Category Archives: Personal

It’s personal …

Graves Disease Total Thyroidectomy: Experiences and Advice for During and After the Hospital

Butterfly

This is a post to give some personal information and advice to others who have Graves disease and are planning on having a total thyroidectomy. Remember that I’m not a doctor or medical professional, that everyone’s experiences are different, and that this is just my anecdotal information. That being said, there was so relatively little online telling me what to expect after a thyroidectomy for Graves disease specifically that I would have appreciated a lot more information going in. This is because I’ve come to understand that partial thyroidectomy, total thyroidectomy for suspicious nodule/cancer, and total thyroidectomy for Graves disease are all very different in terms of procedure and healing. I now believe that Graves, as the least common of the three procedures, is also the trickiest, and that there was a lot I didn’t know going in. I’m also an over-preparer and super organized, so there’s some things I did at the time that felt ‘paranoid’ but ended up being ‘genius’.

Personal: About My Graves

Full disclosure, I am completely happy that I got the procedure. I only had my thyroid out two weeks ago, so I’m not going to pass any judgements on how I’m feeling, but I asked my surgeons for a photo of my thyroid and that thing was wrecked. It was never going to get better, and so I feel very sure that, whatever lies ahead, this was the right choice just based on the condition of the organ. That peace of mind means a lot, so if you’re curious, ask to see your thyroid post-op.

There are also a ton of variables going into surgery that I’m sure affect the experience. For one my thyroid numbers were stable and had been for about three months. Next, I completed all my prep with the Lugol’s solution and didn’t miss one dose, nor was a dose ever late. My Graves isn’t yours, obviously, so just in the interest of being transparent I will say I had heart issues (tachycardia and skipped beats) for which I took Atenolol, and mild TED that had stabilized a few months before surgery. My Methimazole dose going in was 10 mg/day and my last pill was the day before surgery. I didn’t have Graves lite though, let me assure you, for many months I was on 40 mg/day. I do think that waiting for the Graves to stabilize was a good idea for me personally though.

I also had some things that I cannot take credit for that were, I believe, hugely in my favor. I went to Dr. Gary Clayman at Tampa General Hospital, and his team is apparently one of the best in the country. I’m local, so this was just luck, but they live up to their reputation. They were amazing, and the number of people who (weirdly) called my incision “beautiful” were not joking. It’s a very clean cut and the work of someone who is obviously very skilled. This was probably the biggest factor of them all, so I would advise finding a very experienced surgeon. Because even the Clayman team, who does over 600 procedures a year, admitted that Graves thyroidectomies are their least common procedure by far.

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Throwback Thursday: A Decade of Blog-tastic March(s)

Many of my recent blog posts have focused on the fact that 10 years have passed since I started this blog, which has brought up a certain nostalgia for me, as well as the stark reality that my posts need to be cleaned up. Ten years will accrue a lot of broken links and unnecessary tags, if my blog is considered to be a representative sample. It also means that I’m in the depths of making sure all my photos aren’t being pulled from Flickr, which has proven a real treat.

March, like February, is a month that I posted rarely in over the years, but there are still some good bits around. I think I go into hibernation every spring, pretty much. Regardless, here is the best of March that my blog has to offer through the decade.

A Decade of Blog-tastic March(s)

March 30, 2008: Honeybee Haiku Cycle: Part 1
This is part one of my four part haiku cycle and contains three poems, most of which I still think are worthwhile.

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

March 27, 2013: The Martian Chronicles: “Ylla” by Ray Bradbury and The Problem That Has No Name
This is an analysis of the story “Ylla” from Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles in the contact of Betty Friedan, for all the feminist Science Fiction scholars out there (which I need to be). This analysis is short, but I’m proud of it nonetheless.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

March 22, 2014: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This is my only post from March 2014, written after my first time teaching Gatsby to Juniors in public High School.

Like I said, slim pickings this month, but I guess it’s good to know that my Marchs of the past weren’t a total waste?

Throwback Thursday: A Decade of Blog-tastic February(s)

Many of my recent blog posts have focused on the fact that 10 years have passed since I started this blog, which has brought up a certain nostalgia for me, as well as the stark reality that my posts need to be cleaned up. Ten years will accrue a lot of broken links and unnecessary tags, if my blog is considered to be a representative sample.

February is the one month that I wrote the least over the years, but there are still some good bits around. Here is the best of February that my blog has to offer through the decade.

A Decade of Blog-tastic February(s)

February 2, 2008: Squirrel Haiku
My muse eternal: the squirrel.

February 20, 2008: Downpour Haiku
I would consider this one of my better, if not my best haiku, of all time. Even if you disagree, you would have to admit that it’s an unnecessarily violent weather-themed haiku, and that’s something.

Etsy Quote

February 23, 2010: Etsy vs Big Cartel vs Storenvy
This is probably my all-time most popular post, so much so that I feel compelled to update it regularly eight years later. All told it’s been view over 50,000 times (that’s a lot for me), and I’m extremely appreciative of everyone who reads it, comments on it, and shares it.

February 23, 2011: Our New Mouse, Niblet
This post commemorates adopting Niblet, a pet mouse, and probably the last mouse I’ll ever own. She was very cute, but never really warmed up to me as much as I wanted. Mice as pets are sort of like fuzzy goldfish.

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Snake Person or Rat Person, a Conversation

Student 1: [talking about pet snakes]

Me: I’m a rat fancier myself.

Student 1: Rats, really?

Me: Yeah, I’m like a crazy rat lady.

Student 1: I don’t know, I really likes snakes.

Me: Well, you’re either a rat person or a snake person.

Student 1: [acknowledges the truth of the statement]

Student 2: Did you just say, “you’re either a rat person or a snake person”?

Me: It’s like the weird people version of being a cat person or dog person, basically.

The Daily Post “Compromise”