For as long as I can remember, my mother was self-conscious about her hair loss. By the time I was in college, she was wearing a wig. She never went to the doctor to find out what was wrong; she was so embarrassed by it…she just accepted it and moved on. But that’s the way my mom is. She is a trooper, who never really feels sorry for herself. She had a very difficult hip replacement (it never healed properly), heart disease, sleepless nights and tired days. We accepted these problems because she did. We agreed that these symptoms were the result of crash diets, a lack of exercise, and bad genes. And the sad thing is, her doctors must have agreed too. If only she had a medical professional who would have noticed that her calcium was high, and that this was NOT normal or insignificant.
A few years ago my mother told me she had hyperparathyroidism. She was going to have surgery to take out the tumor that had been there for decades. I was thrilled but a bit skeptical. How could a small surgery reverse years of damage? And why wasn’t this discovered before? Amazingly, within a week, she felt better. She had more energy, less brain fog. And yes, hair began to grow back on her head.
When I was approached a few months ago by PARAthyroid Peeps to help design a logo, I immediately said “of course.” If only my mother had known the symptoms, so much pain could have been avoided. Hyperparathyroidism is something that needs to be known by the general population and I commend Barbara, Joyce and Sophie for taking the time and tremendous effort to set up this site. So here’s to Perry, our hyperparathyroidism mascot who will, by each “click, tweet, and like” help make hyperparathyroidism a household name!
About Amy Shimm Noveshen – Amy received her BA from Brown University in American Studies and went on to get her Masters in Architecture from UC Berkeley. She is a freelance designer and an Adjunct at City College of San Francisco. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, two kids and one very chubby but adorable cat.