Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Lovely Tonsillectomy!

You know what I did last week?  I had a Tonsillectomy/Septoplasty!  What a fun time for me.  Let me give you a (quite rare these days) insight to my life over the past 7 days.

Operation day
The bastard very nearly didn't happen.  It turned out my temperature was a couple of degrees elevated.  Looking back I now realise this was a direct message from The Gods to pack it the fuck up and get out of there while I still had my wits about me.  Doctors (surgeons in particular) have a God complex, of course and went ahead with it anyway.  Mistake?  You decide.

Coming out of the Anesthetic I thought, “gee, I’m going to hurl”. Little did I know this would be the single most coherent and insightful thought I’d have for the next 7 days…  I'm going to hurl said it all.  I wasn’t breathing well and they put me on O2 – which was not great for the dry throat thing one usually tries to avoid when dealing with an open wound at the back of your throat. I had a septoplasty/turbs done at the same time so all my airways were compromised. I kept seeing the nurses kept giving me and each other worried looks. This is not a good side from where I was laying.

My mother, bless her, was like a champion by my side literally feeding ice chips into my mouth.  A regular Florence Nightingale (or was it Henderson...maybe both).  As predicted about 5 hours later I hurled my guts out. Ate zero. Drank a little. I was just so dizzy. The only medication I could take was panadol and anti-nausea through IV. I barely slept a wink.

Post-Op Day 1
They, being the nurses, accused me of not eating, drinking and amazingly of not breathing (!!!) and so the Drs kept me in the hospital for a second night.  Time to ask for bed pans and sponge baths I think! As miserable as I was it was the best thing that could have happened as I was not in a good way though. I decided to make an effort to eat and drink even if I wasn’t feeling like it. Plus, I hadn’t been to the toilet for #2s and this was the big talk of the town on Floor 4, let me tell you now! I felt a little better today. The pain was pretty bearable and I was taking regular Panadine forte and Endone as well as my antibiotic. Slept maybe 2 hours total.
Post-Op Day 2
Home day! ...But I woke up nauseous.
They kept feeding me anti-nausea meds through my IV until it was time for me to go home (about midday). Pain in my throat was getting worse by the second. By the time I got home to Florence Henderson/Nightingale I was feeling constantly dizzy and ill. I keep trying to down my meds as I know it is the one thing that will get me through. I realise after gagging for the third time that I cannot swallow the Panadine forte and after a big battle with my better judgement I make the executive decision to switch to Panadol Soluble instead. Panadol Soluble is what you feed kids and I was in adult pain.

Sleep, I realise is overrated, when I wake up weeping from the pain from only 1/2 hour of it. This is despite my humidifier being on. I watch the clock like a hawk waiting for my Med times. I need them an hour before they are due.
So much pain.
Post-Op Day 3
I didn’t think the pain could get worse but I was completely wrong it does and did! So does the dizziness and nausea. I’m trying hard to eat, knowing that eating keeps me as well as can be expected but at the same time eating makes me feel sick. My ears start chiming in with co-pain to my nose and throat. I just sit and cry as it seems to me the most constructive thing I can do.  My crying is quite hysterical.  It consists of me sitting in a silent scream and then slowly letting out a wail.  Tears prick up and fall but in slow motion - then about 30 seconds later I realise I can't hold this position without inflicting permanent damage on self so I pull it together and stop.

Still no poop.
I've come to think of night time as, that total waste of hours between 8pm – 8am. Sleep is too difficult, painful and an extreme punishment after what is already a punishing experience.  I try to remember what I've been told about sleep deprivation and illness recovery but I'm too tired to care.  My objective is to stay awake at all costs.

I just try to bide my time until daylight and activity. Every so often I’ll fall into sweet sleep but wake up with razor blades down the back of my throat.

To make matters worse at 4am – I throw up everywhere.  I think we need something a little more hard core than Florence Henderson...

Post-Op Day 4
Realising that my precious stash of (good) Meds are going to run out I ask my Florence to place a call to the ENT about getting me some more of that particular kind. He seems reluctant in the way that only people who hold ultimate power over lesser beings is. Also, as it is the Queen’s birthday holiday weekend he’s about to head off on a holiday. Eventually the guilt hits you as it always tends to when speaking to Mum and he agrees to come and see me at home. A home visit!

He breezes in, all dimpled, clean running shoes, crisp blue jeans and what looks like "weekend leisure wear" and from what I can see in this deep delirium I'm in, a picture of perfect health. I want to kill him. I can’t believe there are people doing normal things, while I wallow in blackened depression and self pity. I decide this is my last day of wallowing. He tells me that Day 5 is usually the worst and that while it may not get ‘better’ it won’t get too much worse after that. This does not sound comforting to my painful ears and with a wink (yes), he's gone. I imagine him doing whatever people do with soccer balls and their kids.  Damn him.

Later on in the day I hear the song “My Sweet Lord” (G.Harrison) on the radio and cry my eyes out. It’s like I’ve discovered this unique gift I have, which is that I understand everything at a deeper level than everyone else now. Everything is sad and everything is horrible but also beautiful and tragic.

Oh that's right, I wasn’t going to wallow.
While I am so grateful to Mum for looking after me (she is a champ) I look over at her meal tonight and have never felt so jealous in my life. It’s crispy skin roasted chicken with crispy baked potatoes and yummy pumpkin. I have the same… blended into puree. I feel so sad. At 10pm I throw it all up, which doesn't look much different from when it went in – so dizzy. such pain. I decide I need a break from the Meds because I am so ill. I know I can’t make it pain wise but I will try… Still no poop.
Post-Op Day 5
I sleep a little (maybe 3 hours) and awake in agony.
Dizzy – check,
Sick – check,
Stabbing pain in throat – check,
Midget miners in my ear canals with picks – check.

Oh good, just wanted to check and see if the status quo was up and running…chhhhhheck.. Decide the ENT was right, definitely the most painful day. I can barely eat and I’ve decided at this moment to see how long I can survive without Meds. That’s right. NO MEDS. NOOOOOOOOO MEDS. I’m still dizzy. I’m still sick. I’m in so much pain.. Feel like I have no choice though. This day is pure hell. Sleep about 30 minutes. Seriously, what’s the point? This no pooping thing is really getting me down.

Post-Op Day 6
The dizziness slowly disappearing. I’m hungry… But of course I’m in so much pain that I can’t eat what I want. Remember I’m on no Meds at this stage so I’m just on survival. My nose keeps feeling funky. I try to ignore it most of the time because it clearly plays second fiddle to the star on stage – my tonsils. Sometimes though, it’ll chime in with a sympathy pain and sears through my head… juuuust letting me know it’s there. Yeah, thanks buddy.

I performed a little home operation on my nose.  It was satisfying but I'm sure I'll get into trouble by winking, dimple guy but at this stage I've realised that I'm a bit like Rocky fighting the Russian here, I'm down and out but I'll give anything a go. Plus, I gave birth to a poo baby, you have no idea how happy and proud I am.

My friend gives me the idea to eat aloe vera, known for it’s healing properties. I mash some up into a green juice. Now, before I went into this operation I thought to myself that I would stick to my normal healthy lifestyle… lots of green. Green juice daily. Organic, no sugar, no wheat, no refined carbs, no preservatives etc. That went out the window on day 1. It’s been jelly and ice blocks everyday since this shindig went down. Today was the first day I had a green juice. I was so happy. The aloe was blended into it and tasted good. It took me a long time to drink but I was so proud of myself that I did.
2 hours sleep. :(
Post-Op Day 7
Still persevering with no Meds. Green juice again. My hunger is back but I’m still pureeing everything. I don’t know how the post-tonsillectomy internet community is eating things like toast. I can do soft bread and honey but that’s as far as I get. I still get regular stabs of white hot poker pain as well as the normal horrible swallowing pain. I look at the back of my throat ... it looks like a creepy snow cave in there.

Today is the first day I feel kind of human. I’m still crying at all the sad songs on the radio and to be honest I weep when eating a bit too. In fact I cried when the ad came on about ending battery farms, then again when Brooke betrayed her sister on Bold and the Beautiful and again when The Voice was on (just because they sounded like angels) and then again when the news about those kids that made their own home made moonshine and died drinking it.

Then I think – far out I am STRONG – I am doing the worst days on no pain Meds whatsoever. I am so amazing.

Meanwhile... it's 11pm, what am I going to do with the rest of my night while I avoid the big S?

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