Monday, June 06, 2016

Bye Bye Thyroid: One Year Later

I know, I know. You patiently wait for a blog post (or at least my dad does. Hi Dad!), and I finally post something and it's not even about an awesome oversea adventure. I will write one about my first year of grad school in the next week, but today we detour into non-adventure land. Well...not fun adventure land.

One year ago today, I got my thyroid removed.

It was my first major surgery, my first night in the hospital, and my first removal of an organ. So the anniversary is worth noting. Also, when I knew I was having surgery I wanted to see what the scars were like, and all I came across were horrible, horrible pictures. Like this poor woman:

Googling your upcoming surgery is like going to
WebMD for medical advice. It will be horrible.
And you've probably got cancer.

So, I figure I'd post mine for friends and family that might be interested, as well as poor scared people who might stumble upon these and be reassured that not all the scars are that big.

Plus, it's my blog and I do what I want. ;)

Roll the picture montage! (Also, this is officially the most selfies I've ever taken in my life.)

That's a face that says, "I'm scared shitless about surgery tomorrow. Let's take last pictures before I look like I had a botched decapitation." 

And that's a face that says, "Getting a tumor peeled off your trachea is not my idea of a good time."
Having friends come over and play Pandemic with you in the hospital, on the other hand, is a good time.

I'm still drugged enough I can muster a semi-smile for this picture before I go sleep another 18 hours.

The "Jesus, what the hell is wrong with your neck?!?" Stage. This would be why I wasn't allowed to lay back beyond a 45° angle for 2 weeks. That large lump o' swelling actually strangled me when I laid down. Fun times, fun times!

The "Not being able to leave my apartment when I don't have cable is lame" Stage. Also, some random bleeding.

Was still having dizziness problems, but otherwise out and about and back at work. Still got some funny stares.

Look at that cheeky grin! After patiently waiting for the bandage to decide to fall off like a good Anica, I was happy to see my scar. Looks like the more expensive surgeon was worth it. ;)

Swelling's almost gone (kinda), and the scar is looking good. Why do I look so miserable then? This is two weeks without any thyroid pills and one week into my low-iodine diet...aka Hell. 

Me today! Notice the slight change in wardrobe between Vegas June and Sweden June. :)
I usually think my scar is pretty obvious, but looking at the pictures, I think you can barely tell it's even there.

So, there you have it.

One thing I noticed: I've aged a LOT in the last year. I thought I had, but actually sitting here and looking through the pictures (including the less complimentary ones you aren't seeing)'s kind of depressing. I shouldn't be surprised - there was the cancer thing, with surgery and radiation, and then the moving to a foreign country just two weeks after, starting grad school, and the whole not having a normal thyroid level until just two months ago. Nothing stressful really that would age a person. ;)

At least I've always looked really young for my age, so I think I'm still under the 34 I'm supposed to be. My advice? Don't get cancer. It's just all sorts of a pain in the ass.

Alright, next post will include pictures of foreign lands, I promise. :)