Sunday, June 24, 2007

Returning to rest

I have really spent the last week getting my strength back. I just have a tight feeling in my neck now and very little soreness. I had the dressings removed on Thursday and I have a three inch black scratch across the bottom of my neck, just under the Adam's apple region and a tiny black scratch under that where the drain was. Judicious application of Vitamin E oil will hopefully help it heal with the minimal amount of scarring. At least it doesn't look like I had my head reattached by Dr Frankenstein. It's very swollen still, as is to be expected, and I have limited movement in my neck, it hurts to turn it too far. My shoulders, however, are absolutely killing me as I've been hunching over protecting my neck for a week. I need a bloody good massage!

I started my thyroid medication on Wednesday and I actually feel pretty good considering. I have a few twitches in my thumb, eyelid and the backs of my legs which is related to stress and tiredness, though I've been told that twitches are also related to thyroid function, so it could well be that too. I've been sleeping like a baby though, so hopefully they'll gradually fade away over the next week.

Sean's back to work on Monday and I'm not sure how I'm going to cope. I think Imogen's in for a rude shock as she's going to be looking after Miranda! Hopefully, the weather will be nice and I can just have them all out on the deck playing. It was nice today and we were all up on our swingset for a good long time. My mind's a blank for what I'm going to do with them for the holidays. We shall see. Lots of trips to the park probably! I've been so caught up in my own rubbish that I didn't get Imogen, or Miranda for that matter, signed up for any Summer Camps this year. Mind you, couldn't really afford it this year anyway.

My UK house is still incomplete. Still waiting for the carpets to go down. My sister's boyfriend dumped her on her 21st birthday so she's not going to be taking the house now. However, Sean's client company have said that they will pay his stipend (the money they give him to cover our living expenses here in the States) for one more year. This means that we can have the house empty for another year or, more importantly, offer it to a brother or sister in Christ for half the proper rent. There's a church leader who's quite interested in it, so hopefully we can offer it to him. But that's no good unless the carpets are down and it's been tidied...

My life is never uncomplicated, but it is never too hard. I am truly blessed. I got the pathology back from my thyroid last night (My scatterbrain endo calling me at 9pm - gotta love him!). Basically, I will need the radioactive iodine as though the 1.2cm tumour was discreet, there was a tiny (2mm) one on the opposite lobe. This means there is a small but finite possibility that it could be elsewhere in my body but because they are both so small I have a T1/stage 1 cancer. Nothing to worry about and, once I have the RAI, should be completely eradicated from my body. I'm due to get the RAI once I've finished nursing in December.

And remember, none of this would have been uncovered if it weren't for the very scatterbrained endo whom I would never have seen if I hadn't been so pig-headed about my 'gestational diabetes'.

Mysterious ways...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Home With a Hole in my Neck

It lives!

Yes, I made it through and I'm home. A bit of trauma Saturday afternoon when they tried to send me home with a 6 month old in the house with a drain in. Yeah, guys, that's going to last precisely five minutes before it's grabbed and yanked by little immovable claws in a vice-like grip... The doc said it was up to me but if the insurance company asks he's going to say he discharged me. The nice nurses kept me on the IV though; apparently if you have a running IV the insurance company is less likely to ask questions! Meant I had to pee lots, but was nicely hydrated! Hopefully the insurance will pay because I really wasn't ready to go home until Sunday morning.

Am sore but getting better every hour, really. Need to sleep though...I'm sitting here in bed with the fan on being waited on by him indoors! I've only got him until Wednesday, though he's working from home on Weds and Thurs as I'm not supposed to pick anything up, including Gabriel, until I see the doc on Thurs, so I'm making the most of having him here. He's amazing, he really is. I am so, so blessed to have such a strong and able man. His little face though is so full of worry for me...nothing I can do or say will rub the look off either...*sigh*

He did fantastic job over the weekend too. I don't think the kids really missed me! He even took a photo of the freezer. I asked him why he took a photo of the freezer. He said so he can take it into work and show his colleagues that his wife loves him. I asked him how a photo of the freezer shows them that I love him. He said "Duh! Look at all the labels! You must love me to have labelled everything in the freezer!" Didn't like to say that I only labelled things so he didn't call me three thousand times! And we went over the list of stuff to do for both the girls and the wee man four times on Thursday night! He had strict instructions to go on my baby board and ask for help if he needed anything but I think he managed. Imogen had a Brownie overnighter at the Aquarium on Friday night so he only had two of them to deal with.

I was shocked just how much milk had gone in just two days though. You forget how much they actually drink. I'm not sure if the frozen stuff would have lasted more than a week if I'd had to stop. I was merrily pumping and dumping in the hospital and the nurses came in and asked me why I was dumping. I was on a paediatric ward! They were all set up with milk storage items and nurses who knew all about allowed meds for breast feeding. How blessed was I?! They took really really good care of me. In fact, other than the doc who discharged me without taking into consideration my home requirements, I couldn't have had better care. I even managed to be on my own in a double room for two days (as it was a surgical recovery ward that wasn't hard as not much surgery goes on at the weekend!). Other than having to ask Sean to leave on Friday night because he had brought Gabe and Miranda over without feeding either of them so one was howling and the other was singing the 'I'm Hungry' song, it wasn't a bad weekend!

The pain in my neck is just a bad sore throat now, though the muscles in the back of my neck are complaining now, where I've obviously been holding my neck too stiffly to protect the front! I still have a headache but I think that's a general anaesthetic hangover and I think I shall have it for the rest of the week. I talked to my endocrinologist yesterday to find out what he wants to do with regard to the hormone replacement regime. Ideally he would have liked to wait until he gets the pathology back on the excised thyroid before he decided anything. However, I reminded him that I was nursing (there was the sound of a large penny dropping at the other end of the phone. He's such a scatterbrain!) whereupon he said that if I was wholly intending to defer the radioactive iodine treatment until I had finished completely (never any question about that, mate) then I can start the thyroid hormone treatment as soon as the pharmacist can fill it out, hopefully today!

The worst thing? You know, the worst thing is the vague sense that I have just had a part of my body removed that was working perfectly fine. OK, it was slowly killing me, but it was working. It feels a bit like they've removed my whole hand because of a wart on my finger.

I wish it had been possible to just remove the carcinoma and leave the thyroid. It's actually quite depressing (and I'm quite depressed about it) that this perfectly functioning organ has been removed and now I have to take medication for the rest of my life... I suppose I have to look at it like this; my life just got a tiny bit more complicated but less imminently fatal.