Heehee- your story is much like mine. I was diagnosed with Graves after my 4th baby was born; he is now 8 months old. I had all the symptoms- weight loss (13 lbs in a month), tremors (although not too bad), shakiness, insomnia, anxiety, panic, fear- not good! I started methimazole 5 mg. a day for 7 weeks. It got my thyroid stable, but elevated my liver enzymes 8 times the normal amount. So, I had to stop my ATD! My endo. wanted me to do RAI as he felt it was a “no brainer”, safer, less invasive. It didn't sit well with me though, plus I wanted to continue breastfeeding and be with my family. I also didn't want to wait for my thyroid to die, I just wanted it done. I guess that is my personality!
So, fortunately for me, my thyroid levels stayed euthyroid the 6 weeks I waited for surgery. I had my labs done every week to be sure. I had my thyroidectomy 8 weeks ago and am very grateful I did. I had a super surgeon and have recovered very well from surgery. I am on the Synthroid dosing mystery path right now.
But, that's okay- better than the hyper path any day! I started 100 mcg 2nd day after surgery. Had labs done 6 weeks later- TSH was 6.35 (free T4 & T3 were in range though) so, I was upped to 112 mcg. 2 weeks ago. I still am not 100% me- I'm not going to lie, it's not easy. I still feel a little “woozy” floaty/ off feeling sometimes, my sleep isn't great, but not as bad by any stretch when I was hyper. My heart rate is in the 60s again. I've actually started working out a little again- biking, swimming, walking. All the panic, anxiety, tremors, shakiness are all gone- I'd say about 99%. I still worry sometimes, but I honestly think it's from not feeling 100% yet and wondering when that will come. But, from what I hear, it will come eventually- just takes patience until the replacement hormone is dosed properly.
So, congratulations to you for making a decision to get well and going for your pre-op!!! A great step in the right direction. Things will get better, but it takes time, time, time, and so much patience. Not easy.
It sounds like you have a great surgeon; that is #1!!! I flew all the way to CT from CA to have a surgeon that my mom has worked with do my surgery. She knows him well and I just felt comfortable going with someone she knew and has worked with. He did a great job. I, like you, worried about being able to read to my boys again (we also homeschool); my big worries were my voice, breathing, and swallowing! I can do all 3 just like before- yay! My voice was weak for 3 weeks and tired easily, but it's fine now. I only took Advil for pain. When you take your first sips and food, take your time to coordinate; I didn't and almost choked the 1st time
As far as surgery prep, I took SSKI potassium iodine drops for 7 days to shrink my thyroid and draw blood away from it (I did have to temporarily wean my baby for that time- lots of pumping and dumping!!!). After surgery, I took Tums 1000 mg 4 times a day the 1st week, 3 times a day the 2nd week and twice a day the 3rd week as a precaution for the inflamed parathyroids. My calcium levels are fine now; fortunately, my parathyroid were not damaged. My surgeon did a subcuticular stitch- about 2 and 3/4 inches. If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to help as much as I can.
I never tried PTU as methimazole was considered the “safer” of the 2 drugs as far as the liver goes. My endo. was okay with my trying it if I wanted to, but didn't recommend it. I wasn't about to wait around until I went hyper again to find out if PTU was safe for me or not. One source says it's a 50/50 chance if one raises the liver enzymes, the other will as well.