These past couple of weeks have flown by. One minute, I’m on the phone, scheduling a pre-op appointment, and the next, it seems that I’m sitting there in the office, waiting to see the surgeon. The beginning of a new year of homeschooling, consignment sale prep, getting to teach a Trim Healthy Mama class, and trying to get meals and such done in advance made the time fly.
I’m going to be very honest: I was nervous. The thought of neck surgery…of someone cutting into my neck, it just freaks me out. A lot. Early on, when researching parathyroid disease on www.parathyroid.com, I decided that if I was to ever have surgery, that the TOP priority for me was to use a surgeon that was very, very skilled and experienced with parathyroid removal.
I’m SO grateful to have found Dr. Parihk. He specializes in minimally invasive parathyroid surgery right here in Atlanta. He has even pioneered a method of using ultrasound to locate parathyroid tumors prior to surgery. Here’s a photo op of my over-sized parathyroid…the one he removed:
I’m especially reminded of the importance of having a good surgeon when reading an e-mail sent in by a reader, recalling her surgeries for parathyroid disease. Her first surgeon removed two healthy glands, and left the one that was diseased. She had to have a second surgery, and is now on medication for life to help regulate her calcium.
If you still need convincing, Google images of ‘parathyroid surgery’ and check out the Frankenstein inspired stitch jobs out there. And then head over to Dr. Parihk’s surgery center, or to the Disney World vacation destination of Parathyroid surgery: Dr. Norman’s Parathyroid surgery center down in Florida.
The day prior to surgery was a whirlwind of activity for this Mama: finish up pre-registration with the hospital, go over instructions with nurse Barbara, watch a Mommy Makeover tutorial (priorities, ladies!), pick up prescriptions–and a new color of blush, do school, finish up laundry, pack bags…and a blissful 2 hour break in which we went to the pool with friends.
I also took a minute to snap this photo of my pre-fileted neck. For posterity.
Then we dropped the kids off with grandparents and went out to eat.I packed a bag with snacks for my dearly beloved, and a few books. Hospitals involve lots of waiting, usually. I put together an outfit that would be easy to get back into afterwards, if I was groggy from the anesthesia. I heart my maxi dress…it’s as comfy as a nightgown, but more socially acceptable at Atlanta Bread Company for essential post-surgery french onion soup. Here’s a little visual I cooked up for you over on Polyvore…
One of my big concerns with the surgery (besides the whole ‘slicing into the neck part) was the anesthesia. I’ve had 2 prior surgeries, and it’s taken me hours and hours to get over the anesthesia. I basically sleep for the rest of the day and night. After recently being diagnosed with an MTHFR genetic mutation, that could explain why…my body has a harder time clearing things out. In preparation for this, I had been taking milk thistle extract to enhance liver function, as well as special B vitamins to really support me through this.
I shared my concerns with the anesthesiologist, Dr. Paul. He had never heard of MTHFR, but told me that he’d titer the dose or some such…he would keep my issues in mind and not drug me out of my head for the rest of the day. I appreciate.
I was whisked back to the OR early, only to find out that Dr. Parikh had been called into the ER for a consult. So I got to lay there and actually enjoy the crazy little leg massage deals that they put on your legs. And I converted a couple of nurses to Trim Healthy Mama, and discussed homeschooling with another ER nurse. They let me in on their pa-pa-para(dise)thyroid theme song on Parathyroid Fridays with Dr. Parikh. They asked me about the symptoms of living with parathyroid disease. It was time well spent.
Finally, Dr. Paul and Dr. Parikh came in and that’s where things went black for me. Turns out, the surgery took a grand total of 13 minutes. THIRTEEN minutes! I woke up 30 minutes after they finished surgery in the post-op area, to the sound of a nurse telling my post-op nurse, “years ago, patients having this surgery would be in the ICU.”
Repeating: PLEASE go to a highly experienced surgeon if you need to have this done!
Dr. Paul…you did an AMAZING job on my anesthesia! I was fully awake, and not the least bit foggy or drowsy. I HUGELY appreciate you!
An hour later, after converting yet another nurse to THM, I was back in my cute duds. My man took a snapshot for my Mama, whose mind was fully put at ease by the fact that I *was* indeed wearing makeup. Thank you www.maskcara.com! Clearly, time well spent.
I snapped this photo of my wound as we were heading out to lunch. My throat hurt from the intubation tube, and french onion soup sounded great. If you really want to see the real deal, then click the photo, and it will open…hit your back button to come back here. Warning: there is NO bandaging: only a weird rubbery purple glue that holds the skin together.
My discharge nurse was very impressed with the wound care. She said her neck surgery years ago left her looking like she had a second pair of lips on her neck. But today, you can’t even tell she has a scar. This leaves me very hopeful that I’ll also heal up nicely!
The weird pale splotches around the incision are from the skin numbing stuff they injected apparently, and that totally wore away by this morning. At which time, I missed it terribly. I woke up feeling rather beat up today…I don’t really want to know what happened in those 13 minutes, but I can tell you I’m sore and my incision stung a bit this morning. And my voice is very hoarse from the anesthesia breathing tube. But I’ll heal up.
I’m being a good, good girl, and taking my calcium supplements and putting wound salve around the glue that holds the incision closed. I’m taking it easy, and my family and church are taking good care of me.
I want to thank all of my friends and family who prayed for me…overall, this entire experience was just really positive. I can already tell a difference in my energy levels (even though I’m being really good and lazy for a while to recuperate.) I’m looking forward to going back to my post-op appointment, and thanking Dr. Parikh in person. ♥