Saturday, August 11, 2012

Minor side effect

  I had another follow-up appointment on Friday. My incision is healing great. They drew blood to check my calcium, and I should know for sure how that is on Monday, but all indications say those levels are increasing like they should. This is all great news!
On the down side, I have an acid reflux problem now. :-( I have had a cough since the surgery. I was told this is normal, since fluids settle in the lungs while you're under anesthesia. So I didn't think much of it, except that it didn't go away.
Friday was a month exactly since my second surgery. I've come so far in such a short time that it feels wrong to complain. But my cough has been driving me nuts. So the first thing I asked was when it would go away. The doctor was surprised that it hadn't yet, so he looked (SO glad I was seeing the ENT specialist when this issue came up!) in my throat and said it was acid reflux. I learned 2 things at that appointment. 1) You don't always have discomfort and burning with acid reflux (I haven't) and 2) I CAN say, "eeeeee" while someone is holding my tongue with a piece of gauze and telling me to keep my mouth open wide. You should try it sometime, it's not easy.
So now I have a prescription for the reflux (which I haven't picked up yet...I'm annoyed at more medication, even though I know it's for my benefit. Unreasonable, I know, but it's just one of those things that get under my skin.) and a list of things I should and shouldn't do; don't eat less than 3 hours before bed time, sleep with my head elevated (one of those wedges would be nice, but I don't have one, so pillows are being manipulated), stay away from tomatoes and spicy foods (like that's going to happen!), take a tums after each meal (except breakfast, because I can't have calcium until at least 4 hours after I take my thyroid pill) and 2 right before bed, stay away from soft drinks (which I haven't really wanted since surgery anyway, for some unknown reason. At least that one is easy for me to follow)...there might be more, but I can't remember. He have me a list, which is good since I can't remember much of anything these days.
The reflux is related to the loss of the vocal nerve. Apparently now those muscles that held the acid down aren't working as well as normal, so I'm getting acid burns in my throat & on my vocal cords & that's what's irritating me enough to make me cough all the time.  And I do mean all the time.  When I wake up, when I lay down, when I talk for more than 3 or 4 sentences in a row (not exaggerating), when I yawn or breathe deeply...So. My first real side effect. Bummer.  BUT...(deep breath, as I remember not to dwell on negative things), still a small price to pay. Even in the world of side effects that come from cancer and cancer treatment, this is so small. And hopefully between the medicine that I will take (even though I hate being dependant on pills) and whatever guidelines I can follow without going nuts, this will come under control. I asked if it would get better as my body heals more completely, and he said he didn't know. I'm glad he was honest with me. No false hopes...but we can pray, and that is better than any pill.  Now I'm off to sleep, and looking forward to worshiping with my church family in the morning! I love you all. Thank you for your continued prayers. I hope tomorrow finds you joining a local church for worship as well.


  1. Rachel,
    I am praying for you and now that you have an added need, I can pray for that too. What a mighty God we serve.

    Love you

    1. Thank you, Val. Your prayers are SO appreciated. I am learning to live one day at a time, as He provides the strength and grace to walk through that day.