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.