29 April 2011

More than a pain in the neck

I seem to experience pains and circumstances like no one else that I personally know.  There are the simple dairy issues, the more complex back problems, and the even more worrisome cancer scares.  More recently, I have had a lupus scare lending itself to some skin issues that are going to be with me permanently and have forever changed the way I will do my hair.

About a month and a half ago I was out eating a lovely sushi meal with my local sister and my brother from another mother and father and noticed a small bump on my neck.  I thought it was a pimple and made a note to look at it when I got home.  I didn't.  I remembered it a couple days later.  It was way larger and felt nothing like a pimple.  But I wasn't too worried.  Then it got larger and harder.  I went to the dermatologist.  He said he couldn't deal with it since it was too far under the skin.  I went to a general surgeon who sent me to get an ultrasound.

All in all, this lead to some incredible worrying.  And a lot of sub plan writing - one of the truly annoying things about being a teacher is that you can't just take a day off.  There has to be a plan for every hour and you have to write it all down for the person who will cover your classes for you.  It takes way longer to do sub plans than to actually stick out sicknesses and go to work.  Unfortunately, doctors don't work around my school day.

But, back to my neck.  The lump was growing.  It was becoming a nuisance when I swallowed, yawned, accidentally put the toothbrush too far and gagged when I was cleaning my tongue - it was really annoying. And becoming more and more scary!  What was this growth?!?!?!

The surgeon said it was likely a thyroglossal duct cyst - which he said usually develop in early childhood.  This added more to my confusion.  I know I can be immature at times, but WTF?  Am I a mutant?  Why is this happening to me?

He said it could be removed easily.  I set up a surgery date for two and a half weeks from that appointment.  And that began two and a half weeks of worry.

I have several doctors in the family, but I also watch a lot of doctor shows.  I have seen simple surgery turn into a life-long nightmare.  I have seen doctors leave items in body cavities and seen doctors operate on the wrong portion of a patient.

I went in this past Tuesday for the procedure.  Fortunately, my siblings were kind of sympathetic when I called and told them that I had had enough and that I was going to slit my throat.  One of them was really worried and thought I was actually suicidal.  But when I offered her my nice tv, she seemed ok with it all.

Luckily the worst part was not eating after midnight prior to the surgery.  The procedure was scheduled for 1:45, but the doctor was an hour late.  I was so hungry that I was actually past hunger.  I assume that my insides were already digesting my body... that would explain why I was significantly lighter when I stepped on the scale than I have been for over four years.  Oh, and not being able to take headache medicine or any other medicine for a week before the surgery - great time for my sinus to become completely f-ed up (neti-pot is my new best friend).

Actually, the worst part was not not eating before surgery.  It has been trying to eat after surgery.  The tube used during anesthesia caused irritation afterward, then the fact that they cut portions of my throat muscles and throat bones out has caused significant pain during eating, chewing, drinking, and any activity that involves moving the tongue besides talking.  Also, my neck is swollen and sore when I try and lay down or turn over when in bed.  As soon as I finish writing this, I am going to go back and get the cold pack and lay it out on my neck.

Unfortunately, it took me two days to realize that I could be taking two pills for pain instead of just one at a time.  That made a huge difference.  I still don't see why people get addicted to these sort of pills, but I guess my demographics don't fit the usual suspects for prescription drug abuse.

I took the gauze off yesterday and am now looking like a black Mrs. Frankenstein.  The stitches stick out more than the actual incision - which should blend a bit with the natural neck folds when they unsew my neck in a little over a week.  I guess there go my chances of showing a lot of neck when I finally get a chance on Tyra's modeling show.

Hopefully, this is the last of my medical ailments for a long time.

Oh, yeah.  All this happened after a massive tornado impacted my school district and made several of my students and colleagues homeless.  I feel for them and the people in the southwest recovering from that devastation.

Oh, and while this was all happening, I was doing another cycle of SIOL for 30 days.  I even managed to wear my six to the hospital for the procedure since Tuesday was the last day of the project.  I will continue until the end of May with my Project 333 challenge.

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