Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • smtucker
      Post count: 74

      I am having my thyroid removed surgically on Wednesday. Quite a dramatic ending for a non-symptomatic patient.

      As some of you may recall, I was diagnosed with Graves based on numbers only, and distinct eye changes. On December 4th I started taking the Methi-Crap and by December 25th my liver enzymes were through the roof and I stopped the drug. The current endo scheduled a follow up for last week, but I didn’t wait that long. I fired her and found someone else.

      What a difference! I spent over an hour with her fellow and about 30 minutes with her. They asked me how I felt!!!! The other two endos never asked this simple question! They both felt that restarting the drug after such a quick and horrid response was not an option. They felt that doing nothing was just as bad.

      So based on other medical factors, the decision was made to cut the sucker out. They considered a whole group of surgeons and chose one. He does only neck surgery, lots of them. He says that surgery isn’t as common for Graves as it once was; normally this is for cancer and goiters. Dr. Surgeon was more personable than most surgeons, but I want him for his skill not his bedside manner after all.

      I am still unclear why our bodies have so many parts that can be removed. So far I have had four items taken and to be honest, I think that this is enough, don’t you?

      I am encouraged by how well others have done after their surgeries. They will keep me in the hospital for at least one night. I am giving myself a week at home before scheduling work appointments. Have I given myself enough time? Any tips, ideas for boredom relief?

      Kimberly
      Online Facilitator
        Post count: 4291

        Hello – I’m sure you will here from others on this site who have “been there, done that”, but this is a nice page from the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons that will hopefully be of assistance:

        (Note on links: if you click directly on the following link, you will need to use your browser’s “back” button to return to the boards after viewing, or you will have to log back in to the forum. As an alternative, you can right-click the link and open it in a new tab or new window).

        http://endocrinediseases.org/thyroid/surgery_recovery.shtml

        Although this site notes that patients can usually return to work in a week, if you have the time off available to add in a couple of extra days, that might be one less thing to stress about as you are going through the recovery process.

        Wishing you all the best on this phase of your journey!

        smtucker
          Post count: 74

          My thyroid is no longer in my body. My first surprise [and I don’t like medical surprises] was when Dr. Peter had me stand to mark my neck in the pre-op room. Wow! Not a little incision like the gallbladder. Oh no, this is right across the neck, like I went to Sweeny Todd’s barber shop!

          The anesthesiologist was a total a** but he did a really good job. I had no troubles coming out of the fog, which is unusual. They kept me in recovery for four hours to watch for bleeding and then was sent up to a room for the night.

          Dilud was added to my IV during the surgery and then they gave me Vicodin by mouth. Now that I am home, I don’t think I will need any more pain relief. It has reduced a lot.

          I have been instructed not start the thyroid replacement before Saturday.

          My dilemma now is, I have a huge gash across the front of my neck and instructions that include no turtlenecks. I don’t own anything but turtlenecks for winter weather. Tomorrow I will try different scarf-typing techniques. I can’t not go anywhere for 14 days!

          All for now,

          *smtucker*

          snelsen
            Post count: 1909

            HI! Congratulations! My incision is almost invisible. I’m a turtle neck girl, too. but that is good advice until the thing is quite healed, which probably will be between 10 days 2 weeks. and, it disappears more and more!

            Yep. Scarves are you for a few days. They are all the rage right now anyway.
            But I understand, I am ALWAYS cold.
            I LOVE the way you write, your sense of humor, which is why I like it even more~

            Yep. Anesthiologists are anesthesiologists for a reason, with some rare exceptions. They don’t WANT to talk to people! Not even sure if they like them, unless they asleep and intubated!!!! But you never have to see him again. Yay!
            Shirley
            Let us know how you are doing!
            Shirley

            Holly10
              Post count: 6

              Great story please keep the progress coming. My wife is hopefully having TT on 9th April 2013. Good luck with the recovery

              Holly10
                Post count: 6

                Great story please keep the progress coming. My wife is hopefully having TT on 9th April 2013. Good luck with the recovery

                Kimberly
                Online Facilitator
                  Post count: 4291

                  Thanks for checking in – great news that you are ready to ditch the pain meds! Take care — and please continue to keep us posted!

                  smtucker
                    Post count: 74

                    I am now 44 hours post-op and have taken a long look at my neck. This surgeon is an artist! He managed to make the incision along a natural neck fold, and then tucked all the steri-strips to the next fold. When this heals, it will be as close to invisible as you can make it.

                    I took some vicodin before bed last night, and that will be my last one. There isn’t enough pain to justify a narcotic. The back of my throat is still a bit irritated from the tubes they put down but not irritated enough to prevent eating. Last night I had some Lion’s Head meatballs in soup, and tonight will be a lentil vegetable soup.

                    I have decided to take tums to avoid a calcium depletion even though my bloodwork indicated I was okay yesterday morning. Felt a bit o’ tingling in the fingers and decided to play it safe.

                    Will try my first shower in a moment. Just want someone to be nearby in case I feel wobbly. Making it through thyroid surgery to fall in the shower would just be stupid!

                    *smtucker*

                    smtucker
                      Post count: 74

                      Took my first thyroid replacement pill this morning. Thirty minutes is a very long time when your body thinks coffee should be the first thing.

                      Noticed yesterday afternoon that I have a headache and it is still there, low-grade, waiting to break free. I don’t get headaches so not sure where this came from. Could be from stopping the pain meds, or the anesthesia, or my mother being in the house.

                      Swallowing is still uncomfortable, especially liquids. I am learning how to sip daintily. I didn’t really know that I gulped glasses of water before.

                      Still need extra sleep. Slept 9 hours last night, and took at nap at 10:30AM! I feel pretty much the same as yesterday overall; no miracle recovery.

                      *smtucker*

                      Kimberly
                      Online Facilitator
                        Post count: 4291

                        Hello – Glad that the incision is healing up well. Hopefully, you will get some relief soon from the swallowing issues and the headache.

                        I’ve heard of other patients who used that 30 minutes to shower and start getting ready. Surfing the Internet (if you have the extra time in the morning) can also make those 30 minutes go faster.

                        Take care!

                        adenure
                          Post count: 491

                          Hi!
                          Just wanted to cheer you on during these healing days. It’s not easy, but it will get better and you will be feeling better.

                          Swallowing will get easier as you heal. The headaches… well, I’ll be honest, I had tension headaches for months after my surgery. I think it had to do with recuperating from surgery, recuperating from hyperthyroidism, recuperating from child birth, and my body trying to find its way without a thyroid and processing Synthroid. I also had to have a dose increase of Synthroid 6 weeks post surgery. Once I was upped and on that dose for 2 weeks, I started to feel better and 2 months after, I really started to feel normal again! So, it took about 4 months, but I’ve been stable on that dose since then (I’m 8 months post TT).

                          Drink lots of water, rest, and do things that make you happy to brighten your day. Hang in there. :)

                          smtucker
                            Post count: 74

                            It has been a full week since I left the hospital. Time for a new update.

                            Yesterday I went to a client office. They had a glitch and really needed that glitch to be fixed. Though I went to their office with low expectations of myself, I managed to underestimate even that! Talking for any length of time makes my voice recede and it took all of my energy to figure out the problem. Without any food in the house, my husband and I even went to the supermarket and bought food. By 2pm, I was totally exhausted.

                            I have hit the point that I am not strong enough to do a full days work, but too strong to sleep all day. I know, this too will pass.

                            The incision is still covered in steri-strips. The surgeon had said that they would start to loosen and I could clip the ends by now, but that hasn’t happened. It is all getting a bit itchy but there is no pain. The back of my throat continues to be irritated but not enough to interfere with life. Just can’t gulp drinks.

                            For the first time, I am having some anxiety. But my anxiety is based on real life potential issues, so is this my thyroid or common sense? Hard to know. Sleep patterns for the past two nights have been altered. Much lighter sleep; waking more frequently. Even when I was hyper, I was sleeping 10 hours a night to feel rested, so this is new.

                            Will have blood drawn on Friday for my first follow-up appointment with the endo. She likes early blood draws to ensure that the results are ready by appointment time. Will be curious to see what tests she has chosen, and what my current numbers look like.

                            Canceled by 7 hours of meetings today and rescheduled them over two days next week. My voice needs to come back so I can make a living!

                            All for now,

                            *susan*

                            Kimberly
                            Online Facilitator
                              Post count: 4291

                              Hi Susan – Thanks for the update…it was definitely smart to re-arrange your schedule to give you body a little extra time to heal!

                              If there are specific events in your life that are causing you stress, that’s likely the reason for the anxiety, but this next set of labs should shed some light on whether your thyroid levels might be involved.

                              I really like the approach of having labs done in advance. This gives you the opportunity to use your appointment time asking the doc questions about his/her dosing recommendations…as opposed to trying to decipher a voice mail message after the fact!

                              smtucker
                                Post count: 74

                                Totally Shocked!

                                Yesterday I had my blood drawn. [She collapsed my one remaining vein and had to use my hand. It was horrid and I am still in pain.]

                                Results are in! And…. drum roll with trumpets…. my TSH has not moved even a little bit. I am still sitting at -.02 [bottom end of normal is .27] which is why I had the thyroid removed. The FreeT4 moved down a smidgen from 2.0 to just inside the normal range at 1.7. No T3 was ordered.

                                What the H***?

                                What numbers are they using to determine my levothyroxine dosage? Why, two weeks after the surgery, has there been so little change? I know none of you are doctors, but any thoughts would be really appreciated.

                                *susan*

                                snelsen
                                  Post count: 1909

                                  Hi. Re morning med and coffee.

                                  I decided years ago, that waiting for my coffee for 1/2 hour was one guideline that I would not follow. I am not saying that this is what you should do, but it is what I do. My work as an RN required me to be at the hospital at either 6, 0630 or 0700. And ready to run on roller skates, cause we were so busy, till my morning break around 10. I took my Synthroid as soon as I woke up in the morning, made the coffee, and took a quick shower. Then I had my coffee. I had no concerns if it was before 1/2 hour. (I use a little cream, too.) I never varied the routine.

                                  My endo said it was fine, that the main issue was to be consistent. Other than that, I do not eat for 1/2 hour, I always drink a whole glass of water, and I wait 4 hours or more, to take Vitamin D or Calcium.

                                  Now that I don’t work, I do the same thing. I realize you have just begun your Synthroid, so my first suggestion is to consider having the Synthroid right by your bed, with water.

                                  I guess I am writing because I totally understand the ritual of having a cup or two of fresh coffee first thing in the morning. Since you are just beginning, I think that when you have a moment, do ask this question of your endo see what they say, if you have coffee a bit earlier than 1/2 hour. I imagine that the reality is, that for me it is about 15 minutes, by the time the coffee is done.

                                  Other stuff-it is possible you have a headache because of coffee withdrawal.

                                  As you quickly learned by going back to work, that is too early. I went at the end of week two, and for a demanding job where I had to think all the time, run all day long in the hospital all day, that was too soon. I think returning at the end of week 3, or returning with reduced hours sometime during week 3, is far preferable.

                                  Labs-probably the next time, your labs will better represent where you are,and perhaps your body too. Fine to have the labs at two weeks for information, but at this time, you still probably have some thyroid hormone floating around your body. And, generally, labs should be about two months apart to provide information for decisions to increase/decease the med.

                                  I think your sleep will settle down. I did notice my sleep was not as sound, and I woke up more frequently. But hard to figure it out, for I had a baby, too.

                                  Anxiety. Hey, you (we) have had a lot of hits to our body and life with Graves’ and surgery. I am guessing that all will settle down. If you have a stressful job, work is really harder for a few weeks, but you will be back to baseline.
                                  Shirley

                                Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
                                • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.