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


Glenda said...

You are so welcome. I wish I would have had someone to fill me in on the surgery prior to mine.
I guess I should finish up my story since June 7 will be here before you know it and I don't want you to have an unfinished ending!
So Saturday morning, after tossing and turning (or at least as much as I could being hooked up to all the machines) and not resting or sleeping, I woke up with an upset stomach. They brought me breakfast and I didn't have any of it. Now this is the day that I'm supposed to go home. The surgeon had already been in to say I could go home and left some prescriptions to get filled and some post-op instructions and scheduled an appointment for a follow up visit to his office on Wed to get the stitches out. So far, I had only been up to go to the bathroom several times so a nurse assisted me with walking around the hallway. OK--that did me in and I felt even worse.
A friend of mine (the one that takes thyroid pills) came to get me about 10:30 am to take me home. While I was talking to her, I threw up. The nurses thought that I had thrown up the orange juice I had for breakfast. The only problem was I hadn't had any orange juice, or anything else but some water. So because I was nauseous, they started to give me some medicine to settle my stomach. I still had a migraine headache, leg cramps, and my hands, feet and head were going numb from the lack of calcium, even though they were giving me calcium. My friend went home and I was supposed to call her when I was going to be released later.
As the day went on, I was still taking pain medication but again it was mostly for all this other stuff that was going on and not my incision. My stomach was still upset and I was still throwing up. My blood pressure went up, and was in the 220's over middle 100's. I had borderlined on high blood pressure anyway but the Dr. didn't want to do anything about it until the calcium issue was resolved because high calcium can cause high blood pressure, but the highest was usually 150/96 or so. My oxygen level went down, so the oxygen machine kept beeping.
Let me tell you, I was getting pretty scared because they had no clue as to why this was happening. The surgeon came in again in the early evening with a Dr. that is in the same group as the endocronologist and they were talking about sending me home!
Now I would have had to go home to an empty house to be alone out in the country when I was feeling so miserable and was having these difficulties but no one could tell me why! So I said NO, I'm not going home! So they decided to keep me overnight one more night (duhhh) and sent me down for some kind of scan. I think it was a chest scan but I'm not sure. I just know I was still throwing up and had to take one of those little containers with me and I was literally shaking from being cold and scared. The nurses were all for me staying because they recognized this was a problem. I don't know what was up with the Doctors. They were upping the doses on the medication to calm my stomach and trying different ones and I was continuing to be sick. They also gave me a blue high blood pressure pill to get my blood pressure back down. Since being in the hospital, even before surgery, my blood pressure had been in the "normal" range so obviously there was something wrong for it to go up so much. They also gave me a gadget that you blow into to guard against pneumonia. I had nothing to eat that night either, although they did bring me a can of Pepsi that I kept for later because that was going to be my reward IF I lived through this.
Several hours after the blood pressure pill, my blood pressure did go down. It was still a little high but nothing like it had been.

Glenda said...

On Sunday morning, my blood pressure was close to normal but my stomach was still upset. Also, my oxygen level kept going down, causing the machine to beep, and I would have to take deep, huge breaths to get it to stop--which was annoying not to mention a little painful. Even though I still didn't feel good, I thought I was well enough to go home. The nurses didn't think so. They wanted me to get up and walk but I declined. The surgeon came in and asked if I was ready to go home. I told him yes. He said good, because they didn't like to keep people in the hospital any longer than needed because you can catch all kinds of bad things in the hospital and they didn't want to expose me to that.
He had no explanation for the high blood pressure and the upset stomach, except to say it was possibly a reaction to the anesthetic for the surgery. He thought my oxygen level was just naturally low and that was "normal" for me. He wrote out a prescription for something for the throwing up because I was still doing it, in addition to the pain pills and the antibiotic he had already prescribed.
I called my friend to come pick me up. When she was there--I threw up again. She seemed to think I should stay longer but I said I was ready to go home. They wheeled me out of the hospital in a wheelchair and I so hoped that I wouldn't throw up in my friend's new car! We stopped by the pharmacy to get my drugs and I went home, put on my nightgown, and laid down in my own bed and went to sleep. Fortunately I had been smart enough to put a bucket by my bed and I did throw up a few more times but I wasn't concerned and knew that I was going to be okay. I did leave my front door unlocked though just in case I had to call for help in case something went wrong. Later that afternoon I had a piece of buttered toast and managed to keep it down.
My ex had already planned to keep our daughter overnight so that wasn't a problem.
On Monday, I managed a few more pieces of toast, some Mountain Dew, some juice, and a donut I had throght to get before I went to the hospital. I also took a bath, which felt soooo good. I mainly rested, slept, and watched t.v. I called my ex early Monday afternoon to see if he had to go to work that night and he said no. If he did, I was going to ask him to bring our daughter home because I didn't feel well enough to drive. An odd thing was happening with parts of my body going numb and it almost felt like a massage, especially in my back. I was popping Tums with calcium because I didn't have anything else with calcium in it.
On Monday night, my daughter called me and said "MOM, I WAS SUPPOSED TO COME HOME TODAY. WHY DIDN'T I?" I told her I had to stay an extra night in the hospital and that I was home now but still wasn't feeling real well but that I would pick her up Tuesday from Rec Camp. She told me I better!
Tuesday morning I went to the store and got some calcium supplements. Tuesday afternoon I went and picked my daughter up at Rec Camp.
Wednesday morning I took her to Rec Camp and went to the Dr. to get the stitches and the tube out. It felt so good to get all that off from around my neck. There was still surgi strips, but that was nothing compared to what had been on there.
Evidently the nodule on my parathyroid was the size of a kidney bean. The pathology was normal though. I had to go get blood drawn to test my calcium level.

Glenda said...

When I first saw the plastic surgeon for the surgical consult, I asked him how long I would have to be off work. He tld me a week.
I have a job that could be strenuous but normally isn't and requires someone to be here. I am normally off on Friday, Saturday and Sunday so I scheduled myself off from the day of surgery, Friday, August 4, to return to work on Monday, August 14.

I had (hoped)planned to get some things done around the house that wouldn't require too much effort, like organize receipts. I didn't do it. In fact, for about the first week, I was wondering if I would be able to go back to work on Monday. I just kept thinking that the way this surgery had kicked my behind, I could imagine what it would do to a 70 year old or older woman that is the one that usually has to have it. (Remember, the Drs were telling me I needed this surgery because I was "so young".) My daughter had a difficult time understanding that there were things that I couldn't do--like play ball. When I would tell her I couldn't, she would tell me that it had been a week since my surgery and I "should just get over it"! So I wasn't getting any sympathy or time off from being a mother due to it. I did return to work on Monday, August 14, though.

I had to go back to the plastic surgeon on August 22. When I went in, he asked me if I had gone back to work yet!?! I told him YES, I went back to work on August 14! He said "WOW, that's really good!!!" and seemed genuinely surprised that I had gone back to work already. Keep in mind--this is the SAME surgeon that told me that I would need to be off work for 1 week!!

Looking back, a few extra days off would have been nice for my recovery and maybe then I could have got some of the things done that I wanted to do, but I also wanted to get back to normal as soon as I could.