Tag Archives: tonsillectomy

The Light at the End of the Tonsillectomy

18 Jun

Flowers

It’s been two weeks since The Great Tonsillectomy of 2013, and things are finally looking up.  My throat still hurts, I’m still eating Ramen, and I’m still guzzling liquid Tylenol but oh-my-gosh, I am one happy camper.

I imagine most of my readers are over this whole tonsillectomy business.  You’re probably like, “can we finally get that post about the silent meditation cult you joined in Canada?” or “Lucie, can we get back to the bears and the mice and the hiking partner breakups and makeups and the Confetti Cupcake Pop-Tarts (seriously, who buys those?)?”

Sorry, guys and gals, this post is not for you.

It’s for those other poor souls out there — past and present

who will get a tonsillectomy,

who will spend several miserable days coping,

before breaking down in tears at the dinner table when even butternut squash soup won’t go down,

and who will Google “tonsillectomy recovery” and find this post,

and know that someone else out there has lived through their hell.

I found this gem on my Dad's iPad.

I found this gem on my Dad’s iPad.

Now then.  Getting your tonsils out — as an adult — sucks.  This fact is evidenced by the many entire blogs devoted to the horror of tonsillectomy recovery and the reams and reams of message board chatter on the topic.

The women on these blogs and forums always relate tonsillectomy pain to childbirth.  “I would rather deliver six more babies than go through this again” becomes “I would rather deliver six more 10-lb babies” becomes “I would rather deliver six more 10-lb babies in a Quonset hut than get another tonsillectomy.”

The men are more, umm, well, they get their point across:

“Eat a broken beer bottle and wash it down with battery acid. Feels about the same.”

“Holy fucking balls did that hurt. I would rather amputate my arm with a steak knife.”

“My fucking doctor took out my tonsils and replaced them with razor blades.  And he put a few in my ear.”

“As painful as this shit is, you’d think they were removing the tonsils through the anus.” Continue reading

No More Tonsils, Way More Pain

10 Jun

Cap and Gown

So last Wednesday was the big day.

I dropped Bojangles off at the Trail.

And went into the surgery center, where they hooked me up and fiddled with me.  I remained remarkably calm for reasons unbeknownst.

Then they started to wheel me into the operating room, and my Dad began bawling.  Big, heaving tears.  “Dad,” I hollered back, “Get it together.  The only part of me you’re not going to see again is my tonsils.”  I caught my last glance of him as I was pushed through the double doors.  The nurses were patting him on the back.

The good news is that, according to Dr. ENT, my surgery went great.  He was beaming when he explained to my teary-eyed Dad that my extracted tonsils were cryptic like coral reefs – and filled with bacteria pus balls politely called “tonsil stones.”

If you count surgery day as Day 1, today is Day 6 of my recovery.  And there’s a reason I haven’t posted yet.  It’s because I haven’t wanted to be depressive.  You see – as I was warned – getting a tonsillectomy as an adult FREAKING BLOWS.  I’m not going to go into all the details, but even without any complications (which hopefully I will continue to avoid), it is miserable.

I live from Percocet to Percocet.  My throat is raw as a slab of beef.  Swallowing is like my worst Strep throat times ten.  My ears scream in pain.  Everything in my throat region is swollen, to include my uvula – that little pink thing that hangs between your tonsils – which now touches my tongue.  I can’t talk.  I eat only applesauce and watery mashed potatoes drowned in gravy.  My mouth is coated in white fur that tastes and feels nasty.  Coughing fits due to mucus drainage keep me awake at night and leave me sore.

I’m trying to drink lots, which is one of the few things that seems to help.  I’m sure I’m going to turn the corner on this thing soon – and, in the meantime – I’ve just got to fend off the urge to wallow in self-pity. (Watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians usually helps with that.)

Oh, also, I literally just texted Bojangles for an update.  “How are things going?”  His response:

“I have a sore throat.”

Yeah, I’m going to go crush up another Percocet now.

!Holey Fricking Tonsil!

31 May
Bo Lucie Velcro

Taken yesterday, when my Dad (and Velcro) kidnapped us from the Trail.

Day 65 (5/25) – 5.9 miles

Day 66 (5/26) – urgent care for throat infection (yeah, again, wtf)

Day 67 (5/27) – 19.8 miles

Day 68 (5/28) – reunion with Bojangles and zero day in Dalesville, VA

Day 69 (5/29) – 11.2 miles

Day 70 (5/30) – 8.1 miles and got kidnapped by Dad

Day 71 (5/31) – lovely visit with Dr. ENT in the Washington, DC metro area

AT Mileage to Date – 742.8 miles

The last week has been… eventful.  I’ll work on filling you in on the details, but let’s just start with the biggest news, shall we?

I’M FREAKING HAVING SURGERY ON WEDNESDAY.

Yeah, so I’ve been battling this throat infection for 5 weeks.  I’ve — painfully — swallowed 4 courses of antibiotics, 1 steroid, and 6 bottles of ibuprofen.  And yet, my tonsils remain red, swollen, full of holes, and coated with white crud.  I went to an urgent care place in Roanoke last Sunday, where the nurse practitioner lady (1) called my throat “nasty,” (2) threw up her hands, and (3) then gave me antibiotic #5 (a 10-day course of Bactrim).

And then I got back on the Trail.  But ya know what, days passed and my throat still freaking hurt, and I felt run-down and generally like crap (5 antibiotics in a month will probably do that to ya).  9 miles into Wednesday, I sat on a log and called my Dad.  “My throat still hurts, and I feel like crap, Dad.”

At which point he freaked out.  Yesterday, he drove to the Trail and kidnapped Bojangles and me.  [Oh yeah, did I mention that Bojangles and I met up in Daleville two days ago?]

And this morning at 9:45 a.m., my butt landed in a cream-colored Washington-DC-metro-area ENT’s chair.  As it turns out, Dr. ENT was – of all things – a freaking hiker.  He’s hiked portions of the AT and dreams of thru-hiking it when he retired.  We talked hiking and gear.  It was cool.

He then told me that my throat looks horrible – the worst he’s seen in 8 months of looking at them every day, all day.  And that I have chronic tonsillitis and that I need to get them removed.  Like right now.

At which point I told him I would just “tough it out.”  But then he laid in with the fear mongering… about how I was a tonsillar abscess waiting to happen, which is a medical emergency and could kill me in the woods (apparently that’s how George Washington went).  And then he started in on the negative effects of having a long-term active infection in your body and living on antibiotics.

Sooooooooooo… I’m getting a tonsillectomy on Wednesday.  Dr. ENT was fully booked but is coming in early to cut ’em out.  (Bless his heart!)

I know – I was stunned, too.  I walked out into the waiting room and sat down in the chair beside Bojangles.  My eyes were wide as saucers.  Words were not forthcoming.  I put my hand over my face and grumbled.  Holey fricking tonsil.

While I’ve yet to figure it all out exactly, I will be back on the Trail soon.  In 3 weeks or so, and I’ll – finally – be feeling good.  And I’ll be a few grams lighter.

Life is good.  Even if it gets sore sometimes.

After hearing the tonsillectomy news, Bo and I had margaritas with lunch with Dad. After not drinking for a

After hearing the tonsillectomy news, Bo and I had frozen margaritas for lunch. My Dad had the fajitas (some people have to work).  After not drinking for over a month, one ‘rita left me stumbling into the pre-operative blood work appointment.