Thursday, November 15, 2012

The story of my thyroid

Recently actress/model/celebrity/television host Brooke Burke-Charvet

posted a video on youtube about her upcoming thyroidectomy.
In the video she talks about the scar that she will have and it made me remember how concerned I was about my scar after I had my partial thyroidectomy.

So today I would like to share with you the story of my partial thyroidectomy.

I am a hypochondriac 
It is a fact that I am not proud of but it is also something that I can not conceal 
so I will just lay that out there.
I also have panic disorder, which I have discussed here before, so there is that too.
Throw on top of that my need to exaggerate and I have set myself up to always be doubted.....when it comes to health issues or say how many police cars were actually on the side of the road.....usually I estimate like a thousand but actually it was only two but whatever.......

I felt a lump in my throat.
Wait....I should say that when I am having a panic attack I rub my throat.
I don't know why.
Probably because I always thought I was choking and so I was doing that thing you do to your dog when you are trying to get it to swallow a pill.....
It's just what I did 
One day while doing that I felt a lump.
Of course it has to be cancer I thought!
Or all of those M&M's I kept thinking I was choking on had formed a large candy coated chocolate ball in my throat.
Upon feeling the lump I immediately sought out someone....anyone to feel this lump.
A crazy person needs confirmation.
So I asked my sister
She felt around and said...."there is nothing there"
I called bullshit and asked a co worker she said "oh yeah maybe" until my sister kicked her chair and then she said "no I don't feel anything"

I wouldn't give up I walked up to pretty much anyone and grabbed their hand to guide them to this lump that I just knew was there.
No one believed me.

I went to my doctor and he said it was probably a muscle and he prescribed a muscle relaxer. 
And upped my Xanax dosage.

Even though I could feel the lump I started to doubt myself.
After all I wasn't having a heart attack but I kept going to the hospital because I thought I was.
I wasn't having a stroke even though I told those firemen I was when I pulled into the station blaring my horn.
Maybe this was just in my head.
Once I got my panic/coo coo crazy disorder under control I brought the subject back 
up with my doctor.

I should say that during my panic crisis I literally had every test done known to man.
One of those tests was to check my thyroid levels because apparently if your levels are out of whack they can make you a whack!

So my doctor tells me this but decided to send me for an ultrasound of my thyroid just to 
make me feel better. 

I go for the ultrasound and lo and behold look at that I giant blob right there attached to 
half of my thyroid.
The doctor suggested that maybe it was a cyst.
After, of course, apologizing for not believing me.
I love my doctor and I don't blame him.
He sent me to have the cyst drained.
Which basically meant someone was going to take a giant needle and stick it through my neck and into this cyst and suck all the gross out.
Yeah it wasn't fun at all!
It hurt like a son of a bitch and I gave birth to two giant children naturally if you get my drift.
Add the fact that you are awake so this person is walking towards you with a fucking giant ass needle that they are going to stab you in the throat with.....I am surprised I didn't pass out.
They didn't get much out and I could tell by the face of the person performing the procedure that it wasn't a good thing that not much fluid came out.
I was pretty sure I was gonna die.
Back to the doctor.....and he explained that I needed to see a specialist and that I would probably need surgery to remove "the growth".
No amount of Xanax in the world could calm my nerves.
I was done for.
I just knew it.
My surgery was scheduled and on the day of the surgery my Mom and husband 
brought me to the hospital.
I was terrified.
The surgery was a success.
They removed a plum sized tumor and 75% of my thyroid.
The surgeon/specialist said he was surprised it was a tumor that large as he expected it to be a cyst.
The only complication was that they nicked my vocal cords a little bit so I lost my voice for a little husband and children were thrilled.
When all was said and done the tumor was benign and I was told it was a good thing that they removed it when they did because it was a degenerating tumor that if left untreated would have become cancerous.
My doctor was very apologetic for not believing me.
But pretty much everyone else was like....
Well you are crazy how were we supposed to know or you complain about so many health things we just started ignoring you.
Ah ya gotta love family!

 All that was left to worry about was the scar.

It was big and kind of gross. I was worried it would never stop being red and swollen.

After a few weeks it looked like this

Then it looked like this

And now it looks like this

So I was worried for nothing.
Which is pretty much the result every time I worry.....Thankfully.
When I returned to work after my surgery I wore scarves because I didn't want to gross anyone out.
But my God did it itch so after a day or two I gave that up.
Plus people seeing the scar gave me reason to make up stories as to what happened.
I said that I got injured saving a child from a knife wielding maniac
I said I took my halloween costume as Nearly Headless Nick (from Harry Potter) too seriously
I said a clown attacked me....because more people need to know that clowns are scary
I said I cut myself shaving.
I said training to be a ninja is very dangerous.
I said what scar?

I have to have my thyroid levels checked every year. 
So far that 25% remaining has been kicking ass because I don't have to take medicine to 
control my levels.
Well that is my thyroid story.
I hope you enjoyed it.

And I wish Brooke good luck with her surgery and recovery.


Andrew Leon said...

Wow, man, I would have had so much fun with the scar story. I have a cyst on top of my head. When I was in college, this girl put her hand on my head during a rehearsal or something and asked me what the bump was. I told her I was part of a government thought experiment, and that the bump was where the antenna came out of my brain to transmit everything that went on in my brain (including everything I saw/heard) to the government.

I must have been pretty convincing, because she believed me. I found out that she believed me, because she started telling people the "secret" she found out about me, and people started coming to ask me about it. The first few times, I nearly died laughing. I waited about a week before I told her I made all of that. She wasn't happy with me.

Andrew Leon said...

Oh, and you're going to be featured on my blog tomorrow. I'm telling you now, because my computer died yesterday, and I won't be having consistent access to anything until I figure out what I'm going to do about it.

Anonymous said...

You sound just like me. However, you actually had a reason to be worried! I remember when I felt little bumps under my chin I was SURE I had cancer. But I went to the doctor only to find out that those little bumps are because I have a cold and my lymphnodes were inflamed. I am the worst hypochondriac around! So glad there are more of us!

Ella said...

Wow, I love this story! And it is a cool, you turned this into a positive spin and used this crisis to spin stories.
Gotta love family! I have autoimmune I am on and off wacky. Took three years to figure it out. I finally went to the Dr and said I want you to order this blood work. Yeah, that went over big...I had done my research. Panic, oh, yeah, I know that dance-totally sucks! I'm hyper than warning. Only big difference is the house is clean or not and I talk less when hypo appears.(family enjoys that) I do go to Dr. when I know I'm off and I know. We know when we aren't ourselves ;D I'm happy all ended well and 25% is kicking it!

Jennifer said...

Andrew - Thanks for including me:) I can see why she would be mad but making up a story is what we story tellers do.

cestlavie22 - We need to stick together. Hypochondriacs of the world UNITE!

Ella - Thanks. It seems like now that I have had thyroid related issue I meet more and more people who have or have had a problem. It is good to meet new people.

Muriel said...

Wow! What a story! The scar is barely visible now. It must have been quite an ordeal. I freak out every time I see a doctor or a needle, so, despite the positive spin you managed to put on this, it must have been pretty tough!

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