After the hospital trying to book me twice before, they finally got me in during a time that doesn’t conflict with travel or random event like a concert. A few weeks ago she called and it actually worked out perfectly and tomorrow, July 19th is the day.
Last summer I got strep really bad, and of course it was when I was in the US. I went to the nurse at Walgreen’s and sadly, one round of antibiotics wasn’t enough and I had to do a second dose. That was unpleasant. This was not the first time I had gotten full blown strep while travelling. I have visited a lot of Walgreen’s.
I asked my Doctor if I could get it done. Even though this may be a good way to jump start my Puerto Vallarta diet (February), I would like to reduce the chance of me getting awful sore throats and only building a stronger resistance to the drugs. It is fully voluntary but I think it will be worth it, assuming I don’t have complications. Another benefit is that is my reduce my snoring and need for my CPAP machine... I have mild apnea.
So away I go... pre op appointment was Monday and I’m ready to go for tomorrow. The appointment is at Mt Sinai hospital in the afternoon. I won’t be sleeping over, I get to come home about three hours after the operation.
This weekend I will follow the orders and take it easy, lots of sleep, hydration and hopefully video games. I know after my appendix came out (weeks before our wedding) I didn’t feel great but I’m used to having a sore throat so hopefully that will be the only discomfort.
Maybe I will come out of this with a wonderful singing voice. I have a Celine concert in December and I know Avril would love me to do some power ballad duets with her in October. Fingers crossed.
Mission accomplished. The procedure has been completed and like my appendix, my tonsils are no longer a part of me.
I showed up at the hospital at 2pm for day surgery yesterday, and admissions was actually surprised I was booked so late in the day, I actually liked that I had a day to work and I didn’t have to get up early. Not eating? No worries, I tinker with intermittent fasting all the time so I was totally cool with having my last kernel of Trader Joe’s Pickle Popcorn the night before at midnight.
They were running a bit behind for my scheduled 4pm appointment but I was retrieved from the waiting room at 4:20. I was assuming I would be placed into a bed and and rolled into the OR all ready groggy and half asleep. Instead we walked directly to the OR where I walked in to the room of nurses, my doctor and the anesthesiologist ready to put me to temporary slumber. It was a little daunting but I was strangely relaxed and un-phased.
I hopped my bare butt onto the bed, they adjusted the pillows and they got me hooked up to all the machines. I didn’t know what to expect with going to sleep, I was staring at the huge lights above me and I just let them do to me what they needed to do. Within minutes after breathing heavy into the mask, I was getting light headed and the doctor said: “sleep well” and I was out.
The next thing I remember was a dream, well I don’t remember the dream exactly, but I woke up and my dream was ended and I now had a sore throat. I was awake around 6 and thankfully didn’t feel barfy. That was actually my only concern, after my appendix I felt nauseous and out of all things, that is the worst. But I was good. I dozed and was able to talk to the super nice nurse who was to take care of me. I was promptly moved to a chair where I sat up facing a young girl who just had a breast reduction. If I had a voice, I would have told her mother to shut off her obnoxious text alert that was some sort of robotic noise.
Brad came in and he updated me about the phone call he got from the doctor:
Everything went fine. Tonsils were quite big and irritated and scarred from prior infections. A blood vessel was bulging and he put in a desolving stitch to lower the chance of it bleeding. If you do start bleeding, come back to emergency. You will hate him tomorrow.
Well it is now tomorrow and I don’t hate him, the doctor that is. I got home at 10pm, I had to wait a little longer because I have sleep apnea and normal procedure is to wait 3 hours before going home after waking up. My blood pressure was normal and I got to go.
My throat feels sore but but is actually bearable. I have been keeping up with the drugs so I haven’t been overly uncomfortable. I do feel there is some stuff going on back there but I haven’t looked. I had Brad look because I thought a pill got stuck and he said the back of my throat is all black. I’m guessing they burn it, but I’m not sure and I don’t feel like googling it.
My two days of rest now begin. I’m going to avoid talking and take it easy today. It is early so I may go and watch some TV and lick a popsicle. My plan is to rest and hopefully if I feel fine head wise, build my LEGO Disney Princess castle while eating Jell-O and popsicles.
It’s 5am on Monday morning and it has been 2.5 days since the procedure. I woke up at 2am with a throat full of razor blades. I was trying to reduce my reliance on Percocet and switched to Tylonal last night but it may have been too soon. I use my CPAP which I thought would keep my throat moist, but I think as I sleep my throat is drying out still, waking me with lots of pain.
So even though I feel mostly fine, except for some tiredness, the pain is still there and I think I just have to continue to give it time. Sucking on ice chips and popsicles seem to be the best way to keep my throat somewhat numb and tolerable throughout the day. The swelling back there has gone down and I can now almost lay flat and breath through my nose.
Is it too early for a popsicle? I don’t think so.
It is all worth it. That is what people say. I do believe them but unlike most things that heal up over time, the pain is getting worse and I don’t think It has peaked yet.
I didn’t read much about the procedure or the recovery. I was simply told it takes a week to two weeks to heal up. I thought: no problem. I’m tough. I can take it. I’ll be working, it’ll be easy.
Even though there was some pain this weekend, I thought it was relatively not bad. From what I have now read, that is the calm before the storm. The real soreness comes around 3 to 7 days in or 7 to 11 days in. The black in my mouth has turned to white which is sort of a scab. When it falls off it is apparently quite painful.
This morning I was awoke by pain at 3am and it was pretty forking severe pain. I have given in and am taking the Percocet despite my tries to move to Tylenol. I wasn’t able to take my next dosage until 4am so I waited an hour in some awful pain to get drugged up. Interesting enough, even with the pain I was able to doze off for about 30 minutes. At 4am I took the recommended two Percocet to cover the next four hours. The pain was unbearable. I posted to my Instagram that the pain felt like shoving a hot ball of pizza cheese into your mouth and it burning off all your throat skin. Not pleasant.
As for the Percocet, it helps, but I’m not a fan of the Percocet high, which is good because I doubt I’ll become an addict any time soon. I won’t do two again, I’ll probably just take one pill to take off the edge throughout the nights.
Hopefully I’ll be done with the pain meds altogether soon! But I may be a few days away from that. Oh, and last night I had mashed potatoes and gravy, they were a lovely change from soup.
The pain has not subsided but I’m still hanging in there. From what I have read, I think the pain is the scabbing that’s taking place in my throat. When it dries out it gets tight and painful. I don’t know if this is actually what is happening but it is what I have worked out in my mind.
I now have a routine that is repeated twice per night. I am taking 1 Percocet every 4 hours which is half the recommended dose. Taking two causes me to experience a feeling that I really don’t like, sweaty sleeps and spinning head.
So last night I went to bed a midnight. Took one Percocet and went to sleep.
At 2am I woke up in pain. I got some ice chips and tried to hydrate. Went on my phone and tried to relieve the pain a bit with ice. I dozed off and put myself to sleep until about 4.
At 4 I could take another Percocet and I repeated the same routine.
I don’t feel like the Percocet really takes away the pain, it makes me a little spinny and sleepy so maybe it takes my mind off the pain. At least it allows me to get some sleep.
I’m guessing that once the scabbing is done I’ll be pretty painless with a shiny new throat. The question is, when will that happen. I’m not doing anything to speed it along, like a tattoo, the scabbing happens for a reason and I want to let it do it’s thing so I’ll just grin and bear it.
After a rough day yesterday, last night wasn’t too bad as far as throat goes. I did wake up at 2 but it was not throat related and swallowing, though uncomfortable, wasn’t as bad as the nights before.
During the day my throat was very sore and it was hard to get anything down, including water. And this was a mistake. I have gout and I have learned that if I’m not hydrated enough, it could lead to a flair up.
Before going to sleep I noticed my knee was feeling weird. I thought maybe I had sat with it too long in a position or something. But at 2am when I awoke, the pain had increased and bending it was becoming harder. I have never had a flair up in my knee but it is the only thing it could be. I immediately got some water to begin hydrating and I researched that my gout meds, that I always have on standby, wouldn’t conflict or cause issues with my throat.
So here we are this morning. I was able to sleep until almost 8. My knee is sore and it seems swallowing is becoming easier. Maybe the throat is coming to an end, now I just have to get rid of this gout and I’ll be as good as new.
It is 3:30am but I haven’t been to sleep yet like other nights. I don’t feel I need the Percocet, but now I realize it was knocking me out to sleep.
Today was a good day healing wise. This morning my mouth felt somewhat normal and I was swallowing without pain for most of the morning. This doesn’t mean that I’m done with the discomfort. I still have a lot of trouble eating anything, even soups, because they tend to irritate my throat. So I sip and see how much I can get down. It isn’t much... but strangely I’m not hungry. I have learned my lesson from yesterday and I’m drinking as much water as possible. The gout has almost gone away, just a bit of tightness still.
Tonight I was sore. I think things are happening.
Gross Stuff Ahead
Around this many days after the procedure, the scabs starts coming off the back of your throat. When I got home my throat was black, but as it starts healing a while membrane, that is resistant to saliva, forms and starts working on healing. I haven’t looked that frequently but for some reason, I decided to tonight.
I noticed on the one side there was a blood bubble attached to the side of my mouth. Right where it looks like the tonsil met my cheek. I was a little concerned because blood is a sign there could be trouble, but after this many days, I instead opted to ask some Doctor friends for their opinion.
I didn’t have to worry. It was just a pocket of blood it would probably come off and it would be gone. Thank you Doctor friend!
Well it’s after 3 am and even though I was assured it was nothing I still couldn’t sleep. It also doesn’t help that I can feel things in my mouth that are giving me strange fidgety sensation. Hard to explain.
Well about 15 minutes ago, I returned to the bathroom once again, armed with my iPhone light. I felt something change while I was laying there and I was right. The blood bubble had disappeared and I had a stripe of blood on my big front tooth.
I don’t know if both are related but the blood bubble detached and fell next to my tongue. There was no pain or more blood which I was excited to find out. I didn’t want to be dragging Brad to Emerg right now!
I picked it out carefully and it was gelatinous semi solid of blood, just how my Doctor friend had said it would be, but alas, it is now gone.
Anyway, I thought I would jot this down before I try to sleep again, now that I don’t have to worry that I will choke on a mouthful of blood in the middle of the night. More healing tomorrow!
Yesterday was a rough one. After having an easier day before, my throat felt raw and was extremely sore. It didn’t help that I didn’t get any sleep because of the pain, so much of the day I felt exhausted with a headache.
After venting to Kelsey late last night that I hoped I could sleep, she encouraged me to take the drugs. I took her advice and managed to sleep with only one wake up as the drugs wore off. I promptly popped two more Percocet and slept until this morning.
The drugs don’t make the pain feel much less, but they do make me tired and I think the pain is less of a bother. I have been recovering so long that no position on a pillow feels comfortable. And the pain in my mouth is translating to almost a tickling sensation in my legs that makes me very fidgety. The drugs helped with this and just let me sleep.
This morning I am still store but more healing has happened. The morning rinse and gargle resulted in some good results and some proof that things are changing. I am still continuing to rest today and we are now dog sitting so I can cuddle with him and watch TV all day.
Now that I’m just over a week since the tonsillectomy, I’m really hoping to be in the final stages of healing. Even though I thought it before, I want to hope this is it. The worst thing isn’t that I can’t eat solids or that I haven’t left the condo in over a week now. It’s that there is something going on in my mouth that is such a sharp pain when I eat or drink that I have to take a moment to let it pass, normally with my hands on my knees.
I’ve moved onto room temperature being the perfect temperature for anything I stick in my mouth. Popsicles and ice cream sound like the dream diet but in reality I can’t handle them much anymore.
Things are still healing and I found a blog that a mother made of the day by day of her sons recovery and I’m pretty in line with that. I’m at the point that I just want to be reassured that what I’m experiencing is the norm and it seems that I am. Technically, as of right now, I’m at 8.5 days. Most say their throat is pretty much no more pain around day 11 on average.
Thanks to a suggestion from my mother-in-law, we decided to get some baby food for some nutrition. It doesn’t taste bad and I was able to get it down with minimal pain. I have also increased my water a lot, not only for gout, but being hydrated is so important for the healing process and the moisture in your mouth.
This morning I woke up feeling fine. No headache. No cloudiness. I hope I can be somewhat productive today and get some work done. I am getting sick of laying in bed.
Life is slowly getting back to normal. Slowly. The last few days have been a little more productive and I have been able to get some work done, a hair cut, and head out to the grocery store. I reduced my Percocet down to one before bed and last night I attempted to sleep without one but an hour later I was awoken by pain.
I’m still not eating much but I have found solace in Kraft Dinner. Fresh Kraft dinner is sloppy enough to slide on down but enough texture to clean out my throat. Sadly no ketchup or wieners allowed yet.
My throat still feels pretty raw but definitely an improvement from this past weekend and way better than last week.
I have a follow up on Thursday with the Doctor so we’ll see how I have healed up!
Two Week Follow Up with Doctor
Today I had any two week follow up with the Doctor who caused me weeks of pain. His words: a few days after the procedure you will hate me.
I don’t hate him. And I don’t regret getting the procedure despite how awful it felt the following days. He said that things are looking normal. I still have some rawness that is healing up but that could still take weeks to get to normal. He said my tonsils were actually quite large and he asked if I felt I was breathing better. I haven’t noticed, but maybe after my sore throat dissipates I can focus on my breathing. He also suggested I go to the sleep clinic and get reassessed because my old apnea may have changed now that I have much more room in my air passage.
So it seems my experience is pretty standard. Nothing out of the ordinary and I’m healing up as to be expected. I’m sure some people heal up quicker but everyone is different and because of my large tonsils, I’m assuming that also means more surface space to heal.
He did provide me my pathology report. There was nothing out of the ordinary. He did say that I did have a bit of bacteria on them but nothing more. If this means anything to anyone, my left tonsil was 4.5 x 2.5 x 1.7 cm. And my right one was 4.4 x 2.6 x 1.9 cm. I don’t know how that measures up to the average grown man, but he said they were big. I reconfirmed that I did have a vessel that was a bit of a bleeder but that was sewn up during the procedure. I am pretty much in the clear now from any threat of bleeding. That would have happened at the beginning.
I don’t regret getting this procedure despite the pain it put me through. I would rather avoid bouts of strep throat in the future for a few weeks of pain. Hopefully soon it will be a distant memory that I can think about while eating delicious food.
Final Tonsil Update
I had an appointment with my Doctor this week for a final follow up for my tonsils. It was a quick visit. The only question I had was that my uvula, the little hangy thing in the back of my mouth, had disappeared.
A few weeks ago I had a moment where I thought maybe he took it out, but after confirming a photo I took of my throat after the operation, he definitely didn't remove it. So I asked him what happened.
He said that the "heat" from the operation and the removal of the tonsils could make the area pull the uvula up and it seems like that is what happened. He also said over time it could drop back down.
The benefit of this happening is that it may have stopped me from snoring and I have asked Brad a few times and he has said he doesn't hear me snoring anymore. So if anything that may be a good byproduct of not getting severe strep throat anymore!
Even though the weeks of pain were awful, I still think the operation was worth it and now the pain is just a faint memory.