Today marks 2 months since I had my thyroid removed. May 31st was the day it came out, and I am surprised at how quickly everything has healed since then. I last posted when I was two weeks post-surgery and we have done a lot since then, including a two week trip to Florida to visit my family and go to our timeshare condo on the beach.
6/19/17 I drove for the first time! It wasn’t very far, just up the road to one of the restaurants near us for my father-in-law’s birthday dinner, but it was something! I finally felt like I could turn my head enough to be comfortable looking for other vehicles when I needed to.
6/20/17 My tongue is back to normal!! Finally! That was probably the strangest lingering feeling from the surgery. My tongue being numb was completely unexpected, and it was not fun. The last week or two it just felt more like I burned the tip of my tongue, which wasn’t horrible. But at first, when half of my tongue was numb, I had a hard time eating and was dribbling food as I tried to eat! We took the boys to the splash pad to meet a few of Tyler’s friends from school, so I just made sure to wear my big floppy hat and keep out of the sun.
6/22/17 First thing this morning I got up and went to my endocrinologists office for another blood draw. He wanted me to do a CBC, CMP, T3, T4, and TSH, and some of those require fasting so I went as soon as they opened so I could go home and eat breakfast. I didn’t have much time in between until I left to go to my PCP office for a checkup with her for a medication I am on completely unrelated to my thyroid issues. I brought her copies of the blood work done with the endo before, and said I would have them forward the one from this morning on as soon as the results were in. She said that, once everything gets leveled out with the endocrinologist, I can start seeing her for maintenance, whether that means going on medication or not. I asked how long in between visits usually, and she said if everything stays stable, then it usually starts at going every 4-6 weeks, then we can work up to 8 weeks, 3 months, and maybe up to every 6 months. She said the most I would probably ever go between blood draws is 6 months. For now, though, I am going to keep seeing the endo until we know everything is stable with my thyroid hormones and calcium levels.
6/25/17 It looks like my incision is completely sealed over now. I found some vitamin e oil at the store, which I’ve been told is good for scars, so I started putting that on a few times per day. I’ve had people say they used to buy vitamin e pills and have to put a hole in them to get the oil out, but I was able to find it in a bottle as an oil already, which seems much easier. I looked at Maderma cream, but it was much more expensive, and I’d rather go with the more natural remedy anyways. When I put the cream on, I am also “massaging” the scar by very lightly moving it around just a little. There is a small knot on one side, and this should help reduce the size of that because it’s probably just tissue that has built up.
6/26/17 My endocrinologist has the results from my blood work, so back to his office today to get those results. Everything still looks good, it’s all within normal range. So for now, I still don’t need any medication, and I go back again in two months for another blood draw and to see where my levels are at that time. This week was earlier than he originally wanted me in, but I told him I would be out of town for the next two weeks and wouldn’t have time to do blood work to see him the next week, which means I wouldn’t be able to go in for three weeks. He decided to do the appointment before I left so, if I was in a hypothyroid state, he could get me medication before going on vacation so I wouldn’t be miserable while gone. I asked when I would be in next, and he said if everything looks good in two months, then he wouldn’t see me back for another 6 months after that unless I start feeling any symptoms!
6/29/17 Do you know how long it takes to drive from Houston, TX to Fort Myers, FL? 17 hours. 17 long boring hours. This is what we did today. The car ride wasn’t bothering me much, even with all the moving and uneven roads through construction zones. What did bother me was the many many times I had to turn around. Tyler got car sick…. six times. Six times I had to very quickly turn around and catch vomit in whatever I could find because he was sick. Not to mention the other times one of them needed something. We left our house at 4am, and got to my parents at 10pm (one hour time zone change). By the time we were a couple hours out from my parents house, I was really starting to feel some pain because of turning around so much. When we got to my parent’s house I got some pain meds, we got some food for Tyler who didn’t eat the whole drive because he was sick, and went straight to bed.
6/30/17 It’s been one month since surgery. In some ways it feels like it’s been a lot longer than that. In others, it seems like it was just last week. This morning we took the boys in my parent’s pool, and that was the first time I got in a pool since having surgery. When I saw the surgeon for follow-up a few weeks ago, he said to give it a few weeks before going swimming, and I mentioned when we were going to Florida and he said that should be fine. He also suggested to make sure to clean off the incision afterwards, whether just cleaning by hand or taking a shower, didn’t matter as long as I got the pool water off of it. He also mentioned he wasn’t as worried about my parent’s pool since it’s a private pool, but to definitely clean it when we get to our condo and are in a public pool.
7/1/17 I started noticing some deeper-feeling pain, a dull ache that comes and goes. It’s nothing too bad, I didn’t even need to take any pain meds or anything, but just there. We commented that it could possibly be the muscles underneath healing and the stitches inside absorbing. Or it could also be lingering from the long drive and turning around so many times while we were in the car.
7/2/17 While we were in the pool, I was trying to help Tyler float on his back and he freaked out at one point and started thrashing around. His elbow went straight into my incision site. I quickly handed Tyler off to my dad and went to sit on the stairs. It hurt so bad he had me in tears. I know it was an accident, and he felt so bad, but it really hurt. I got out of the pool and took one of the two Norcos I had left from after surgery. I brought them to Florida just in case of something like this.
7/3/17 The boys had been begging my dad to go out on the boat, so this afternoon he left work early and got the boat ready. We went out on the river for about an hour. It wasn’t a long time, but it satisfied the boys. I’m glad we weren’t out much longer, either, because a boat on the water is much more choppy than a car on the road. He hit some wake a few times and it jarred us a bit. It wasn’t horrible, but just enough to cause a little bit of pain. Later that evening, I went to the gym with my aunt. It was my first real workout since having surgery. We just did the treadmills for about 45 minutes, nothing too strenuous. I can’t do much upper body yet, because it pulls at my skin which doesn’t feel good.
7/7/17 I made a rash decision to go get my hair cut. My aunt owns Beller’s Salon, so I went to see her and my cousin who has always done my hair. No, this isn’t thyroid related per se, but I did take a photo of it when I left to show Justin and you can see the incision and how well it’s healing. Ok, I do have something thyroid related… I wasn’t sure exactly where the drape would lay on my neck, and was a little worried about that, but it was much higher and didn’t bother the incision site.
7/9/17 Time to head to the beach! When my mom and I went to the store the other day, I tried to find some of the Maderma with SPF in it to bring to the beach but they didn’t carry it in the store. I ended up ordering some on amazon and it came just in time to bring with us. I bought that so I could put it on every morning to try to make sure the incision/scar doesn’t get sunburned. That was the biggest piece of advice I was told to help minimize scarring, other than vitamin e oil, was to make sure it doesn’t get too much sun.
7/10/17 Sand volleyball is one of my favorite things to do at the beach, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to play this year. But I did! I played tonight in a big family game that was 6 on 6, meaning I was only covering a smaller section of the court, which was what I wanted. Typically, I like sand volleyball because we can dive. I didn’t dive this year. I was able to hit my knees a few times to get a shot in, and that was fun. Again, it felt good to be able to do some of the things I love without it hurting too much.
7/13/17 My mom’s birthday was during beach week this year, so my sister and I spent a lot of the day getting her surprise birthday party ready. We did go out to the sand in the morning with the kids, and that’s when I took this photo of us. You can see the large hat that I wore the entire week to help keep the sun off of my neck, and that, depending on the angle of the photo, you can’t always see the scar too bad already.
7/15/17 Back to Texas. After hitting some traffic, this trip ended up taking 18 hours. Luckily, though, we had gotten some Kids Dramamine so the boys only got sick once each, which was better. I didn’t have to keep turning around as much, and it was a better trip overall.
7/19/17 Finally back and mostly healed, it was time to go to yoga class again! I was so excited to finally be going back to class, I have missed my yoga. It worked out perfect that our instructor planned an easier class that night, Yin Yoga, so it was a good class to ease back in. There were a few things I couldn’t do all the way, but I made it work. The two moves that I had to modify most were when we laid down on the ground with our body twisted, legs one way and I was supposed to look the opposite, but that stretched my neck too much. We also did a frog pose, and I was supposed to lay my head down on my hands on the floor. I did that for a minute, but then I had to sit up out of the pose because it put my head below my heart and I could start to feel that bothering me. But otherwise, I was so happy to be able to go back to yoga!
7/31/17 Two months later. It’s been two months. I went to the pool on Friday, and yoga on Saturday. Everything still feels tight, but not really painful unless it’s hit. So at this point, I would say I am doing pretty good!
Overall, the healing has gone pretty well. Justin commented today that in only two months it looks really good, especially when comparing to my cesarean scar. I know, two very different surgeries, but it’s all I have to compare. I’ve been putting vitamin e oil on multiple times per day, and that has also helped a lot. I still feel the dull aching pain behind the scar, but it seems like it’s just the muscles in my neck healing and coming together again since they had to pull them apart for the surgery.