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Thyroid Disorders board

Hello again!

I'm feeling well enough to give an update and timeline on my TT surgery. I hope this can help anyone about to have surgery so they can know what to expect. *nudge-nudge* Thyroidgirl!

Friday: 6AM: Went into the hospital was scheduled for surgery at 7:30. First filled out some final papers, was brought into an area with my husband where I put on a hospital gown and my own robe, was asked to give a urine sample (they do this for any woman of childbearing age). Now, that's hard when you were told not to drink anything starting at midnight, but they only need a few drops. The nurse went over a timeline with my husband for him to expect me to be in surgery about 2 hours, and then about 45 minutes in recovery. She asked a few last minute questions about allergies and such. I was very giggly and kept joking around.(I think it was nerves...that's how I cope with things). I was talking to my husband about our honeymoon in the Bahamas....and he said, "I don't know who you went there with...but we had our honeymoon in Hawaii!" OOPS! That's nerves for you I guess, and I hadn't even gotten any drugs yet.

7:00AM I said goodbye to my husband and they wheeled me into the recovery room, the nurses introduced themselves and I got to chat with two other women that were being operated on also. One lady was 95 and about to have a hernia removed. She had had multiple surgeries in her lifetime so I figure if she can survive surgery at her age, I'm golden. They put an I.V. for fluids, it took them a while to find a good vein which they said is normal because of being dehydrated from fasting. The surgeon came by to talk to me, I told I wanted a TT regardless of what he found. He said, good, as long as we have an understanding and that it is what you want, it's a go. Then the anasthesiologist came to see him and explained that I would be asleep through the whole thing, that I would fall asleep from something that drips into the IV and that I would just drift off. That was my big concern beforehand, I didn't want to feel myself go and loose control.

7:30AM So I was wheeled into the operating room, they asked for my help to transfer from the stretcher to the table and they said they would start the medecine in my IV for me to fall asleep. I barely remember landing on the operating table...I woke up in recovery! Things were hazy because I had an oxygen mask on and I was looking through the rubber of that. I remember grabbing at a nurses back because I wanted to make sure they had told my husband I was done and awake. I guess I went in and out of conciousnous because she kept telling the other nurses "boy, someone really likes me". I kept pawing at her. I asked for more morphine because I was a bit uncomfortable they gave it to me right away and I was fine. My husband said I was in recovery twice as long as they I would be, I was groggy and they wanted to make sure I was awake before wheeling me out to my husband. When they wheeled me out my husband met me in the corridor and said the surgeon came to talk to him right after surgery and said that everything went very well. My voice was very strained, but I now know that it was more from the tube down my throat than from any vocal cord paralysis.

11:00AM I was in my hospital room. Zero pain. I was allowed a few ice chips an hour later. The thing with having an IV is that you need to go to the bathroom even if you aren't drinking anything.

12:00PM With the help of my husband and a nurse I made it to the bathroom. A bit of dizzyness, but not to bad. It's when I got back to my bed that I started feeling very nauseous and vomited. I had never had general anesthesia and apparently I have a bad reaction to it. Once you know that they can give you something beforehand to help prevent it. They did put something in my IV at that time to help, and if I laid in bed and didn't move my head too quickly, I was fine.

1:00PM I started to drink some ginger ale. Another trip to the bathroom brough on another wave of nausea and I really got sick then and got a major headache. When I complained of that headache a really nice nurse came back with crackers and a Percocet for my headache. She said I was only supposed to have liquids but with my nausea she knew I couldn't keep the pill down if I didn't eat something. Well those crackers worked like a charm. They drew blood to check my calcium, came back normal. I had to keep an oxygen mask on most of the time, it's humidified oxygen, it helps your throat by keeping it moist and that way you don't cough which is important after a TT. You don't want to strain your neck muscle and also your ability to cough is minimal anyway, which I had to do a few times regardless because I chocked on liquids. The oxygen also helps with the nausea.

5:00PM When they brought me my liquid dinner, I had some fruit sherbet, some tea with sugar, some jello. Every bite helped. One of the nurse explained that when you have a reaction to anesthesia like that, only time fixes it, it has to get out of you system.

8:00PM I knew I wasn't allowed food, but I was feeling so much better. I asked for apple juice to at least get some calories in me. You have to take very small sips at a time because off the sore throat. They checked my calcium, it had dipped slightly, but they said it was to be expected.

I slept a little bit overnight, I would have slept more but I had a noisy room neighbor. So the noise of my oxygen mask actually drowned out some of her noise. From the time they brought me to my room, I asked for a bag of ice and kept it on for the first 24 hours, replenishing it as it melted. That helped a lot. I was allowed morphine, but I only needed percocet, took one at 1pm the at 4am and then not until 3pm after I got home.

4AM My calcium was climbing back up.

6AM Surgeon came in and said that my surgery had been very clean. Both lobes were enlarged, the larger nodule one the right side had not broken through the thyroid gland itself so none of the other neck structures where affected. The left lobes had a smaller nodule but also a cyst, which had not showed up on ultrasound. My parathyroids were left alone. So if it does turn out to be cancer, even if there was vascular involvment and the cancer travelled to other parts of my body it's trully a thyroid cancer and would be easily treatable with RAI. I was releived because that was my fear...I had so much pain in my neck prior to surgery that I thought he would open me up and find that it had attacked everything in my neck. He also wanted to check my calcium again to make sure it was still climbing.

8AM Ate breakfast! Small bites, but I kept everything down. Took my first Synthroid pill, 100mcg.

10AM My surgeons associate took out my suction drain. They are really not that bad. There was a small incision (quarter of an inch long) below my incision. And they are not deep at all, it just allows for drainage and that way the main incision does not bulge from accumulate fluids. Every surgeon has his own technique. And taking it out did not hurt at all either, removing the tape hurt more than the actual drain removal. IV taken out.
12PM Last calcium check to be sure.

2PM Labs were normal, I was discharged and on my way home. My incision is hidden under bandage held by a large piece of clear sticky tape. So it's not gross looking.

I took a shower! I get to remove my bandage tomorrow. My voice is getting better, getting stronger. Husband says it's a sexy raspy voice.

I took my bandage off this morning. My incision is an arc shaped at the base of my neck. 3 inches long only and barely thicker than a hair. All the stiches are internal except for one at the end, no steri strips, my incision is now out in the open and uncovered. My husband took pictures and I will keep taking them to record how fast it heals. I know it's already healing because it itches.
I'm only taking pain medication at night to sleep better. The only side effect I've noticed that could possibly be cause by the meds is cold hands and sensitivity to cold. I had a hard time ajusting the water temperature in the shower yesterday. I can't lift anything heavy and I still get some dizzyness...which is good because it reminds me to take it easy. This was an easy operation and I am so glad it is out. I feel like I got rid of a junky part of me. I have an appointment Thursday for the surgeon to remove that one external stitch and also he will have the final biopsy result. I know that I may not be out of the woods, especially if it comes back malignant, but I feel as if I've done that first big step. I also realize that ajusting the med will take a while, but it is such a relief to know that it is out of me.

What dosage did you guys start on after surgery?

My, I was long winded! Sorry about that!

Hey Thyroidgirl, I'm thinking of you, keep us posted. Any last minute questions?

Take care all,

It is so good to know it is all behind you, isn't it? :)

I liked your account as it was just like mine.................I am so glad that you too found it to be a relatively easy surgery. I didn't get sick but I had several prior surgeries and knew I didn't get sick from anesthesia. So many folks do, it is a shame.

I had a "morohine migraine", is that what you had? Oh, that was the worst part of the whole thing for me. I had told them specifically before surgery I did NOT want a morphine pump because I cannot tolerate that stuff but I woke up with one anyway and sure enough it made me very, very sick. I only took Lortab and some muscle relaxers to relax my neck muscles, oh, they work better than anything because they totally relax all that surgery area and then there is no pain. My favorite pain reliever was my ice!

I started out on .75 of synthroid because before surgery I couldn't tolerate any thyroid meds but now only 5 months later I am up to 225mcgs with 250mcgs every other day and I also started on Cytomel ( t3) in the second week after surgery. I was up to my current dose by the 12th week. My dr was very proactive in preventing any hypo from setting in and it sure did me well, because I have not had one symptom since.

I too was freezing after surgery and mine was always a need for more meds. It takes your body about 2 weeks, then you will really start to notice a change. I can't really describe it, but you are recovered and yet you have this internal feeling you need more meds..................my surgeon did it this way............if I had one new symptom come up he had me call him........he would make sure my calcium was normal and then he would up my dose............so if I had a hypo symptom it was taken care of all in about 3 days. It really made a difference in my recovery. I had a neighbor who had her TT 2 years prior and she is still hypo and fighting her dr and here I was only 12 weeks post op and on top of the world. It is all in the replacement now.

Oh, doesn't that shower feel so good after being in the hospital? I didn't have any bandages so I got mine wet the next day.

I hope in the next few weeks you just bounce off the walls with health like I did because you don't realize how sick those diseased thyroids make us. I was so well I could hardly contain myself......hahaha :) I was mowing the lawn by 6 weeks. My srugeon had a fit but I tried to explain to him after 5 years of being so, so sick I was so healthy I just couldn't believe how I had found my old self again.

Keep us posted on things......................

Thyroid girl....................

It will be fine!!!!! Please, let us know how it all goes and know we are all here waiting for you and all can relate to your fears and nerves!

There are so many of us here now who have had that thing out and it just amazes me how good we all feel. It is a shame that some dr's don't do their patients justice and take the thing out. As long as a dr is smart enough to replace you right there really isn't any problem and it can give a person their life back.

best of luck to both of ya!!