Wednesday, July 4, 2012

12 days (one graphic photo)

I'm now 12 days post surgery. I want to say it went by fast, and it did in a way, and it's also been very slow. Randy hasn't been home a lot and so when he is here, I feel like I want to just touch and be with him all the time, run away alone together for coffee and talking and touching. Alas, no time for that just yet!

Looking at my kids, this whole thing seems like it never even happened. There was never a time they said they were worried or seemed worried, hovered, or were clingy or overly attentive. I didn't sense that this was a stressful time for them and it seems odd to me. Great, I am so relieved that what I thought it would be for them was not what it turned out to be, and I feel a little cheated of some of the benefits I think I should get- you know, less arguing, more offers of chores, someone to rub my feet... ya know, the perks. ;)

Yesterday we peeled the tape back on my incision a bit. I took a photo which I want to share because I think it's good information for people going through this to know what the incision might look like post operatively. The neck itself where the incision is is quite swollen still and I have a little 'shelf' there. It looks like I swallowed a disk and it got stuck in my throat. That swelling will continue to go down as the stitches inside my neck dissolve, and especially one the tape comes off and I'm able to massage that area (ewwwwwwww that squicks me out! but I'll do it).

The area itself is still quite tender and if I turn a certain way it pulls. Driving is fine but my seatbelt rubs right on the edge of my incision and that is really irritating. When I turn my head to the left or right, I turn to a certain point and then my whole body turns too because I think I'm still just quite protective of that area and don't want to put unnecessary strain on it. I feel really confident moving my body around otherwise though.

We decided to peel the tape back just to look at the incision and I'm glad we did just because it eased some anxieties I had about it, but also bummed that my wound did not knit neatly together in a sweet, thin line. It's got some dehiscence (splitting open of a surgical wound) going on which is not worrisome but it does mean that my scar won't be nicely hidden, it will be wider at least at the points we saw.

Ready for the photo? It's a little icky so just scroll down fast if you don't want to see!

You can click on it to see it closer up. ;)

If you have the courage to look closely at it you can see the surgical glue stuck to the tape and was pulled out of the wound when we pulled the tape back. We didn't pull it out, it wasn't sitting in there the way it should and my body just wasn't a fan of the glue or whatever. Looking again, you can see a small separation between the edges of the wound. It's not deeper than the layers of my skin but it will heal 'open' that way. It's too late to pull them back together and let them heal closed.

That's as far as we've pulled the tape off and now we're just leaving it alone completely. I do not have any signs of infection so other than the fact it's opened a bit, the only issue really is cosmetic as long as I don't develop an infection.

My voice is also at about 80% which is nice! I sound like myself again. Talking on the phone continues to be a real strain to my voice and talking for a long time still tires me. I don't know why, I think it has everything to do with how I am using my breath. I'm not sure the mechanics of that but I can feel myself run out of breath more often (less often than right after surgery, but still more than before surgery) and having to pause for a deep breath now and then because I get woozy. Maybe I'm just naturally woozy. ;)

As far as my thyroid replacement is concerned, I feel really normal and fine on the dosage I'm on so far. I don't now how long it would take for me to feel 'other' if my dosage is off (Levothyroxine), but right now I'm noticing that I am less tired every day, my appetite is okay, everything going in comes out fine, my heart doesn't race, my hair and skin feel nice and supple and not dry. 

While I'm curious about a more natural alternative to what I'm taking, I'm also fearful of experimenting when this is working so well, at least it seems to be right now.


  1. This may not help what you're dealing with, but you might try to actively engage your diaphragm when you're talking. If you're feeling strain on your throat that might help; it does for me when I'm singing.

    On another note... It does totally look like you're a cartoon character who swallowed something you weren't supposed to and now there's a weird lumpy thing stuck in your throat. Just sayin'.

    So glad you're healing well! :-D

  2. Wow the incision made me cringe looking at it. Kind of like seeing a cesarean incision only higher, you know? I can relate to the feeling of pulling off the bandage to get a look.

    Love you, brave SW!

  3. Wow, I can so totally identify with the scariness of the incision, the worry about scarring, etc. I'm glad you're leaving the tape alone now, and your post-op follow up is coming up soon, so it'll be good for you to hear her thoughts on your healing.