My Thyroid Surgery Experience – Part 2

I finally woke up enough to have a semi-intelligent conversation with my hubby around 7:30 PM. He told me that Dr. VLR came by the surgical waiting room to see him after I was moved into recovery. The report was good. The cancer was small and encapsulated. He was certain they got it all and it was safe to consider me “cured”. He also told hubby that he didn’t know if I would even need to go through the Radioactive Iodine treatment. He really didn’t think it would be necessary. But it is up to my endocrinologist to decide that…but whew. They got it all! Praise God!

I was getting pretty hungry and the ice wasn’t doing it for me anymore. My hubby reached for the menu and checked out the After Hours Selections, page 4. My throat hurt so I knew that a burger and fries was out of the question. He read through several items before he came to Broccoli Cheese Soup and Chocolate Pudding Parfait, for dessert.  I selected this as my dinner choice and he called it in. He needed to run home for a bit to take care of our animals but promised he’d be back soon. About 20 minutes later my feast arrived. I can’t remember anything tasting quite as good as that soup, until I got to the pudding, that is! Dang it was good. I was a little nauseated, but was able to deep breathe my way through both the soup and pudding without any disasters.

Hubby came back about 45 minutes after I finished my dinner. Then my wonderful nurse, Kristen, came in offering the gift of pain relief. “Lynda, you have a choice. You can continue to take the morphine, which is faster acting, but doesn’t last as long. Or, you can switch to Percocet. It takes a little longer to go to work, but lasts several hours.” My shoulders and back of my neck were still hurting pretty bad so I opted for the morphine. I was all about fast relief at that point. My hubby looked at me and smiled, “You know that morphine is going to make you puke, right?” I said, “I’ve had it four times since getting out of surgery and I hadn’t been sick yet.” HA! Kristen came in, injected the morphine into my IV and left.

I had to pee (thanks to my constantly running IV) so I unhooked my sensors and took my IV stand with me into the bathroom. I came back out, sat on the bed and hooked the oxygen saturation/pulse sensor back up. I looked at my hubby and said, “You know what? You were right…I don’t feel so good. I’m getting sick to my stomach.” I took a couple of deep breaths and knew I was in trouble. I unhooked the sensor again and made a mad dash for the bathroom. I slammed the door, but couldn’t find the potty…I forgot to turn the light on!! DANGIT! I felt around for the light and flipped it on and threw myself at the porcelain bowl…heaved four times, and then…I was all better! I brushed my teeth and went back to my bed. I attached the sensor again and swore I was taking the Percocet the next time! I think my hubby was laughing at me, but he didn’t say “I told you so!” until the next day when we could both laugh about it.

I was needing sleep and my hubby was wiped out as well, so he kissed me goodnight and told me he would get some things done around the house the next morning and he’d see me about 11:00. If I needed him sooner I could call. I was probably asleep before he got to the car.

Kristen, my nurse and Rome, my aide only popped in occasionally, as needed. I rang for water about 1:30 AM and Kristen came to my rescue. She also offered me more pain meds if I needed them. I assured her I did and told her I would like to switch to the Percocet. “One or two?” she asked. “Two, please.”

It took about 45 minutes to really feel better, but I slept soundly until 4:30 AM when the vampire (aka: phlebotomist)  came to draw blood. They needed to keep a close eye on my blood calcium levels because the parathyroid glands (there are four) are attached behind the thyroid and are disrupted, and sometimes damaged, during thyroid surgery. Hyperparathyroidism is a bad, bad thing.

The parathyroid glands’ main job is to enable your blood to carry calcuim throughout your body. If they don’t work…it’s really not good. The hospital/surgeon always supplement you with medication right after surgery and for a month or two post surgery. I’m taking Calcitrol once a day and 3-4 Tums three times a day or more. I’ve only had symptoms of low calcium once since coming home. But I took some Tums and they went away within an hour. For more information on the parathyroid glands you can click here: http://parathyroid.com/parathyroid.htm.

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2 thoughts on “My Thyroid Surgery Experience – Part 2

  1. Lynda:

    I’m grateful your surgery was successful. Did you end up having the I-131 radiation treatment as well? I had papillary carcinoma, and was treated by having surgery and the I-131 treatment as well (I had some cancer in a few of my lymph nodes as well). Six years later I am still cancer free. I am still struggling to lose weight, and am still not back to my original energy levels, but I am grateful to God for no longer having thyroid cancer.

    Feel free to communicate via my blog if you’d like to.

    Aneil Mishra

    P.S. I love your photos!

  2. Ugh, That is my fear, throwing up. Right now I fear getting sick because my trech is shoved over to the right. Its hard enough to get things to go ‘down’ let alone come back up.

    Didn’t that hurt your neck throwing up after your neck had been cut and glued back together??

    So far, your story is following along with what I have been reading and researching. I meet my Surgeon next week.

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