I went to the surgeon yesterday. I woke emotional that morning. It was my first official day of being home from my trip to California. Things didn't seem to be falling in place. My kids didn't seem to want to wake up. My husband was in the field. How could I remove them from their beds after such a long trip. I wanted to cancel the appointment. I wanted this situation to just stop.
I finally made it to my appointment. I was nervous. I don't get nervous, but I was shaken up. I still don't get where all these emotions are coming from. Anyway, I notice that I am the only one in the office alone. I hate the Army sometimes. The Army always seems to get in the way of the most important moments when I absolutely need my husband by my side.
Dr. S (the surgeon) is his name. He has kind eyes and soft hands. He is freakishly tall and completely bald. He doesn't smile as he holds my gaze. I instantly want to cry. I get in my head and tell myself to hold it together. How dare I pick this time to start feeling sorry for myself.
Dr. S begins to explain the surgery. He makes a comment about it being a good thing I was thin because he will be able to get to my thyroid and see what he's working with. He explains that my thyroid is close to my parathyroid, which helps with calcium and that sometimes it is inside of the thyroid, so we have to be careful. He then tells me the nerves for my voice box are also in the area and I begin to cry. He and his kind eyes look at me. He touches my shoulder, goes out of the room and comes back with a box of tissues. He looks as if he is going to cry and then I feel bad because he is one of those men who can't stand to see a woman cry. He suggest that he just draw a diagram of the whole thing, but I stop him and tell him that I want him to go into detail. I want him to tell me everything.
He places my thick folder behind him on the counter and says to me, "Do you know why you're here". I want to start crying again, but this time I hold it together. He goes on to say, "You've got this nodule on the right side of your thyroid. The pathologist cannot say for sure if it's benign because he needs more tissue. You need this surgery to rule out cancer. It is scary. You have a right to be upset. We are worried (me and your Endocrinologist) about follicular cancer. The pathologist will be in the room and test the nodule because it takes 3-5 days to get a report on the part of the thyroid we will be removing and if cancer is present we will have to remove the whole thyroid"
Me: Why don't we just remove the whole thyroid anyway.
Dr. S: Well, I'm pretty sure that this issue is what has been making you sick. If we take out the whole thing then you may have to go on a pill for the rest of your life.
Me: I'm already on that pill for the rest of my life.
Dr. S: Why? (looking in my folder again)
Me: I have Hashimoto's. Is it an insurance issue as to why you can't remove the whole thing? I would like to break up with my thyroid please. Can you make that happen?
Dr. S: (laughs) Were you in the Military?
Me: Yes, how can you tell?
Dr. S: I can tell and it's a good thing. (He sighs) We can't remove the whole thyroid because of Hashimoto's, but your doctor and I will discuss it. Do you work?
Me: No, I'm a stay at-home mom. I have two small children and my husband is in the field.
Dr. S: When can you do the surgery?
The surgery is scheduled for the 27th of July. I'm scared out of my mind. I've had a few surgeries in my life and this one has me shaken to my core.