What I Did on My Summer Vacation: Evicting Squatters

Princess Leia Underoos. Really.
more comfy than a metal bikini

“Can I put my underwear back on? I feel a little weird.”

The nurse looks at me, confused. Surely she’s heard this question before?

“They’re my lucky undies,” I add, as if I need to justify wanting to cover my butt instead of starring in the Naked Heinie Show (which I imagine has Benny Hill theme music). I’m trying to wrangle all the wires attached to me along with my constant companion, a wobbly IV stand, which for some reason has six caster wheels, like a metal Squidward from SpongeBob. Annnd now I feel a breeze. Nice. Naked and covered in goosebumps in front of strangers. Waitaminute, I think I regularly retweet those books

Another nurse has kicked my husband out so I can “rest,” which I later learn consists of some strange middle-of-the-night occurrences, including a visit from a nurse named Purvy and a child screaming for his mama. Did any of that really happen? Either I’m in a truly a small-town hospital or because I look young for my age, I’ve been put in Pediatrics by accident. (The former, incidentally or that could have been pervy.)

My buddy, Bob, messages me with a blog post about blog posts in the middle of the night, which is not as weird as it sounds because he lives in Korea. I give him what I’m sure is completely rational, if Vicodin-soaked advice, glad I have someone to distract me from the mystery of how a cup of pudding appeared on my food tray at 4am—nightmares of Cosby—I’m thankful I have my lucky undies on now. Oh, yes I am.

What Am I Doing Here?

Emily's pre-surgery thyroid glamor shot
you’re totally looking at my neck, aren’t you?

I’m spending the rest of my summer vacation dealing with the fallout of evicting some tenants who’ve taken up residence in my neck. That is, my “fatty buddies” a.k.a. my thyroid.

Incidentally, my friend’s husband who just had the same surgery named his thyroid Thyrone, which sounds like the short and ugly cousin of Tyrion Lannister. While my squatters were just annoying and tiresome, literally, Thyrone was a major jerk—that bastard was cancerous, so I count myself lucky.

Still, as soon as I get home, I’m planning to milk my condition for all it’s worth and disgust my Facebook friends with gruesome post-op selfies.

Were They Really That Bad of Tenants?

I didn’t think they were that bad. And that was the kicker. Both my surgeon and my endocrinologist were saying, “You could have the surgery now or later. But it’s your choice.” My choice? What the ever-loving heck did that mean? I’m staring down the barrel of a procedure that would completely alter my body’s chemistry, but it’s my choice?

I’m not into elective surgery. I barely take medicine. My husband has to remind me that Advil exists for a reason. Sure, my tenants were making me tired, but it was like the equivalent of them playing loud music at night, every night. No big deal for a nonconfrontationalist. It’s not like my thyroid nodules were an idiotic college-boy neighbor who pulled an unlicensed gun on me while I was playing in my backyard with my dog. (True story. Don’t worry. A friend of mine took care of him…)

But still…despite what the doctors were telling me, the surgery wasn’t elective. The timing of it was. And for a worrier like me, sooner is better than later.

Get. Scram. Vamoose. Make like a tree and leave.

Post-op thyroid surgery scar. Fierce!
scarves are in this summer! so are neck bolts!

Eviction notice served, I gowned up and prepared to meet Michael Jackson. “Give me the good stuff,” I asked Janice, the anesthesiologist, whom I know from around town.

And that’s the last thing I remembered until I woke up with my butt hanging out of a johnny and a telltale pudding cup on my tray.

Now I’m back to writing and back on the blogging wagon, summertime squandered. Bride of Frankenstein Halloween costume figured out.

“By the way,” my doctor said the next time I saw her, “Pathology says no cancer, but there was definitely potential in a few years, so it was a good thing we did it now.”

Optional, my breeze-loving butt.

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