A word from the Editor
HELEN SIMPSON | A word from the Editor
A year. A year that has felt like 5 years. In February 2020 I was in Johannesburg, watching the teenager play cricket and discovering a different city. Later, as the storm clouds gathered, I wondered if I should fly him home early, so he would be safe. Who knew then that the UK would have one of the highest death rates in the world from this pandemic?
Now I am working in a nursing role in ICU: double-pumping noradrenaline, suctioning coronavirus out of lungs. Bowie said ‘tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming’. I couldn’t hear it coming until this week when all of a sudden, a mixture of government announcements and a date for my second dose of vaccine meant I almost feel hopeful. Until now I’ve felt like I’ve been living in a suspended reality where tomorrow is the same as today. Life consists of 12-hour shifts in the hospital and remote clinics at home, vaccinating for light relief. I’m still waiting for these times to pass because what I really, really want to do is to have some fun. I’ll have to wait a little longer and, in the meantime, be thankful that my family and friends are all just about OK.
This issue of The Endocrinologist focuses on the parathyroids. We are extra grateful to all the contributors, writing for us in the midst of the turmoil. We have articles ranging from organising services to deliver care during a pandemic, by Neil Gittoes and colleagues, to novel treatment for hypoparathyroidism with recombinant parathyroid hormone, by Jeremy Turner and colleagues. Key to medicine is listening to our patients, and Liz Glenister describes living with hypoparathyroidism.
To mark International Women’s Day, we share an article from the archives; a conversation between Phillipa Saunders and Kerri Devine, on the challenges of networking, peer support, balancing family, budgeting time, and having a career.
Something I have found joyful during this pandemic are the educational materials that are the brainchildren of Punith Kempegowda. In this issue he and his teams describe their work on SIMBA and CoMICs. I am also hoping he shares with me the secret to his seemingly endless energy.
So maybe there is hope and soon we can have some fun, and see and hug our families and friends.
I hope this is an enjoyable read and that you can forget about COVID for a short while, at least. And, if not, there is always Bowie to listen to…
PS. Our thanks go to Kate Lines, Mark Stevenson and Kreepa Kooblall from the University of Oxford who kindly provided some of the images for
this issue's cover. The image in the top circle is of parathyroid adenoma cells stained for PTH (red) and DAPI (blue). The image in the middle circle (and background) is H&E staining of a mouse parathyroid gland, with surrounding skeletal muscle and some beautiful thyroid follicles.