May 29th, 2009

mirror girl  Rockwell

after surgery

Yesterday morning the surgeon removed the right lobe of my thyroid.

They put the IV in the back of my hand because the veins in my left arm are way too small to hold a needle.

When I woke up the first thing I noticed was that I was incredibly thirsty.  The second thing I noticed was that the back of my neck and shoulders were sore, which seemed odd since that's not where they cut.

I drifted a little in the afternoon, but for the most part came out of the anesthesia with barely a fog at all.  They gave me vicodin for the pain, but it really only gave me a headache.

Being on an IV meant a nurse had to come in every time I needed to use the bathroom to unhook some things, which was a pain.

I saw the surgeon yesterday afternoon, and again this morning.  He commented that the surgery took a little longer than they thought it would because my thyroid sits high, and it was a little bigger than he thought (which helps validate this decision in general) and "it just didn't want to come out easy".  The back of my neck is sore because of the way they prop your head back so that your neck is a flat thing for them to work on (logical) and Dr. N said he was surprised more people don't complain about that.

I stayed overnight in the hospital mostly just for caution, if something goes wonky with a neck incision it's nasty.  But given the quality of sleep you get in a hospital - being woken for vital signs, people moving in the hallways, and nurses whispering to each other - I would have preferred to be home.

They let me out this morning and J took me home.  I finished a book, and took a nap, and have been catching up here.

At 3p I took the big gauze bandage off and saw the incision for the first time.  It still looks so raw and angry.  It's all underneath surgical tape that will stay on for the next week to ten days to help minimize the scar.  It's kind of shocking even though I knew it would be there, and it's probably going to take longer to fade than I think it will. 

I feel stiff from having been off my feet for a day and a half, and still sore from the surgery.  I find myself turning the whole top half of my body, instead of just my head to look at things or talk to people.  I feel more fragile than I thought I would.  Getting back to running in a week is not the same priority now that it was before the surgery.  (It's still important, but taking care of myself and being ready to run instead of just keeping to my schedule are suddenly the motivators.)  I feel mentally alert and am able to read with focus.  Mostly I feel like I had surgery yesterday, and I'm recovering really well in the short term, but the long term will be a little longer than I thought.