Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Catch up time!

So let's see -- where was I when I was interrupted by surgery.  Yes, surgery.  I had the remaining (left) side of my thyroid removed on the 21st.  I certainly wasn't anticipating that this would happen so quickly when I saw the oncology surgeon on the 18th, and she told me it would be 4 - 6 weeks before I could get on the schedule.  I had been following a nodule on that left side for about 8 years, and over the last 6 months it started to grow and get calcifications and look a little suspicious.  I live in East Podunk, USA, where the shopping is nonexistent, not to mention the medical expertise for something like this, but I happen to have an internist who is also an endocrinologist, and she knew just whom to send me to, just in case it was malignant.
And then there was that unexpected phone call on the 20th from the surgeon saying that she had a cancellation for the 21st and our mad scramble to take care of the dogs and hubby's job and special foods for me when I got home and couldn't swallow very well (like last time) and all, but we made it up to Richmond that night and stayed in the hospital's hospitality house.  If you've never done this, consider taking advantage of these arrangements if you live far from definitive care, like we do.  It was clean and comfortable and very basic. 

I have to say that the suddenness of this "cancellation" in her schedule made me just a tiny bit paranoid:  did she really have a cancellation, or was she so worried about my thyroid's changes that she moved me up on the schedule?  Even though I didn't expect these nodules to be malignant -- after all, the last time they weren't, and I thought it would be the same this time -- what if she had seen something on my DVD (that's what they use now instead of films), and now she was worried enough to get me in quickly and was trying to do so without alarming me?

The next morning at 6 AM we were bright eyed and  bushy-tailed (well, not really) and off to the operating suite we went, with a tiny bit of trepidation.  I have to say that I have had many surgeries, but they were all at hospitals where I had actually practiced  in the past, so I knew the surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists and was completely relaxed about having the right people work on me.  This time, although it was at MCV, a fine teaching hospital, I didn't know anyone.  I just had to trust that my surgeon would oversee my care and that the outcome would be equivalent to what I had had in the past.

I shouldn't have worried at all.  I stayed overnight afterwards because they had to follow my serum calcium levels to make sure that the parathyroids had not been compromised by the surgery.  Those four tiny glands are only the size of a grain of rice, so this was a very good move on the part of the docs to make sure I didn't have any problems during recuperation (tetany).

  You have almost no pain with thyroid surgery.  It feels sort of like you have a whiplash, but that's minimal compared to, for instance, abdominal surgery where you feel like a truck hit you and then rolled back over you to see what they had done the first time.  But I digress.

I didn't exactly get back to quilting very quickly, but I did manage to finish two projects by the end of May.  The first is a Nook book bag, created by my friend, Mary Nielsen, of whom I have spoken glowingly many times.  Mary and her mom both got Nooks for mother's day, and Mary fashioned this adorable carrying bag for it, going through two prototypes before she was satisfied with the design.  Then she let me try to make one, too, since I had gotten one a week later, and here's the front.

And here's the back.  It has a zippered pocket on it, which I use to carry the USB connection and the AC plug for the Nook, but you could also put your cell phone in there.

Here it is opened up.  Under the left flap are pockets for credit cards and the like.  This little Nook book bag was so useful this past Tuesday when I went for my post op check up.   It held everything I needed.  

And the best news was that the thyroid nodules were not malignant! 

One of my guild buddies, Myrt, asked me to quilt one of her personal quilts, so here's her wonderful log cabin with lovely diagonal stripes from the lighter fabrics.  I decided to use one of my favorite patterns for these log cabin blocks, which is placing feathers in the lighter areas and bars in the darker ones.

This closeup shows how lovely that pattern looks in the lighter areas.  I'm happy to say she was every bit as pleased as I had hoped she would be.

I'll have some nice pictures to show you when I get a little farther along on Sue's stunning quilt.  Sue does lots of QOV's (Quilts of Valor) for our wounded troops, but this time she sent me one of her own works of art.  But more about that next time.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear things are doing well with you. Love the Nook bag. Looks like it is the perfect carry along to have.