Here's what I've learned over the last week: Thyroidectomy (actually a hemithyroidectomy, I guess) maybe isn't any big deal compared to, oh, thoracic surgery, and trust me, I'm very very grateful to be dealing with one and not the other. But it's still no walk in the park.
I know. I'm a moron. But everyone has been so great pre-surgery, reassuring me that thyroid surgery is very common, you'll bounce right back, don't worry, etc. etc.. Plus, characters in books are always having these awful things happen to them, and they keep on going. And going.
All the things that happen to Harry Dresden in one book? How is this guy not dead by chapter 10? I rewatched Star Trek for the bazillionth time the other day and, omg, poor Kirk. How many times does he get strangled in that movie? (I was feeling particularly sympathetic for him on that count.)
You don't want to read about a hero with a hangnail, or a heroine who goes into a decline because someone insulted her dress at a ball. I'm all about giving characters big problems with big stakes. In The Splendor Falls, I didn't give Sylvie a torn ligament, even though that could have ended, or at least derailed, her ballet career just as well. No, I had to give her a compound fracture with the bone sticking out.
So, you know, I figured what's a little half a thyroid? Like, the size of a quarter? I'll just take two or three days off, slide that surgery right into my schedule. Doesn't even require an overnight stay in the hospital.
So here's what I know a week later:
Day Surgery: Ten years ago we would keep you in the hospital for this, but the wonders of modern healthcare mean we can now send you home to be sick and miserable in your own bed. But make no mistake, you will still be sick and miserable, just not on your insurance company's dime.
(Note: I would much rather be sick and miserable at home. Not only are hospitals full of sick people, I'd much rather be surrounded by my own stuff. I'll bet most people get better faster in their own home, but I'm lucky enough to have a live in nurse in my Mom. Of course, she did nearly close my head in the car door after I got my wisdom teeth out.)
Some discomfort: Doctor speak for "You will feel like someone cut open your throat and rooted around (very carefully) in there for two hours." They give you Vicodin for a reason.
Anesthesia: Not my friend. Soooooooo not my friend. "Ralph" on the other hand, is my very good friend. I spend a good amount of time talking to him on the porcelain phone that first couple of days.
Really. I'm a sensitive, delicate flower. I pass out out the sight of blood. Icy Hot gives me blisters. I can't take a Bendryl and then drive. What made me think I could spring right back to my normal schedule of travel and speaking engagements. *sigh*
I have to learn these things the hard way. If you've ever heard (by which I mean 'read') my story about being stupid enough to hunker down for Hurricane Claudette--in a double wide mobile home--you know that it ends with the moral: a minor hurricane is still a hurricane.*
Anyway, I'm feeling better every day, and I even drove to the store today. (Avoiding traffic, major roads, and parking anywhere I'd have to back up, since I can't turn my head to look behind me.) But I've had to cancel several events this week, including my attendance at Conestoga this weekend. I know there are many other reasons for you all to go, but I know it won't be quite as much fun without me there. (But Candy (Havens) will be there, and she's just as much fun as me, though she doesn't tell as many embarrassing stories on herself.)
*Okay, so this is as close as I come to a point of this post. So it's not really an iLesson at all, but, oh, let's call it a life lesson.