Today was the day. My bi-yearly thyroid ultrasound. I’m very used to the process, by now. Can’t tell you how many thyroid ultrasounds I’ve had, but I’m here to provide you with information on how one of these visits goes. For starters, it took me ten minutes to check-in, as the place was busy. I really like the imaging office I go to, as it’s warm and cozy and the staff are always nice. Once I checked in, I sat and waited roughly five minutes before they called my name.
Finally, I hear my name and I was led back to a dark room where I was prepped for what has become a procedure that will forever be a part of my life. It takes all of 20-30 minutes for the ultrasound tech to capture everything needed for the doctor to review. The TV screen on the wall makes it easy for my husband to see what exactly the ultrasound tech is looking at. Unfortunately, due to the positioning of my head and neck, I’m unable to view the screen. It’s all painless. To give you an idea of the position of my head and neck during a thyroid ultrasound, please refer to the image below.
Once the ultrasound was complete, I was moved to a private lounge two doors down, where my husband and I sat anxiously to await the doctor to see if a biopsy is needed. After a thirty-minute wait, in walks the doctor and explains that everything looks stable. My thyroid nodule didn’t grow since the last ultrasound so no biopsy is needed. Hooray! I hate the biopsies. Because my lump is on the back right side of my thyroid gland near my trachea (windpipe), they always have a difficult time trying to pierce the lump without piercing my trachea. When the needle pushes into the lump, it essentially pushes the nodule against my trachea causing a radiating pain into my chest. Seriously, a very uncomfortable and awkward pain. I’ve had the internal pain last for up to three days before. Below is a video posted on YouTube by the Cleveland Clinic on the procedure of a fine-needle biopsy of a thyroid nodule. If you don’t like needles, I’d highly recommend that you not watch the video.
The doctor went on to say I still have the same swollen lymph nodes, plus there is a new one on the right side. The doctor’s recommendation: have the lymph nodes biopsied to be cautious. I agreed with the doctor, as to take a preventative approach. I’ve been living with swollen lymph nodes for two years or more. Some days I can feel them, other’s I can’t, but I know they are there.
My next step is to schedule an appointment with an ENT specialist or Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, who will order the biopsy of my swollen lymph nodes. As it’s not something else I want to deal with, being preventative is the best approach. I look forward to more doctor appointments in 2015 (sigh).
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