This is my second surgery, a left thyroidectomy which will result in being a total thyroidectomy. These are the journals that I kept during the process. You can read all about my first surgery and cancer diagnosis here.
Second Surgery Day
Here we go… I slept really well last night and enjoyed sleeping on my side one last time….I have to be at the hospital at 11:00 am and I am slated for a 2:00 pm surgery. I can not eat or drink today. I took a long hot bath to divert my attention off of food and my nerves.
We checked into the hospital at 11:00. The surgery area is packed and they were running 2 hours behind. I sat in the waiting room with Aaron until 1:00 and then I was called back. I changed into my gown and got ready for the big day. The anesthesiologist came in and helped the nurse, Anesthesia did my IV and I dread iv’s, today my veins were flat so they had to put the iv in my wrist. I had great care, everyone was amazing. The crew who took me to surgery were A+++++ soothing all of my nerves. This time, they gave me a “Mickey” before leaving my room so I don’t remember the stroll down the cold hallways to the operating room. The surgery only lasted 1 hour. Doc said all went well. I was in recovery for 2 hours, I was in a lot of pain so my heart rate started dropping with the meds. They did my bloodwork to check my calcium and called my doctor to see if he was happy with the results. Once he was happy, I was back in my room and ready to go home!
We got home in the evening. There was a lot more pain this time. I don’t know if it’s because they went back into the same spot or just the toll of 2 surgeries in 2 weeks. I stayed on Hydrocodone every 3 hours throughout the night. A cool thing—-one of the National Guard took me into surgery, I have heard they have been deployed to some of the hospitals during the Pandemic. He was awesome!
Post Op Day 1
Pain. I started back on my vitamins today. I am staying on pain pills every 3 hours…I am a lot sorer and in pain. My mouth was tingly so I have started on 1,000 calcium and that fixed it. I have a cough and more phlegm than I did last time.. I am trying to cough so nothing settles in my chest. I started that dreaded hormone pill today, Synthroid 150. I take it at 9 pm every night.
Post Op Day 2
Same as day before. I am in pain. Still coughing. Temp 99,1
Post Op Day 3
Pain is not as bad…I only had to take 1 pain pill…I started walking around the house..Still coughing, worried that this may settle in my chest so I am doing breathing exercises and walking every 30 minutes through the house. Temp 99.1
Post Op Day 4
Flu symptoms hit. These hit last time on the exact day so I know it’s part of the recovery….Temp 99.1, extreme fatigue, body aches. Bad headaches in the evening. My pathology came in!
The rest of my thyroid was BENIGN!!! Thank you, Lord, for healing!!
Post Op Day 5
Cough phlegm has cleared. Around 3:00 a headache came on and I was so sick all night. I felt very nauseated. I used ice packs and Zofran. Praying I wasn’t getting a stomach virus. It passed the next morning. The fatigue is something terrible. I emailed my dr just to let him know what was going on in case it was a side effect of Synthroid.
Post Op Day 6
Same as the night before. The headache and nausea…What is this??? I ordered magnesium to start taking for my headaches. I will try this tomorrow.
Post Op Day 7
I am feeling the same. I woke up with a bad headache and nausea. I am having a blurry vision as well this morning. My magnesium came in so I took 600mg. Praying this helps. Around 1:00 I decided to lay down because the fatigue is kicking my tail, I woke up with a temp of 99.1 and did not feel better. I am trying to drink a gallon of water today to flush this out of my system.
This is Day #24 in my house so I have no clue where I would have caught something. I decided to not take my Synthroid tonight and try it in the morning….We will see how this works until I heard from my Dr.
Post Op Day 8
I woke up feeling good. I took my Synthroid at 7:20 am. I accidentally took my calcium at 9:30, I forgot to wait 4 hours…I started getting a little headache at 10:15 am..I am feeling hungry. I think I am going to eat every 3 hours today and tomorrow and see if that helps with the headaches. My dr doesn’t know why I am having migraines. He said taking Synthroid at night is fine so that shouldn’t matter. He has me coming in today to do bloodwork. I have felt pretty good today. My headache didn’t start until around 10 pm tonight.
I upped my water to 1.5 gallons today.
Post Op Day 9
I woke up at 4 am with muscle cramps and couldn’t sleep. I also slept in my bed for the first night and I am definitely not ready for that yet so I moved to the recliner at 4 am. I decided to take my Synthroid at 7:37 am and see if my day is the same as yesterday. I had coffee 1 hour later. I have a tinge of a headache this morning and leg cramps but that could be from not sleeping well. My stomach became very upset about 1.5 hours after my Synthroid. I had my calcium 4 hours later. I started getting dizzy around noon. I am drinking some caffeine to see if it will help. My leg cramps have worsened throughout the day but I think it’s because of no sleep. I went to bed with leg cramps and suffered throughout the night with them. Waking up early due to the cramping.
Post Op Day 10
I barely slept. I had leg cramping all night long. I am going to up my calcium today. I had my Synthroid at 7 am today, I am trying to take it earlier so I can start adjusting when I go back to normal life/schedule. I upped my calcium to 1200 at 11:45 am. I have laid on a heating pad with my legs elevated all morning. I am not for sure why my muscles hurt this bad. I am really focusing on my eating today. I started focusing on drinking more water over the past week and I went back to my organic decaf coffee today to hopefully get my gut back in shape. I swallowed a steak today…maybe too soon, LOL! I upped my Vitamin D and Magnesium by an extra pill too. Unfortunately, my cycle started today. I have heard horror stories of how bad it is after a total thyroidectomy but I am claiming completely different for my experience. My Endo has already approved my birth control. I will add that pill tonight at 9 pm. He didn’t foresee it causing an issue with my levels and I am believing it will not. I should get my lab results back tomorrow. I will share when I do.
(Note: I had all of my vitamins but skipped Immuplex and Congaplex today)
Post Op Day 11
Slept great last night! I woke up at 4 am but went back to sleep. I had my Synthroid at 7 am. Calcium at 12:30 pm. I had a major crash of energy around 1:30 pm today. It was fatigue like the last surgery…super sleepy. This fatigue hit me on post-op day 9 of my last surgery. Hoping it passes and it’s not my levels. Exhaustion got worse as the day went on. A slight headache and body aches. Flu-like symptoms. Praying it’s just a little fatigue and that tomorrow will be better. Laid on a heating pad all day.
Post Op Day 12
Slept great last night! I woke up at 6:30 am and I had my Synthroid. Weight 219. I took a bath and washed my hair, Ok, I was so done for the day and barely made it through washing my hair. Literally, I went to the chair and didn’t move for the rest of the day. My temp started getting elevated in the afternoon and I had a slight headache coming on. I kept drinking water to try and get rid of it. I started getting a lot of pain and burning at my incision site and limited neck mobility in the evening. It got to where I had to take a Hydrocodone which I have not had since 2 days post-op. I also have a migraine with the pain.
I had a terrible night. The incision pain became worse, brought on a migraine, severe nausea (like 2 weeks ago), and awful shakes and chills. My pulse and oxygen stayed normal and my temp. I also had awful stomach pain. It was extremely scary. It didn’t stop until about 1 am.
Post Op Day 13
Woke up exhausted. Like how you feel after a bad sickness so whatever happened last night did take a toll on my body. I woke up late so I took my Synthroid at 7:30 am. I stayed in bed all day to let my body rest.
Post Op Day 14
Good day. Felt decent. Picked up the house and tried to go out to dinner. I went but was exhausted. I am now officially back in my bed at night.
Post Op Day 15
I have felt good all day until mid-day when a fatigue wave came. My Endo called and according to my labs he upped my meds. UGH, I say that only because I have heard so many bad stories BUT I am claiming that is not my story! Praying over this medicine.
My results were Thyroglobulin Antibodies-3, Thyroglobulin-0.6, Vitamin D-19, TSH 7.74. All of my other numbers looked great including my parathyroid hormone.
Post Op Day 16
Started Levo (was on Synthroid) and am taking a new dose of 175 at 7 am.
I woke up with a tinge of a headache and by 9:30 my headache arrived full force. I noticed my blood pressure was elevated all day, I could feel it.
Post Op Day 17
Took Levo at 7 am, really upset my stomach all morning. Blood pressure is elevated still. I am just giving the adjustment time to happen.
Post Op Days 18-24
Stomach upset has left, nausea and headaches are all at bay. I’m tired. I’m very winded if I try to do much of anything. I know it’s part of the journey, giving my body the time to heal.
Thank you for following along with my journey. I’ll continue to update you through the phases of this. Have questions? Leave a comment below.
Julie, thank you for sharing your story. I know how hearing that word, cancer, can just change your whole world in a second. But you’ve got a great champion, a great support system, and a powerful prayer team. You will overcome and have such a powerful testimony that will help others going forward. Hope to see you back on that front row soon. You are missed. Continued prayers for you.