Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | January 9, 2008

Essentially just a slew of excuses…

To say that life has been rather hectic during the past few weeks would be an understatement (said the blogger, in order to explain the serious dearth of blog entries recently). Aside from issues at the office that have left me feeling rather unsettled and preoccupied, I’ve managed to work in quality time (of which there wasn’t nearly enough) with two sets of visitors from abroad – close relatives on a bus tour and a friend I hadn’t seen since my wedding or shortly thereafter. I’m particularly pleased that I was able to schedule time with the family, given how ludicrously packed their itinerary was (and it certainly didn’t help that their guides would completely change their plans on a daily basis, so planning in advance was impossible). It was, of course, great to see my friend (and meet her fabulous fiancé!) as well, and despite the fact that we didn’t get to spend as much time together as we both would have liked, I was just glad to have the opportunity to spend time with someone who has never failed to fascinate me, as well as keep me laughing.

Sadly, the backdrop to all of this is that we are currently mourning the loss of my father-in-law, who passed away just over three weeks ago following several years of deteriorating health. The Little One isn’t quite sure what to make of the situation, as I’m not sure how much he has managed to process the concept of death. From time to time, he mentions that he misses his grandfather, and we’ve fallen into a routine, whereby he asks me to tell him about his grandfather, and I explain how he loved the Little One very, very, very much, but that he was very old and very sick. At this point, he usually breaks in to ask if his own father is old too, and I reply that his father isn’t old – he’s young, which never fails to bring about a gale of disbelieving giggles.

And, if all of that wasn’t enough to keep me preoccupied, I spent several hours at a hospital outpatient clinic earlier this week, waiting for my first appointment with my new endocrinologist. It would seem – because my life just isn’t exciting enough – that I may have a parathyroid problem. For now, we’re going to see if the problem is due to a Vitamin D deficiency, but if it’s not, we’ll have to decide on a further course of action. Surprisingly, my appointment with the doctor wasn’t actually the most interesting part of my hospital visit. The most interesting aspect was that while waiting, I had the opportunity to overhear one half of a cell phone conversation that a gentleman down the hall was conducting. While I’m usually able to tune out idle chatter in Hebrew, English always seems to jump out, and try as I may, I just can’t tune it out.

Our gentleman was speaking in very good English, albeit with an Israeli accent. He was telling his business colleague that he’d been on sick leave, recovering from a kidney transplant he’d undergone several weeks ago. In Manila. Apparently, if he’d have waited to have the procedure performed locally, he would have had to wait for five years. Israel isn’t a good place to be if you’re in need of an organ transplant. According to this well-written article by Yair Lapid (one of Israel’s more brilliant and talented public figures), only four percent of the Israeli public have signed organ donor cards. When you compare that with rates in Europe, where nearly one-third of Europeans carry signed organ donor cards, the numbers are indeed pathetic. It’s no wonder that so many Israelis are forced to seek transplants abroad, sometimes under rather questionable conditions and involving fairly dubious ethics.

But I digress. Hyperparathyroidism. I might have it, or I might not. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. At the moment, I do have it. The question is, do I have secondary hyperparathyroidism, which would have developed as a result of my potential Vitamin D deficiency and is easily resolved with vitamin supplements, or do I have primary hyperparathyroidism, which might require a surgical procedure in order to resolve the problem? While I certainly don’t relish the prospect of surgery, there’s a part of me that hopes it’s the latter. Everything I’ve read on the subject indicates that people who undergo this procedure feel much better afterwards – better than they’ve felt in ages, as a matter of fact. Some of the signs of hyperparathyroidism include fatigue, depression and irritability. Coincidentally, I’ve got all three to varying degrees, and the idea that I can potentially alleviate all of them (at least partially) in one go is rather appealing. Obviously, the surgery wouldn’t be like some magic pill that makes all the problems disappear, but I do like the idea of being able to blame my bitchiness and quick temper on something so concrete and possibly correctable.

Of course, if it turns out that I don’t actually have hyperparathyroidism, it would mean that I really am just a rather moody bitch individual…



  1. Wow, sorry to hear about your father-in-law and your health issues. I must say, it would be nice if I had some organic reason for my bitchiness! Hope all goes well.

  2. Forgot to say that it is indeed pathetic that so few Israelis become organ donors. We take, but we don’t give. Just a few weeks ago my husband and I were watching something on TV about this and I told him that when I, uh, expire, he should be sure to donate anything from my body that could be useful.

  3. I’ve had my ADI organ donor card in my wallet for nine years…

  4. Again you are in the rush of getting prepared for the unknown… so hold tight… We are all right behind you just in case.

    Just beleive!

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your father in law. The Guy and I had to explain the death of a friend to Little Guy recently and it’s such a difficult conversation to have.

    Whichever way it goes, I hope your health issues are resolved satisfactorily and you start feeling better!

  6. Oh wow, what a month already! Hang in there, and good luck with the new doc!!

  7. Hello dear,

    Thanks for reminding me that Danny stood no chance in Israel. Organ donation is a gift worth giving.

    I’m sorry you guys are having a tough time. Death sucks. But wanted to let you know I also have thyroid issues, not the same as yours. I have Hashimoto’s Syndrome but prior to that being discovered, I was completely off balance. I do hope they sort it out soon.

    Take care of yourself,

  8. My condolences on your father-in-law’s passing. I hope the new year will bring you good health!

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