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. 

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