If you haven’t read Part1, just scroll down and read first if you want. Part 2 is about the weeks before my total thyroidectomy, the surgery itself and post surgery.
So, we moved across town to a smaller home on September 20. Our friends and family were angels fully clothed. We have moved every several years for one reason or another and some of these people have unselfishly helped us every time. I pray I can repay them each for their kindness.
My energy was still low but somehow I got through moving day and my husband handled so many details that I usually take care of. He really was amazing and superhuman.
My doctors said I could not help clean the old house and that I must rest up for the surgery. I thought maybe they could just take out part of the thyroid but it was determined this was not the best option. I had to go off all my herbs and vitamins 1 week before surgery and this made me nervous because I was sure they were helping take the edge off. But I don’t remember feeling much different.
I had to fast the night before and my surgery was scheduled for around 11 am but my surgeon was running late so I don’t think it started till around 1. All the nurses were surprised at my heart rate and that I was not on any meds. My husband got to be with me while I was waiting and my heart was literally thumping very fast.
The anesthesiologist that met with me briefly before surgery went over possible meds he would give me to slow my heart rate and etc. I still don’t know what he gave me or how that went but when I woke up from surgery the male nurse attending me in the recovery room was very attentive. I threw up right away and felt very thirsty and hungry. I was very groggy but had to giggle as 2 male nurses changed my top that I had thrown up on. My surgeon came by and ordered the nurse to put me in an overnight room so that my heart could be monitored overnight. I was in the recovery room for several hours waiting. I did not know that a few family members and friend were waiting in the hospital to see me but had to leave because they were not allowed in the recovery room.
I finally, still groggy, get to my private room and am of course hooked up to an IV drip for fluids and pain killers and I have a drip coming from my thyroid incision that fills a bag of blood every few hours. This was painless but gross. The nurse came in very often to ask me about my pain, empty the blood bag and help me use the bathroom. I kid you not, I had to go to the bathroom every hour. tinkle. tinkle. At least I could walk there
Every time I felt a little pain swallowing I would call the nurse and they would give me more pain meds in my IV. Years ago, during a post surgery, I remember I could just push a button to add more pain killers. I had read somewhere to stay a little ahead of the pain so all night I called the nurse every few hours. Eventually, I was able to go the bathroom by myself. The room became unbearably hot and I told the nurses about this but nothing was done. The bed became so uncomfortable, the room so hot and my legs were crampy as they insisted on keeping the leg massagers going all night. During the night, a gentleman(in the next room) in worse pain or in mental anguish would cry out loudly and cause a commotion. The night was one of the longest ones ever! I was so glad to see my husband the next morning and get home. Mid-morning I started get red and rashy and the heat was unbearable. Finally, a nurse turned down a thermostat in my room. Also, as I went off the IV pain killers to Tylenol, I felt very antsey and anxious. My surgeon came by to take off my bandage (totally off) and gave me the thumbs up and I was ecstatic to be going home. He left us saying he was on his way to the Mercy Ships in Africa or somewhere where he operates and removes thyroids as big as a soccer ball. I kid you not. That is when I realized how blessed I was. My thyroid was way smaller than that and my Doc was a kind hearted soul. Goodbye Thyroid and I will not miss you! So long and goodbye!
My voice was a little scratchy the first few days but not gone as with some folks after surgery. My parathyroid glands had been damaged in the surgery so I was immediately started on Calcium and a vit. D med.
Within a few days, I kid you not, I was already getting some energy back that I had not had since February. I was excited. My neck and shoulders were sore, my throat was a little sore and swollen and my legs were crampy. My legs, calves mostly, were very crampy and sometimes painful and the docs did not know what to suggest. A nurse said maybe try magnesium. It took several months for me to figure out the right dose of magnesium to help with these issues. I went on to have various minor issues in my ankles, calves and knees. 7 months later I rarely have any cramping or pain. Yea!! Also, I might add, these issues could have resulted from loss of muscle during my illness and it just took 7 months for my muscles to be restored.
Another potential scary problem was how my body would react to the thyroid medication I will have to take the rest of my life. My mother had a history of not tolerating any thyroid medication. The little bit I had tried years ago when my thyroid was low I did not tolerate either. My doctor said if my body needs it, it will use it. My body took to it right away. I changed the dose several times to help with minor complaints but all in all; Miracle! My body took to the thyroid meds and my energy was amazing 1 week post surgery.
A few friends and family brought over dinners for our family during the week after surgery and I was so hungry I was eating a full meal every 2 hours. I was ravenously hungry. I gained 10 pounds in 2 weeks.
2 weeks post surgery, I had the biggest smile on my face and went garage saling just because I could. When I did laundry or cleaned the kitchen I was so happy and thankful. Every little thing I did felt new and fresh and I was so thankful. I began taking walks and was soon power walking within a couple months. My home needed to be organized and I pretty much did that in about 2 months. I felt completely restored.
This photo was taken 1-2 weeks post surgery. It’s a new me! 7 months later I am doing great. Feel free to email me or comment with any questions.
I felt compelled to share this difficult experience even if it just helped one person. Has my faith changed? Yes. and that is another story but I will say that God is always God even in illness, death, and other tragedies. I’m afraid I will walk through other valleys that may not have a “happy” ending but I’m learning to trust… but that doesn’t mean I don’t bow my head and ask, “why?” or turn my back with disappointment
Lord, give me the faith to always believe that You are Always with Me and will Never Leave Me.