Sunday, April 23, 2006

Still alive...TMI

Well surgery went well apparantly. The good news is that the baby stayed perfect during the whole thing. He kept his heart rate steady despite the anesthesia in our bodies and he kept the nurses entertained by kicking me thru the surgery too.

I went in Wednesday morning bright and early at 6am. I had been called on Tuesday by the Ear Nose and Throat office because they thought my blood clotting levels were abnormal and they wanted me to come in and get rechecked. Well I was still in Kansas so that was a no go. I told them I would come in early and they could check them again before surgery, so thats what we did. I got in, put on a hideous gown and the terrible matching booties. Then they put me in a bed, took some blood and hooked up my IV. They did give me nice warm blankets to cover up with, but they didnt help me relax much.

A couple of OB nurses came and hooked me up to a monitor and listening to my baby's heartbeat up until I got into the OR was comforting. My mom and my wonderful hubby (more about his wonderfulness later) were around all day. They both waited in the waiting room and came in to see me before they wheeled me into the OR. DH made jokes about hot doctors and mom entertained/annoyed the nurses with little bits about her labor with me. Seems like we told every employee of the hospital that I was having my thyroid removed due to surgery and that I was pregnant AND that I have another baby at home. Then I told most of them that I was having a second boy and then Aidan is 3 and I will name this one Aric. If they wanted to know my bra size and how I wipe my butt, they probably would have found out.

Anyway, I was finally ready for surgery at 10 til 8. They had been giving me antibiotics thru my IV and waiting on blood results from 6am til then. I was put on a crazy skinny bed and then my arms tucked in to the blanket. I was introduced to several doctors and nurses and lord knows why cause I didnt remember any of them after. Someone made me take deep breaths of air thru this mask thing. I told her that the smell of the plastic was making me nauseaus and she said that would go away in a minute and to just take a few more deep breaths. I remember trying to keep my eyes open and looking at everyone standing there, and then I was out.

Almost 3 hours later I wake up and I am being taken to a room. I couldnt see much cause I didnt have my glasses on, but I heard DH and mom asking what room I was going to. So I get in this little room and finally wake up. I dont remember much about that first day. It comes and goes. I know they gave me shots of demerol in my thighs for pain and I really hated that. I didnt understand why they couldnt just give me something in my IV. I guess they just wanted to see if they could put me into any more pain.
I had a big bandage all around my neck and mom said there was a shit-ton of blood in my hair. DH looked really worried and I wasnt talking much or moving. I managed to shake my head yes or no and thats about it. I gave a thumbs up to DH to assure him that I was alive. They came in and kept taking blood and monitoring my vitals and the baby. I drifted in and out and mom made sure that they were on time with my pain shots. I was able to get out of bed and pee whenever I wanted to. It was like every 2 hours and it smelled weird. Apparantly they gave me a cathater and a tube down my throat and I didnt know about either one. Fine and dandy with me. I wizzed into a hat and they seemed pleased with my output.

I got a roommate who had had knee replacement surgery. If there wasnt a nurse coming in the room to bug me, there was one coming in to bug her and it bugged me. She snored too so I had terrible sleep those two nights. I threw up twice due to the pain and medications. It seemed crazy to me cause I had absolutely nothing in my stomache to puke, but nonetheless, stuff came up.
Thursday morning one of my OBs came in and said he was happy to hear that everything went well so far and that he didnt have to see my baby yet. Then my ENT came in and cleaned my incision and removed the drain she put in. She said that she removed my whole thyroid gland. They tested it and it was papillary with follilicular carcinoma. Basically that means I have both kinds of well-differentiated cancers of the thyroid and both are the "best kinds to have" if you have to have a cancer in your thyroid cause they are easiest to treat. There were no other signs of cancer being spread to my lymph nodes or throat or further.
Then she said she was concerned because my hemoglobin was low and so was my calcium level. So I had to stay in the hospital to get those under control. I was also kept on antibiotics to prevent infection. They put in a 2nd IV to run calcium thru and on top of that they made me drink little potassium and calcium drinks that are more disgusting than you would think a vitamin drink would be. I had my choice of mixing with apple or cranberry juice and cranberry seemed to taste slightly better, but I just chugged it down to get it over with. I took all my pills and drinks and tried my best to eat as much as I could the whole day. All that calcium they were giving me made me have to pee every hour. I am betting that this baby never has a broken bone in his life because of all the vitamins I had those 2 days.

They let me go home on Friday after the last blood test showed that my hemoglobin was good and that my calcium hadnt gone down any. It was at 7.1 and the last test showed 7.2 so they let me go. As soon as they said I was okay to go, I went. They said no hurry and it was right after lunch and as soon as I was done eating I called for my wheel chair and mom and DH had me all packed and we were out of there. I went home and crashed in silence with no annoying nurses. My mom cleaned a little and then she left on Saturday morning. I am on calcium supplements and more antibiotics. The calcium supplements are needed because the parathyroid glands somehow are involved with the body's ability to process calcium. I had always thought we mainly need calcium for strong teeth and bones, but apparently a shortage of calcium can lead to seizures and numbness, in the span of a single day. I also take my prenatal vitamin and a colace and tylenol 3. I think I take over 20 pills a day and I will be glad when that is over.

I have just been dragging around since I got home. DH is a saint. He keeps my icepack full and brings me my meds when its time and always makes sure I have enough to drink and eat at all times. He is off work all week to take care of me. Aidan will be back this weekend from his grandmas. He called me tonight and was crying saying he wanted mommy. Such a heartbreak to know that he misses me, but I will see him in a few days and I reassured him of that.

Sometime after the baby is born, I'll be given radio-tagged iodine. Any thyroid cells that are left in my body -- including thyroid cancer cells that were spread elsewhere -- will light up under a scan. If any do -- and they almost always do in the first scan after an operation -- they'll give me a dose of slightly more radioactive iodine. The thyroid cells will suck up this iodine and blow themselves to kingdom come. (Thyroid cells absorb iodine, an ability passed on to cancerous thyroid cells, and an ability that makes thyroids uniquely treatable for cancer.) After about a day or two, I'll pass this iodine out of my system and out into the sewers, and everyone will be happy.

I am not real happy about the radioactive iodine thing. I talk with the endocrinologist today and see what he says about it. I want to be able to breastfeed as much as I can so I am going to see how soon this NEEDS to be done. And since I wont be able to be around my babies or my husband until I am less radioactive, I want to be able to have bonded and done the newborn stuff before he has to be away from me. Breastfeeding is the most important though. Well besides my health, but you know.

Well I didnt realize I had written a book already. I want to send a shout out to all those who were praying for me and kept me in their thoughts. You are all much appreciated and I really am greatful for your support thru everything.
I have a picture of my incision and my flowers from the hospital...and some family/spring pictures we had taken before the surgery(Like the one above). I will try to get those posted later today after my appointment if I am not too exhausted when I get back.

1 comments from beautiful people!:

Tuesday Girl said...

I am glad you are doign well. My incision has faded dramatically.

My homeopathic doctor gave me an herb called arnica for healing and I think it really helped me. I was in the hospital for 2 days and was out of it for another 3 then back to normal.