Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Thyroid Chondroplasty blog...

Well I have now had the operation known as Thyroid Cartilage Shave or Thyroid Chondroplasty and am back home.

I will tell you about it.

For about a week before I felt like I was having trouble breathing and that my throat was closing up.  I seem to have an interesting line in psychosamatic stress related physical symptoms lately.  Like when I had a job interview I had a really dry mouth and ulcers and stuff.  Because this was my throat - I had a sore throat.  Weird.

Anyway, the day before I was bricking it - of course.  And when I was officially nil by mouth at 8pm that evening I was really scared.  I think you'd be a bit mad not to be scared about any operation really.

After a short, restless night I got up at 4am to get ready to catch the 5.30 train to London!  Oh yes, I had to be at Charing Cross Hospital at 7.30 !
It was grim getting up without being able to drink or eat and getting the train and tube to the hospital - felt pretty wafty.

Got there on time.  There was another transwoman going to have the same thing.  Sorry but she was the type who gives us a bad name - why?  She kept talking to herself and was mad, that's why.  She was wearing huge sunglasses - no make up allowed you see - but honestly...   who would sit indoors with huge sunglasses on like that?  You just look mad.  What with that and the talking to yourself.  And the dodgy wig which she kept playing with - Christ!

You really do see all types of trannies up there - from the grotesquely unnatural like her, to the amazing you would never know ones.  Please girls, don't be mad and talk to yourself - it doesn't help the rest of us.

Anyway, when they took us into the ward the mad tranny was in a different room.  Lucky for me she was also crap at following instructions because she'd had a cup of tea at 8am so I could go first!  Yes!  So I was taken along for surgery at about 9am - I was worried that I'd have to wait all day, so that was great.

The anaesthetist came and introduced herself first - which is good because you kind of 'know' her when she comes to knock you out.  She was really lovely.
Also, they zonk you in a side room from the theatre so you don't see the scapels and shit - which I think is a good idea.  One of the nurses in there kept calling me 'he' but other than that it was fine.  

You know how it is - being in hospital is largely OK or not depending on what the nurses are like.  Some are lovely - most actually - some treat you as if you are an inconvenience.  Some call you 'he' - which is a bit stupid.  

Anyway, the nice knockout lady did that cunning thing of not telling me when I would be 'going' and not getting me to count backwards from ten or anything like that.  She said I would feel something like a double G&T and it would be nice - but that was only to get me ready.  I think that was actually the juice though because I said 'oh yes that feels nice' and I was gone!

It was lovely - just heavy and warm and ahhhhhhhhh gone.  Nothing to worry about at all.

I woke up back on the ward - not too bad pain but very, very wafty indeed.  And very hungry.  I had some lunch and felt a bit better - that tired NHS sandwich and coffee was wonderful at the time!!

I was told I'd be able to go home the same day unless there was a problem but they seemed to want to keep me in.  I think, quite honestly, that it was too much of a hassle to get the drugs together and take the needle out of me!

I was obviously OK - just a bit dizzy and tired.  One bad incident - as I was laying there sleeping my heart started to race and it woke me up.  I lay there for a bit wondering what to do and not wanting to be a nuisance - then rang for the nurse.  She was one of the grumpy ones. 

She told me I shouldn't be talking (complete voice rest for 3 days) I pointed out that I might need to communicate in some way - yes?  Ah - I should write it on a piece of paper.  Er... but no one has given me one?  So she did - and a pen that didn't work.  Great - thanks.

Also she said my pulse was fine after checking my chart... er but that was last taken an hour ago, when it probably was fine!  And I couldn't even speak to explain all this.

I needed the loo so waftily got up to go - then when I was sitting there I noticed that the tube thing in my arm had blood in it.  It seemed to have got knocked.  So they came and took the tube off and 'bunged' it - I wonder if that's why my heart was going - because I was bleeding. hmmm

Other than that the nurses were good - but you just get one grumpy horrible one and it ruins the whole thing.

Sooooo - Becca came to get me and made a fuss till they let me out.  That's another thing - the communication.

I was told to bring stuff in case I had to stay - in case there was a problem - but that I would be out that day.  When I got there they said I would have to stay for 2-3 hours after surgery, then I could go if someone picked me up and stayed with me overnight.

But when Becca came they all insisted I was staying in.  Oh for god's sake!  Was that to prevent infection?  Yeah - coz you never get MRSA or anything in hospitals do you?!    We had to badger them to let me out - and to get the cannula thing taken out.  That was a bit of a shower really.

So - it's done.  They could only take 50% because any more could fuck up my voice.  In the picture I have taken it looks much better and flatter - but the area is swollen and briused so I don't know how it will end up looking.  They measured it and it's gone down from 2cm to 1cm - so it should be less noticeable.

Pain wise, it's not too bad.  Like a sore throat but with more tenderness than that, so it hurts when you move your head.  Really not a problem though with
painkillers - and I'm only taking paracetemol and ibuprofen.  It's not as painful as I thought it might be.

Any trans-ladies reading this who might have the same op - I would say it's nothing to worry about really.  How successful it's been we'll see when the swelling goes down and the scar has healed up and everything.  They make the incision in the folds of your neck so it shouldn't really notice, ultimately.

Yeah - that's about it.  I may not be allowed to speak for three days - but at least I can still type !!

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