On October 28, 2010, I was told I had thyroid cancer.
On November 24, 2010,I went for surgery to remove my thyroid.
The weeks between were filled with waiting, emotions, communicating, preparing, appointments, and more waiting. Finally, surgery day arrived.
We arrived at the hospital at 9:15AM – checking in at the admin/admissions desk (I believe I was number 15). Being a surgical patient gives you a sense of priority – your name/file/papers are all arranged and sorted. After the processing of the paperwork we were sent up to the second floor – the surgical nit. I had been given a private room, not by my request, which we look back on as a gracious provision. The room – 217 – was not ready (a patient was being discharged) so we were sent to the TV room, also known as the Quiet Room – though it was not necessarily very quiet. (The TV room became an important place during my stay – because we could watch The Food Network – a favorite of Beth and me.) The process began. Nurse Lea Ann gave instructions for me to change into gauze underwear and a gown and robe (the gauze underwear may have been cut off me at some point – I am not sure). As well, I was to preserve a urine sample (the questions concerning pee and other bodily functions are a regular part of the hospital experience). Paper booties proved useless as my toes tore through the ends right away. So there I sat in gown and robe and gauze and booties, waiting for the next step - the IV. Dr. Miller wanted me on an antibiotic prior to surgery, so an IV was needed. Lea Ann carefully prepped me for the procedure and when all was in place inserted the needle into the back of my left hand. This was painful – far more so than the average injection or drawing of blood. The IV was hooked up and I began to feel it. Barb noticed me becoming pale and I was becoming that dizzy-before-fainting feeling – not your standard dizzy. Apparently I passed out with some type of seizure reaction – a twitching, jerking, I don’t know action – Barb says for about 15 seconds. This proved to be the most traumatic moment of the day. More to follow.