listening

I had the fine needle biopsy of my thyroid on Thursday and I didn’t pass out.  I am so relieved about this that I am barely conscious of the lurking concern regarding the results.  I say barely because although I don’t find myself to be explicitly freaking out about whether I have cancer, I am doing things that are uncharacteristically scatter brained.  Forgetting what I was doing, overlooking important details in my work, making mistakes, and being more irritable than usual.  I’m telling myself that last one could be confounded by being hormonally menstrual (no uterus, no bleeding but you still get the other effects if you have the ovaries) and by my being on the upslope of a busy time at work.  Work busy will peak in mid-october, and usually I have taken comfort in being busy at work.  I do still, however, I think that thoughts of how this particular health inquiry will go are exerting themselves in the background and dividing my attention.  Or in other words, I am repressing these thoughts and when you’ve got so much cognitive load going towards doing that, you’re gonna screw things up.

But it’s better than freaking out.

The radiologist was very good.  He listened to my tales of passing out and convulsing and eventually* said “you know, I think I WOULD like to get an IV in you before we start…”  How nice.  One thing I did in advance that was helpful was to write up a one page, simple document stating my history (of passing out, positive tilt table test, chronic hypotension and tendency towards hypoglycemia, chronic diarrhea which tends to make me chronically dehydrated); what has triggered passing out in the past; what has helped; and my questions/requests regarding what they can do to make passing out less likely.  Start an IV before-hand was on that last list.

* = I say eventually because the first thing he responded with was the old “we don’t have to do this you know…” argument.  “We could wait, keep an eye on it…”  he told me after hearing my tales of syncope and woe.  I let him deliver the entire pitch then told him that as much as I’d like to not have needles in my neck, that my doctor had told me the larger nodule (1.4 cm) had a blood flow associated with it and one of the two smaller ones (9 mm) had calcifications – which, in the context of my symptoms of chronic diarrhea and heat intolerance/flushing, seemed to elevate the need for biopsying promptly rather than waiting another 4 months.

Now, what I didn’t know when I was saying all this was that there would be FIVE NEEDLES PER NODULE put into my neck.  Eeek.  That plus two lidocaine shots = 12 needles in my neck.  I believe it is a good thing that I got this bit of news after I had already taken one valium.

7.5 mg of diazepam, one IV, and twelve neck pokes later, my neck was achy and my throat was sore for about 24 – 36 hours after but tylenol helped.  An interesting side note was that the only time it hurt was when he was going after the deeper, smaller nodule – and the pain was exactly like the neck pain I initially complained about to my neurologist, the neck pain I thought was part of the migraines and which earned me the MRI that showed the nodules.  No bruising or bleeding post biopsy, the radiologist did a pretty bang up job and (also very important), wasn’t a dick.  I may need to send a card.

So now I wait.  And try not to screw anything up too much in the meantime.

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6 days to FNB

It’s scheduled.  Fine needle biopsy of thyroid on Thursday.  No “aspirin or aspirin related products” for 5 days prior.  “Is advil an aspirin related product?” I asked.  She didn’t know.  I’m going to assume that what they mean is no products that might make you bleed and say yes, this exclusion covers ibuprofen and the like too.