Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's not a tumah! Oh, wait...

Okay, it was a tumah after all.

It's been just over a week since the surgery. Nothing like a vacation to make you eager to get back to your job. Those of you who follow me on Twitter kept up somewhat with how much fun the night in the hospital was. I was wide awake in the middle of the night, and the only thing on TV were infomercials (including those seriously offensive ones from Pro Douchebag Kevin Trudeau) and two showings of Crocodile Dundee back to back. I can see how it would have been comforting if I had been terminal.

I just had follow-up visits with Dr. Schmidt (the surgeon/certified smartass) and Dr. Beasley (endochrinologist/sober grandpa). Dr. Schmidt told me about the surgery itself:

The growth on my thyroid was 2.1cm long. ("Is that big?" "Bigger than 1cm. Not as big as 3cm." I am looking forward to seeing the itemized bill to find out how much this hilarity costs me.) It had not spread into my blood vessels (yay) but did mess up five lymph nodes. Or should I say ex-lymph nodes. He said the surgery went well -- I actually figured that, because when I woke up in the hospital and had a question, they told me "Dr. Schmidt is in Las Vegas now."

I can see him... slippping my thyroid into his pocket, dreams of flopping it on a Craps table and growling "let it ride." I had been imagining Dr. Schmidt pulling my thyroid out with some tongs, stepping over to an open giant steel door, shouting "CLEAR!" and throwing it in while a nurse slams the door shut and everyone takes cover. ka-BOOM!

Then I went to see Dr. Beasley to find out what's next. I'd been a little nervous, because I have to go without any thyroid hormone for awhile to get ready for radiation, and I don't know what that's going to do to me.

Turns out likely symptoms are moving slowly, dry skin, and maybe more irritability. I'm going to turn into a Gorn!

This will be me in my breezy Fred Flintstone clothes negotiating with a Priceline representative

Not exactly the superpower I was hoping for, but we'll see what happens after the radiation in a few weeks.

One thing I learned is that surgeons and endochrinologists are natural enemies. To a surgeon, an endo is a timid little shaman that freaks out at the sight of blood and reacts to everything by giving it an ultrasound. And to endochrinologists, if the endochrine system is the Large Hadron Collider, a surgeon is the guy who drove the bulldozer to start digging it out.

So right now, I am able to drive and go back to work. I spend my spare time swallowing pills, mainly calcium supplements (Dr. Schmidt had to remove a couple of parathyoird glands, which regulate the calcium in my system -- the remaining ones should eventually shoulder the load). Also swallowing vitamin D (to help absorb the calcium), something called cytomel (which will help ease me into my Gorn symptoms instead of just falling off a cliff), and Lortab (very nice pain pills which I am weaning myself from now).

I'll be continuing like this for at least the next three weeks. Then I'll go back to Dr. Beasley to check my levels, and see when I'm ready for the radiation. THAT will be fun. I'll have plenty of time to blog about that, since I have to spend a few days isolated from everyone else.

In the meantime, I really am going to share some stuff about the Mexico cruise they THEY don't want you to know abo--... ARRGH! Damn Trudeau commercials...


Scott Little said...

"since I have to spend a few days isolated from everyone else."

Yay! We're all saved!

All joking aside, I'm glad you seem to be taking this all in stride. By the way, The Gorn are my favorite Star Trek aliens.

The Man Version said...


Scott, next time I see you, I'm going to give you a big hug, THEN tell you if I'm radioactive. Coat your privates in lead-based paint, just in case.


For some reason, the radiation isn't scary to me. I was much more nervous heading into surgery. But that might change when I'm holding the capsule on my tongue while the nurse shouts "swallow!" from behind a shielded door...