As some of you are aware, I had a growth between my voicebox and thyroid. It was growing and pushing into my airways, giving me some obvious issues that needed an operation. After trying 2 specialists in my local area, I travelled down to Worcestershire for a final try. Yet another saying that they would be able to save my singing voice (scar tissue on the voicebox after the procedure can change pitch, vibrato or even leave you unable to sing in tune).
He could see how devastated I was, as I explained how much my singing meant to me. He knew of a surgeon at Guys Hospital in London that had been successful in a similar operation and referred me to Mr. Simo. So after heading to London Bridge on several occasions for tests, scans, measurements, bloods etc, I was told that the lump had a few irregular cells and was getting bigger. It needed to come out this year as, you know, breathing is pretty important. So I had July or December to choose from and wanted to fulfil my summer bookingS, PLUS get my head around the situation. After the op, I would need to rest my singing voice for anything from 6 to 12 months before training it back up and hoping for the best. It made me very tearful for obvious reasons.
So a snowy Monday came around and Mr Mew took me down to London. My appointment was booked for 7am, so we strolled around Camden in the late afternoon and got lost in the labyrinth of shops. I had to go and visit Cyberdog to satisfy the the 20 year old me (cheaper fabrics, but a few cool things) and Collectif, which was my first time in one of their physical shops!
After an obvious sleepless night, we walked to the hospital at 6.15am and my adventure started. I was first in to the operating theatre, so out on the 2 hospital gowns, support socks and bed socks. I just needed some black rock boots and it could’ve been a Vivienne Westwood ensemble. There were more forms, questions etc and then I was taken through to have my general anaesthetic. I just remember the needle and oxygen and I was out like a light.
Actually no. I remember seeing a line of squirrels on the windowsill before going under. I then had several nurses telling me I had SUNG to these non-existent squirrels as I went under. I have not found out what I was singing, but it would’ve been 40’s I think.
I was in Post-op for about 9 hours, awaiting a ward bed to come free. This was one of the most gruelling bits. I managed to eat a tuna sandwich and orange at about 11.30am, but then wasn’t offered anything. I was fine with that as knew I’d get a hot meal on the ward. But time went on and on and the nurse was still having no luck. At midday they said they were deep cleaning and then I found out they gave my bed away, so more waiting. It was frustrating, but the skeleton staff were all doing their best.
The wait was worth it though, as I was given a private room on a brand new ward that was opening for young adults. The only downside? It was so late that kitchen was closed and all they could offer me was an egg sandwich. When you are already feeling nauseous, it’s not a good option, but I needed to eat. So I managed half and a sweet tea. I got a little sleep between having to take medication and blood pressure around 11pm and 4am.
I had a drain fitted, which looked like a vampire’s medallion, but think I pulled it off thanks to the metal staples in my neck, balancing it all out. I was due to go home that day, so celebrated by doing festive makeup and awaiting the nurse at 2pm!
Mr. Simo checked up on me and said that he was able to skirt round the vocal chords and only had to remove half my thyroid, so no lasting damage had been done. My speaking voice is fine, but I am rather breathless and will still have to rest my singing voice for a couple of weeks, whilst the swelling goes down. I burst into tears with happiness!!!!
I had brought a mini notepad with me as I didn’t know if I would have any speaking voice after the op, so used it to doodle in instead.
Unfortunately the mini bottle of doom was too full and they needed to keep me in for another night, just incase of an abscess.
So Thursday rolls around and thankfully my vampire shot flask was not as full, so I was able to leave in the late afternoon and we arrived home just before 10pm, as London traffic is so bad at the moment.
A massive thank you to the staff who looked after me, made me laugh, cleaned the room, made me numerous cups of tea and jugs of water and kept my anxieties at bay. I know a lot would have wanted to be striking, but they put patients first, which was tough for them.
Also a huge thank you to my wonderful friends, family and followers, who have been so supportive through a very unsure and stressful time. Hopefully my voice will be back up and warbling by March time if I treat it well.