So as some of you may know, I recently had a Thyroidectomy last Tuesday (8th). This is a procedure where they removed my thyroid in order to better cope with my hypothyroidism, and also because my thyroid was enlarged and causing problems in my everyday life.
Well the overall journey started in the beginning of 2021. In order to get the full story, though, we have to jump back to 2020 – as that is when I, like millions of others, had COVID. It took me by surprise since I was careful, wearing a mask, social distancing, etc. But alas, I was stuck with COVID – and it sucked.
So jumping forward, 2021 arrives. In the beginning, I was having trouble – feeling like I couldn’t breathe, which I assumed was from COVID. They did some tests on me and made sure that it wasn’t anything else. On one of those tests, they discovered my thyroid was enlarged.
This was scary since I had no idea what that meant, and they prescribed me some thyroid hormones and told me I likely had Hashimito Thyroiditis, which is basically your body attacking your thyroid and making it not work properly.
So I get sent to an endocrinologist, and we schedule an appointment for far out in December 2021. December 2021 comes around, I’m still taking my medicine, feeling the effects of my whacked up thyroid still.
The doctor informs me it’s best if I have surgery to remove it, since it wasn’t getting any smaller, and it was affecting my everyday life. I was having trouble breathing when walking up stairs and swallowing at times due to how large my thyroid was.
So we schedule the surgery, and right now, I’m a little over a week post-op. The most uncomfortable thing for me in recovery was the feeling of the “lump” in my throat that they warned me about, and the pain from my neck being in an awkward position. Also, scheduling was annoying since COVID had us postponing a few times. Luckily I was able to have it.
When I was in the hospital, I was in a lot of pain. Not from my thyroid but my body itself – it felt like I was hit by a truck. I could not sleep that night, I had to get a nurse to help me move over since I was in a lot of pain, and eventually I managed to fall asleep.
Something that helped me was a sleep mask I bought in anticipation of my surgery. That mask helps me sleep so much as it has bluetooth speakers built in, so I can just pop on some sleep music and go to sleep. It helped in the hospital, I literally fell asleep listening to random YouTube videos.
And sleeping is something I did a lot that first week – I ended up sleeping downstairs in my mom’s room while she took the couch since I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t move very well. Even situated on the bed didn’t help, as I was barely able to get myself in a sitting position. Ice was my savior, since it was something they told me to do – keep icing it, it’ll help with the swelling.
Week two of recovery rolls around – about a week post-op. I’m feeling better, I can talk, and overall doing well. I decided the week previously when they gave me the pathology results that I’d go back to work the first week of March, as I wanted to give myself plenty of time to heal. And I’m glad I did so, since this second week of recovery has me struggling to even sit at my computer. Plus, I’ve taken to a routine of naps during the afternoon – naps so good I actually fall asleep and dream. Before I had my surgery, I would never sleep that good when I had a nap. In the post-op notes it literally told me to sleep when I felt tired, so that’s exactly what I’ve been doing . I have been slowly preparing myself to go back to work, trying to spend some time on my computer daily to get used to it.
But this week did bring another problem – coughing. I felt the intense need to cough, like there was something in my throat and my body was trying to remove it. It’s been annoying and I’ve been eating cough drops like candy. My neck has also been sore, and this morning I woke up with a bad headache. I had to combat it by taking medicine, and using an ice pack on the back of my neck and my head in order to try to get it to go away. My afternoon nap did help a lot, however.
And this leads us to today. Obviously my thyroid journey isn’t over, but I can safely say they were able to remove my thyroid and it HAS made my life easier. Right now I can walk up the stairs without getting out of breath, and even swallow pills without an issue. I’m thankful for my surgeon, who helped me understand everything that went on; my team of nurses in the hospital, and my family during recovery. Hopefully this post will help anyone else going through a journey like mine in the future.