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Hyponatremia

I feel like I've been pretty lucky the last week and a half. No horrible post-op symptoms. Until today. I had previously said that the worst headache of my life was the day after surgery. I take it back. Today I had the worst headache of my life.

Yesterday I started feeling a little bit different. It's hard to put my finger on what was different exactly, but my legs started swelling up again, my face got puffy, and I magically gained 3lbs overnight. I had a mini panic attack thinking that the Cushing's was coming back, but after some deep breaths I had a new theory. Low sodium. It is another very common complication after any kind of pituitary surgery, and I had been warned MANY times about the signs to look for. My sodium levels were initially high after surgery, then dipped to the lowest of the normal range and have been hanging out there for the past week. It is typical to experience a sodium drop 7-10 days after surgery. Here we are! An 8am stat lab draw proved me right, so I've had to limit my fluid intake and take it easy today. When you know you can't drink water, it becomes the most important thing you've ever thought of. Gatorade or pedialyte are all that I'm allowed today, since they replace some of your sodium. Symptoms of hyponatremia include headache, nausea, confusion, fluid retention (hello 3lbs of water weight!) and left untreated can lead to coma. That is why fluid restriction is VERY important when you first notice a low sodium level!

Typically your body figures it out after a day or two of fluid restriction. I'm hoping tomorrow the headache will go away! Until then I'll have to deal with tylenol and gatorade.

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