Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Something's Wrong

My journey all started when the last weekend of July 2012 when I was having difficulty breathing for the first time in my life.  It was hard to describe as I knew it wasn't a chest/lung issue, but something blocking in my neck.  Also I was having more difficulties with swallowing food and liquids, but I've had that issue more of my life.  Well actually the difficulty with liquids, even water, started about five years ago and anytime I experience it, it felt like the liquid in question formed into a marble, which made me refer to it now as the "marble effect".

Anyways, the breathing issue was driving me insane... like drowning and trying to swim to the surface, but unable to since *thinks* a log  has trapped your leg.  You are fighting to breathe, but unable to push the log off, so you can get free.  I finally decided to call my doctor, but wasn't able to get in until later in the week and the breathing got worse as time went on that day, so my boyfriend took me to the hospital.  They checked my chest by listening to it, ran blood test claiming they were checking my thyroid with the testing as well, and then x-ray my neck since I found a large lump on my neck (I noticed this while we were driving to the hospital).  At first the one doctor said that might be normal for me, but I told him it wasn't and that it was new.  They gave me a breathe therapy treatment where you breathe in this vapors from a hose connected to a machine... yeah, it didn't help at all.  They said everything came back fine, but I should ask my family doctor to order an ultrasound on my neck.

I ended up getting an appointment with my family doctor on August 3rd, 2012 in the morning and told her what happened at the hospital and what I was dealing with.  She gave me two options: one, to do the ultrasound or two, to see if my esophagus needed to be widen.  I, of course, voted for the ultrasound and was able to go to the town over to get it done the same day.  A week later I got the email from my doctor that the left side of my thyroid was enlarged with a nodule that was an inch in size and three smaller (5mm, 7mm, and 9mm) nodules on the right with all different makes.

Now let me tell you, 90% of people have nodules and most are not noticeable and aren't cancerous (and not all will become cancerous).  But if you have one that's 1 cm in size, you need to get an ENT to do a fine-needle biopsy.  Also if you have a nodule, even if it's small, get it checked every once in a while... like every six months (you can get your family doctor to order the ultrasound for you... it's cheaper that way).  If it gets bigger in size get an ENT to look at it.  To note, my largest nodule was 2.5 cm when I found it.

This was just the beginning of a major change in my life.

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