  But they'll never be 56 again.  Not in this lifetime.

I found out from the doctor yesterday that the current consensus among medical professionals is that calcium supplements may not be very good for you in fighting osteoporosis--they may, in fact, cause calcium deposits to form around your heart.  A better way to make sure you're getting enough calcium is through your food intake, by drinking more milk, eating more cheese and yogurt.  And therefore I've made a decision that's all about wanting to be as healthy as I can be: I'm going to incorporate as much ice cream into my daily diet as my waistline will allow.  Yes, that's the ticket!  It's medicine for me, people; that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

I worry about falling and breaking a hip--not two decades from now, but RIGHT NOW.  However, I suppose everyone who lives long enough ends up with health issues of one kind or another.  And compared to the crosses and suffering borne by many others, having brittle bones and stooped posture seems like getting off easy.  So I won't complain...
I'll just sit here, shrinking...and eating ice cream!


  1. That just stinks .... but a great excuse to eat ice cream, cheese, cheese cake, ice cream cake, cream in your coffee, etc., etc. etc.!!

  2. So glad it was caught before you broke any bones. Love you attitude!

    When I was having placental issues with Liam and he wasn't grow well my midwife recommended ice cream at tea time and I was a very good patient!!

    1. Joy, I think I've cream is good for everything that ails you. In fact, I believe that soft-serve vanilla ice cream is nature's most perfect food.

    2. ICE cream! (Really, auto-correct? I've cream?)

  3. Laura, You know I just twigged that I know this condition! My m-i-l has this! she was all set for her op the other day and they checked her blood levels and said they were normal!! no op!! a miracle really!!!

    Didn't realise your bones had aged so much:( {{}}