A few weeks ago, I had to have my first full surgery under general anesthesia to have my thyroid removed. The only surgeries I’ve had previously are my wisdom teeth removal under IV sedation, and my cesarean birth with Ryan under a spinal block. I had never been under general anesthesia where I was completely knocked out and with a breathing tube. And that seriously scared me.
Of course, as with any scheduled surgery, there was a timeline of events that led up to it. And it all moved relatively quick, which was scary, but I’m also glad it’s done now. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight because when I’m worried, I don’t eat. I can’t imagine this process taking any longer.
3/6/17 I went to my new primary care physician (pcp) for the first time for my annual checkup and well woman exam. At this visit, she did a blood draw to do my regular routine blood work such as glucose levels, cholesterol, etc. I had also asked her about getting a prescription for the toenail infection I have, so we set up an appointment for a week later to review these results and as long as the liver function levels came back normal, she would give me a prescription at that time. During the physical exam, she asked how long my throat has felt swollen and I said I hadn’t really noticed.
3/8/17 My pcp office called and said I need an appointment to review my blood work results. I said I already have one tomorrow and she said that’s fine. So of course, I started worrying a little about what came back abnormal, since she also noted my throat feeling swollen. But I also reassured myself that if it was something major, she would have had me in that day, or said to bring someone with me.
3/9/17 My blood work results showed that my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels were a little low. This is usually an indicator of hyperthyroidism, so she had my blood drawn again to do a more in-depth analysis for the different types of thyroid hormones, the T3 and T4, as well as another overall TSH level.
3/27/17 I finally went in for the results of the more recent blood draw since this was one month after being on the medication for the toenail and I needed to have blood drawn again to check my liver levels on that. She told me the T3 and T4 were within normal range, but the TSH was still showing low. Between that and my throat feeling swollen, she sent me to have a thyroid ultrasound done, and said more than likely she would be sending me to an endocrinologist to follow up on everything once she knows the results from the ultrasound.
3/31/17 I went to have the thyroid ultrasound done. I had to go to an office about a 30 minute drive from the house to have the ultrasound performed. Of course, I wasn’t given any results at that time, but I could tell the sonographer was taking a lot of measurements. I was there for about 15 minutes getting the ultrasound done, then was told to make an appointment with my pcp for the results.
4/7/17 The results from the thyroid ultrasound were sent to my pcp, who reviewed everything with me. She gave me a copy of the report and blood work results, and said I would need to follow up with an endocrinologist. Their office gave me the names of a couple of endocrinologists in the area, and I found one of them who sees patients in an office near me one day per week. The ultrasound findings: The thyroid is mildly heterogeneous in echotexture. The right love measures 5.2×1.9×1.9 cm, and the left lobe measures 5.2×2.9×3.9 cm. The isthmus is thickened at 7mm. In the inferior aspect of the right lobe there is a 6mm well-defined simple cyst. In the left lobe, there is a 3.9cm heterogeneous partially solid/partly cystic well-defined lesion that has no significant increased vasculature or other distinguishing characteristics. It is amenable to percutaneous fine-needle aspiration if clinically indicated. No other abnormality is identified throughout the thyroid.