Stones, Bones, Moans and Groans – Hyperparathyroidism & Me

Welcome to my world of hyperparathyroidism!

Normal blogging service will resume shortly, but decided that this would be an appropriate time to try to share what’s been going on around here recently.

The stones, bones, moans and groans will be explained, if you care to read on!

About this time last year I started having (even more than usual) trouble sleeping, felt (even more) exhausted all the time, and lots of feet and leg pain. It was hard to be specific about how I felt but “bleeeuuugh” probably sums it up!

Fast forward to November, following raised calcium and lots of tests, hyperparathyroidism was diagnosed.

I won’t bore you with all the details but here is a non-medical version.

Medical students are taught to remember the condition with the following:

  • Stones – kidney stones – ouch – yes, got those
  • Bones – achy painful bones – definitely got those
  • Moans – abdominal pain and cramps etc – yup, but no more details required!
  • Groans – depression, short term memory loss, and confusion and “brain fog” – yes to all, and these were probably the confusion and “cognitive function” most alarming symptoms. I really thought I was losing my mind.

Following diagnosis there have been lots more tests – x-rays, nuclear scans, ultrasound scans and dexa bone scans.

It is probable that I have had this for over 16 years! I did have a raised calcium level back in 1995, so I have been living with this for most of my married life (yes, pity my husband!).  I have had lots of vague symptoms, aches and pains, headaches and not sleeping, but only in this past year has everything come to a head and coincided with raised calcium again and an on-the-ball GP.  It is a relief to know I am not an old, lazy, achy hypochondriac who is losing her mind!

Yesterday we met with an endocrine surgeon in Belfast.  Due to the increasing severity of my symptoms and the impact it is having on my life and my family, the surgeon has proposed surgery within a month! It may sound odd to be happy about surgery but I am just glad that there is a chance of improvement.

Surgery is scheduled for 1 March – it’s time to buy a new dressing gown and slippers for the hospital!

If you want to find out more about hyperparathyroidism there are LOTS of websites out there, but some can be quite alarming.  I have total confidence in my surgeon and am hoping to soon have this all behind me and get on with the rest of my life.

My photos in this post have nothing to do with hyperparathyroidism, but it would be a rather boring post without them!  They are all photos from here in N Ireland.

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  1. What a relief to know you are not just a groaning, old lady!!! LOL! Sorry to hear you have this, but glad it can be sorted quickly. You will be a new woman!! We will keep you in our prayers. Lots of love

  2. Interesting and informative post. I have hyperparathyroidism because of kidney disease. I take super strength Vitamin D right now for it.

  3. I’m so glad they found a cause!! May the surgery be a true fix, and may your recovery be easy.

  4. I am so sorry that you have not been feeling well, but so glad that you got a diagnosis. I have been dealing with undiagnosed pain for a year and a half and understand the frustration that goes along with that. I will be praying for a speedy recovery after your surgery! Carla

  5. Oh, wow. Hope your surgery will help you. I’ve been sick and going to doctors and hospitals for almost a year now, and they still haven’t found what’s wrong with me. It’s exhausting, just want things to be back to normal. But I guess it’s also good the doctor keeps coming back with negative results on the really scary diseases ;).

    But I’m really here to say hi!! I’m one of your Indie Biz 3.0 classmates and I wanted to meet you! 🙂

  6. SO glad for the wisdom of your physicians, the patience of your husband and a firm diagnosis. Its so scary when you KNOW somethings wrong but with nothing to back it up. You’ve been incredibly brave and thanks for sharing, JM. I’ve loved the priviledge of lifting your needs in prayer as I am confident you do for me in times of need.

    I’ll be here as you have surgery – will pray you all the way through and hopefully the time will pass quickly and you’ll be “righter than ever”


  7. I didn’t know this was happening to you – I’m so sorry. I’m glad you have a diagnosis and I’ll be thinking good happy thoughts for you when your surgery date rolls around. I hope it bring you the relief you need.

    Thinking good healthy strong thoughts for you from New York.

  8. How did it go? I am scheduled for surgery this thursday… Let us know how you are doing…

  9. My symptoms were exactly this plus more. I slept 20 hours a day and was still tired. It took them several weeks to figure out what was actually the problem, but I’ve complained about nausea since I was sixteen. Started with severe pain in my arms, shoulder (esp shoulder), leg, back, etc. for the last twenty years. My calcium level at highest was 15.7. The author of this post will understand that, but for you who don’t the normal calcium level for a lady is 8.4. Thank you for posting. I am going to share with everyone. God Bless, and I am glad you are getting better.

  10. For the past 25 years on and off..I have had several operations for kidney stones. I follwed a strict low oxerlate diet. As a result of my efforts, ihad an emergency operationdue to kidney stones that are the most and biggest I have ever had. My urine calcium level is high, but everything else is normal except the calcitonin level in my blood. I’m now waiting for an appointment to see a endiocrinologist I have read the symptoms and have a few of them which all point to the parathroid glands. It has taken 25 years for me to reach this point. Anyone reading this, ask your doctor for a referal see an endiocrinologist..you have nothing to lose especially if you have had undiagnosed symptoms for some time.

  11. Recently diagnosed with the same. Highest calcium reading was 33.8, yes that’s right. Pamidronate was used (4hr+) intravenous drip to lower it, and I now am waiting for surgery. I have kidney stones measuring 2.5cm – good luck passing those I tell myself. Years of misdiagnosis, It was a fluke to find the kidney stones, as I also have fatty liver (although I do not drink) and was having a routine ultrasound when the stones were found. It is not pleasant, I’m at risk of losing my job because concentration, fatigue and memory issues were affecting me for the past year that I have noticed, and they think it’s poor job performance. The bone pain is to the point, some days it is hard to walk, other days it is good. I can sleep for days at a time and still feel exhausted. I try to drink lots of water, but I find my bladder isn’t giving me the warning I need to get to the washroom on time. The past 6 months has escalated, where I have been feeling the worst. I truly hope that after surgery, and after the kidney stones have been dealt with – this ordeal will be over.

    1. Sorry to hear you have been suffering – 6 years on, it is all a distant memory – really the surgery made such a difference to me! Hope it helps you as much as it did me.

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