Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tonsillectomy Recovery: Is It Over Yet?!

The days following my last entry went by in a blur of pain and drowsiness. Day three was fairly painful throughout, but nothing prepared me for days four, five, six, or seven. Each morning, the pain was progressively worse. It felt as if scalding hot knives pierced the back of my throat whenever I attempted to open my mouth. I learned quickly that Chicken cream soup was my best friend; any attempt to consume anything solid (or semi-solid) was greeted with vociferous contempt. I was not about to challenge my throat because I was hungry. I was much more interested in keeping myself sane by staving off the pain, than by eating what I pleased.

Interestingly enough, I grew to dislike ice cream. The thing about dairies is that these thicken your saliva, which makes it harder to swallow, and when you have a uvula the size of a pomegranate, you kind of want to avoid that! Popsicles are a much safer alternative to ice cream, they are far more refreshing, also. The only reason I would eat ice cream was because I needed something to mix my bitter oxycodone with. Other than that, mashed potatoes proved to be great allies in my time of hunger. Though avoid putting anything in them, by that I mean bacon in particular. I’m guilty of not learning to respect my throat’s wishes for complete softness, and trying to consume all kinds of solids while I recovered—I am a stubborn person, as you can read.

Needless to say, I couldn’t speak for much of my convalescence. That wasn’t too bad, I tend to be a quiet person, in general. It was still very frustrating when no one understands your miming; soon, though, those skills improve, making you the envy of the town mime’s, (take that PePe!)

At the end of the day 7 though, I thought I had everything figured out. I thought “things can’t get worse now!” Boy, was I wrong. Nothing. NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING learned, done, developed, acquired, expanded-on, (insert whatever verb you wish to describe what you would do to prepare for a week-long painfest), or otherwise transpired in the last week could prepare me for the Hell that was Day 8. Never before in my life had I been woken up by pain. I didn’t just happen to open my eyes, and gradually (and comically) realize that my throat was on fire. No. The sensation that my throat was on FIRE forced me awake. I can only imagine what sort of dream I must have had prior to that rude awakening (probably something about a ghost chili). Whatever was going through my mind as I crossed the border between somnolence and consciousness, I can’t remember. All I know is that at six in the morning, my first action was to jump out of my bed, a-la-recipient-of-ice-water-bucket and silently scream my way into the kitchen.

Just as a reminder, this was Day 8: Tuesday, April the sixth. Yesterday. I am never forgetting this date. Never. I didn’t wait to cook scrambled eggs or pudding cups. No, I immediately crushed that oxy with a meat tenderizer, sprinkled that narcotic powder over my ice cream and dove head first into that poppy-flavored, frosted cream. Because I did not eat before I took that pill, I was promptly knocked out. Thank the gods for this! I couldn’t stand the pain. Throughout the day, I was religiously counting on my next painkiller. By midnight, my mind had renounced any hope that things would ever be fine. I was ready to admit that the pain was much more than I bargained for. It’s only natural that I was overjoyed when I woke up this morning feeling MUCH better than I had all week.

Today, I only took one painkiller (in the morning). I have decided that I will not be necessitating oxy’s help tonight. My throat was a lot more compliant today, but still, I did not want to push my luck. Not when even tomato cream soup made me feel like screaming. I went back to my cream of chicken soup, though I did have some sausages on the side. I think even my ailing throat recognizes that it is time to try something solid, even if it was something small. I am confident that in the next couple of days I’ll be able to eat some pasta, maybe even rice. I’m not chancing toast (yet), but I might test my luck with cereal in the morning.

Bottom line: It’s been one hell of a week. Despite the pain, I don’t regret undergoing the procedure. I was very ill.

One thing, though: I think people really underestimate this surgery. I guess it’s because it is often associated with a children’s procedure, they think that it can’t be that bad. Well, let me tell you now, the only reason why children have it easier, is because they don’t go through as much pain as adults do. Children can heal faster, adults don’t count with the same speed of healing. So, next time your adult brother or sister, or father or mother, or other relative or friend—hell, a stranger!—comes up to you, and tells you they are getting a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy (and in some cases, uvulectomy/uvuloplasty), please—be kind and considerate! The amount of pain they are about to feel might just scar them.

If you are thinking of undergoing any one (or all) of these procedures, just remember that while it may be painful (Oh…It Will Be) it is worth it. Nothing good comes without fighting hard for it; even if it means, spending a whole week with hell-wrought pain.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Day 3 - Holy Mother of Hell

Welcome to the dreaded Day 3….

Before I begin the narrative, just wanted to note that day 2 progressed very slowly. I took my OxyCodone at 10 am, and then again before going to bed at around 10 pm. It was a struggle the in-between. Swallowing spiked the pain up to a 7, good news is, things seem to be progressing well; pain notwithstanding, that is.

Day 3 has provided me with one hell of a morning. After nearly 2 hours of trying to get something into my stomach, I have managed to down a smoothie I made, and laced with the narcotic painkiller. The only thing I could manage to eat was a bowlful of Jello, and a vanilla pudding cup. That’s it. I’m hoping that, and the smoothie itself serves as a buffer for the painkiller. The last thing I want is to vomit—that would ruin the day. I have to take care of my scabs, I cannot afford any more pain. I’m on the edge. I woke up with ringing in my ears, jaw pain, tongue swollen. The works, basically.

I believe my first (texted) words were “I now know God is indeed real….only [he] could think of a pain this cruel.”

I take comfort in that I should be feeling much better after this weekend comes and goes. I take a great deal of discomfort though, knowing that the next 48-72 hours might be just as bad, if not worse than today has been. I will be dutifully taking that Oxy, which means this might be my only (albeit short) entry for the day. This painkiller is great, definitely knocks me out. The only thing I regret, is not being able to eat my scrambled eggs. I don’t have it in me to brave that, not right now. 

P.S. All Hail The Mighty Oxy...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tonsillectomy Journal #1: Day 2

Good morning everyone,

This is a little impromptu entry I thought about doing. To give you some perspective, for the last year I have been suffering from recurring health problems: sinus infections and chronic tonsillitis (accompanied by some cozy, infernal fever, and nails-down-throat-wall sensation). Finally, earlier this year, I was able to obtain a medical appointment (after MONTHS of struggling to find a stable health insurance, ironically made a hectic trek thanks to the Affordable Care Act). It didn’t take any of my doctors more than five minutes to agree that my situation requires a tonsillectomy (“A-S-A-P”), and booking the very first available slot in the butcher-house, I begun the month-long journey to prepare for slicin’.

I remember my otolaryngologist (ENT) warning that an adult tonsillectomy was a very delicate and painful procedure. I explained that this was not the first time I opted for the knife instead of medication (which never seemed to work in either case). The first time I made this decision, I was 17-years-old. I had been suffering from chronic, nighttime seizures (which I would later learn were a result of a congenital group of neurons that did not separate properly at birth, and did not begun misfiring until my teenage years). As a result of the later, I underwent three surgeries (1 brain surgery, and 2 skull-reconstruction surgeries) over the period of four months (Oct. 2009, Nov. 2009, Feb. 2010). Flashback aside, I was ready for the pain. At least, so I thought I would be.

My surgery was yesterday, Tuesday, March the 29th of 2016 at 7 in the morning. After getting lost (due to the surgical facility changing venues…without telling me) I arrived at 6 instead of 5:30 as was advised. This was not a problem, the staff was very accommodating, making the cooler-for-an-office a much warmer place. The anesthesiologist aptly dubs me the “first victim”. If this had been my first surgery, I might have been scared—I was ready. Fast forward a couple of hours, the last thing I remembered before waking up was lying down under a number of bright lights in a white operating chamber. I came to, at about a quarter past nine; I did not open my eyes for another twenty minutes or so (I kept crossing between sleep and consciousness). It may have been the apple juice a kind nurse offered me that woke up for good this time. Don’t get me wrong, I felt the pain, and if it wasn’t for an intravenous Percocet, I might not have been as happy as I was (turns out I had been complimenting everyone, after leaving the OR—I don’t remember this, though, but I’m glad I did; mom raised a gentleman, after all).

I’m driven home with an ice pack on my neck, and plenty of happy juice still coursing through my veins. I remember being asked how I was feeling, by concerned friends, and I responded “I’m beautiful” to an audience of chuckles and giggles. I could not have been more foregone. Unfortunately, my short-lived euphoria faded into an afternoon of painful swelling, the loss of my voice, and the realization that my diet would look like this, for the next two weeks:

Photo by Me
Trust me, it looks easy, but I am having a really hard time getting any of this down right now; I definitely need it, too, that narcotic is begging to soothe my pain for the next six hours.

After a night of troubled sleep, I was woken by my trusty alarm at 8:30 this morning. The pain was real. Not wishing to wake anyone, I ventured into the kitchen to prepare the only thing I could think of that would go down easily, without hurting the scabs in the back of my throat. I was no Gordon Ramsay making scrambled eggs, but still when you feel a dagger torpedoing its way down your throat, you don’t really care about doing a good job. Adding melon jelly, and picking up a vanilla pudding cup, I was ready….It’s 10:04 right this second and I’ve barely tackled half those eggs; the jello has been as neglected, and the pudding cup remains unopened. Alas, it seems that that narcotic-laced ice cream bowl is going to have to wait a lot longer.

I will keep updating this entry throughout the day, it’s no use calling the first couple of hours of day two a complete “day 2 entry”.

P.S. BEWARE OF THE HICCUPS—never has the world seen a greater evil, than hiccups while in tonsillectomy recovery. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Welcome to the Magic City of...Atlantis?

The thing about research is that you never know what you are going to find. I have been writing a fantastical tale set across the southern United States. Hang on, though, because there’s more: the story is about the search for Atlantis. I had postulated in my initial drafts that the city was found at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, in the equidistant post between the three landmasses making up the Bernuda Triangle. For years, researchers had argued about the existence of the fabled city, but more than that, they have wondered: where could it possibly be? I will admit, I keep my research to a minimum, especially when it comes to fantasy because in those genres I like to let my unhindered and unpolluted imagination guide me. It definitely scares me when things line out as perfectly (or almost as perfectly) as they have. It makes me wonder….

Less than a month ago, I commissioned a circular design, which involved a circular figure with equidistant holes and a large geometric design. Why? It was the gateway to Atlantis. It would be buried, deep underground—in Florida. St. Augustine to be more specific. Fast forward to the present time; as I prepare to edit the chapters set in Florida, where there is a high likelihood of my protagonists finding the city, I come across an excerpt from Charlie Carson’s “Weird Florida”, a travel guide tantamount to an anthology of pieces ranging from folk tales to must-see venues in the Sunshine state. In one particularly eerie section, there came the report of “The Miami Circle” located in Downtown Miami.

[Photo by John Ricisak, n.d.]

The Miami Circle was unearthed when construction was to begin on a high-rise apartment complex, back in the late nineties. Workers came across a large, thirty-eight foot diameter monolith: a limestone circle (thought to be at least a thousand years old), riddled with holes…right in the center of the buzzling, sleepless Miami. Along with this stone marker, there were shark skeletons, turtle carapaces, and a myriad of artifacts which are not indigenous to the state. I remember reading, nearly a decade ago, about aquatic archaeological expeditions near the Bahamas; their purpose, of course, being the never-ending quest to find (what most are convinced is) the sunken, ancient city. Why did I feel the clangor of bells in the backdrop as I read this article? Well, for starters, it is not impossible for there to have been such a place; eliminating the more fantastical elements of the city (such as it being a live city, located at the bottom of the ocean and ruled by King Triton and his merfolk co-inhabitants), it is a very plausible location. There have been remains of ancient temples, found near shores in the Mediterranean. Whether Greek-era bards and adventurers actually ever reached it, well, we may never know.

Fortunately, we still have a chance to figure out what this piece of limestone (dubbed by one conspiracy theorist, the “limestonhenge”); after much discussion, Miami-Dade County stopped development on this plot of land, and reburied the circle until further studies could be made. Today, the well-groomed Miami Circle, basks under the (nearly) year-long summery Sun, enjoying the seaside view of the Atlantic. I might just make a trip downtown, maybe I’ll feel something. Even if it is the blistering heat and frizzing humidity of the Magic City.

Still, I wonder: could it be possible, that all of these party-going, cortadito-drinking, bad-driving Miamians…sit on the legacy of this mystical city? I thought I was looking for Atlantis, I was not expecting to find it right in front of me, or in this case, right below my feet!

I will be uploading a short preview of the story I’ve been working on for the last few months. It is the main reason this space has been so neglected.

Subscribe for more odd stories, and watch this writer soar!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Quick Update

Good evening everyone,

I have been hard at work doing research for my latest project. I just want to give a brief update, I’ll be posting samples throughout the month. Sorry for the unprecedented absence (again). 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Where have you been?!

It's been a very long time since I've been in this space. It doesn't mean that I have not written anything. The last few years have been a writing frenzy for me. Everything from academic research work to writing projects with friends and acquaintances. It has been quite a while, though, and I do feel bad for neglecting this wonderful space of mine. I have started actively working on my stories again, now that I have graduated (and as I remain unemployed), I have an overabundance of time which has gone straight into editing and reviewing my previous work.

My mission this year, 2016 is to publish or drown in printer ink while trying!

As a treat, I'll be uploading certain opinion pieces I wrote in the last few years, and may even begin writing a weekly article on a current event. Methinks a tribute to Alan Rickman is in order for the upcoming week.

Stay tuned, my silence.

- J. Fenix

Monday, March 18, 2013

Writing Project

I feel as if I have abandoned this space, I have not used it in over a year. What a waste, don’t you think? I always try to come back and make another post filled with intrigue…but I fail to do so and for that I feel that I must apologize. I am not one to disappear, or fly away, but I do have some news you might be delighted to hear.

For the last few months I have embarked on a journey, and though it is one trip that has deviated my arrival to my initial goal, I am very excited about it. You see, I am currently writing a book. This book was a request by a few personal friends of mine. It is based on the adventures of their characters through a span of 50-something years. I was once a part of this group of collaborating writers so it is very exciting for me to be the one putting the pieces together. I have to admit, however, that it is very time consuming!

For the most part, I have to deal with temporal inconsistencies. By that I mean there are conflicts of occurrence in a timeline, for example: when laid out on a timeline…one particular moment in time would be the date during which two major (and very different) events occur. I would attempt to break it down further, but I fear I may have a mental break down haha.

Just know, please, I have not abandoned you. Even if my words are echoes in an infinite void, a virtual flint…I’m still here, and if I’m not updating this space, it is usually for a good reason. As you know now, I am writing. It’s kept me busy. I’m not even halfway through planning. But…I do have a treat for you…


That, ladies and gentlemen, would be the base of operations. It looks much more organized, and that is because I had been adding my notes on the very handy Microsoft OneNote. I still have a lot of paperwork to go through, and yes, all of those notes are plot notes and re-defined plot notions and reminders about changes.

Well then, I’ll see you…hopefully before I finish. I hope I get to write you a summer note before June comes around, but it all depends on how busy this story will have me.

Remember to be careful! Get loads of rest, get loads of sleep, but more importantly…get loads of reading, writing, and family time. Happy (late) St. Patrick’s Day do you all! I hope your festivities were better than my own, but that’s a story for another time, for now I must go.

Your writer,

J. Fenix