Adventures in Surgery


Earlier this week I had the unique pleasure of having my right thyroid removed. It was a nodule that measured 4.5cm cubed. It was really getting annoying and I am very happy to have it out of my neck. Of coarse, getting to that place, like most things in my life was an adventure. It started when I went to meet the surgeon. We had a quick discussion about risk and all that stuff. He was more interested in Chloe, who could blame him? He kept saying how beautiful she is, I see that stemming into another problem further down the road, but we have a while. So after a quick casual chat I signed some papers and off we went. Two weeks later I have to not eat or drink after midnight and show up at 10:30 for a noon surgery. The sad thing is that it was no problem to not eat or drink, after thinking about it, I normally don’t because I wake up running and don’t normally stop until noonish for some nourishment. I get into my super wonderful surgery dress with matching stockings. The nurse comes in to put in my iv. She asked which side was my left and after thinking for a moment, I figured it out and raised my hand. She then wrote yes on the left side of my neck, scary part is, I didn’t see this as a problem. Somehow, before she sat down to start the iv I pointed to the giant lump protruding from my neck on the right side. Oops! She said which is your left side, not which side are we taking out and I was too relaxed to care. So after a good amount of alcohol wipes to clean the sharpie marks off my neck, she wrote yes on the other side, started the iv and left me to work on the afghan I am making for Claire. A few minutes later the surgeon walked in and introduced himself as Matt, pausing and then adding his last name in an effort to seem a little professional. Jared and I loved it, we joked that only in Santa Cruz does the doctor come in talking like a laid back surfer. Then the anesthesiologist came in. He asked a few quick questions, stated that I seemed fine and didn’t need anything to calm down at this point. I continued on my hand work and he appeared again pretty quickly. He asked two questions and then asked Jared if he had a Ducati. Of coarse, Jared was wearing a Ducati sweater. I then sat there while the doc talked with Jared about the Monster that he had purchased six months ago and all of the custom work that had been done to it. How ironic, minutes before this guy came in Jared had stated that we might need to buy a Monster as the sale that morning hadn’t performed at expectations. Eventually, he asked me the rest of the questions you ask somebody before you put them to sleep for three hours and left. Two minutes later he was back to discuss roads and winter gear suggestions. It really was a gift from God. Jared hates anything to do with needles and the pre-op is much harder for him. So in the weirdest way, it was the best experience. An hour late they wheeled me back I took a few deep breathes and woke up in the recovery room with the worst headache. The afternoon didn’t get much better, the night got worse. I faded in and out of sleep trying to wait out the drugs. Somewhere in there I had the pleasure of a very nice visit from a friend to break up the monotony of waiting it out. Around 4am I woke up and the headache was gone, I was a human again. By the time that the surgeon came in at 7 I was sitting in bed watching the news and checking my email. He told me how he had used a spoon to try to pry it out but it was too big so he had so cut a bigger whole. That explained why it took an hour longer and why my chest was so sore. I was out by 9, less than 24 hours in. It has taken two days of extra naps and taking it easy, but I am about back up to speed. I’ll chalk it up to an interesting experience and a reminder why Claire gets her medical care not in Santa Cruz.

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