I posted a few days ago that I have Graves Disease and was undergoing a total Thyroidectomy. I had my surgery yesterday morning/afternoon and surprise! I don’t have Graves Disease. I have Hashimoto’s Disease. They share many same symptoms, but the difference is weight gain instead of weight loss. I’ve had excessive weight gain with difficulty losing/maintaining in the past few years, so this is more in line with this diagnosis. It’s odd that I always tested hyperthyroid not hypothyroid, but apparently with Hashimoto’s you can swing into hyperthyroidism at times.
I arrived at the hospital and was checked in at 8am. I went back to pre-op and spent a long time sitting around in my gown looking at the walls before they came in and took vitals and set up my IV. Oh lord, how I hate IVs. Especially ones in my hand. It’s so uncomfortable! I met with a long line of people from my surgeon to residents sitting in on the procedure to the anesthesiologist who was a total kick. My nurse that got my IV set up was great, too, considering it’s my least favorite part of pretty much everything that I had to go through! Before my surgery, they let my husband back and we got to spend a few minutes together. My surgery was set for 10am and we entered the operating room at 9:55.
I remember a conversation with the anesthesiologist. He continually gave me a hard time for being a redhead, and then right before I went under he asked if I drank alcohol. I said yes and he asked what my favorite was and I said beer. He said “well no wussy stuff like beer for you – this is going to be stronger than the strongest margarita you’ve ever had!”. And the next thing I knew I was hearing my name and waking up in recovery.
Waking up was HARD. I was really out of it. Surgery was about 2 1/2 hours long, and apparently over an hour went by in recovery in what seemed like 5 minutes to me. I was super groggy and my mouth hurt from being intubated, I assume. It really hurt under my tongue. I remember telling everyone that. I don’t remember going up to my room, but I know when I arrived I met my nurse and my husband was there waiting. He was nervous because they initially told him it was a 1.5 hour procedure. The doctor told him that it was “big & tough” but went textbook well. We only had a short time to spend together because he had to go pick up Violet at school. My mouth/tongue were still hurting so they gave me some Dilaudid in my IV. Within seconds, I was ready to fall asleep.
I drifted in and out of sleep most of the late afternoon/early evening. Doing just about anything made me tired. Scott brought Violet in about 5pm and they stayed for 20 minutes and I was exhausted by the time they left. I had to wear compression wraps on my legs, plus I had my IV in still, so I was pretty chained to the bed so I slept there rather uncomfortably. I was awaken every couple hours or so for vitals and to check on my pain/give me pain meds. The pain was never extreme, never more than a 2-3/10. Usually about a 1. My throat is sore like a bad cold, and my neck is stiff near the incision.
I had a hard time eating, I had bad reflux. I had a bit of Jell-o and broth and later some mac & cheese, pudding and mashed potatoes. I was only able to have a few bites as it didn’t want to stay down. About 9pm a friend stopped in with some cupcakes and about 10:30 after getting some Tums I was able to eat one. Then, of course, I was wide awake until about 12:30. Between 12:30 and 8:30am I was woken up at 1:30, 2, 4, 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30.
The doctor came in about 8:30 and that was when he gave me the news about it presenting much more as Hashimoto’s than Graves. I also took my first Synthroid pill, which I will be on for the rest of my life. They had taken blood at 5am and the results were that my calcium was fine (often with thyroidectomies the parathyroid is damaged resulting in calcium deficiencies). He told me to take it easy and preferred that I took 2 weeks off of work. I’ll likely take a week and go back light duty. Not having any sick or vacation time is a bummer.
I was discharged about noon and waited until 1:30 to take a pain pill and then slept for about 3 hours non-stop which is the longest stretch of sleep I’ve had. I’m still sore & stiff and still have a sore throat and a cough that irritates it all. My incision is “sealed” with surgical glue so I have no stitches or real wound care to worry about and I can shower and wash it without worry.
I’ll be spending the next couple days taking it easy (and waiting for the plumber to come replace our water heater… ugh) and recuperating. I also came home to a sneezy cat, so I foresee a vet visit in the near future. It’s always something. At least this something is out of the way and I can start moving forward and focusing on feeling better and being healthy.