Monday, February 22, 2010

A Few Tonsillectomy Factoids....

In the unlikely event that someone out there in the wide blue internet yonder is like me and googles something like, "What to expect after an adult tonsillectomy" the day before their surgery is scheduled, I want to put this out *there*.

First of all, yes it does TOTALLY SUCK. The first few days were not all that bad, though. As long as you have good drugs anyway. And if you have 3 kids, farm them out to whoever will take them, for as long as they will take them!!! Around day 5, when the disgusting white scabs start to slither their way down to your otherwise completely empty stomach, you will start to get horribly nauseated (especially if your mother has tried to force feed you vanilla Ensure) and you will begin puking your toenails up. I say your toenails because the Ensure will have long since disappeared having been gobbled up by your famished system and there will be ABSOLUTELY NOTHING else for your stomach to offer...other than said toenails. Oh yeah, and the pain from the acid accompanying the toenails will be pretty much unbearable on your ravaged throat.

On day 6, you will sob uncontrollably to your husband because the pain is bad, but worse is how UNBELIEVABLY STARVING you are...in between the bouts of nausea anyway. You will crave chips and queso like crazy, but will barely be able to swallow one spoonful of jello. You will also have absolutely ZERO energy for anything except thinking about food.

On day 7, you will have to somehow manage to get into the shower to wash the vomit out of your hair because you have to go see the Sadist who did this to you. I recommend putting a stool in the shower so that you can sit down because not only will the heat make you incredibly dizzy, it will take at least 45 minutes for you to wash your hair. Oh, and you better start early because after the marathon shower you will have to lie down for about an hour and a half. If you have long hair like me, it will probably still be wet and you will need your mother to dry it for you. Keep the stool handy! Your mother is probably shorter than you so you'll have to sit on it! Have your husband drive you because there is NO WAY IN HELL you should operate anything more complicated than a toilet with how many drugs you've been on. Oh, he'll most likely have to dress you as well.

When you are sitting in the waiting room at the Sadist's office, try not to be discouraged by the 2 year old running around the place. You know, the 2 year old who had her surgery a hour before you had yours. Just remember that oh so UNhelpful sage wisdome, "It's much harder on adults than it is on kids."

And when you step on the scale, try real hard not to cry when you find out you've lost 12 pounds and now weigh less than you did in middle school. If your heart rate is 140 bpm, just remember it's because you are knocking on death's door with your dehydrated, starving, pathetically weak body.

Also, try not to cry too hard in front of the Sadist. Especially when he asks you to open up "a little wider" so that he can use the frightening metal vacuum to scrape some of the thick white horriblness from your throat. "It will help you feel better".

Only 3 more LONG days until day 10, when inexplicably you are actually able to hold a toothbrush! And your baby comes home! And while you can't pick her up, you can at least follow her around from room to room. Because while you were feeling like absolute S**T, she decided to learn how to walk for the first time. And at this point, you will probably be able to go 5 hours without the narcotics. IF you can do that, you might even be able to start pooping again! Assuming you can now manage the whole cup of jello instead of just one spoonful and there is actually something TO poop.

By week 2, you should feel a little more normal. But I'm here to tell you what no one else told me, it's a whole new normal! You will pretty much have to relearn how to swallow. Otherwise, whatever liquid you were attempting will most certainly come out your nose. Not so bad if its water. Anything else and it will feel like battery acid in your sinuses. But I'm getting ahead of myself! You won't be drinking anything except water for the next few weeks at least! Just a tip...don't try wine. You also may experience a lisp. And anything sweet will taste completely bland. And don't even attempt to blow up a balloon for your kids...it's impossible.

If you happen to be a fitness instructor or you work out on a regular basis, you may think before surgery, "oh, I bet I'll be back in about 2 weeks". You won't. It will be at least a month before any exercise beyond walking to the refrigerator is even an option. But the good news is, you'll be making that walk quite a bit! Because at this point, you'll be eating every 20 minutes! And those 12 pounds you lost? They'll be back in no time! They may even bring a few friends along :)

3 comments:

Meg said...

I LOVE how this reads like "If you give a Mouse a Cookie"!!! So glad you are finally feeling better.....it sounds like it was a miserable experience!

JJ said...

going on day 4 and I feel fine. If I had read this blog before going into surgery, I probably wouldn't have gone through with it. Overall, my experience is totally different, and I'm sad you had to go through such difficult times :(

Spencer said...

Wow! You posted this a long time ago, so I doubt you're even checking this. But if you are, I'm hoping you can tell me how long your recovery was, and if you had to go through special therapy to relearn how to swallow? My wife is on month 3 of recovery and water still shoots out her nose if she drinks it too fast. She is slowly learning how to take tiny sips, and can eat soups, smoothies, etc. It's been awful. Looking for answers...or maybe just a tip or two. :) Thanks