It’s been tough to get this update out, since the pain medication has me soooo sleepy. Please ignore ramblings and typos. I am seriously doped up. Also, pardon me if this post is TMI but I think it may help adults facing tonsillectomies, plus I think I’ll want to reflect on the experience in the future.
I had my tonsils removed yesterday morning. The surgery process itself was not too bad. After getting in my gown, having the IV put in, etc., the nurses actually walked me down the hall to the operating room. I hopped up on the stretcher, got all situated, then the anesthesiologist started the drugs. We had all been talking but I could tell it was getting tougher. I said, “I think you’re losing me.” and the next thing I knew, I was in the recovery room! Anesthesia is truly amazing.
The doctor had given me a local anesthetic to numb my throat, so in the recovery room, I couldn’t feel my throat at all. It felt like I needed to swallow, but I couldn’t. It was a suffocating feeling. I have a tremendous fear of choking, and this sensation triggered a panic attack. I said to the nurse, from across the ward, “nurse, I think I am panicking” and she confirmed that indeed I was. She was wonderful, held my hand and helped me with breathing exercises. She showed me how my oxygen levels were at 100 and that I was breathing perfectly through my nose, and she ensured me that the feeling I had was just a sensation, that I was not actually in any danger. The panic attack came back three or four times, then I started to get more feeling back in my throat and it wasn’t so terrifying. That really sucked. I owe that wonderful nurse a thank you letter. There’s also a number I can call to commend anyone who went above and beyond, and I will definitely be calling on her behalf on Monday.
Everyone said for at least three days, I would eat nothing but jello, applesauce, and ice cream. Who are these people? I was ravenous when I got home, and the first thing I did was eat a bowl of noodle soup. It tasted wonderful. I followed that up with a smoothie made from 4 scoops chocolate protein powder, 1/2 banana, big scoop peanut butter, a cup of water, and some ice. Mmmm!!! A couple of hours later, I had a bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy. Jello schmello.
I slept on the reclining couch so that I could stay mostly upright. A few times a day I put an ice pack on my neck to control swelling. I’m taking hydrocodone every 4 hours along with anti-nausea medicine. Thank goodness, I have not had any nausea.
One of the most important things for an adult tonsillectomy recovery is to drink constantly. So I have a cup of crushed ice, Gatorade, or water with me all the time. Also, chewing gum works the jaw and throat muscles, plus causes salivation therefore more swallowing. Swallowing is imperative to keep everything flexible and to prevent earache.
This morning, I had two scrambled eggs for breakfast. For lunch I had noodle soup, and for dinner I had Kraft macaroni and cheese (an old favorite that I rarely let myself enjoy anymore!) and a bowl of peas. I figured as long as I feel able to eat, I may as well.
So I have to say, days 1 and 2 have been a breeze. My throat hurts like hell but guess what… that’s nothing new! I can talk, I can get around (but quite wobbly). I was able to enjoy spending time with my family today, when I had expected to be confined to my bed, so that was awesome.
However, I feel this may be the calm before the storm. My doctor and all the nurses said days 1 and 2 are not so bad, but day 3 can be a real killer, and some people have really miserable days up until day 10 or so. It’s hard to believe that I could start feeling worse, doesn’t really make sense to me, but my research confirms this happens to most people. For some reason, things get worse before they get better.
Might I be the lucky one? Might I continue to feel good until I’m completely healed? The fact that I’ve been eating real food and not jello makes me think that somehow I’m doing better than average. But I am trying to stay mentally prepared for some bad times coming soon.
Well, I’m off to refill my ice pack then enjoy a huge honkin’ bowl of Neopolitan ice cream!