Thursday, September 10, 2015
Thyroidectomy - One Year Later
It has been one year (September 9, 2014) since my thyroidectomy. I'm happy to say that I am almost fully recovered from the surgery. In July my tests and physical examination revealed that my hormone levels are where they should be, and I'm down to my 2012 weight. Physically, I feel much better, but I do experience tenderness where the incision was made, hair loss, and feel tired at times.
You must know I had mixed feelings about posting a follow up report. But after Rhonda's encouragement, I decided that it would be a good idea to let you know about my recovery process. It might be helpful to someone else going through the same problem.
Getting the dosage right:
Once my hormonal levels normalized, the side affects subsided, but still are not completely gone. I was so glad when I learned that I was losing weight. Now I'm hopeful that I can get back to my 2009 weight. It is absolutely remarkable how much better I feel. The bloating is almost completely gone. I think I'm months away from a full recovery. Every morning, I take a little pill at least an hour before eating anything. The lump in my throat is gone, and I am relieved.
Vanity is one of the deadly sins. Pre-surgery I thought about the surgical scarring and was pre- occupied with how my neck would look. I had concluded that I'd have to cover it up. Truthfully, I can't stand for anything to rest on it. Close necklines, scarves, and jewelry all irritate it. So it is always exposed and I have long forgotten about hiding it. Now, I see it as a battle scar, victory over a condition the used to interrupt my sleep time and impeded my ability to breathe and swallow. Vanity.. Poof be gone. Now this brings me to my second point of vanity: losing my hair. I'll just have to buy some!
Getting older doesn't mean you'll die tomorrow:
With every passing year, I notice changes in my body and how I respond to food and increased activities. My allergies are more severe. The arthritis pain is more noticeable. Night driving is more challenging. And the will to stay up all hours of the night sewing is gone. These new indicators may not be associated with thyroid disease. I'm just getting older. And that's all right too.
What's most important is the ability to stay on top of things. Eating healthy and exercising is key. I must have routine check-ups and report any abnormalities to the doctors. I'm just entered into a new phase of life and am looking forward to the future.
Be dedicated to wellness:
It's your life, your body, your health. If you feel something is wrong, get professional help to diagnose the problem. My journey started with dreams of me drowning in Lake Michigan and of someone sitting on my chest choking me. Then I started coughing and choking on food and water.
Thyroid disease is hard to diagnose. Many of the symptoms are also symptoms of other health issues. For three years, my primary doctor could not figure it out. I was tested for all types of breathing disorders. The blood test showed "in the range" of normal for everything. He concluded that I was depressed and needed psychological therapy of some sort. It wasn't until I got a new doctor (Dr. Clay), who almost immediately knew what was wrong after I explained the symptoms and the tests that I had already gone through. She actually touched my neck and throat during the examination process. I was immediately scheduled for ultra-sound and biopsy tests. For two years I underwent these tests to monitor the growth of the goiter. After it doubled in size, we decided to try the radiation treatment. It stopped growing on one side, but continued to grow on the other. I wasn't getting the relief I had hoped for. Dr. Sehti sent me to Dr. Friedman at Northwestern Hospital. Dr. Friedman recommended surgery as soon as possible.
My journey to wellness took about six years! That's a long time. Three years to discover the issue, five minutes to diagnose, three years to monitor and assess. Finally the removal of the goiter. It is so important to stay on top of your health issues. Paying attention to your body is not a crime. It may help save your life. Who knows your health better than you.
This concludes my update on my health watch. I hope everyone is happy and well. And if there are any questions about my experience, do not hesitate to ask. You may post a comment or send a personal email.
Thank you and be well,