Hey there! My name is Laura, I’m a 31 year old female from Missouri.
First of all I want to thank you for starting this blog – I read the stories over and over as my thyroidectomy approached. It really helped calm my nerves, hearing real stories from people who went through it.
I was diagnosed with Graves disease
(hyperactive thyroid) at the age of 25. I was feeling awful – sweaty, shaky, a constant upset stomach, racing heart rate – I had no idea what was wrong with me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a fast heart rate and super fast metabolism. My husband always calls me his hummingbird, because I reminded him of one with my sped up body functions and nervousness. I hadn’t had my thyroid checked in a good 5 years or so (my pediatrician checked this a lot when I was young, as I was always very small), and I didn’t even think about it at the time, because I had no idea what thyroid disease actually meant. So I went to the doctor and they checked multiple things, thyroid levels being one of them. They called me with my results of Graves disease, and sent me immediately to an endo. From that point on I was on different levels of methimazole and beta blockers. After a year or so, my endo tried to take me off of methimazole to see how my thyroid would do, and it came back even worse than before. So there we were, I was told I would have graves disease for life.
In 2013 I became pregnant and immediately stopped the methimazole, at my endo’s request. Thankfully my levels straightened out during my pregnancy, so I didn’t have to take any medication. I felt the best I have ever felt when I was pregnant! July 2014 I had my amazing beautiful baby boy, and continued to feel good. I actually thought MAYBE my thyroid had corrected itself for good. I had an appointment with my endo scheduled for 6 weeks post partum, but I felt so great and was so attached to my baby that I cancelled my appointment and made one for 6 weeks later. Big mistake not going to my original appointment: within 2 weeks my thyroid had spiraled completely out of control, it was so enlarged that I was choking on food when I tried to swallow, and my resting heart rate was 140. I called my endo the next day, and once again, my thyroid was worse than it had ever been, nearing a storm, and my thyroid was also making me very anemic, almost to the point of needing a blood transfusion. This is when surgery was highly recommended. I went for a second opinion, and she also agreed that I am a perfect candidate for a thyroidectomy, and it’d be best to do it as soon as possible. When I met with the surgeon, he immediately made me feel more confident about this procedure and decision, but I was still super nervous about it.
I was so nervous leading up to surgery, as this was my first time having surgery, plus I was losing a part of my body, a major part – an ORGAN! This blog really helped me understand the process of surgery and healing, and it was great to have support from others that had gone through this. My surgery went well, it was about 2 hours, which was longer than expected, because it was much larger than they thought. I will admit, the pain that first day was rough – I didn’t even want to drink water. So with the help of drugs, I slept most of the day and ended up staying overnight for observation, although before they saw how big my thyroid was, I was originally expected to go home the day of surgery. The next morning, they checked my calcium levels and they were way down but they let me go home anyway. They sent me home with a plethora of meds – 2 different pain meds, anti-nausea pills, synthroid and calcium. Note: I took the liquid pain meds bc the idea of swallowing a horse pill on this tender throat made me cringe. Dr said it would only be about half as effective but it was up to me. I took that risk and did just fine. Ahhh home sweet home 🙂 My husband showered me with lots of ice packs, ice cream and love. After a long weekend of resting at home, with ice packs and ice cream and soup I was feeling pretty good. My voice started coming back way faster than I expected, only 2 days of having no voice and then it came back pretty quickly. I felt good enough to go back to work a week after surgery. I was tired, and my voice was hoarse, but over all I felt pretty good.
I am now 7 weeks post surgery and so far I am glad that I had the thyroidectomy. It is amazing having a normal heart rate, and one of the first things I noticed was that when I take a deep breath in, I can breathe easier! It’s amazing. Oh yeah, and I don’t have that massive bulge sticking out of my throat. My scar looks great, I have been staying out of the sun and putting Vitamin E oil on it morning and night. I’m very happy with my surgeon and how well he did. My endo recently upped my synthroid from 75mcg to 100, as my TSH was 19. I am feeling a bit tired and lightheaded here and there, but otherwise I can’t complain! I can’t wait until my levels are completely straightened out – but I think we are on our way 🙂 I hope my story continues to be a positive one, and I hope I can encourage or help someone else going through the pain of thyroid disease.