Secretary Undergoes Neck Surgery

Secretary Undergoes Neck Surgery

Alanna Craige, Print Editor-in-Chief

The thyroid: a small gland critical to the human body that produces hormones that regulates several bodily functions ranging from metabolism to organ performance. Even the tiniest upsets in its system can wreak havoc on one’s health with dire consequences.
Secretary Michelle Kaase, who works with Ho-Mi counselor Angie Wartick, had her thyroid removed eleven years ago because of cancer. Without it, she relies on medications to take over the role of the critical gland.
“I don’t think you can ever get off of it. It’s just a lifetime of medicine,” Kaase said. “But it’s really easy to take, because it’s just a teeny tiny pill that takes care of everything.”
This year, Kaase experienced frequent choking (like when swallowing wrong) and spoke often with a quivery voice. When her breathing difficulties lasted too long, she knew she had to consult her doctor.
“I’m so hypersensitive when it comes to that general area,” Kaase said. “I thought that I had a lump there, but it turned out to be my vocal cord overextending because the other was paralyzed.”
Kaase underwent surgery on March 24 to correct her vocal cords, a year after the removal of her lymph node.
“She was really nervous about the neck surgery,” Wartick said. “She didn’t seem to be, because she’s never been in a bad mood, but you could tell from small changes in her personality.”
Despite all her challenges, Kaase still works hard, remains positive, and enjoys the company of her aides.
“She is hysterical, outgoing and kind,” junior Jennifer Sanchez said. “Working with her is really fun.”
Throughout her ordeals, Kaase’s husband, sons and mother have been at her side as her biggest supporters.
“I learned that every day is important, and you should never take your family and your loved ones for granted,” Kaase said. “You never know who won’t be with you tomorrow.”