PSA: Check Your Neck

Way off topic…I do have a topic right?  Ok nothing new here (being off-topic) but I got word that an old friend is having thyroid surgery next week. And it reminded me that I’ve been intending to do a post on the thyroid for a good while.

Why the thyroid?  I had one removed back in 1997.

What was wrong and what were the symptoms?

Actually, nothing was wrong.  I was feeling pretty good.  Recovery from the complete hysterectomy was great. Life was good!

So how did I know something was amiss?  Well, I was flipping through the latest issue of a women’s mag and they had a special page that month on the thyroid.  They also showed you how to check your thyroid for irregularities.

Huh.  Well this was news to me.  I had no idea we were supposed to check our necks!

So, I followed the directions…tilted my head back, found my Adam’s apple and ran my fingers down from the Adam’s apple on each side of my neck.

Wait. What was THAT?!!! A very noticeable lump on the right side was there. Having read the entire article, I knew that thyroid tumors are very rarely malignant, so I didn’t panic. I got on the phone and made an appointment with the doctor.

Sure enough, the doctor found the same lump. Something was lurking in my neck.

The doc did a sonogram and saw what I felt. Then he inserted a needle into the tumor…this is where I changed doctors. He didn’t tell me what he was doing. He gave me no anesthetic whatsoever. Just stuck the needle into my neck…yes, straight into the tumor and said, “Don’t move.” This is NOT how this should have gone but I didn’t know that until later. Yay. It hurt. It hurt a lot. If he had at least told me what he was going to do, that would have  helped.  I was flat on my back thinking, “What’s he doing?  He not going to…stick that needle…into my my neck. Nooooo.” I didn’t scream, holler or kick anyone at the time. I was too dazed.

Thankfully, the tumor was benign but needed to come out. Obviously, I was having the surgery elsewhere but where? Some friends in our little town had their doctor brother-in-law do some research and the best surgeon in our area for this surgery was located in Oklahoma City at the Baptist Hospital.

The surgery went smoothly with the only concern being possible damage to the vocal chords. No problem! I had a bit of a sore throat for about half a day and was good.

I took thyroid replacement meds until the remaining gland caught up and adjusted the thyroid levels.

The moral of the story is…if you haven’t checked your neck, do it. Here’s a link to a vid of all of the details.

I promise.  No more surgery stories.  Just  check it. Your neck, that is!  🙂

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