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Loss of voice...
Friday I had the right side lobe and a kiwi sized nodule located below my sternum removed. Still waiting on path report but surgeon said looked like Hashimoto. The procedure took 4 hours and was complicated. Today I still do not have a voice. Carrying on a conversation is tiresome and only works when someone is within 5 - 10 feet. I have also become extremely sensitive to smells and taste. Perfume, lotion, and some foods are so strong smelling I can hardly stand it. Prior to surgery I used lots of black pepper and sauces on all of my food. Now a dash of seasoning salt is more than enough. I'm a 43 year old male, are these changes normal?

Medication prescribed - Levothyroxine .025mg and 3 tums per day for calcium.
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Did the surgeon explain to you about the recurrent laryngeal nerve that runs through the neck area before your surgery?  If not, do a google search on it.  There is always a chance that there can be damage done to this, especially with thyroid surgery.  I had a total thyroidectomy done on 8/6/07.  When I left the hospital, my voice was barely a whisper, I couldn't swallow any liquids without choking and was having trouble breathing.  It was all due to "trauma" to this nerve.  They sent me to the ENT doc before I left the hospital, and neither one of my vocal cords were moving.  When I went for my follow up two weeks later, the left side was moving, but the right was not.  They said that nerve damage can take a long time to repair - weeks or possibly months.  My voice would come and go, and it was very scary!  It's been back for a few weeks now, and seems to be getting stronger, although it's still not great.  I still have trouble swallowing liquids, but have learned to swallow differently to help it.  Which means that swallowing isn't something that I don't think about anymore - if I forget, I choke.  Breathing is getting much better, so I think I'm on the mend.  As far as being sensitive to smells and taste, the one thing I noticed is spicy food is WAY spicy now.  I'm a hot sauce freak, and it just seems like it's spicier now.

I hope that helped!!

Lori
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