Monday, January 28, 2008

almost a week

It's been almost a week since surgery and here is a picture :)  Not the best picture, but you can see the scar!

Friday, January 25, 2008

post surgery!

i survived! today is Thursday, January 24th and I am happy to say that I am done with surgery! although I was becoming quite fond of my lump, I'm glad it's gone and that the surgery is behind me.  I was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday morning at 5:45am...wowzer!  the woman who checked me in was a hoot.  Between her jacket, beanie babies, mugs, and music...all in dedication to Elvis, I felt as though I was checking into a museum.  After taking all my information she gave me an identification armband...standard for any hospital, however, the next item she gave me was a little less orthodox....a tracking device.  Yep, that's right.  They scanned the tracking device and then placed it too around my wrist.  I was told this was so they can monitor where I am at any given time.  Maybe they know I'm a chicken and thought I'd try to run away :)  From there I was went up to out patient surgery and was checked into room 223...then the waiting began.  At 6:30am a nurse came into let me know what would be happening.  She said around 7:30 someone would take me to the prep room, from there they would give me an IV and get me ready for surgery.  Before then, I had to slip into a gown, and remove all my jewelry.  This was harder than I thought.  About three years ago I had my cartilage pierced and until the 22nd of January, had never removed the earring.  Well, they wouldn't wheel me off until I removed it.  Two nurses, another random, and Karen Hall (the hall director who went with me) all attempted to help get it out...finally Karen succeeded and I was off to surgery!  Arriving in the 'recovery room' (pre-op) I waited again.  Soon a nurse and the anesthesiologist were by my bedside preparing to stick me with all sorts of needles.  The nurse looked at all my veins attempting to find the best one.  Usually having good veins, I didn't see this as a problem.  However, when they ask you not to eat or drink prior to surgery, apparently your veins shrink.  So the first attempt was at my wrist.  She first did a local anesthetic (which hurt), but then the actual IV line didn't because the site was numb.  Unfortunately, she couldn't get the IV line to float into the vein, so she had to remove it and try again in another location.  The second one was successful!  WOOHOO!  One of the anesthesiologists then came over and spoke to me about the process and asked about my nervousness.  I said I was a bit nervous and he asked if I wanted a shot of tequila.  Well...whatever he put in my IV was fabulous.  I didn't have a care in the world!  I just wish they could have given me whatever it was in pill format the night before! :)  Anyway...soon I was wheeled off to the surgery room.  From there the doctors moved me onto another table (which was freezing cold) and placed a mask on me.  The anesthesiologist was talking to me about this, that, and the other, then had me raise my right arm (which I had to think about for a bit)...I remember my arm being up for a bit and then I remember slowly waking up in the recovery room.  The nurse said my vitals were good and that they'd be moving me back to the normal room.  At this point I was stiff but not in any pain.  Shortly after returning to the room, the pain hit.  My throat was sore and I felt as though it needed to be cleared, and my neck was in more pain when I would cough.  The nurse came in about an hour later, had me take some crackers and said when I finished them I could get some vicodin...I ate those crackers like no other!  :)  She said the vicodin should make me comfortable and that I should have felt the effects in 20 minutes.  Well, 35 minutes later, I was still in pain, so another vicodin was issued on the hour.  Well... about 2 hours later...finally some relief.  The vicodin kicked in!  At that point, the nurses let me know that after I could accomplish a few easy tasks (peeing on my own and keeping liquids down), they could release me.  I was surprised!  It sounded as though I'd be going home shortly!  WOOHOO!  So about 3pm, I was on my way home!  In and out! :)  I wish I could say this meant that I was feeling fantastic, but I wasn't...but at least I was on my way home!  
today's now Friday and I'm in little to no pain.  However, I am still sore and I fatigue easily.  There are other fun stories related to this experience and I'll have to share them later...cause I'm out for now... nap time! :) 

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

been awhile

I know that many of you have been wondering and asking about my thyroid
and how things are going, here's a recap:

September: went to the doctor for my foot, he found a mass on my
thyroid, from there had an ultrasound
October: had a biopsy done (showing no abnormal cells)
November: had more tests run, another attempt to drain the was recommended
December: saw an endocrinologist who also recommended surgery
This brings me to yesterday.  Yesterday, I saw Dr. Lowder.  He was
fabulous!  He was personable, answered ALL my questions, and was very
knowledgeable and reassuring.  After talking for awhile, we scheduled
the surgery...for this next Tuesday (the 15th).  Although it seems
rather soon, it's probably a very good thing.  I won't have much time to
worry :)  Truly, I have had a peace about this...and from this freaked
out of needles individual...that can ONLY be a God thing. 

So this is what it will look like:
Tuesday morning at 5:45am, I will be admitted to Providence Hospital.
The surgery itself probably won't happen until 8am...oh how I love
waiting!  At that time, they will remove the right half of my thyroid.
While he's in there, he'll also check out my left side to see if he can
find any of the tiny tiny cysts...if he can, he'll also remove those.
The surgery itself should be less than an hour.  At that point they'll
move me back to a 'normal' room and allow me to recover.  When I wake
up, he said I shouldn't be in too much pain.  My throat will be sore
(from the tube they put down my throat for surgery), my neck will
obviously be sore...and I'll be on pain meds :)  At that point the
doctors will play it by ear.  He said that if I'm feeling okay by the
end of the evening, I can go home!  I am really hoping (and praying) for
this!  I have no desire to stay in a hospital any longer than necessary!
The recovery time depends on the surgery and as long as there aren't
complications, I should be feeling better by the end of the week.  He
mentioned that the biggest compliant about the surgery was general aches
and tiredness.  Overall, he said if one has to have surgery, this isn't
a bad one to have.

So...I would love it if you would pray for me (and my nerves) as I
anticipate the surgery, that everything would go quickly and smoothly
during surgery, that I'd be allowed to sleep in my own bed that night,
and that I would recover quickly and to full health (no more of this
thyroid business)...and/or anything else you would like to pray would
also be appreciated! :)  I trust that the Lord will use this experience,
as I hope he already has, to bring glory to him!  THANK YOU for your
prayers and support!