I think I can quite safely declare myself to be in a rather acute state of laryngitis post-thyroidectomy, and must try and completely avoid speaking, whispering, coughing or clearing my throat. That vipassana I had mentioned earlier? It begins now.
My vocal cords have been off since day 1, and I suspect the damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve due to surgery was further exacerbated by the viral flu I contracted on day 10. It is now day 25, and last night I had to resort to painkillers as I didn’t know how else to deal with the pain and swollen feeling in my throat. This was following a cold cup of passionflower-skullcap herb tea i sipped to self-soothe.
When I google these feelings, I come across alarming words like epiglottitis and laryngitis, and I’m fairly sure I may be experiencing both to some extent. Friends and family message me every day to ask how I’m doing, if I feel better now, and I am quite literally at a loss when it comes to words. I’m still in a transition phase, still in the midst of recovery, and I’m okay, but then there’s the not-so-small matter of the cords. I don’t really know what’s going on inside my throat while Nature does its stitching up work, so all I can do is pay attention, and really effing take care of myself. If this means no visitors or talking on the phone, so be it. I really shouldn’t have to feel guilty about having laryngitis. I do have fingers though, and I can type, not just to write this post but also to communicate with the homies.
The very good news I received yesterday was the result of the blood test I was asked to get done to check my levels of serum thyroglobulin, antibodies, and TSH. There was a slight glitch when the lab sent me the antibodies and TSH result, but not the most definitive thing to rule out radio iodine therapy, which was serum thyroglobulin. We had to go back the next day and ask them if they still had some of my blood sample left, or if I would need to get more blood extracted. Thankfully I didn’t, small joy, as I’m quite tired of having my arm repeatedly jabbed in the same area, we just had to pay some more for the serum test and wait a few more days.
Serum thyroglobulin is a storage form of thyroxin, which is the hormone produced by the thyroid gland, and in a normal healthy adult it should be around 55 ng/ml. Mine came out to be less than 0.20 ng/ml, which I’m guessing indicates that all my storage was almost depleted at the end of three weeks post-thyroidectomy, and nothing was being produced by any remnants of thyroid tissue left in my body. Therefore the need for radio iodine ablation was ruled out by the nuclear physician and he as well as my surgeon said to start taking one tablet of Thyronorm 100mcg.
So this fine morning on day 25, half an hour before my usual breakfast of tea and toast, closely supervised by my sweet Huz, I swallowed my first pill. This little white pill I shall swallow every morning for the rest of my life.
It’s so strange to reflect today on this page that has been turned to start a new chapter. The chapter that started in February 2022, but which actually started sometime in 2017, has come to an end. I should probably do a little ceremony to mark this day, maybe light a candle and burn some incense. Sit in quiet meditation and breathe it in, accept gracefully what is, embrace the new, release the old, hug myself a little.
Maybe there has been no beginning, and no ending.
Maybe it has all been a journey and an adventure and it simply continues.
Maybe my life is about deeply feeling, all the heavinesses, and all the lightnesses.
Maybe life is all about moving to the beat of my own energy, owning it unapologetically, speaking my truths, owning them, loving myself.
Maybe life is all about awareness……that my happiness and peace are all within, recognizing that the subtle nuances in my environment are created by the energy I emit, and not the other way around.
I acknowledge this immense shift and surrender to it, unafraid, making space for ever-increasing love as I move along in this blessed, never-ending transition called Life.
It is all very beautiful, even the horizontal scar on my swollen, tight neck. And I predict it will become even more peaceful than it already is.