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Just had surgery...recovery a lot worse than I expected

kathleenbrd
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi, everyone. I had a total thyroidectomy this last Thursday. Stayed overnight in the hospital, now home. I guess with all my research, I thought that I'd have this simple surgery, rest for a few days and be back to my normal life. Well, it's been 3 days now. I'm still in bed, achy all over. Want to be out of bed, but it's difficult. Feels like I have a lump in my throat. Incision site is sore, but not too bad. How long does this last? When will I start feeling myself again? Thanks!
Kathleen

kmt624
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Kathleen,

I had a total thyroidectomy and lymph node dissection June 24th 2009. My surgery was on a Wednesday and I started feeling better the following Monday, by that Wednesday ( one week post surgery) I was feeling much better. I agree with you, the surgery was much more involved than I thought as well. I assumed the surgery was simple, but when I woke up I realized it was not. Hang in there, you will gain your energy back soon, it just takes a few days to one week. Pace yourself, and let yourself heal. Good luck and take care.

Lilypr
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2009

Hello Kathleen..!! I've been there too and I completely understand how you feel (had total thyroidectomy also - april 09)... the first week is the toughest, but you'll see when the days goes by you'll feel better. And I agree with kmt624, pace yourself and let yourself heal.

Hang in there.

= )

Jam4mom's picture
Jam4mom
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Kathleen - I had a total thyroidectomy last Tuesday and the first few days were more difficult than I expected. I'm never sure if the ache and pressure at the incision site are normal and I worry about infection. But - each day has been better. The key for me has been to establish a routine while I'm away from work. Get up at normal time, pray and meditate for 30 minutes, eat breakfast, take a short walk, read and then rest in the afternoon. Since they told me it was a fairly routine procedure to recover from, I planned to conquer the world in two weeks - or at least clean closets and get ready for a garage sale. It didn't take long to realize that was not a good idea! There is more emotional turmoil than I expected so the reading, rest and prayer have been a real help. Take care and give it a little more time.

Jfoga143
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2009

I also had a total thyroidectomy last Tuesday. Actually on June 19 I had the right side removed and they couldnt find any cancer so they left the left side. the pathologist found the cancer before my 1st followup. I then had a 2nd surgery on Tuesday. the 1st one was much easier then the 2nd. I went back to work today. I am having a hard time talking. I hope this goes away soon. this has been a really emotional and physical roller coaster ride. Is anyone else having alot of trouble talking? Like they have to force words out?

Jam4mom's picture
Jam4mom
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2009

That feeling comes and goes for me and is worse after I have been using my voice for awhile. My doctor told me that I would be able to return to work after a week as well, but I took an extra week just because I didn't know what to expect. The extra rest is much appreciated and I hope you will be able to find additional quiet time to rest your voice and to pay attention to your physical and emotional well being. I could certainly sit at my desk and push the paper around right now, but it would be very hard to focus with all the emotional stuff. Take care -

kathleenbrd
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks, everyone, for your positive words and encouragement. Jfoga, It's been 4 days now, and I am realizing that, yes, my voice is definitely not the same. That is becoming the most frustrating part. I also feel like I have a huge lump in my throat, I guess from internal swelling. I am pretty fatigued. I am supposed to go back to work on Thursday night (I'm a nurse), and hopefully I'll be up to it.

Jfoga143
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2009

I have a desk job or I would be out longer. I know that in the coming months i will be taking off alot for different procedures. (I have other stuff going on as well) and so i went back to work as soon as I could. Also getting out made me feel better. Moving around actually helped me. You will be on your feet most of the time. I wish you well when you return to work.

kmt624
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi,

Don't worry, your voice will get there. I sounded like I had a frog in my throat for almost 1 week post surgery. Even three weeks post op my voice will start to sound froggy at the end of the day after work. It takes time. I'm still going through all this stuff too so I know how frustrating it can be. Hang in there, rest and take care of yourself.

jsalvitti
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

I had my Thyroidectomy 2 months ago and am now getting ready to go in for RAI in 3 days. I agree the first day after surgery was much worse than I expected, only because I kept choking on everything I swallowed. Turned out my vocal cords were paralysed open, but that's another story.

I felt better after about 2 days, but everyone is very different. I do not say this to make you feel bad, but to ease other's who are coming up to your point in life. I was completely freaked about everything because all I read was horror stories. I did notice a drop in energy at all. My doctor said I shouldn't. Things should just keep on flowing with energy. I ws prescribed 25 mcg of cytomel and started taking that the day after surgery. I really did not need any adjustments. I was surprised at how great I felt. If you are tired, talk to your doctor.

I have been off the Cytomel for 11 days to prepare for RAI. The only day tht I felt like complete crap was the day that I just laid around. Don't succumb to the tired feeling. Get up, get busy, walk around the mall, get your mind on something else. I am usually a very active person and have kept the attitude that I was going to be one of the people that said, "oh it wasn't that bad". I really believe it's easy to think, man I have cancer, I have no hormones going, I'm tired I deserve to lay down. Don't do it. You don't have to run a marathon, just keep going at something, even sitting at a computer working, anything.

There's my advice. I hope this helps anyone who has this process coming up. It's not all doom and gloom, but unfortunately, people who blog tend to be looking for a solution to their problem, not the people who are fine and everything is great.

breezy1955
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2009

I have a appointment on the 19th of August. Then they will decide when I have the surgery. I am hopeful that I will bounce back easily after surgery. I had quit reading some of the blogs on another site because it was too scary and depressing. I think that right now it is the not knowing how I will respond after surgery that has me worried.

I want to be upbeat and think that it is only a small time to recover out of my whole lifetime. So I will choose to look 9 months to a year down the road and see that it was just a small speed bump in this life that I am living.

Glenda3474
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2009

I am new to this whole cancer recovery thing too. From the time I found my lump to my surgery was only about a 4 week period. Today I am 2 weeks post-op and I have been back to work for about a week. I am being cautiously optomistic (sp?) but so far I feel pretty normal. The doctor started me on meds the day after my surgery and some Tums to keep my calcium up, otherwise really no change from my "normal". I did find that the more movement I did was better for me. I started to feel stiff and achey from laying around for 2 days. So just going to sit on the couch or unload the dishwasher was helpful for me, but definately don't over do it. I even played a small game of volley ball with my kids about 6 days post op. We all have a different story to tell but I have full confidence mine is going to have a happy ending!!!

Glenda3474
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2009

SORRY ABOUT ALL THE DUPLICATES.

Glenda3474
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2009

I am new to this whole cancer recovery thing too. From the time I found my lump to my surgery was only about a 4 week period. Today I am 2 weeks post-op and I have been back to work for about a week. I am being cautiously optomistic (sp?) but so far I feel pretty normal. The doctor started me on meds the day after my surgery and some Tums to keep my calcium up, otherwise really no change from my "normal". I did find that the more movement I did was better for me. I started to feel stiff and achey from laying around for 2 days. So just going to sit on the couch or unload the dishwasher was helpful for me, but definately don't over do it. I even played a small game of volley ball with my kids about 6 days post op. We all have a different story to tell but I have full confidence mine is going to have a happy ending!!!

Glenda3474
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2009

I am new to this whole cancer recovery thing too. From the time I found my lump to my surgery was only about a 4 week period. Today I am 2 weeks post-op and I have been back to work for about a week. I am being cautiously optomistic (sp?) but so far I feel pretty normal. The doctor started me on meds the day after my surgery and some Tums to keep my calcium up, otherwise really no change from my "normal". I did find that the more movement I did was better for me. I started to feel stiff and achey from laying around for 2 days. So just going to sit on the couch or unload the dishwasher was helpful for me, but definately don't over do it. I even played a small game of volley ball with my kids about 6 days post op. We all have a different story to tell but I have full confidence mine is going to have a happy ending!!!

jcvolt
Posts: 69
Joined: Mar 2009

When I went to my follow up with the surgeon I told him I knew they had dropped me on the floor in the OR and stomped on me a few times. He laughed and said they were just having fun batting my head around and stuff.

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