Back in January I wrote this post about what was then the beginnings of some health issues I've been going through.
A brief summary: December 14th, my heart started racing and I went to the ER. While in the ER I had a CT scan. The CT scan showed something on my thyroid. I had an ultrasound on my thyroid and nodules were found on the right side. I was referred to a cardiologist and an surgeon.
Because of the nodules on the right side of my thyroid, I had a biopsy done. I got the results after waiting for two long weeks (I think the days are longer when you are waiting for test results) I learned that the biopsy showed no cancer. (!!) I had surgery scheduled for February 10.
February 4th Hubby and I went to the hospital for the pre-op meeting. That involved answering a thousand questions, telling multiple different people the same answers to the same questions and trying my darnedest to not get super annoyed. (I will NEVER understand some things about the medical world.)
February 10th we showed up at 11am at the hospital for all the checking in process. And yes, I answered those same questions, again. Sigh. My surgery was scheduled for 1:40pm. It was delayed 2 hours because of difficult cases before me. It was tough to wait. The anticipation of surgery is nerve-wracking and I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since midnight before.
Once in the OR, all I remember is a couple of people working around me and talking about their kids. I thought I should join in the conversation, but was too sleepy. Surgery went as expected. When I woke up in recovery, I started crying because I was scared. I asked for my hubby so much, the nurse finally went to find him and brought him to where I was. I felt much calmer after he was there and was feeding me ice chips. He's the best.
I spent one night in the hospital. I expected to be very hungry for supper since I hadn't had anything to eat since the night before. But that wasn't so at all. My throat was very dry because of the breathing tube that was stuck down my throat during the surgery. I tried to eat supper, but it just didn't taste good and I just didn't have an appetite. I thought I would sleep really well due to drugs, but I did not. I woke up a lot.
The next morning consisted on getting me ready to go home. And waiting for the surgeon to come talk to me. I was out of the hospital shortly after 11am. (My stay in the hospital was pretty darn close to 24 hours.) All that sounded good for lunch was a Chick-fil-A peppermint-chocolate-chip-shake. That really hit the spot.
I spent the next several days just sleeping and trying to get back to normal. Two days after the surgery three ladies from our Bible study group brought food for us. We were very touched by their kindness. I cried when they left because I am so thankful we have friends here. It took me probably ten days to feel back to normal.
A week after the surgery, I got a call from the surgeon's office with the results of the pathology test. the summary of the report was the large nodule was benign. There was a tiny nodule that wasn't seen on the ultrasound. And in that was a very small microscopic bit of cancer. The surgeon was able to remove all of what cancer there was and I have not had to go through any cancer treatments. (!!!)
This is what I looked like for the two weeks after the surgery. I sorta felt like I was wearing a turtleneck. (I hate turtlenecks.) The resulting scar is very neat.
March 17th was the date for my heart procedure. My cardiologist is an Electrophysiology specialist. (That means he deals with the electrical part of the heart and not the plumbing.) The goal of the heart procedure was to recreate the arrhythmia that happened in December and ablate (destroy) the cells that were causing the arrhythmia.
This time I was at the hospital by 7am. I figured I didn't really need to be alert, so it didn't matter how sleepy I was. This procedure is an outpatient procedure. I was home by 3 that afternoon.
I didn't have a general anesthesia for this, I was sedated. The procedure was supposed to take an hour and a half. It took three hours. The doctor accessed my heart through veins in my legs. Finding the problem area wasn't easy. The sedative made it difficult for them to recreate the arrhythmia, so they had to back off the medication and I ended up being awake for some of the procedure. That was quite uncomfortable and unnerving. Then they found 2 places that they ablated. It was scary and I cried a couple of times.
I was told that recovery would just be three or four days. I was told how to care for the places they stuck the tubes or whatever they used to get to my heart. I was not told what to expect in regards to how my heart would recover. I felt very tired and at times my heart felt irregular, my resting heart-rate was high. Two weeks later I finally called the cardiologist's office and talked to a nurse. She admitted that someone "forgot" to tell me what to expect regarding my heart. The places that were ablated were healing and it was normal for it to feel a bit irregular and not to worry about my heart rate. I was told it can take 6 weeks to three months to heal.
My conclusion to this is time will tell if my heart is healed. I have still felt some arrhythmia, but not anywhere near severe enough that I would go to the ER. I see the cardiologist June 17. It will be interesting to hear what he says then.
Oh and just to make more fun in my life...I had two almost 40 year old fillings replaced recently (and will probably have to get a crown on one of the molars) AND today I had an MRI (and even panicked in the MRI machine) to hopefully find out what has been causing my back pain. Yippee.
I know this may not be the most entertaining of blog posts. I just wanted to write it down so I can remember.
Next up....what God had been teaching me.