Thursday, February 23, 2012


I just published this with only a title. So this is my second attempt.
So...I have some health problems right now, one of which is that I have bad sore throats all the time. I had a couple months off toward the end of the year, but since starting teaching the 5 year olds in primary, (maybe it's not fair to blame the five year olds--especially to their faces like I did in sunday school last week) I had one serious sore throat/cold thing in January and in early February, I actually contracted strep throat for the first time since I was five. My tonsils kept getting huge every time I would get sick. They would be soo sore and I couldn't breathe or eat or anything with them. 
I started having Brandon take pictures of all my tonsillitis infections so I could show my doctor eventually. So this is January. I think I should eventually publish a calendar of my monthly infections. 
This is strep throat in February. You can see the white patches and the big, swollen tonsils. They're really not as disgusting as you can find on google images, but I don't advocate searching for them. So after I got diagnosed with strep, I went to the doctor and she agreed that my tonsils were big and that given my history of frequent tonsillitis, they had to go. Also, this picture looks like I have some sort of freaky dead alien mouth. 
 so my doctor said that I should have my tonsils out. But there was a catch: she is eight months pregnant, and was about to leave on maternity leave within a month. So I had to schedule the surgery right away. At the same time, out of the blue, my temp legal employment agency called me for the first time in months and said that I had a job on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. THEN--the doctor's office called and said that she could only do it on 9am on this Wednesday! So I had to make a decision. The tonsils came out!! (Also the job got delayed anyway so it wasn't going to even start until Wednesday. 
this is the first post-surgery picture. My uvula is totally enormous!! It's big and slimy and has blood on the tip. I can feel it touching my tongue and sometimes it flips back and forth. I can't sleep on my back because I feel like I'm suffocating. I have to sleep on my side. I also get freaked out when I eat because I can't tell if there's food stuck in my mouth or if it's just my uvula and stitches. My stitches should dissolve in 6-10 days at which time my recovery should be complete. You can see my stitches a little bit inside my mouth. 

now the rest of my mouth swelled up. it's super tight in there right now. also my lips look weird in this picture. So my mouth is all bloody and big inside.

So I feel a little better today compared to yesterday. The surgery went well and I didn't bleed as much as they thought I would. I tested a little bit high on my coagulation factors, which might have indicated that I could have bled too much.
I had the coagulation test on Tuesday, but I didn't hear back on the results. I needed to do okay on the coagulation test in order to have the surgery, so even though I went into the hospital on Wednesday morning, I wasn't a hundred percent sure I was actually getting my tonsils out. Which made it all even more stressful!
So I went into the hospital and they had me wear a gown and tuck into a bed. I wore grippy slipper socks but my feet were still really freezing. I had a little tv in my room and Brandon and I watched Will & Grace while he held my feet to try to warm them up. I was super nervous. They came in about an hour before my surgery and indicated that my coagulation was okay so they were going to go ahead. I cried when they left because I was super scared. They hooked me up to an IV and pumped in a bunch of "gatorade" stuff. I was still really hungry. My IV hurt because it only had gatorade instead of pain medication. Also, there were air bubbles in the gatorade as it was flowing in and I wondered if you really died if you got air bubbles in your IV. Apparently not.
I was crying again soon and asked Brandon to please not make me go. He said he wouldn't make me go, but if I didn't want to any more, he would still make me go.
Finally a nurse came in about a half hour after I was supposed to be starting my surgery. She pumped in three syringes of sedative into my IV. Less than a minute later I was laughing so hard I was crying. I had the giggles and that made Brandon laugh. They wheeled me out in my bed and took me to the operating room. The lights were different than they are on tv and movies, they were still round and stainless steel with lots of bulbs, but the bulbs were redder and not as round. They told me to move onto another bed, but I couldn't understand what they meant. They helped me as I slowly figured out what they wanted. Things were getting blurry around the periphery of my eyes and that's the last thing I remember. I woke up in the recovery room. I could hear the nurses talking about me and my really awesome 3 month period. They were going to refer me to the doctor that I already go to because they thought I had fibroids which the doctor I already go to has already ruled out. I felt annoyed but I mainly wanted to wake up so I could see Brandon and go home. I tried to talk or indicate to them that I was awake. They told me to be quiet (but not in a mean way). They asked me about my pain and I said it was bad. It wasn't really that bad I don't think. It just feels like strep throat--which is pretty painful, but apparently not like childbirth. She gave me some pain meds and after a little while I could sit up. I still felt tired but I wanted to leave. I talked to the nurse for a while--my voice didn't hurt so bad then. There was an old man across the room who was also awake and talking. He got some hot coffee. I wanted hot chocolate but I couldn't have anything yet. Finally I got some ice chips. They were really good and I ate all of them. I was supposed to go back to the room where they got me ready, but I was doing really well. I told them I wanted to go home and sleep so they brought over my clothes. I was super shaky and I thought I was going to fall over but I didn't want them to keep me longer so I tried to keep it together. They had these weird blood pressure cuff things on my legs that would squeeze them so I didn't have an embolism, but I thought that was excessive for a 45-minute surgery. I also had one on my arm that would squeeze every five minutes or so. I got dressed but even that slight movement made me feel real nauseous. I also found a sticky patch on my chest that had the tongue part of a snap closure on it. I took it off. They went off and told Brandon to get the car and a guy named Alan came with a wheelchair and took me out. Any movement made me super nauseous. I wanted a Shamrock shake and some water from McDonalds on the way home. The shamrock shake ended up hurting though because it was too sweet. Brandon got a hamburger. I really wanted one too, but I wanted to not rip my throat open more, so I contented myself with a little sip of shake and some ice water.
At home I took a long nap, along with Greta and eventually Brandon. I found four more of the sticky patches on my arms and legs. I wonder if they take off your gown when you're in surgery and use those to attach cover-ups for your private parts. At any rate, I felt like I was on the Matrix. I slept and slept and would wake up in a lot of pain (again, essentially strep throat). I'd take some percoset. I can't really swallow pills right now so I have to have them mashed up in some sort of jelly. So far, applesauce and chocolate pudding have been totally ruined for me by this method. Note to self: if you're going to secretly drug someone, don't use percocet because it tastes HORRIBLE no matter what you do to try to hide it. I stopped taking my drugs last night because I was being a little irrational--my doctor said I didn't have to wake up to take my drugs just to keep on schedule, so even though I did wake up at about the right time to redose, I still didn't take any. Oh, last night for dinner I ate a ton of lipton chicken noodle soup. Brandon would make it and i would pour out all the broth and put in a bunch of ice cubes to cool it off and then eat it cold. It sounds gross but it was actually amazingly good.
They say you lose on average 10 pounds from a tonsillectomy and I can see why. I'm tired and the only thing that really goes down that well is ice and applesauce. I drink a bunch of low-calorie gatorade but so far I've had a little uner a quart of that and around one cup of applesauce today. I'm hungry now but generally this is enough to keep me going since I'm sleeping all the time.
Today, Jenn Bang from the ward brought a huge thing of pasta for Brandon. I asked her if she could help us out, and it was so sweet of her to come through on such short notice. Especially since I couldn't even talk to her when she came.
Today, the pain has been a bit better I think. I still take percocet but I'm taking less. It makes me feel like I can and should be up doing things, but even a little bit of activity leaves me super winded and tired. I keep getting little exertion headaches so I need to be better about what I'm doing. All in all, it hasn't been a terrible experience, though I'm bored and sleep all the time. I have to talk to people on the phone with the aid of a text to speech computer program, which takes a while to communicate. Also, I tried calling my Grandma with it today and although she answered the phone, I think she thought the computer voice was a telemarketer so she hung up on me. Now that's pain....

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