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Save Your Thyroid Part II

For those who have benign nodules in their thyroids and don't want surgery, I'm sharing a journal of my recent experience with a relatively new option: Thermal Ablation.

When I first discovered this procedure on-line, it was early days, and only being performed in Asia. But immediately I thought, This is what I'm waiting for.

June 27, 2023, it's time to stop waiting. I am in France, where it is fairly routine (vs the US). And I have excellent insurance that ends June 30. Carpe, baby!

DAY 1 – The Procedure

I am at the hospital by 8am, with the "intervention" planned for 10am. My stomach is growling - I've been fasting since there will be anesthesia - but at least I don't have the caffeine shakes. The anesthesiologist has said, Bien sûr, you can have a little coffee, as long as you finish by 6am. I love France!

Then for two hours, I wait. I read my very long, brilliant and terrifying book on the French Revolution. But I don't worry. First of all, I tend to be a minimizer of health issues. The mind is powerful - why create problems? Second of all, my doctor, Dr. BH has written papers on the procedure. I feel in good hands. Third of all, it's not the French Revolution!

(rocking the hair net)

11:10, they finally wheel me into the icy operating room. The anesthesiologist puts a line in my arm. Ouch. That’s the last I remember. He’d said I’d be semi-conscious for the procedure. He was wrong. What I missed: Dr. BH inserting a needle into my thyroid, then blasting it with radiowaves for over an hour (laser and just plain thermal are options as well).

I come to around 2pm. My neck is really sore – it was arched, with my head back, for over an hour. But no pain otherwise. I doze off-and-on until 5:30. I see Dr. BH, get post-intervention instructions, go home, take a paracetamol, the French version of Advil (I think), sleep like a rock.

DAY 2 – 1st day post-RFA

No real pain. “Discomfort,” as the doctors like to say. A bit difficult to swallow. Neck a bit stiff. Left side of throat a bit hot.

(ignore the wrinkles)

These are the marching orders:

1. Ice the neck for one hour a day. Only one? That’s what they say.

2. Drink one liter of ice water every day (makes sense, to ice from the inside). Only one liter? I drink more.

3. The biggie: carry nothing heavy – not even a purse. No major exercise. For three weeks. Yes, weeks.

Of course, as the Universe would have it, the next day we need to move out of our apartment. Everything always happens at once. Bless my Virgo husband, he packs it all, cleans every nook and cranny. I do a few things. Maybe a few more than a few.


I wake feeling not quite as good as I did the day before. I have an important errand to run, which involves about 90 minutes of walking. I start to feel feverish. The nodule feels hotter. I get a niggle of worry.

After the movers come, I take a paracetamol, trust I’ll feel better in the morning.


I wake feeling feverish. A bit dizzy. Weak. Worry a bit more. Maybe it’s Covid. For the first time ever, that possibility is a relief.

We leave the Paris apartment for the last time. Now comes the schlep to Gare de Lyon. My husband straps on two backpacks, pulls the rolling suitcase, totes my tote. I carry only my slimmed-down purse, without all the extra pens and lip glosses I love. I hate being an invalid and dependent on my husband. He says he doesn't mind. I'd mind.

My husband eats lunch. I drink ice water. No appetite. I endure the long train ride I usually love. Hope I’m not giving anyone Covid. Hope I’m not getting worse.

By bed-time, I'm no better. Argh. I put on my headphones, tune into my binaural beats healing meditation. Do my version of praying. Tomorrow's another day, Scarlett.

Coming Next: Part III (spoiler: I live)

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