HYPOPARA The Game Changer

There are things that happen in your lifetime that you know will leave you forever changed. My big three are my salvation, the death of my dad and the diagnosis of hypoparathyroidism. The first two are obvious and the last is obscure to most. Each enter my mind daily. For my salvation I am more grateful than I can ever express. Death is something we all experience and must deal with. Hypopara is an ongoing ever-changing pain in the you-know-where. Most people, including medical professionals just don’t understand exactly what hypopara is. It is not a common nor simple condition. Mine was medically induced in 2005. The first night home after my thyroidectomy I awoke in the middle of the night to numb hands, feet and face. This was much more than Mark-was-laying-on-my-feet and they went to sleep. I soon realized that this was on my list of oh-no symptoms. I spent the next couple of days in the hospital/doctors office receiving calcium intravenously. I was told my body could not absorb calcium and I would need to take it daily to keep my levels up. If it only was that simple!

The next several years was a lesson in being in charge of my own health. A lesson on the importance of education, discipline, transparency, perseverance and joy in my circumstances. Hypopara is a rare incurable condition that some people are born with while others are medically induced after damage to the parathyroid glands. These little fellas regulate parathyroid hormone PTH and can lead to decreased blood levels of calcium and increased levels of blood phosphorus. If I am low my first indicator is numb tingly hands and feet while feeling sluggish and fuzzy brained. Fuzzy brain causes me to not be on top of my needs therefore I can be slow to treat my symptoms. Officially it causes tingling or burning in your fingertips, toes and lips. Muscle aches and cramps in legs, feet, abdomen or face. Twitching or spasms of muscles. Fatigue or weakness. Painful menstruation. Patchy hair loss. Dry, coarse skin. brittle nails. Depression or anxiety. Phew! I feel anxious just thinking about it.

Everyday is a game of defense. I don’t leave the house without my meds. Everything I eat or do contributes to my condition. Stress and processed foods are my enemy. On my best days stress is low, I get enough sleep and exercise, eat real food and take my meds correctly. It isn’t easy to be me. Well, the healthy version of me. One thing I have learned is the diligence is worth it! People often say to me, “Oh, I don’t want to take medication” “I could never change my eating habits” “I don’t have enough time to (fill in the blank)” I can identify because I feel the same way, it just isn’t my reality.

Game changing is something we can count on in our lifetime. I just don’t know how people do it without Jesus. There are days I barely do it with Him! My big three will never change but I have changed. All I have experienced has made my faith stronger and my dependence upon my Lord more. I don’t want my life to be difficult but on some days it is. My identity isn’t in my illness or my life situation. My identity is in my Savior. My salvation is what changed my game.

In Faith, Deanna

A Miracle. The Musical.

Have you ever witnessed a miracle? A full fledged throw away your crutches miracle. A there-is-no-way-that-could-be-possible miracle. The word gets tossed around these days creating a blur between what is real and what is entertainment. We grow increasingly numb to that which is sensational and in the broadness of our reality things get really small. Our worldview gets limited to the world we think we know. Things can be explained away or simply ignored.

So what is a miracle? Is it a miracle when I arrive safely at my destination? When someone we have issues with suddenly becomes an ally? When the sun rises in the morning? Just the words miracle healing bring forth memories of preHDTV Benny Hinn striking people with his jacket encouraging Jesus to heal on command. Was it real? Hard to say really. I know God has the power to heal through any vessel He chooses. Did a miracle take place? Hard to say. A younger me found it entertaining and slightly embarrassing.

A miracle defined is an awesome event in which God bears witness to Himself. When I consulted Scripture I realized it was beyond a quick what-does-the-Bible-say-about-miracles. Miracles appeared on page one and continued. Throughout Scripture we see amazing signs and wonders choreographed and carried out by God who does things on His own schedule in His own way. And so I ponder, have you seen a miracle?

Let me tell you about mine. First I have to say that God and I have history. A relationship formed through years of love and trust. It hasn’t been easy. I am not a gal who is easily wooed and often my attention is focused only on what is in front of me. My health has recently required a lot of attention. On top of two chronic illnesses I was diagnosed with my fourth round of Thyroid Cancer. It has been quite the ride. After a standard diagnosis Dr N sent me to Dr O sent me to Dr S sent me to Dr H sent me back to Dr S. while encountering biopsy’s, tests, consults, rejects and a failed RAI. (The last sentence was a time warp of 9 months.) No one knew exactly what to do with complicated me. All the while my prayer army battled on and the time for miracles asked was realized…

I arrive at Mayo Clinic for an evaluation and end up with a procedure. My patient portal says I have a whole medical team. Looking back there are lots of things that just suddenly fell into place. Things that happened literally moment by moment. After waiting months and being tossed around I had appointments. I was complicated but doable. If I was willing they would try. The odds were in my favor that I would lose my voice, I didn’t. I was able to walk out following the procedure. This all happened within 48 hours of arriving on campus. I could sing on… making you feel like you were in a musical but I will spare you. It does make me want to sing and dance. Much like the people healed on Mr. Hinn’s tv show now that I think about it.

I don’t want to leave you with the wrong idea. I am not cured. Not yet. I go back in three months for a follow up and probably more ablation. Did a miracle take place? It is not hard to say. I have experienced an awesome season of events that caused me to see God more clearly. I have experienced a miracle.

In Faith, Deanna