A nurse explained to me that I have two nodules larger than a centimeter, which is when they usually recommend a biopsy. Both are on the left side of my thyroid and in close proximity to each other, although when she showed them to me on the ultrasound monitor, they look completely different from each other. One is perfectly round with what she called an "eggshell" coating, and the other is diffuse and much harder to see. After introducing me to the doctor, they explained that they would make three "sticks" into each nodule, and another person would come into the room to examine the aspirated materials to see if there was enough tissue to biopsy.
The first stick was a bee sting-like novocaine that deadened the skin over the area. It was uncomfortable, but it wasn't too awful. Then I felt nothing when he inserted the needle, first into Nodule 1, the diffuse one, and when he got close to it, I could feel something as he pressed against it with the needle. It wasn't too painful, but a strange feeling. He was very careful and I had to lie very still and not swallow or move while he inserted the needle. Once it was inserted, he wiggled it back and forth a bit. Then he did that two more times on the nodule.
Next he went to the other nodule, which he thought might be problematic, because sometimes they can't get into one with a calcified coating like this one has, but he was able to pierce it and get cells out. This, however, was probably the most uncomfortable part of the procedure, because I felt an unpleasant sensation that I can't quite describe as the needle poked at the nodule. Three times in that one and I thought we were done. The pathologist worked in the background while we chatted. It took her what seemed like a long time and then she said she needed more from the first nodule.
So, three more sticks into the first one, this time he was much more aggressive and worked hard to get enough tissue, which was pronounced sufficient this time. It took about a hour and a half before we were finished, and I was able to sit up and was given a cold compress to hold onto my neck. I was told to expect some bruising and even some swelling and what to watch out for.
Now, the morning after, my neck is sore and tender to the touch, but there is only a little swelling and bruising. Next week I should hear the results from the biopsy, and I admit to some trepidation but am hoping for the best.