I made it all the way to the age of 40 before requiring a major surgery. On Tuesday, April 15, 2014 I was admitted for a Subtotal Thyroidectomy. Surgery went as planned, my time in the recovery room was short and I was admitted to the Med/surg floor by lunch time.
As a person with an extremely high pain tolerance, I expected no difficulty getting pain under control and going home the next day as planned. Not quite.
I coughed horribly around 5:00pm on the evening of my surgery and we battled pain for the next 18 hours to get it under control. I ended up staying an extra day in the hospital due to pain issues and then my calcium levels dropped. While this is common due to trauma to the parathyroid glands during surgery, it normally happens during or immediately following surgery, not post-op day two.
I was released with meds and instructions on Thursday afternoon. My incision looks like I had my throat sliced by a mugger or hit man…funny because my divorce was final the week before surgery…not funny because there is a 6″ slice at the base of my throat!
I am off all prescription pain medications and doing ok with just ibuprophen every six hours. I am on a thyroid replacement, calcium, and my normal anti-depressants. I slept decently through my first night at home and have no problem taking things easy. I am not Wonder Woman. I have no family close and my church family and local friends have surrounded me with love, comfort, and prayers. The offers of help are outstanding. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot to do. I am mobile and can take care of myself. The boys come home tonight and are awesome at helping. Being Easter weekend there are plenty of church activities planned throughout the weekend which will keep them busy.
I am having symptoms of Hypocalcemia including headaches and muscle tingling/twitching. If the symptoms get worse I will have to be hospitalized for an IV infusion and monitoring. Tonight I get to have a ‘teaching moment’ with the boys and dialing 911 as extremely low calcium levels can lead to seizures and heart irregularities.