Graves Disease Pre-Surgery Update

I met with my surgical team this week. EKG checked out. Blood drawn. Chat with anathesiologist and long chat with nurse to review medications and medications history. Next week I will meet with my primary care physician for one more letter of approval for the surgeon. I should be all set for surgery in a few weeks.

But right now I feel like shite. My throat is swollen and I threw up a few times this morning. Bhavna gave a few ambien and hopefully I'll fall asleep soon. If I am sleeping I won't feel the discomfort of my swollen thyroid.

Graves Disease and Grave Eye Disease Update

After six months of trial and error, my endocrinologist agreed that we needed to try something new.

She proposed radioactive iodine treatment, but I ruled that out. While we have general data on the success of that treatment (90%), we also know it does not work for some people, and there are complications, especially for the eyes. I have three cousins who tried radioactive iodine treatment and ultimately ended up with surgery. I also learned from my mom that hyperthyroidism runs on her side of the family. She informed me that the entire McLaren family (which is my grandmother's family from Carriacou) has thyroid problems. It has affected many of the grandkids. I am so lucky.

I initially said yes to doing radioactive iodine treatment, which, because of possible compromise of vision, required a trip to my ophthalmologist. He did some tests and then confirmed to me that I had two related diseases, Graves Disease and Graves Eye Disease. He also advised me that neither radioactive iodine treatment nor a thyroidectomy would address GED. GED has to be treated separately, and my options were limited. The proptosis in my eyes is worsening, but until I recover from the thyroidectomy, there is nothing to be done.


Yesterday, I met with a surgeon at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick to discuss the expectations and risks of a thyroidectomy. Surgery is scheduled for the second week of December.

Am I scared? Yes. Absolutely. There is a risk of infection and bleeding. There is a risk of nerve damage leading to changes in speech.

However, the risk of untreated or poorly treated Graves Disease is higher. None of what I am experiencing right now is pleasant. Bhavna reminds me that the silver lining is that this chapter of my life will be in the past in a few weeks. But in the meantime, I'm shivering in the cold rain.

Where are you?

Folks, I have not been ignoring the blog. I had eye surgery to remove a cataract in my right eye. The lens in the right eye was replaced with an intraocular crystallens from Bauch & Lomb.

Recovering from cataract eye surgery at age 42 may take several or just a few weeks. After the surgery, my doctor says it is essential to rest and avoid strenuous activities or rubbing the eyes. I experienced mild discomfort, such as itching and blurred vision. My doctor gave me eye drops to help heal my eyes and prevent infection. I follow my doctor's instructions for eye drops and take all prescribed medication.

I know my vision will gradually improve as the eye heals, but it may take several weeks to stabilise fully. The left eye remains at under 20/20, and it is under strain to keep up with the right eye. I made adjustments to my daily routine, avoiding some everyday activities and working with my doctor to manage my diabetes to that it does not affect my recovery. But with proper care and follow-up, I should be able to regain good vision and return to my normal activities.

I wanted to update you on what's been going on with me. I haven't been ignoring the blog; I recently had eye surgery to remove a cataract in my right eye. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but I'm glad it's done. The eye surgeons replaced my damaged lens with an intraocular lens from Bauch & Lomb.

The recovery process is underway, and it might take a few weeks to stabilise. Right now, I'm taking it easy and following my doctor's advice to rest and avoid strenuous activities or rubbing my eyes. There's been some mild discomfort, like itching and blurred vision, but nothing serious. My doctor prescribed some eye drops to speed up healing and prevent infections.

The left eye is still catching up and sitting under 20/20, so it's putting in some extra effort to keep pace with the right eye. I'm adjusting my daily routine and working closely with my doctor to manage my diabetes, ensuring it doesn't interfere with my recovery.

I know it'll take some time, but I hope my vision gradually improves as my eye heals. With proper care and regular follow-ups, I'm confident I'll be back to my normal activities before long. Thanks for all the support, and I'll keep you posted on the progress!