Graves’ Disease

Here’s the story that led us to our surgery decision.

Dr Faridah has left PCMC. She gave us her new number should we decided to follow her to the new place. Or we could stay with PCMC and continue with the new doctor, Dr Shamin. At first, we were contemplating on where to go. Then we figured, tengok doctor baru macam mana dulu. If rasa tak ada chemistry, we will see Dr Faridah balik.

Seeing Dr Shamin was not a bad idea after all. She’s very informative and comforting as well. It’s a like a breath of fresh air to listen from someone else. Although the things that we hear from her are things that we already know. You know, second opinions usually give a different perspective.

Dr Shamin was worried of Gee’s eyes. He has the classic symptoms of Graves’ Disease.

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease. It most commonly affects the thyroid, frequently causing it to enlarge to twice its size or more (goiter), become overactive, with related hyperthyroid symptoms such as increased heartbeat, muscle weakness, disturbed sleep, and irritability. It can also affect the eyes, causing bulging eyes (exophthalmos). It affects other systems of the body, including the skin, heart, circulation and nervous system. (Source Wiki).

Gee’s thyroid illness has a name rupanya! It’s Graves’ Disease. It is not life threatening. Cuma the doctor is concern that the eye balls are starting to protrude. The nerve behind the eyes are pushing it forward. He can’t close his eyes completely. Yes, he sleeps with mata renggang (yang sangat renggang). Which sometimes scares me in the middle of the night as if he’s looking at me. Tapi sebenarnya dia tengah tidur. A normal person’s eyes should shut completely in order for it to “rest”. When the eyes are half-closed, it will cause dryness and in the long run could damage his cornea. Well, that scares us a little bit. He was referred to an eye specialist and alhamdulillah so far his eyes are ok.

That brought us to the next doctor. Dr Harjeet is the surgeon. She performed an ultrasound on Gee’s neck area and it looks like he doesn’t have an enlarged thyroid like the other thyroid patients. But again, the eyes. It all goes back to the eyes. The doctors do not want him to be dependent on Camazol for the rest of his life. The average person will be on the pills for a max of 5 years. Itupun untuk orang yang dah berumur and risky for surgery. Sepatutnya 18 bulan je boleh sembuh.

There are 2 types of treatments. One is radioactive. Two is surgery. Why not radioactive? Although it’s wayyyy cheaper (less than RM3K), there is no guarantee it will not come back. Plus, Gee needs to be quarantined for 2 weeks or more (until the radioactive traces are gone) from the kids. No contact AT ALL! He cringed at the idea of being away from us.

So we are left with surgery. A total thyroidectomy. It’s more expensive than radioactive. The surgeon will cut open his neck and remove the thyroid glands completely. The surgery will take about 2 hours or so. According to Dr Harjeet, she does this surgery all the time. I guess it’s kacang putih to her. But to us, surgery will always bring me to a state of panic, restless, over-thinking and mostly I feel helpless. All I do now is doa. Pray that everything will be ok. Just.okay.

Berharap dan berdoa the best for everyone. Amin.

T-4 days.

Tick tock tick tock.

-Pu3-

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