Why Can’t We Be Friends?
(Written by Kelsey Spellman, Thyroidectomy caused by benign nodules)
You’re a sneaky little gland, you know that? You’re so sneaky; I didn’t even really know who you were or what you did. I went to the doctor’s office because I was having migraines. I left with a sinus infection and an appointment for an ultrasound on you.
So thyroid, confused but content, I came back home from college and had that ultrasound. Those results came back and it was worse than we thought. Did you know you made my mom cry? Yep, she sat there with my dad at the table over dinner and told her youngest daughter that what the doctors thought might just be a thyroid disease, really wasn’t. She told me that I had to go see a surgeon to have a biopsy. A biopsy! I’m a journalism major, not pre-med, the only thing I knew about a biopsy was that people who have cancer have biopsies. That ultrasound found two nodules sitting on you. I’m sure you knew them both quite well.
At this point thyroid, I’m not so content. I again come home from college, this time to go see a surgeon. You do know college isn’t easy right? I didn’t want to come home this often. I get to the surgeon and good news, no biopsy! Bad news, those two nodules were huge. I mean really huge. So huge, one was starting to push my windpipe out of place! I really think you could have tried to stop that.
Guess what? More bad news, thyroid. I had to have surgery right at the beginning of my summer break. I mean literally that very first week I was done with my sophomore year of college; I spent two days in the hospital and the other five in my bedroom. What exactly was my surgery? I had you removed. In fact, I had all of you removed. Yep, the surgeon didn’t leave one particle of you in my throat.
Do you know the worst part of it all, thyroid?, The wait. That week that my family and I waited to see if those nodules were benign or malignant was hell. No one talked about it. I didn’t bring it up. Mostly because of how much pain I was in but also because I didn’t want to. Guess what happened again, thyroid? You made my mom cry. Except this time it was because my surgeon told us that those pesky huge nodules were benign. I’ll be honest, thyroid, I cried too.
I don’t know how you found me. No one else in my family has ever had thyroid disease. I was a healthy athletic 19-year old. But you know what, thyroid? It kinda makes sense. I was runner in high school and that last year I couldn’t breathe right when I ran. I gained weight. Now I know why; you were too busy making friends with those two nodules.
So now here we are. Getting blood work done more than I could have ever wanted (did I mention blood is my biggest fear?) and stressing;a lot. I keep gaining weight and I don’t like it. I don’t want to sound melodramatic, thyroid, but gaining weight when you’re a 20-year old female and not having control over stopping it is not a fun thing. Having people come up to you at parties and ask if someone slit your throat is also not a fun thing.
Before you, I was confident. I was secure. Now thyroid, not so much. I don’t like having these body image issues, but I have them. I don’t like feeling like I’m fat when I’m not. Did you know that I used to be skinny?, I mean really skinny, like my driver’s license says “Weight: 100 lbs…, I want to be me again thyroid, please. Those pills I take now to replace you, I think they be the cause of all this. They make me tired too. When you’re in college, thyroid, you don’t have time to be tired.
But what am I going to do now, huh? You’re gone and I barely got to know you. You know you could have waited for all of this to happen when I was older. Do you know how many people have said to me, “Oh dear, that’s very young to have thyroid disease. Most people get this disease when they’re older…, I get it. I’m young. And I’m stuck with this forever.
So thanks for all the trouble, thyroid; I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.
Bio: My name is Kelsey Spellman and I am 20 years old. I had a total thyroidectomy when I was 19 after my doctor found two nodules on my thyroid gland. Everything came back benign. I don’t have cancer. I don’t have graves. I don’t have hypo or hyperthyroidism. I just don’t have a thyroid.
Tags: benign nodules, Dear Thyroid Letters, health support community, literary support site, teenagers with thyroid disorders, thyroid nodule support, thyroid nodules, Thyroidectomies, young adults thyroid nodules