I get many emails from people with questions about living a life without a thyroid (such as post thyroidectomy breathing concerns), or what the thyroidectomy process is like. I figured it might be helpful if I made the questions and answers public (redacting the person’s information, of course) so others may find answers to their questions. Please click here if you would like to send me an email or share your positive post thyroidectomy story!
“Hi there ! I found your blog while trying to find something positive to read about having a total thyroidectomy. I am in Ottawa, Canada, and was diagnosed with papillary thydroid cancer. My surgery will be on January 2…You mentioned that it was difficult to breathe when you woke up from surgery – this has me quite worried. How long did the sensation last?”
It is a little difficult to breathe when you first wake up because you have a breathing tube inserted, so when you wake up it’s a VERY strange sensation! Also, you may have the ‘where am I, what is going on’ sensation. The nurse will immediately come over and take it out the breathing tube. In some hospitals, it might already be out and someone is actively waking you up. It’s important to stay calm (I started to panic which made it worse, as I was not expecting this). So if you are worried that panicking when you wake up is a concern, start fortifying your brain into knowing you should NOT PANIC when waking up after the surgery.
I had shortness of breathe during the evening of the surgery. The nurses made me blow into a little device (called a TriBall – it has three balls in it) to strengthen my breathing. When you blow hard enough, the little balls rise up. I hated it and was tired, but I did as told. Your throat will be sore and your neck will be swollen, but otherwise you should not have any issues breathing.