» Burdened: Thoughts after Parathyroid Surgery

Ten days ago I had surgery to remove a parathyroid gland that had a small tumor inside. This particular condition was causing high calcium levels in my blood and other side effects like bone pain, fatigue and just a general feeling of yuck. The surgery was successful and after one night in the hospital I was released to go home.

What I did not understand about this surgery was how out of whack my calcium and potassium levels would become. Or how much rest was actually required to get well. On Wednesday night I went to bed not feeling well and ended up with an ambulance in my driveway after passing out trying to get out of bed. After an ER visit and a few additional doctor’s visits I’ve gotten things straightened out a bit but it’s still been a struggle to get regulated.

As I sit here, thinking through my “ordeal” I feel almost silly about being anxious or annoyed over my troubles. Yes, it was scary and yes I’ve had some anxiety as a result. But for goodness sakes, perspective. When I hop on Facebook for a few minutes it’s a huge reminder that whatever I have going on… just isn’t that bad. Our connected world is a constant reminder that people are hurting in vast and varying ways. From childhood cancer to car accidents and plane crashes to terrorist attacks…. it’s a broken, evil and devastated world out there.

While all this hurt and brokenness swirls round and round I have access to medical care and a church family that feeds my family dinners until I feel better. And I’m beyond thankful. In fact, my heart is more than full of gratitude and love for the many who showed up for us.

But I’m also burdened.

I’m burdened for those who barely make it through the day with their lives. I’m burdened for those who don’t know where their next meal will come from. I’m burdened for trafficked humans who are enslaved in a treacherous life. I’m burdened for those who sit by a loved one’s side as they battle illness day after day.

And even though I’m buying all the t-shirts that support all the things… man… it’s not putting a dent in all this burden.

The burden and heavy is enough to make you think there is no reason to try. And the hurt of this big world will just collapse on you in a big heap and it’s suffocating. And yet, people are still doing and good is still happening… and Jesus is still there.

There’s no easy end to this post. Don’t we all just feel the weight of it sometimes? But in that weight… we have hope. Hope that this world isn’t all there is and Faith that Jesus IS our Hope.

A Jesus that isn’t formed by whatever current trend is passing through… but a real Jesus who came to make a way. Who knew the burdens of the world and came to make them lighter.

In the heaping, suffocating realization of what our world is… I’ve put my trust in him.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

1 John 16:33

About the author


Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.


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  • How long was it until you felt up to speed? (I’m avoiding the term “normal” because of your handle. )
    I most likely have parathyroidism. I just got a bone density test yesterday so it isn’t “official” but my symptoms match the list and it all makes sense. The internet information says people feel better right away so your post was surprising. (Although I do know that healing is usually an exhausting process.) Did they give you lots of prescriptions after that? Did those have side effects? Right now I’m just thankful that doctors are actually taking me seriously. I had one literally say to me, “Your test results are all normal.” (Which they weren’t. High calcium levels are never “normal.”) He continued,”Do you want something to be wrong with you? You should be thankful you don’t have leukemia or something.”
    As a side note, I just stumbled across your website but it’s nice to see another sister in Christ.

    • Hi there! Yes, every doctor said you’ll feel great right away. And two doctors called my results normal until the scan picked up the tumor. It was an exhausting couple of years figuring it all out. I’ll say that I felt “normal” again about 8 months after the surgery. As I’ve shared my story and done a lot of googling, I’ve found a large population that say similar things. 6-12 months to normalize after the parathyroid tumor removal. Hormones were a huge part of it. I’m so glad you ended up here! I hope you found a tiny bit of encouragement, I’m sorry you are going through this!

  • Thank you for sharing.
    I’ve had elevated parathyroid for 15 years now and had parathyroid scans that were normal. I was subsequently diagnosed with a muscle disease and everyone kind of forgot about the parathyroid until I kept reminding. I was sent to a specialist, then the mayo clinic. I was told that sometimes this JUST HAPPENS. Meanwhile I’ve had severe osteoporosis for 15 years that keeps getting worse. Since my calcium levels and vitamin d is normal, no one knows what to do with me.
    Finally I’m being referred to a doctor in tampa florida. Is that where you had your surgery?
    It’s been a long road and things aren’t getting easier. I can only pray…

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