Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Friday, June 08, 2007

Reflections on my tonsilectomy

The good, the bad, and the ugly... My doctor was right. He did everything in his powers to dissuade me from it and he is right that if a patient is not as determined as I was to get it they would probably regret their decision. It was a very long, painful recovery.

I have noticed, while looking at the huge area of raw throat that, contrary to what it looked like before, the tonsils were not hanging by a thread and my near attempt to "snip" them out myself would have gone horribly wrong. ha ha.

The surgery itself was really easy. I was wheeled into the operating room under some drug, feeling groggy and then instantly I woke up in the recovery room! How cool is that?! I was surprised how swollen my airway was, I could barely breathe and that didn't make sense to me since two large objects were taken out. But the uvula was swollen to over three times it's usual size and, in fact, it took over a week before the swelling went down enough to be able to breath while lying on my back. My response as I was coming out of anesthesia was to ask a million questions. funny huh? I was asking the poor nurse. "Did I just have surgery?" (yes). "Can I see my tonsils?" (no) "Were they big?" (no response that I can recall) "why is my throat swollen?" ha ha. So that was funny.

I enjoyed my day of peace and quiet at the hospital and then went home. I couldn't really talk or eat. About three days later the pain got even more intense! I guess that's normal. I called the doctor for stronger drugs or at least a different form than pill and he switched my current drugs to liquid form. It worked though. I even had cold sores/lesions at the base of my tongue- probably traumatized from the surgery and that was excruciating. I'm pretty sure the tongue has even more nerve endings then the fingertips. As I lay there in pain I thought about people in other countries who are punished by having their tongue cut off and I decided that that has got to be one of the worst punishments ever.

So within a few days all the cauterizing started coming off. TMI: I wiped a good amount off with a cue tip. Mornings were horrible too. If I accidentally mouth breathed through the night my throat would be dry and excruciating.

As for food, I didn't eat much for two weeks. Probably lost a ton of weight. If I eat really healthy now maybe I can keep it off. I survived mostly on pudding, root beer floats and water. Towards the end I could really get a good meal in if I took my drugs a half hour before-hand.

My doctor warned me that vomiting would be a traumatic ordeal, should it occur. So when I took a multi-vitamin on an empty stomach and grew nauseous I prepared myself for the worst. I ended up throwing up a little but it wasn't too bad, maybe because I was a little bit healed, and maybe because I psyched myself up for much worse.

Other painful happenings I was not psychologically prepared for: yawning, coughing, sneezing, screaming. Yes, screaming. As in when -3 days after surgery- you are sitting in the dark livingroom on the couch with your two year old and out of no where a bat dive bombs into the room.

I can't wait til it's totally healed and I never have to deal with strep throat again! (or at least almost never).

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