The surgery is done. Thank God.
When I went to my pre-op appointment on Thursday afternoon, I told them about my previous BAD hospital experience and how terrified and freaked out I was about this whole endeavor. They listened and took me seriously.
On Friday afternoon, I took the valium my doctor had prescribed for me prior to getting to the hospital, so that helped take the edge off. When I checked in to get prepped for surgery, all of the nurses, doctors, etc. were simply amazing. I did have a minor breakdown when they were trying to get my IV started and were having trouble--just brought back a flood of bad memories of pain and awfulness. I just kept saying, "I don't want to be here...I want to leave...I don't want to be here..." Luckily, they started the Versed* shortly after they got the IV in, and that made me care a WHOLE lot less what was going on (*a.k.a. Happy Goodtime Night Night Pre-Anesthesia Medicine). Got me wheeled away to surgery, and the next thing I knew I was in the recovery room. Which was fine, until there started to be a lot of nervous activity around my bed. I was super groggy, but I was aware enough to hear the words, "bleeder", "swelling", and "page the doctor". I started to freak out and trying to ask questions, which I couldn't vocalize. I was beyond terrified. They finally told me they were going to have to take me back in to the operating room, and that's the last thing I remember until I was being wheeled into my room at about 10:30pm. Apparently, one of the small veins in my neck had been nicked when they were suturing me up, and it was bleeding right beneath the surface of the skin and causing pretty significant swelling and bruising above and below my incision. So they had to put me back under (breathing tube and all) and go back in and get the bleeding to stop and clean up the mess. Yuck, right? All in all, it was a fairly minor thing, but it sure didn't FEEL minor when all of the hubub was going on around me in recovery.
Had a very non-restful night in the hospital--constant interruptions, drawing labs, taking vitals, discomfort, etc. So I was VERY relieved when my doctor came to visit me at 7am yesterday and told me that all my labwork and my incision looked great, so they'd be letting me go home. Less than 24 hours in the hospital, bitches!! (He also told me that we were very lucky we'd gotten to this when we did b/c the larger tumor inthe right lobe of my thyroid was getting ready to bust outta that sucker and spread elsewhere.)
So, I'm home. The Geej is with my mom until this afternoon. And I got some good rest last night, albeit I pretty much have to sleep in one position (on my back, elevated) due to my incision (about 5 inches wide at the base of my neck; Stitched and covered in steri strips) and the LOVELY bloody drain that's coming out of the front of my neck. The worst part of this so far? How DAMN sore my throat is from the breathing tubes. Man, it hurts to swallow, cough, or anything having to do with my entire neck area.
Yesterday, after my first attempt at eating in almost 48 hrs., I had a big scare where I thought I was going to vomit (and actually did a tiny bit), and the fear of how much that would hurt had me crying my eyes out. And I'm pretty sure that fear also kept me from going full-tilt barfo, which I'm thankful for.
BH has been SO amazing through all of this. He's an amazing, selfless caretaker. I was craving baked potato soup for dinner last night (and was finally really, really hungry), and he got a recipe off the internet, went to the store, got all the stuff, and cooked up the best batch of baked potato soup I've ever tasted. I love that man.
We both went to bed really early last night. He was exhausted too due to staying overnight with me at the hospital on Friday. And although I'm missing The Geej (I got to see her for about an hour yesterday), it's nice just having the quiet house right now so we can both just kind of take it easy. My next adventure? Figuring out how to take a shower with this drain thing, which needs to be pinned to something like a shirt so it doesn't just dangle and pull in the spot it emanates from. (I've got a follow-up appt. with my doctor on Monday afternoon, at which they'll hopefully remove this nasty thing.) I'm going to have to get creative because I NEED this shower. Trust me.
Thank you all for all your good thoughts and prayers, by the way. It sounds silly, but it really DOES help knowing that there are friends and family out there, far and wide, who are rooting for me.