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Old 05-20-2012, 09:18 PM   #1
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Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

Hello Everyone:
I have been away from the boards for awhile and I thought that I would give everyone an update.

I am scheduled for a total thyroidectomy on 6/13/12. That is ONLY about 3 weeks away. I am very anxious and worried not only about the procedure but how my family will survive without supermom. Quite frankly, how I will survive too. My 3 year old is too young to cook!! We are going to fly my mother-in-law here for a few weeks and hire a part-time nanny to help with our son. My husband is only allowed 2 days off of work.

BIOPSY. I am far from a wimp but when they stuck me with the numbing shot (can't remember what the drug was), I thought that I was going to pass out. My body turned boiling HOT like I was on fire it hurt so badly. I wish that I was warned. After I was numb it was more annoying than painful until the drugs wore off. I was sore for a few days and the bruising went away in about 2 weeks. It was slightly painful to turn my neck while driving. I had 3 different spots biopsied and each spot took 5-7 biopsies. I had a hard time sleeping for the first few days.

MY SURGERY REQUIRES TWO SURGEONS. My surgeon wants to have another surgeon with him because of the severity of my procedure. My thyroid is double the size of a normal thyroid, filled with many nodules which contain hurthle cells and my parathyroid glands are being "squished" by my thyroid. My surgery will take about 3.5 to 4 hours and my surgeon has expressed his concerns that I am going to be a bleeder.

HOW I FEEL?? My throat hurts terribly if something touches it. For example, when my son hugs me when I am holding him, his shoulder often TOUCHES my throat. I feel like I am literally going to scream it hurts so badly. My neck has always been very sensitive but it is getting worse. My voice goes in and out due to the compression. I can physically see my thyroid bulging from my neck and it is worse when I am stressed out. I wheeze when I go up the stairs and feel light headed when I read books out loud to my son. My hair is still falling out like crazy and my skin is very dry. My weight has been going up and down. I went from a size 6, down to a 4, then down to almost a 2 and then back up to a 4 in just about 2.5 weeks with no changes in diet. I am definitely not complaining about the weight loss. Losing is way better than gaining 20 in about 3 weeks. Best part is I own a wardrobe of size 2, size 4, size 6 and size 8. I think I have the hyper and hypo wardrobes covered!!!

MEDS I AM TAKING? I am taking 50,000 units (1.25mg) of vitamin D2 two times a week as a normal regiment and the surgeon requested that I eat 2-3 Tums a day for at least 3 weeks before my surgery. I am also taking a multi vitamin.

QUESTIONS?
What vitamins do you take that help you with your overall thyroid health?
Can I expect my hair to stop falling out after surgery?
How long will I not feel like doing anything after surgery(laundry, cleaning, cooking)?
Is it VERY hard to sleep after surgery?
How long before you drove after surgery?
Do you have have thyroid problems symptoms, normal blood work and a multi-nodular goiter? If so, did you have a thyroidectomy? Do you feel better????


I am worried about so many things and I hope that surgery and recovery go smoothly. I am so fearful I am going to lose my voice, not be able to drink liquids, be worse rather than better, gain a ton of weight, not feel healthy...the list goes on and on...I wish that I could just not worry and pray that God helps me in that department.


Take care and here is to fixing up those nasty thyroids.

 
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:13 AM   #2
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

Sounds like you are very well prepared.

I was walking within a couple of hours after surgery, doing things within two days (but tired), and driving within 4, but just local stuff, not highway where i had to turn head all the time.

I never feel like doing laundry, but I did everything around the house within a few days. You should talk to the surgeon about lifting, because a three year old is heavy, and you should probably not lift for a week or so. I took no vitamins or anything. Don't be afraid to move your head from side to side, because you will get stiff if you don't. Rest a lot so you get better quickly. Listen to your body and don't do too much too fast.

Everyone is different, and hopefully you will have a speedy recovery and easy surgery as I did.

 
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:51 AM   #3
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

Thanks Reece. I am praying for a speedy recovery and a non-chaotic household.

 
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:35 AM   #4
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

Navy0Wife,
I shared your worries and concerns....I am 5 days post-op today for a TT. I am also a "supermom" and didn't know how the family could survive w/o me! lol I tried to "cover/prepare" everything for three weeks after surgery and worked right up to and after surgery. The nurse reprimanded me for 'working" in the hospital! It's not my fault they gave me internet access so I could push out a few more emails and get a few more things in order! HA HA Anyway, with lots of help from family and friends we are doing great, Personally...I have never accepted help from anyone but my mom and hubby - so this was a very big deal for me to get over and realize I've just had major surgery and it's okay not to be 100%.....still wish I was....but have given up trying to force it.

I had a multi-nodular goiter with one, 1 cm nodule for the past 9 yrs which was biopsied a couple years ago and found to be benign. (Hashimotos/hypothyroidism) Bloodwork has always been withing normal limits. Recently, the one larger nodule had turned into 8 bilaterally, and the goiter had grown a lot.... so we bypassed biopsying all of them and went straight to surgery. I am waiting on pathology report now.

I will be honest, my throat is sore and it's difficult to swallow. My thyroid had literally grown into the muscles of my neck and adhered to them. The doc told me the procedure was much more difficult than he had expected. He had insisted on having 2 surgeons, also. My mom told me that's standard care for more intensive surgeries so I didn't let that part bother me as much.

You asked:
"How long will I not feel like doing anything after surgery(laundry, cleaning, cooking)?
Is it VERY hard to sleep after surgery?
How long before you drove after surgery?
Do you have have thyroid problems symptoms, normal blood work and a multi-nodular goiter? If so, did you have a thyroidectomy? Do you feel better????

I have several friends who told me they were back to normal life within a week after TT. At five days post-op, I can assure you that I do not feel anywhere ready for normal. I wouldn't consider driving yet - it still hurts to turn my head from side to side. My sleep comes in 10 min to 3 hour naps (day and night). I usually am a tummy sleeper so I have resigned myself to the couch to stay on my back or side. I am not allowed to lift more than 1-2 pounds until doc releases me. Follow up appt is tomorrow.

While I can't answer all of your questions because I'm not there yet..I can tell you this. I am happy I had the surgery. I listened to my body and it proved to be the right decision.

After surgery was scheduled, I talked to the surgeon about all my fears and shared about the anxiety I was suffering. I truthfully didn't know if I could walk into the hospital on the day I was scheduled for surgery...I was falling apart. My blood pressure (which normally is 120/70) was 162/93! Stressed is not a strong enough word for what I was feeling. I even had a full-on panic attack complete with chest pains. The surgeon prescribed a low-dose sedative for me to take daily up to the day before surgery. Whew! Much better. I walked into the hospital that morning fully confident (well, as much as I could muster) and my BP was 124/72. Perfect! I really think the sedative was what helped my experience to be better.

So, while I can't give you one of those warm fuzzy - everything's perfect - type stories; I can tell you it's not awful. Even with the inconvenience and discomfort - I wouldn't have it any other way. To wait would have only made it worse.


I hope this helps. Blessings to you.

 
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:38 PM   #5
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

I too am having a TT on June 5th, I have hyperthyroid and am taking Tapazole and Metoprolol to get me ready. After reading your post, it was like I had written it. Am experiencing all the same things. I have to ask, what is the Tums and VitD for? That is not something they have mentioned to me.

 
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:44 PM   #6
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

happy4us,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me. It means a lot. Although your response is not ALL warm and fuzzy, I still feel a bit more relieved. I am very stressed out. I have so many obstacles to overcome with the surgery. I have been prescribed anxiety meds and I have not been taking them. I am going to start tonight because I am driving myself CRAZY!!! LOL!

Thank you for letting me know that I will probably not be better in just a few days. I really need to know that. My surgeon told me that my TT is going to be difficult. That worries me the most! I have had an enlarged thyroid my entire life. It has grown rapidly since I was pregnant in 2008. I feel terrible and I am really happy that you said that you would go through the TT again. It makes me feel hopeful that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just want to feel "normal" again.

I went today and had a pedicure. I am so pathetic, that I started crying during the pedicure. I am a hot mess. I am sure that anxiety meds are going to help greatly. My husband is in the Navy. He will be working 3rd shifit during my surgery and will only have 2 days off. We have an almost 4 year old. My mom is useless and my dad has to work. I have to fly my MIL from WI to care for me and my son. She is disabled but wonderful with my son and she is a retired nurse. Love her like a mother. I am mostly worried about who is going to hold down the fort. I need to let it go because it is just making me a mess.

How long was your surgery? How long did you have to stay in the hospital? Are you making dinner yet? Are you super tired? I am glad that you are hanging in there. I will say prayers for you that you have a quick recovery and your appointment tomorrow goes GREAT! Please let me know how your appointment goes. THANK YOU for responding to my post.

 
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruralgirl View Post
I have to ask, what is the Tums and VitD for? That is not something they have mentioned to me.
Tums has calcium and VitD helps your body to absorb the calcium. When they do a TT, there is some at least some "bruising" of the parathyroid - the organs that regulate calcium in your body. After my surgery, the doc decided to put me on 2000 mg calcium w/VitD per day for a week instead of using Tums. He felt that the difficulty of my procedure warranted extra calcium support. The parathyroid usually begin working properly again after a time of healing.

Good luck to you!

Last edited by happy4us; 05-22-2012 at 05:27 PM.

 
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:37 PM   #8
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

Quote:
Originally Posted by happy4us View Post
Tums has calcium and VitD helps your body to absorb the calcium. When they do a TT, there is some at least some "bruising" of the parathyroid - the organs that regulate calcium in your body. After my surgery, the doc decided to put me on 2000 mg calcium w/VitD per day for a week instead of using Tums. He felt that the difficulty of my procedure warranted extra calcium support. The parathyroid usually begin working properly again after a time of healing.

Good luck to you!
Thanks for the info. So should I start taking Calcium now? Surgery in 3 wks. I too have had the nodule for 14 years and it is now 10cm, so I know it will be complicated. Thanks in advance.

 
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:59 PM   #9
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

Navy0Wife,

First - I know what you are going through. I was falling apart with fear, anxiety, frustration, and confusion. Crying every other moment between bouts of strength. I was a total mess, too! Here's my first advice: ****Start taking your sedative now!*** You will still have those thoughts, but it won't freak you out nearly as much and you should do better once you are in the hospital. At least I feel strongly that I did better because of it. (That was a strong recommendation of a good friend that had TT 5 yrs ago - she was right!)

I had a Thursday morning operation and stayed one night in the hospital. They let me leave because the calcium levels were stable - just above the low limit - but stable. By Saturday I felt like walking and taking a shower. I could take a shower because they used Dermabond (glue) to seal my skin shut. Be clear with their instructions for you on this. It felt good to take that first shower after surgery! Anyway, hubby only had two days off plus the weekend. By Monday, I could definitely care for myself. In fact, if I'd had to probably could have on Saturday - maybe just a little slower. However, my kids are older and are helping me...not needing my help. Plan to get someone with you all the time until you are healed to take care of the little one. Picking your child up is not going to be an option unless you are okay with having another surgery. I'm glad you MIL will help - let her!!! You really need to understand that letting go is a requirement once you go into that hospital. So what if not everything gets done exactly like you do it? As long as it's getting done, count your blessings. (BTW - this is not easy advice to give or receive. However, it's a fact that we both have to accept).

I know the challenges with hubby in the military. Mine was USAF years ago and I remember well the challenges with living on base overseas! But, there is a wonderful support system in the military - utilize it if you can.

I am not making dinner yet - but mostly because of the support system I have with friends and family. They have been bringing in meals for us. It's been a real blessing. Personally, I haven't had much of an appetite yet so it's more for the family than me! I guess if I had to, I could do simple meals....but, nothing too heavy (literally - no 10 lb roast since I can't lift more than 2 lbs). lol If that is a concern for you, maybe you can stock up on some heat and eat type meals that aren't heavy and don't take a lot of prep.

As for your other questions re surgery time and being tired. My surgery, although difficult, went fairly fast. 1.5 hours. However, my surgeon has been doing an average of 4 a week for 27 years! The length of time is dependent on so many variables. I feel energetic at times now (not the first 3 days) and then I feel tired again. Guess that's pretty normal since I had major surgery less than a week ago. ha ha

Thanks for your kind words of support. I received a call this afternoon from my surgeon. It kinda freaked me out at first - but he had good news. Pathology is back and all clear! YAY!

I will post after the appt tomorrow.
Hang in there!

 
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:05 PM   #10
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruralgirl View Post
Thanks for the info. So should I start taking Calcium now?
Check with your surgeon about if they want you to take calcium prior to surgery. Mine did NOT want me to start before. Now that I'm past it, he has recommended calcium daily for life. I think it really depends on your specific circumstances. Hope that helps!

 
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:08 PM   #11
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

Quote:
Originally Posted by happy4us View Post
Check with your surgeon about if they want you to take calcium prior to surgery. Mine did NOT want me to start before. Now that I'm past it, he has recommended calcium daily for life. I think it really depends on your specific circumstances. Hope that helps!
Thanks much!!!

 
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:28 PM   #12
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

Ruralgirl and Navy0Wife,

One more piece of advice from little 'ol me! I would suggest that you make sure you have all the questions you can think of answered before your procedure. It will help you to understand what is happening after surgery while you are still kind of "out of it" because of the anesthesia. This was my first ever surgery and I felt more secure during that in-between time because I knew what to expect.

Please, don't forget to post after your experiences to let me know how you are doing. I pray that everything goes well for you!!!
Blessings.

 
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:33 PM   #13
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

Thank you so much, it is very comforting to talk about this with someone who has had these experiences.

 
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:08 PM   #14
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

happy4us,
I AM SO HAPPY that your patho results came back clear. That is awesome. I hope they call me before my appointment too. That would make me nervous to take that call. What a blessing that you are healthy!!!!

Thank you for your response. It is wonderful to know that I am not the only one going through these tough times. I feel like I need to check myself into the psych hospital with all of the ups and downs. I don't think that my husband can keep up with my mood swings. The past few days he has a slight grin when I act like an idiot. He shakes his head and looks away and tries not to laugh at me. I am not sure if I want to laugh or cry or yell!! AHHH! I feel terrible that my family has to deal with me like this.

I am going to make a list of questions for the surgeon. I booked the plane ticket for my super-wonderful MIL tonight. I am going to start my arsenal of frozen dinners in the next couple of days. I am very blessed to have wonderful neighbors and the greatest of friends. And I am going to try to BREATHE and RELAX. I have to let go of the control and go with it. Always easier said than done.

Good luck with your appointment!!! Here is to being healthy!!!!

 
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:38 PM   #15
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Re: Total Thyroidectomy Scheduled for 6/13/12

Alright my thyroid friends,

I am back from the f/u appointment. Everything looks good. Swelling is within limits and vocal cords are working. Hoarseness should go away as I continue to heal. (Most people can not hear me unless I am looking right at them, although I feel like I am yelling)

My new symptom of muscle jerks/twitching along with a numb lower lip is significant...he tested further and found that it means the parathyroid are not working properly. I now get the joy of taking 4000 mg of OsCal each day! (8 horse pills) It was already difficult enough to get 2000 mg in me! LOL Guess I will find a way. He said the pathology did not reveal any parathyroid tissue so all four are in place - just need to start working again which will come with time.

I am so glad I had this done now! Turns out I was one of the rare ones that had Hurthle cells - nasty little buggers that can eventually turn malignant and cause all sorts of BAD. (Very difficult to treat and head straight for the lymph nodes) But, my thyroid was taken out before they turned bad or ruptured so I will never have that worry now. YAY!

The pain is still pronounced - it comes in waves - sometimes hardly any and other times very noticeable. It sure doesn't keep me down - just slows me down a bit. I actually straightened my house this morning, but left the vacuuming and laundry to the teen helpers (aka my kids).

By the way - I have had ZERO anxiety since the surgery. Not once. Concern - yes. Anxiety - NO! You will feel soooo much more relaxed on 'the other side." ha ha

Okay - I'm worn out and going to nap now...because I CAN! HA HA (I never nap so this is a really odd statement for me - but I am learning to embrace it.)

Talk to you later!

Last edited by happy4us; 05-23-2012 at 01:45 PM.

 
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