I’ve been healing from having my thyroid removed. I wanted to post about the thyroidectomy experience and post healing process, because I haven’t been able to find any that are NOT insane horror stories and were all non-normal scenarios. So hopefully someone who has thyroid cancer (or has to have their thyroid removed) will do a Google search and read my experience and help them feel better.
1. The worst part of the whole experience is waking up in the holding room after the surgery. You might find it hard to breathe – DO NOT PANIC. Take slow, deep breaths. It will be uncomfortable, but you should really focus on trying to breathe.
2. The hospital sucks. They will take your blood once at night and again in the morning to check your calcium levels. If they went up a bit overnight, they will probably set you free. I was able to leave by 8 AM the next day.
3. People will try talking to you. Your vocal chords are temporarily damaged and you can probably croak at them but it will suck. Text them on your mobile device and tell them to stop trying to make you talk. Texting is your friend for the first few days after the surgery.
4. You’ll be able to walk around, etc. In fact, two days after the surgery, you will start your new medication and you might feel AMAAAAAAAZIIING!! You will feel like you can run, bike, go hog wild. Don’t do it! It’s your body hyped up on hormones, since the old thyroid hormones take over a week to go away, so you are doubled up. The thyroid controls your energy levels, so of course with too many thyroid hormones coursing through you, you will feel amaazing!! wooo! superwoman! yaeahhhh!!
5. This will end. You will crash. Sleep is your friend.
6. You might feel great after two weeks and decide to go back to work. DO NOT DO THIS. You will get tired really easily and by that 1 PM meeting, feel like you got hit by bricks. Take THREE WEEKS OFF. I made this mistake and suffered heavily.
7. It takes about three weeks for the neck swelling to go down. My scar looks like a red line drawn on my neck, but that all depends on your skin type, etc. I smear Vitamin E on it every day and wear my hair back so it doesn’t stick to my neck. Classy.
8. It’s been about three weeks and I have most of my voice back. It’s hard to talk loud and I can’t hit the high ranges. Expect to NOT sing in your car for about a month.
Overall, I feel great CONSIDERING that only three weeks ago I had my neck slit open and my thyroid and surrounding lymph nodes cut out of me. I’m still a little tired, but overall pleased.
Please share your story about your positive post thyroidectomy story!