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My Thyroidectomy Post 6

January 17, 2013

Two weeks before surgery I made specific changes to my diet to eliminate anything that would increase the chances that I would bleed excessively during surgery, which is a problem for the surgeon, but also, so I wouldn’t be severely bruised after surgery.

I stopped garlic, green tea, ginkgo, ginseng, omega-3s & vitamin E. That meant reading all the labels of my supplements & herb teas as well as changing my morning Yerba Maté with green tea & peppermint & my usual breakfast which includes sautéd garlic. If I used St. John’s Wort, aspirin, naproxen or ibuprofen, they would have to be stopped as well, but I don’t.

One week before surgery I enjoy my final glass of wine with dinner. Though alcohol can consumed until 48 hours prior, I chose to be on the safe side & cut off any adult alcoholic beverage.

Arnica

The morning before surgery I started akin Arnica to reduce post-op bruising. I also ate a bowl of fresh pineapple. Fresh pineapple reduces bruising due to all the lovely enzymes it contains. The night before surgery I took a Tagamet to reduce stomach acid the next morning since I would be NPO – nothing by mouth.

My plan for after surgery was to continue the Arnica & eat pineapple, apply ice to my neck & rest.

I had a small stack of supplies I was taking to the hospital with me, because I was to be kept in Observation for 24 hours. Working in the neck so close to the carotid arteries, jugular veins & trachea, surgeons don’t like to send someone home right after thyroid surgery…doggone it! But I was prepared. I had laid in a supply of Coconut Water – plain & chocolate, 365 Ginger Ale in case of nausea (no high fructose corn syrup here!), my homemade signs & Scotch tape – SCENT FREE ROOM!, Hand Soap & Hand Sanitizer for the nursing staff to use, my good “chapstick” & hand lotion.

I also brought my own Thyroid Hormone prescription. The Endocrinologist had been adamant about me taking ONLY the name brand thyroid hormone & he pointed out that the pill itself was a very unique shape so I would always know if I was taking the correct one.

Time to leave for the hospital. I had to check-in at 6am, Day Surgery. Surgery scheduled for a 8am start. Should take 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Recovery Room would be 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

Clothes off, hospital gown on, slipper-socks on.
Vital signs. “You’re temperature is too low,” & with that a warm-air blower was turned on.

DH comes in with Pastor Jack who wanted to stop in before surgery to pray with us. DH walks Jack out to the waiting room & returns with Carole (my next-door neighbor “sister.”) “The boys are getting coffee & Barb’s here.” DH’s sister had driven in the night before from Kansas City without telling us.

Waiting, I texted Cathy & Pam then worked a Crossword puzzle & Sudoku while DH read the morning news on his iPad & Carole made sure I was comfortable & calm.

IV inserted in left hand – rats! I hate that!
Anesthesiologist comes in to introduce himself with the resident who would be with me in surgery. They are a bit concerned about my scent allergy & how I would react to the anesthesia, having not had any since I had my tonsils out as a 4-year old. Now for the important discussion. “I would like to dream of puppies & kittens while I’m asleep & figure I’m going to need a neck massage when surgery’s done if you wouldn’t mind.” Hey, these guys give magic medicine & I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask. “Excuse me?” “I want to dream of puppies & kittens & want you to give me a neck massage when the surgery’s done.” “Oh. We’ll see what we can do.” Well, they didn’t say “No.”

Time to go: 1st IV anesthesia given by “push.” Kiss from DH, squeeze of the hand by Carole & I don’t remember anything once I rolled out the door.

Continued…

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