Monday, August 17, 2009


Not so many posts lately: I've been in a spot where I'm more interested in living my life than writing about it. Things are going very well, but my brain is officially exhausted from worrying about the various stages of this little drama. I'm very pleased to have made it thru the surgery and recovery period so well, but soon I'll get to run another gauntlet: radioactive iodine treatment. Once that's over & done with I'll feel like I can actually relax for a bit.

But the good news is: Yes! I am feeling great. The taking of a pill every morning is still a little strange, but I haven't forgotten yet, nor do I expect to. I was anticipating side effects, and haven't felt any. The big ones to look out for are significant changes in energy levels, hair loss, and weight gain or loss. Nope, nope, and nope. All systems normal. Very pleased. I have a meeting with my endocrinologist on August 31st, and we will discuss how my thyroid hormone levels look, and whether they need any adjusting. I do feel fine, but there may be some tweaking that needs to happen.

I had a follow-up appointment with my surgeon last Thursday (the 13th), and he was quite impressed with how I'm healing. He said he'd forgotten how small the incision was. It's true - the scar is only about 2", and aside from a small raised section which he says will flatten out, it's very unobtrusive. I have a few scarves that I'd been using, but he gave me the all-clear to start applying sunscreen, and given this hot weather we've been having, that's the route I'm taking. I bought Neutrogena's new SPF 100+ sunblock - maybe SPF numbers that high are a scam, but right now, for this purpose I'll buy into it! I also got some vitamin E oil - it took some searching, but I finally found some pure oil (i.e. no added ingredients) and it even came in a little glass bottle with a tiny pump dispenser. My surgeon says there's no harm in using vitamin E oil, but he also pointed out that he has many patients that don't put anything on their scars and still heal up beautifully. What's key is covering it up so that it's not exposed to sunlight.
I don't have a current photo of my scar, but here's how things looked before the bandage came off last week:

The most entertaining part of my follow-up appointment was the check-up on my vocal chords. I still have some hoarseness, and I can't project in crowded/ loud situations. I've noticed consistent improvement over the last few weeks, but I still have a ways to go. To check things out, the surgeon took a scope - about a foot long, and bendy - and inserted it into my nose and down my throat. Yup. Wasn't expecting that, but it wasn't really so bad. He applied a nasal spray that somewhat numbed the area, then went to town with the scope. He was very careful with it, but it still felt pretty bizarre. Once it was inserted he had me say "eeeee" a few times and said my left vocal chord was looking weak. He pulled out the scope (slowly) and as I was wiping my watery eyes he said he wanted me to come back again in a few weeks so he could keep track of my progress. He'll be using the scope again. Fun!

I'm starting in on my second week back at work - my first week back was a little tougher than I was expecting, but I think I'm back in fighting form now. It really was wonderful to be able to spend that week after surgery just sitting around and healing. We went for a drive midway thru the week to the Marin Headlands and to Stinson Beach, and it was glorious. I was super tired the next day (even tho I barely did anything but walk around a little bit) but it was wonderful to be able to get some sunshine and enjoy some gorgeous scenery so soon after having surgery. I'm a pretty lucky gal.

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