Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Surgery and Recovery

We got to the hospital around 9:30 in the morning. They did all kids of pre-op stuff. My mom and Asher stayed at the hospital the whole time. When I first got back there for the pre-op the nurse told me that my doctor had had a cancellation, so I would be going back early for my surgery. But the hospital started using a new computer program today so they were hours and hours behind. The surgery was
originally scheduled for noon and I never went back until 1:30. So the waiting game did nothing for my nerves.

The doctor came back before the surgery to introduce himself to my mom, go over everything one more time, and see if I had any questions. Then I met with the anesthesiologist and he went over that aspect. He was kinda arrogant, but he was the only one I didn't like. Right before they wheeled me back the OR nurse came in and she was really nice and the Nurse Anesthetist was great too. I liked that hospital a lot, it was clean and everyone was very friendly and helpful. The nurses kept bringing warm blankets for both Asher and I. And they set up a recliner in my waiting room so my mom could sleep. One of the volunteers even gave Asher a stuff turtle toy that she made. And they kept bringing him juice and graham crackers.

As for the surgery right before the Nurse Anesthetist gave me a seasick patch so that I wouldn't puke my brains out after the surgery. I tend to get very ill from the anesthesia. Then they gave me something in my IV to relax and I felt loopy like when they gave me that stuff during labor. Then they wheeled me back to the OR. I remember sliding over from the stretcher to the operating table and then they put oxygen on me. Then they told me, "you are going to get sleepy
now." Then the next thing I knew I was in the recovery room waking up. It was like it happened in one split second.

After my surgery the doctor came out and talked to my mom. He said the cyst was larger than he anticipated, the size of a tennis ball, but everything went perfectly. The cyst was only filled with fluid, so there is no concern over the C word. That's a relief. The doc told my mom that when he cut open the cyst it sprayed his mask. Yuck.

The surgery only lasted 90 minutes, but I didn't wake up til almost 4. They put ice on my neck and then once I woke up a little more moved me into another room into a recliner. My recovery nurse was fabulous too. She got me ice chips and saltines to help my tummy and gave me a pain pill. She helped me walk to the bathroom. I left the hospital at 6 and then we went to the pharmacy to get my medications (Lortab for pain, a nausea pill, and antibiotics). I've been trying
to minimize my usage of the pain pills. After childbirth, this is a cake walk.

I have been able to eat real food too! I ate crackers on the car ride and for dinner I had chicken and veggies. It hurts to chew and swallow, but I was starving that I was just happy to be able to eat. I even had a chocolate chip cookie for dessert.

I am all bandaged up, so I don't know what my neck looks like. But my original nurse told me that you can never see his scars, that he is really good about hiding them. My mom changed my dressing a little while ago and the scar is larger than I expected. But it's in a skin crease, so hopefully it won't be noticeable.

Overall I look a little battered and bruised, but surprisingly I'm feeling okay. I completely expected that I would be stuck in the bed puking and in pain. But I've been up walking around. It hurts to talk, chew, and swallow, but that's the extent of it. I have a little fluid in my lungs, but it should clear up.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Surgery Day

In less than 12 hours I will be in the operating room. Should I be sleeping? Yes. But who can sleep when you are so stressed out over something. I am absolutely terrified out of my mind. I've never had surgery before, so this is all new to me. Please keep me in your thoughts.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Thyroglossal Cyst

Back in October when I was visiting my in-laws in Missouri I got a sore throat and noticed that there was a lump in my throat. When I returned home I went into the base clinic and the doctor told me that he thought it was mono, even though I knew it wasn't and to come back if it didn't get better. A week later I returned, he wanted to do an ultrasound of my neck, but didn't know the code for the referral and said never mind. Instead he sent me to a surgeon at NAS Jax. Fast forward a month later, I show up for the appointment and the surgeon feels my neck, says it's a lymph node and that's it.

I suffered through with it, it seemed as though the swelling had gone down some. Another sore throat in May and I realize that the lump in my neck has doubled in size. When I laid down it was difficult to breathe. So I tried to make another appointment on base, they can't see me for THREE weeks. I can't breathe and they want me to suffer for three weeks? Yeah right, so off to the ER I go.

The ER did some blood work and all my levels are normal, but the lump in my neck is quite visible. So they ordered an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech could obviously see something, and to be honest looked quite worried. Within 10 minutes of the ultrasound I was having an IV put it to go back for a CAT scan. I'm freaking out at this point. Eventually the doctor came back with good news. The lump in my neck is something called a Thyroglossal Duct Cyst. I was born with it, and something, most likely my pregnancy with Asher, caused it to fill with fluid. He tells me to make an appointment with an ENT.

Back to base I go a week later to talk to my doctor so I can get the damn referral. Two weeks later the referral comes and a month later I finally get in with the ENT. It's now the end of June. My CAT scan wasn't enough for them to determine if the cyst is my only functioning thyroid tissue. And now that the cyst has gone untreated for so long the only option is surgery. Also, because it is so large I have a higher chance of complication because there will be a "void" in my neck. Lovely huh?

My surgery is scheduled for August 19th. Recovery time is approx. 3 weeks. This fiasco has taken almost a whole year to get taken care of. Isn't medical for the military absofreaking wonderful?


I noticed I have been getting a lot of hits on this blog via Google. So I thought I would go ahead and link my surgery update.

Also here is a picture of my neck, now 2 months post-op.