Having seen both me and Dori so ill with nausea and vomiting postoperatively, Janina is prepared to ask the anesthesiologist not to give her any pain medication at the time of surgery. Every hospital has its own protocol, and while many folks handle pain meds well (and rather like them), I’m getting the feeling that me and my girls have a low tolerance for them.
Odd as it sounds, thyroid surgery is rather painless. I don’t recall having any pain at all in the neck area, and I still don’t. Perhaps it’s because the incision cuts through the nerve endings. But whatever the reason, it just doesn’t hurt, so I’m not going to argue. On the zero to 10 pain level scale, I was never more than a 2.5, and that was when I first awoke from surgery. The most uncomfortable part is the sore throat and difficulty swallowing that follows being intubated during the procedure. For me, time and Slurpees were the answer.
That’s the thing about having been there and done that, it’s so easy to put yourself into another’s shoes. I support Janina’s decision to request zero to very low-level pain medication during her operation, and I will be there in the hours following to make sure that she is as comfortable as possible, doing all those things that made me feel better when I was the one in the hospital bed.
It's wonderful having a job that you love, and I can't wait to get back to the office tomorrow -- my first day back since the day before Christmas Eve. I look forward to seeing and talking with our patients again. They don’t even know why I took some extra time off. I just didn’t have the heart to tell them about my diagnosis and surgery so as not to dampen their holiday spirit, or mine for that matter. My boss says they have been asking about me and seem concerned, but he told them that he gave me some extra well-deserved time off. Many of them are like extended family, and I can’t wait to give and get a big hug.
Somehow I feel that sitting at my desk again will give me a sense that my life is returning to normal.