If you haven’t read the first part to this diary series, click HERE to get in the know!
The day of my surgery was on the 14th December 2016 and I had to be in the hospital for 7am, but I didn’t have my surgery until around 9am.
I was given my hospital clothing to put on, shown to my recovery bed and there was a lot of waiting around. I had to take another blood test, and as always, the nurse really struggled to find my vain and I ended up having to have my blood taken out of my hand, yikes! I was also asked to give a urine sample, so I was given a container to pee into, this is just to check that everything is okay, because the slightest thing that can affect your surgery means you can’t have it done.
When I was taken to the room where I was going to be given my general anesthesia, I had a doctor talking to me, he was a pretty casual guy, there was lots of joking around and he seemed nice. He took my dressing gown and my shoes back to my recovery bed when the doctors arrived, and I was given oxygen, and of course, the anesthetic.
Going under anesthetic is unusual, the doctor was talking to me pretty normally, he asked about my work and home life, and asked me about what I want to do in the future, he was busy obviously putting on my stickers and getting the oxygen ready, and when the oxygen mask was put on me, he said, “This is just clean oxygen.” I was focusing on a clock that was right in front of me, I don’t remember the time, but I couldn’t control my eyes and they shut on their own. Next thing I know, I’m waking up having the worst panic attack of my life. This definitely isn’t the reaction I was expecting to have to it, and I felt like the nurses didn’t know how to deal with it since one nurse even said to me, “Why are you getting yourself in such a panic?” – I’d just woken up from anesthetic, how was I supposed to know? I woke up in the panic attack as well. I was also asking for my mum, a lot. I had my hand raised as if she was magically going to appear and with that, I was taken back to the recovery room.
The nurses were pretty on the ball with me, making sure I was drinking and eating, it’s painful to eat when you’ve had a tonsillectomy and I really didn’t want to drink or eat, but it prevents infection from happening and it’s supposed to help the healing process as well.
On the evening, I just slept all night. I had some spaghetti and sausage, but that was literally it besides black current juice.
The day after, I was awake almost all day, I tried to eat some chocolate but I couldn’t swallow it without having a drink immediately afterwards. I spent all day forcing myself to drink black current juice, and I tried my best to have light snacks. On the evening, my sister and my brother in law came over for some dinner, it was a full roast. I had mashed potatoes and vegetables, with my juice on the side. I found eating that particular meal to be easy, it was only the day after so I was expecting to struggle tremendously, but to my relief all the food was pretty easy. My sister and brother in law were in stitches at me when I tried to talk, but I could barely get an entire sentence out.
For the next three days, I was eating my normal diet and despite the fact I wasn’t snacking so much, I wasn’t missing out on all the food I regularly enjoy. The only day where I didn’t eat something I have every day was on the Saturday, when my mum and dad went out on a date night, and bought my sister and I a McDonalds. On the 19th, which was a Monday, it was my youngest sisters 13th birthday, and we had planned to go out for a meal as a family months prior, so I had to put my saddles on and get out into the real world after being a hermit for four days.
Nothing on the menu seemed like I could swallow without some form of discomfort, everything was either spicy or had big chunks of bread involved, so I had a New Yorker, which is just chicken breast, chips, tomato and a little bit of onion. I didn’t eat the tomato or the onion, my breath was pretty stinky without adding to it, thanks to the mucous collecting in my throat, and I was also advised to stay away from tomatoes, so I ate most of the chicken and most of the chips just fine. But, I forgot to take paracetamol.
The reason I was taking paracetamol was because my ears were in quite a bit of pain following the tonsillectomy. Your ears, nose and throat are all connected to each other, so when my tonsils were literally cut out of my body, my ears suffered for it as well. I’d get dull pain in my eardrums, mostly on the left side, and it was excruciating. This was actually the worst part of the healing process, it’d keep me up and it’d really put a downer on my mood, so paracetamol was my way out of it, so when I forgot to take it before going to a noisy restaurant, I suffered the consequences. My older sister commented on how unwell I looked after we’d eaten anyway, and my mum said, “Yeah, it’s a really nasty operation that she’s had though,” which meant my pain was not going unnoticed, which even though I was slightly aggravated about, it was also a relief in a way to see that my family were aware that I wasn’t feeling 100%.
Up until this point I still wasn’t really talking much, I’d say small sentences but not much, on the morning of my sisters birthday, I was showering and she came in to talk to me, I said something along the lines of, “I don’t feel like I can talk without heaving,” and in the next breath (well, sentence) I heaved so much that I had to run out of the shower to vomit. Nice.
This heaving thing began again the next day, but when I looked down my throat, the white mucous was mostly gone and this is when I came to the conclusion that the scabs must be falling off, which was causing me to heave.
I read everything online and nobody had mentioned the scabs coming off this early, so I was confused just a little bit, but also relieved. This must be because I was forcing myself to eat a normal diet, and have a drink every couple of minutes, this technique seemed to work the best for my recovery. I was also choking a lot and I had the hiccups at least once every day, I hated the constant hiccups because it was quite painful.
The exact week after my surgery, my scabs had gone and I was speaking clearer. I caught a cold though, which put a downer on me again since I wasn’t 100% still, and my ears had been ringing nonstop since the surgery, but I felt confident that my experience so far had seemed to be better than most people online.
I still had one week left before I could say I was completely recovered, but at this point, I was eating normal, my throat looked healed and I was speaking relatively clearly. I couldn’t believe the process had gone so smooth up until then.
This is the second part to the diary, the third part will be the final stages of recovery, and how I feel about the entire experience! Stay tuned.