I've probably told this story before, but everyone should be aware of what I went through so they can be vigilant and understand that doctors aren't always right.


I went for an x-ray of my back and the x-ray technician said I should get to my doctor right away because I had a tumor in my throat that went down into my chest.  Scary, right?  So I went to my doctor and told her about the tumor and I SAW her make a note of it in my records.  Time went by - I mean, months - and I was seeing the guy who was trying to treat my back again.  He said he saw the tumor in my x-ray and asked if I'd had it removed yet.  I told him I had mentioned it to my GP and she had never contacted me about it, which I thought meant that it was not important.  He called her while I was sitting there and gave her what-for!!  Before the day was out, I had an appointment with a thoracic surgeon.  They didn't know the source of the tumor, so thought it might go quite far down into my chest.  He told me he might have to crack my ribs to get to the tumor to remove it safely and that I would wake up with a tube down my throat, etc.  That scared me, then it got worse.


I was spending the night before the surgery in the hospital and the night nurse told me they needed to do more x-rays because they thought my tumor might have to do with my thyroid.  So, many x-rays later, she came in and told me not to worry, the tumor had nothing to do with my thyroid.  "That would have been very dangerous," she said, "because your thyroid could go into a thyroid storm and you could have died."  So I slept well, assuming I was safe.


Went into the surgery, woke up in an intensive care room in the dark.  A nurse came in and told me everything had gone well, and wasn't I lucky the tumor was almost all in my neck and didn't affect my chest at all.  So, no tube down the throat, no cracked ribs.  I went back to sleep, then woke up later having to go to the bathroom like mad!  I knew I had a catheter, so that didn't make any sense.  My room was practically pitch black - I struggled to find the call button, but never did find it.  I had one of those oxygen sensors on my finger with the little light, so I waved that finger like a maniac, trying to get someone's attention.  I could hear them out there talking, but my throat was so sore all I could do was make a raspy little squeak!  It was morning before I was rescued.


A nurse came in and said, "You haven't put out much urine.  I'd better tell your doctor."


"Wait," I rasped painfully, "I have to go!  Must be a crimp in the tubing."


"A what?" she asked.


"Crimp!  Crimp!" I rasped.


"Oh, I see a small one."  And away I went!!  What a relief!


The next thing that happened was that I discovered my tumor was directly connected to my left thyroid gland, so I knew I was just lucky to have survived the surgery since they weren't at all prepared for a thyroid storm.  Also, the surgeon didn't know anything at all about thyroid surgery.  He just sliced away from where the tumor was until he arrived at the thyroid gland where it was connected.  I therefore have a Bride of Frankenstein incision (still clearly visible after thirty years) that makes me look like my head was half-sawed off!!


It also turns out that the tumor was cancerous, so I had to have my thyroid function monitored - still do, even though both thyroid glands were removed.  Anyway, there's my cautionary tale.  Much as you may like and trust your doctor, you should always stay up on your various ailments and treatments to be sure nothing is overlooked.

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Comments (9)

  1. depressedgirl

    Oh my lord, I have a nodule on my thyroid. I am to wait 6 months and have another test on it. What do u think? I don’t even remember when I had the first test done. Now I am all freaked out. What do you think?

    August 25, 2017
    1. Bettymom

      Most thyroid nodules are nothing, and the problems with thyroids are almost always very slow in progressing. I think you’re fine.

      August 26, 2017
  2. depressedgirl

    I am terrified of the dark!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 25, 2017
    1. Bettymom

      Then you’d have been a very unhappy girl!

      August 26, 2017
  3. noahbody

    That IS scary. I tend to pooh pooh what the doctor has to say.

    August 26, 2017
    1. Bettymom

      I’ve learned not to take everything they say as gospel.

      August 26, 2017
      1. noahbody

        Indeed. They, too, are only human,

        August 26, 2017
  4. Walkaboutman

    God,that would be nerve racking wondering what you would wake up to and the dark,what were they not wanting you to see.

    My wife had a huge tumor in her throat removed and lost her thyroid.

    Frustrating when doctors only do half a job.

    August 27, 2017
  5. thoroughlyrandom

    We seem to be on parallel tracks.

    September 01, 2017