Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Incision - 5 days post op

My incision looks good - or I suppose as good as one can look. I'm surprised at how small the actual incision is - by my unscientific measurements - it's about 2 and 3/4 inches. My surgeon is on staff at a local well-respected Children's hospital. I've read on-line that surgeons who also operate on children have a tendency to make much smaller incisions. While I think I have a little bruising, I also have some left over Sharpie marks from the surgery - some of which I have already removed as they were not under the bandage and some of which are still under the bandage. I'm supposed to be keeping the bandage dry and not touch it at all - I'm doing my best with this and am looking forward to Friday. I expect the bandage to come off and the stitches to be taken out by the surgeon. That's also when I get my final pathology report and I'm hoping for good news, but have prepared myself not to lose it if the pathologists report comes back with something other than benign.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

There's No Place Like Home ... There's No Place Like Home

I got to come home Friday afternoon, the day after the surgery. The surgery went very well - the surgeon only took out half of my thyroid and pathology believes it is benign. I will find out the final pathology report results a week from today when I go to my follow up appointment with my surgeon. I had a drainage tube in until just before I left the hospital when the surgeon removed it. The surgery went better and was easier than I expected. I told the surgeon that I felt like I had aches and pains like I'd run a marathon and he said that one of the medicines they give you to put you out causes your muscles to contract severely for several minutes. My neck really doesn't hurt too much and the entire time I was at the hospital and even after I've taken no pain medication. I really can't move my head or neck too much because of the stitches and the tape over the incision. I'm not supposed to bend down at all and can't lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I'm glad I had the surgery and even more glad that it's over. Thanks for all the well wishes and thoughts.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Surgery Day

Well at long last, surgery day is here. I'm up early getting the few things I'm taking packed and hoping for a very short hospital stay. Please keep my in your thoughts and prayers. I may not be able to blog for anywhere from a few days to I suppose as much as a week. I'll make a post as soon as I get home. Talk to you soon - Elle

Monday, June 4, 2007

Can you See it?

I'm enclosing a picture of my neck prior to surgery - the nodule is on my left and it would be on the right in the picture. Evidently it jumped out at both my family doctor and the endocrinologist, but didn't jump out at me.

I plan to include pictures of the incision post-op as well, as I've heard the incision and the resulting scar are the biggest concerns many have who are undergoing this treatment.

I'm not planning on hiding my scar at all and already consider it to be a future "beauty" mark that makes me one of a kind.

Pre-Admission Testing

On Friday I went to the hospital for pre-admission testing. I answered many, many questions several times over, once for the surgeon and once for the anesthesiologist. The nurse took my blood and the X-ray technician and performed a chest X-ray. I'm all set now for surgery. I was reminded to bring absolutely nothing of value to the hospital, including jewelry and instructed to wear no makeup, lotion or powder.

So I'm leaving my fashionable suitcase, purse, jeans, and fun summer sandals at home and will arrive looking like I'm attending a soccer game. This is probably a good thing - I will reduce what I'm bringing to a very small duffle bag which will give me even greater incentive to get well quickly so I can go home.

I pity the hospital staff, because if I can talk I will be asking constantly to go home. My youngest, who is probably having the toughest time with my surgery, has been invited to go camping for the weekend which was perfect timing. Hopefully I'll be home before she is and there will be no tearful hospital visits.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Shout out

I just wanted to take a minute and make a shout out to Glenda, a fellow thyroid patient who has been kind enough to share in the comments very helpful information. I would encourage others who may be pre-op to be sure to read the comments so they too can benefit from her experience. Thanks again Glenda!!! - ELLE

Doctor Doctor

I went back to the endocrinologist this week to ask the questions I wasn't prepared to ask last time because back then I knew absolutely nothing about thyroid nodules. He answered all my questions and gave me the comfort level I wanted to have prior to surgery. He jokingly said he didn't want to see me again until I had an incision on my throat and I told him that was a deal. He did tell me the in-depth pathology report would be the determining factor of whether I need radiation treatment. This means that I won't really know if I need further treatment until the Friday after my surgery. I mentioned the handful of horror stories I had read about people just not feeling right (being depressed, putting on weight, etc.) after having their thyroid removed and he assured me everything would be fine. He said he does not rely on ranges and each case must be treated based on that individuals needs and what feels and is normal for him or her. This is what I wanted to hear and what I've read that a good doctor would say. He did mention that if I need radiation treatment I would not like him during that time period and would need to miss about 4 weeks of work. The odds are in my favor - I'm hoping for the best and preparing myself for the worse just in case.