Early this summer I was the lucky recipient of a kidney stone! Well, I didn’t feel that lucky to be perfectly honest. That little stone was an obtrusive visitor and overstayed it’s welcome by not leaving for exactly 30 days, not that I was counting! If the story ended there that would be plenty but….
They say (not sure who ‘they’ are in reality) a visit to the emergency room can be a real blessing, beyond the immediate fixing, hopefully, of the problem at hand. When I was at a follow up appointment for the stone, my urologist was going over the ct scan with me showing me where the stone was and it’s potential path, yadda yadda yadda. Then he said, ‘but this is not what we are concerned about’. I’m sorry, what? That emergency visit led to the discovery of tumors on each of my adrenal glands. One small and one that needs attention.
Adrenal glands produce hormones that help regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, response to stress and other essential functions. After the amygdala sends a distress signal, the hypothalamus activates the sympathetic nervous system by sending signals through the autonomic nerves to the adrenal glands. These glands respond by pumping the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) into the bloodstream. Obviously this is a cut and paste paragraph! I do know though, that this helps explain the increase and severity of anxiety and full blown panic attacks over the last year or so.
What does this mean for me? Well, I will be having laparoscopic surgery at the end of October to remove one of my adrenal glands. Would I be happier if the other gland didn’t also have a tumor, yes! But at this point it seems to be something we will only have to keep an eye on.
In the meantime, we are planning our trip to Hawaii that will be before the surgery. I’m looking forward to time on the beach, shave ice, snorkeling, a beach side hula show and maybe a Mai Tai or two!
The photos aren’t from Hawaii but they were the tropical photos from vacations past.
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