(Last Updated On: August 4, 2009)
My surgery ended around 3pm yesterday. And I am relieved to have it behind me. The tumor turned out to be benign (not cancerous), so I still have the right side of my thyroid in tact.
After I was okay to leave from the recovery room, Frank, my mom, and I went to stay in a hotel room since it is a 3.5 hour drive from Grand Junction back to Crested Butte. I was happy we stayed there as I was quite nauseous, and everything I tried to eat and drink just came right back up. Vomiting was especially painful- my throat felt like I had tonsilitis or something and the muscles in my neck that I use to swallow were especially sore. Add this to a good 2.5 inch incision on the front of my neck and I was trying to avoid vomiting at all costs. Because of this, I opted not to take the pain medication they prescribed for me- Vicodin. My stomach just does’t handle narcotics very well.
I was able to sleep last night. I wasn’t in an extreme amount of pain. The worst part was the congestion. I don’t know why I was congested – not sure if it was even related to the surgery. But, it was irritating me all through the night. I couldn’t really clear it out of my system as coughing is very painful.
I woke up this morning with a very stiff neck and a horrible headache, but my nausea was thankfully gone. We drove back to Crested Butte and I am thankful to be home. My throat is less sore than yesterday, but my neck muscles (especially the swallowing muscles) are extremely sore. I find it hard to eat because of this. Eating/drinking colder things definitely helps with alleviating some of the pain. But, I’ll be on a bit of a diet for the next few days 😉
I thought that the surgeon would have my incision all wrapped up in gauze. But, it’s actually all hanging out in the wide open for everyone to see. Yesterday, it was oozing a tiny bit of blood here and there and I had to keep wiping it up. But, today, it seems like it’s in good shape. The incision is stitched with a tension stitch. When I have them removed on Monday, they will just snip off one end and pull the whole stitch out.
I also thought the surgeon would tell me not to get the stitches wet. So, I pictured myself taking baths and washing my hair in the sink. But, this also is not the case. He said I should take showers and that I should actually scrub the stitches twice a day with antibacterial soap, then cover the stitches with an antibacterial ointment.
I’m definitely in pain, but not in as much pain as I thought I would be in. This surgery is more painful than knee surgery, overall, mainly just because of it’s location. Otherwise, I’m doing pretty well. And I am very relieved to have this all over and done with!