Yesterday I did something incredibly stupid. I woke up early in the morning and drove to an outpatient surgery center and allowed someone to slice into my throat and remove my tonsils. On purpose.
I haven’t had surgeries before. Not really. I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was eighteen, but I’ve had so many teeth extracted before then that I couldn’t make make myself view that as an actual surgery. I had my daughter, but that was kind of inevitable. She was coming, hospital or not. Humans have been having babies longer than doctors were around.
I kind of figured if I ever went under the knife it would be an emergency situation. Not something scheduled, driven to with intent, and planned for. As I was planning, I read everything I could online and came to a realization. I also have a blog. True, it’s for my books, but my readers might have had their tonsils removed and could have awesome advice to share. Or they may need it in the future. So might as well put this up here if I’m going to write about it. And I’m a writer. That’s kind of my thing.
So yesterday morning I woke up starving. I’m always super hungry in the morning, but I couldn’t eat anything after midnight so breakfast was out. I have to give my husband, the nicest guy in the world, credit. He woke up earlier than me so I wouldn’t have to watch him eat breakfast. I pretty much just rolled out of bed, got dressed, brushed my teeth and hopped in the car.
We arrived at 6:30 and I filled out some paperwork then hung around until 7:30. Then they took me back to get me prepped. I changed into a hospital gown and robe and then they stuck me a few times trying to get an IV in.
I don’t have veins, by the way. They aren’t sure where my blood comes from, but it’s never been anywhere easily accessible. But this hospital was super nice. They numbed me first before poking me with the IV, so at least I didn’t feel them digging around. I will say though, the numbing stuff they used, novacane , burned for like minutes after the IV was in, so if I had normal, easy to find veins, I don’t know that it would be worth it.
Then they brought in my husband to say good luck and ran me through a series of questions before administering an IV cocktail. They rolled me back to the operating room and knocked me out. I woke up to a nurse calling my name really, really loudly, and whoosh, I was in a recovery room asking for something to drink because my mouth was dry. They dosed me with dilaudid, which is like ten times stronger than morphine, gave me an ice collar, and I slept for a bit, chatted with my husband, and slept some more between lots of cups of orange gatorade.
Two things really surprised me right off the bat. They offered me soda, which I was not expecting. And I could talk. Normal sounding even. It didn’t hurt. Throughout my stay at the hospital, which lasted until about 2:00, the most I felt was like I had a very mild, scratchy throat.
I started feeling it on the way home though. It’s a thirty minute drive, and my husband ran a bit late coming back to get me because he had to pick up my daughter from school and the pharmacy took awhile. My advice, ask for one last dose of pain meds forty minutes before you expect to leave because they can’t give them to you within thirty minutes of leaving. But once I took my pain meds (liquid loratab, which stings a bit going down, so chase with gatorade) I was fine. I set my alarm for seven (you take the pain meds every four hours) and took a nice long nap.
Thanks to some awesome internet advice, I knew to have a big glass of gatorade (I tried water, but my mouth tasted too weird, I needed flavor, plus no mushy foods until day two, so the electrolytes are probably good for me) by the bed, a humidifier running, and an awesome husband who swapped out my ice packs every hour or so. I woke up at seven and wasn’t in a rush to get to my pain meds, but I took them right away anyway because I didn’t want that to change, stayed up until my next dose of pain meds, and went back to sleep. I set my alarm for four hours later each time I took my medicine, even at night, took big sips of gatorade anytime I was awake enough to think about it (especially before and after the pain meds) and swapped out my ice packs every time I woke up.
The humidifier makes a drastic difference. I know this because mine ran out of water at 3:00 and I was too lazy to refill it. When I woke up at 7, there was a massive difference in how dry my mouth was. The thing you really, really, really want to avoid is your mouth getting dry. Like at any cost. Drink constantly while awake. It hurts a bit to swallow but once you do it enough, it’s really no worse than a sore throat (except for that like 20 minutes between doses of pain meds, it’s a bit more painful then).
I did have two semi-major moments of pain. The ride home was not fun, and I kept having to couch just before I went to sleep that night. Coughing is not fun with two gaping holes in your throat. But weirdly, switching from drinking out of my cup straight to a straw calmed my throat down enough to fall asleep. I wouldn’t use a straw much/at all. But the way I was swallowing must have been bugging something and changing that up helped.
Today, so far so good. I’ve probably talked to much and need to knock that off (hence the blogging) because just because I feel up to talking doesn’t mean I won’t regret it when the meds wear off. Keeping near the humidifier, taking pain killers every 4 hours, and drinking lots of gatorade. I’m still starving but can’t have anything other than clear-ish liquids (they said the gatorade counted) until later this afternoon and no mushy solids until tomorrow :(.
If I’m up to it, I’ll write tomorrow. But in the meantime, you may see me online a lot, but I may not be responsive. Don’t take it personally, life is a bit fuzzy right now. Got any advice for recovery? I hear it gets worse around day 5.