Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mitochondrial Mutations identified in Parathyroid Tumors

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2099428/

I found an interesting medical study done on benign parathyroid tumors that had been removed. According to the study, a majority of tumors sampled contained mutation of the mitochondrial DNA, mostly of Complex 1.

The general theory for why is that the mutated mitochondrial DNA replicates like it does in every cell of the body. Only, in the parathyroid it begins to collect, bundle together, in a benign tumor. This happens very slowly, over a matter of years, just like how a mitochondrial disease will show itself in an adult.

Why am I so interested you ask?

Well, here is my intriguing question:

If the mutated mitochondrial DNA is collecting, building a tumor, in the parathyroid, is it possible that a person with a mitochondrial disease (ie: mutated mito DNA) can present with a parathyroid tumor?

In other words, is the mutated mito DNA selectively parathyroid in origin, causing just that tumor, and be limited to that one area or can it be directly related to an existing mitochondrial disease that is now presenting itself with replicated mutated mitochondrial DNA in the parathyroid?

Ok, so once again, why am I interested?? Well, in Feb 2010 I was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease. Then in August 2010 I was found to have a parathyroid tumor. Hmmm. It just reeks of questions without answers.

So if I were able, here is how I would study that:
1. Find a large sample of patients with known mitochondrial DNA mutations.
2. Test that sample for hyperparathyroidism to identify people with potential tumors (hyperparathyroidism is almost always caused by benign parathyroid tumors).
3. Get imaging, referrals, etc to have the parathyroid tumors (if any) removed.
4. Have those extracted tumors tested for mitochondrial DNA mutations (as in this study above)
5. Determine if the mutation found in the parathyroid tumor is consistent with the known mitochondrial DNA mutation causing mitochondrial disease in the individual.
6. If they are one and the same, well, there's a whole new line of questions...

Now, I know there are probably a lot of holes in that research technique and theory, things that probably are not orthodox to medical research, but does that not sound like a practical way to go about it?

Just imagine, if parathyroid tumors could be potential red flags for mitochondrial disease, how many more adults could be identified and given hope?

Just food for thought.....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Been a while...

It's been a few months since I have posted anything. Life has been kind of getting in the way. Lets see... What's new...

1. I started a class in June that is like the turning point of my career, the foundation for Nurse Practitioner. It doesn't feel like much of a foundation. It feels rushed, short sided and like we are completely on our own to learn everything we need to know to diagnose and treat someone. Stupid... Anyway, I am plugging through. Should be studying for an exam right about now...

2. I have this new found desire to take my husband and kids on our first ever family vacation. We have never been anywhere that wasn't related to staying with family. My husband and I want to take them to Disney. It kind of seems like a pipe dream currently because it is so very expensive to go. Disney doesn't cater to larger families. If you fit outside the mold of the perfect two parent two kid family then you pay twice as much... But I have started a savings account, so we'll see.

3. Kimber hurt her knee... Poor thing. She fell straight on it. Nothing's broken, but she has a very large hematoma in one of the bursa that will not go away. It shrinks and then it swells again...

I guess that's pretty much it for now. I am still using coupons, but not as much lately because this class is so demanding and using coupons effectively takes more time and planning than life will allow for now. I did get boxes of cereal for a dollar and pop tarts for $0.69! =) I was able to get body wash, toothpaste, BBQ sauce, mustard, and many other things for free! Loving the free!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Giving back to God

God has blessed me with this gift of couponing. It kind of sounds foolish saying that, but I have had a revelation and I really want to share it.

How many low income or homeless families do without things that we take for granted? Deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, toilet paper....

In the last week I learned how to get floss for free and have 12 cents left over from the coupon towards another purchase. I also figured out how to get trial size deodorants for free. Toothbrushes for about 25 cents and toothpaste, trial size, for free......

Here's the deal... I don't need 80 packages of floss. But I have the ability to get 80 packages of floss for free. So I am in search of a ministry to give these things to the people who need them most desperately.

I'm not a shelf-clearer, greed will not overtake this God given talent! I am looking to give back to God through His people.

Now to find a ministry. =)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Love of Couponing to Save us money!!!

I have totally fallen in love with couponing!! Before the show on TLC, I always thought couponing was just a hassle, and not really worth the time for just a few pennies saved. Boy was I wrong. While I certainly will not go to quite the extremes as the drama of the show, I am learning so much about how this can really save us a lot of money!!

I have a husband and 4 kids so we go through some things so very fast! Examples: cereal, laundry soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, school snacks.... etc...

Over the last couple of years our grocery bill has just ballooned out of control! And I have had a revelation from God on how I can help bring us back down to a real grocery budget and not break the bank trying to feed out family.

I have set some ground rules for myself:
1. I don't need to stockpile 40 and 50 of items that we never use, or rarely use. They show that in the show just for dramatic purposes, and if I ever had the opportunity to get that much of something for free, it would for sure go to Hope Mansion.
2. I will not allow it to become an obsession. It will not consume my life and if I can't get the steal of a deal for whatever reason, then I will not get all teary about it.
3. I will simply be grateful to God for what He is providing for us.
4. I will give back to Him for providing for us.

Here's what I have done so far:
Stocked up on about a month's worth of cereal for about a dollar a box. That was exciting!!
Got about 2-3 weeks of school snacks again for about a dollar a box.
Got 2 bottles of Nivea body wash for $1.50 (I wouldn't mind getting a few more to give away to family, but they were all out...)
Got 8 Reach toothbrushes for $1.50
Got 3 containers of dental floss for free!! Oh how i love free!

Here's my goals:
1. Learn how to get toilet paper and paper towels for as cheap as possible.
2. Learn how to get laundry soap for as cheap as possible.
3. Learn from this how to use God's money wisely without becoming obsessive.

Thank you God for this revelation and for teaching me how to use our resources wisely. I don't want to have wasteful spending anymore. =)

Here's a blog from one of the Extreme Couponers from TLC's show.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Imagine this: Your 7 year old child (with a mitochondrial disease) gets up in the morning, and she feels like poo. Her legs are hurting and she starts the day having meltdowns about little nothings (there's not enough milk in her cereal). As her parent you know she has to go to school, you know she can't throw hissy fits and think that is ok to do, and she has to learn how to move on in spite of the way she feels.

But as someone who feels the same way she does often, you hurt for her, want to tell her to just stay home and lay in bed all day, or do something to help her realize that throwing the fits will only make her feel worse because she uses so much energy throwing a fit.

What do you do? I love my Kimber, and it hurts to know she feels the same way I do, but she has to learn that she can't just throw a fit and stay home when she isn't feeling up to par. The school certainly isn't going to excuse 30 days missed because her legs hurt.

This morning we fought to get ready for school, take medicine and then we sat in the parking lot of the school for 20 minutes while she threw a fit. Then when she composed herself, I took her into the school.

I am still learning how to handle these kinds of situations. How to teach her to live with this and still function. It's so hard sometimes.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sooner than expected!!

Wow. That's all I can say.
I had a meeting today with the advisor for the Masters program in Nursing at the University I attend, Texas Woman's University. I am currently in a program that is set up so that nurses that have Associate's Degrees can take Master's classes and undergrad BS classes at the same time and gives you credit for certain classes because of your experience as a nurse. In December I will have my BS portion and will be almost finished with the MS portion. In our meeting today she outlined the rest of the program with me and discussed clinicals with a preceptor and said that if I take a class over the summer, 2 classes in the fall and one along side the clinicals, that I can start clinicals in the spring! Wow. I thought it was going to be next fall or the following spring before I could start. That's craziness! It seems so fast!

My clinicals will be with a nurse practitioner in pediatrics and when everything is said and done, if I pass my certification exams, I will be a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner!! Wow.

I am praying for a smooth transition, because the roles are so very different. =)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen RE-start Your Engines!!

I restarted the supplements today. We got in Kimber's order, which is less of a dose than mine, but I ordered lots extra for her, so I started on a smaller dose for now until mine comes in. I think the ever looming thought of school papers pushed me to the edge of losing patience for my own supply to arrive. One more week and I will be back on my own dose and she will be on her own dose and we will hopefully be back in the race, or at least on our way out of the pit stop... It's a process, I know.

And, I know God was looking out for me and heard my anxious cries because today my professor extended the due date for the paper by 3 days! Yay! So now I have a little more time to factor in terrible feeling nights like last night. I did get a little school work done today, which brought some peace to that area of my brain. Now if I could just wrap my brain around those papers. It is so hard to get started, or restarted on them. It's like I have to dredge through knee deep swamp mud then hurdle a 6 foot wall and after that it's smooth sailing to the end of the paper.... Ha. Now to tackle the muddy swamp...