Hashimoto Diary Part 4: My Thyroid Surgery

Hashimoto, adrenal fatigue and cortisone

Unfortunately, I got prednisone instead of the classic prednisolone or hydrocortisone, which is actually used in severe bowel inflammation rather than low-dose adrenal fatigue to fix. And then I should start with a hammer dose. Instead of the known max. Dose of 5 – 7.5mg, it should go directly with 20mg. Thus, I realized that the adrenal fatigue for the doctors was still a book with seven seals.

The first and second days of prednisone were fantastic, but it quickly went downhill again. Although a high dosage always brought an improvement, but was not of long duration.

Over the course of time, I have also tried hydrocortisone and prednisolone. Prednisolone was still the best for me. Unfortunately, I still did not feel well.

I tried to cope with cortisone for half a year, but a significant improvement unfortunately did not occur. Thus, I have decided to approach the matter on an alternatively way. After about 6 months on cortisone my cortisol saliva test looked catastrophic again. Four out of five saliva samples are below the normal range, only the first morning value is just above the lower normal value.

Under cortisone, there was no improvement at all, so this was the wrong treatment for me and I am now trying alternative remedies such as Cytozyme AD, Phytocortal N, vitamins, salt water and others.

Cortisol saliva test - cortisol too low

Adrenal Fatigue alternative Treating

I changed my diet, Cytozyme AD, high doses of vitamin C, B12, B5 and morning salt water for breakfast.

I also tried to reduce some stress and my way of looking at things turned a little bit, so I did not worry so much anymore and tried to loosen everything a bit up.

This has brought a significant improvement by the end of the year.

A Short Try with Armor Thyroid

In May, I also started switching my thyroid hormones and started with Armor Thyroid. And finally the sun rose again. It was not perfect for me, but many symptoms were gone. From now on there was no more dizziness, the back pain and muscle tension were gone and there was more energy than before. But I have to mention, that I never went completely well.

Especially the tiredness caught up with me again and again and my fluctuating condition during the day was very exhausting, so I became more and more sure about that my thyroid seems to release hormones arbitrary.

However, nodal or autoimmune areas could not be detected by ultrasound or scintigraphy. Nevertheless, I have decided to separate from my thyroid gland, since I meanwhile got stinging pain and my condition was fluctuating  even more, even though I had a constant hormone dose.

My decision: The thyroid should get out!

However, wanting to part with his thyroid gland is easier said than done, as the doctors see no reasons for it. The Hashimoto is said to burn out the thyroid gland and someday supposedly it will be destroyed anyway. But this could take several years to decades and there is no guarantee for that. And having to live with these fluctuating symptoms was not an option for me. Luckily, I have a family doctor who is open-minded and has tried out many things with me so far.

So I went to my GP, who has been following my career for almost four years, to discuss  the pros and cons with him and even to see how he reacts to my “plan”. After all, I needed a referral to the surgeon. Surprisingly, he was very cooperative and said that in my case a surgery could bring an improvement indeed. Of course you can never guarantee that, but on the other hand, what else should we use up?

But he referred me to my endocrinologist, because she should also comment it and could issue, if necessary, a referral to the surgeon. But he would be willing to substantiate my plan in writing. Those were already quite good news and as luck would have it, I had an appointment with my endocrinologist on the same day.

My endocrinologist understood my despair and had thought about it a little longer. Finally she agreed, but only with the condition that I should go and see  a psychologist who should refute that my problems are of a psychological nature and then go to a neurologist who should also turn me on my head. Of course, I immediately agreed to that.

At the psychologist I left after 25 min. again, because he thought that my health problems definitely have nothing to do with my psyche. Even the neurologist could not find anything, although he had examined me for almost 3 hours. So we went back to the endo to discuss everything else. Already the next day I was able to pick up the referral to the surgeon. Bingo!

The thyroid surgery is a deal

In the meantime, I have extensively informed myself about which hospital in Germany is eligible. After many reports on the Internet, talks with already operated patients and on the advice of my Endocrinologist I have opted for the Louisenhospital in Aachen, as the operating senior physician there apparently has a lot of experience in that field and the technical equipment was up to date. After a personal interview with the surgeon, we have set the surgery date on the 28th of December 2011, since I always have 2 1/2 weeks holiday from Christmas on .

Unfortunately, in August 2011, I had to go to the hospital earlier, because of an inflammation of my appendix and had to be operated on immediately. Sometimes just everything comes at once.

The thyroid surgery and the days after

Now it was time. The day of the thyroid surgery has come and I was not even really excited, but just really tired, because I had to get up at half past four in the morning. In the morning at 7.00h I registered in the hospital, then there was already the first sedation tablet and I waited in my room, with my wife and my daughter, for the starting signal. At 8.00 am we started and everything happened very fast, what was quite good for me.

Dressed with this sexy hospital shirt, a briefly goodbye to my family and there it goes. My pleasure to get rid of the thyroid gland was bigger than the short moment when i was a bit afraid. The OP took about 3 1 / 2h and everything went well. The parathyroid glands were not removed or damaged, nor were there any problems with the vocal cord nerves.

I felt a bit dizzy after surgery, but all in all I was fine. Only the wound drainage was bothering me, but I had almost no pain or any other problems. The incision was well placed in a skin fold and the scar is now about 4 cm long.

Scar after thyroid gland surgery

The surgery day was already the best day I’ve had in the last 4 years. I basically felt very well … I almost did not know such a feeling anymore. This surgery has been a good decision for me so far. I am glad that I came through everything quite well and I slept very well that night. The only thing that bothered me was the drainage.

But the drainage was already pulled out the next day … that was basically the worst part of the whole surgery. Contrary to the opinion of the doctors, I also started with my 2 3/4 Grain Armor the next morning so that i would not directly slip back into a massive hypofunction.

The doctor assured me that everything was removed and that my thyroid was very silvery and gray. In addition, the entire tissue was very scarred and glued. All 4 parathyroid glands were localized and spared. I also have no tingling or falling hands or feet, so there is no calcium deficiency. Histology has shown that the thyroid gland was criss-crossed with innumerable mini-nymphs, which would explain  constantly fluctuating condition.

All in all, I am very satisfied so far. The surgery was not as bad as expected. I have almost no pain or any other discomfort. Only the tiredness came back again slowly. Due to my adrenal insufficiency, I received massive doses of cortisone before, during and after surgery to make sure that my adrenal glands do not go limp. This and the OP thus bring a lot of confusion. I think the next days will become more worse. But we’ll see …

Image source:

  • cortisol-salvia-test-juni2011: © Ghazi-Michael Ayed
  • thyroid-scar: © Ghazi-Michael Ayed
  • my-story-part4: © Ghazi-Michael Ayed