Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday October 26th - Day 19

Throat is doing MUCH better, as long as I drink lots of ice water all throughout the day.
Throat still feels sore, like a bad sore throat, but things are getting better each day!
Taste buds still not cooperating and sleep not restful (I blame 2 weeks of narcotics for this...) but all in due time

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday - Wednesday, 10/19 - 10/21, Days 12, 13, 14

Slept in this morning, sooo tired and pain is less so I really CAN sleep!

Tuesday morning
Much less red, swollen, MUCH BETTER! Dr. Tonsil gave the thumbs-up and said to check back in after 4 weeks. I can go back to work on Monday. I slept all night and half the morning, catching up on rest and repair.


Tuesday evening
Even better... I'll have noodles for dinner tonight AND a good night's sleep! And no more percocet - just liquid tylenol.

Wednesday evening
Even more improvement. Good night!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Friday - Sunday, 10/16 - 10/18, Days 9, 10, 11

Feeling a little better. Cutting back on meds - trying to balance just enough pain killing with trying for a clearer head. Eating egg noodles, mushroom soup, ground chicken. Bought some pudding mix, shu mai, yogurt. We'll see how that all goes. I see my surgeon for a checkup on Tuesday afternoon. Still using the ice packs, ice water, still in a lot of pain. It's just more manageable now, and I can sleep about 3 hours at a time.

Friday morning

Friday evening

Saturday morning

Sunday morning

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday 10/15/09: Day Eight


2:30: I was so hungry I just had to eat something that was not jello. So after my meds, I had mashed potatoes, with so much chicken broth mixed in, it was really potato soup.
No taste at all on my tongue - only my throat senses flavors. So everything tastes ... off.

6:30: I woke up with extreme pain & took my meds. Maybe it would have been that way no matter what, or maybe it is because I ate the mashed potato soup.

10:30: I had my pain meds and shakes, and water with some ice.

2:30: Next dose of pain meds and again hungry.
I made it though the mashed potatoes, so I had egg noodles
with butter, and some very, very, very carefully
chewed chicken meatballs.

It still tasted weird, and it hurt a lot, but I made the best of it by eating after my meds had kicked in.
After eating no solid food for a week I really needed this.

6:30: Time for the evening throat wife made me laugh with a silly card... which hurt a lot and I figured what the heck I'll try something to eat.

Egg noodles, cream of mushroom soup,
and a few more chicken meatballs.

I felt fine hurt a lot but it was not excruciating. Now I am just so tired... I think I'll try sleeping more tonight.

Even the cat is tired.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday, 10/14/09: Day Seven



This morning was just like yesterday. I woke up in pain and the medicine didn't do anything.

I fell asleep until the 10:30 dose was due, took the meds, and then I went to the kitchen and drank an entire 24 oz bottle of water, ate a large bowl of shaved ice, drank my 2 protein shakes (1 chocolate, 1 banana, shot of espresso). Drinking all of that took an hour. By the time I finished at 11:30 the pain was tolerable.

I stayed on my med schedule, pushed fluids all day long. Had more jello around 1:00 or 1:30. The best flavor right now is melon. I used to like peach but it feels too acidic lately. I made some black cherry and grape but I'm concerned they will be too tart. Need to check the ingredients for acids next time. So far melon is the only safe bet.

2:30: same drill as 10:30 but it only took 45 minutes because my throat was less raw: 24 oz bottle of water, large bowl of shaved ice, protein shake combo (1 chocolate shake, 1 banana shake, 1 shot of espresso).

Then I brushed my teeth (hurts) and tongue (HURTS), and showered (steam good for my throat). Watched TV but that is hard because I keep falling asleep - I'm glad for our DVR so I can rewind when I nod off.

6:30: another shake combo: chocolate, banana, shot of 'spro. In a little while I'll have some pureed corn soup or low sodium chicken broth.

Hurts to talk ... it's's fine for a while and then my throat gets really dry and painful unless I stop talking and drink water. It feels like I might be losing my voice.

That's pretty much it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday, 10/13/09: Day 6

Morning throat pic...dried out when I fell asleep... Excruciating pain.

Evening throat pic ... after a day of fluids... strong but manageable pain

When I woke up this morning, it was the worst throat pain I have had yet. Ear pain was also present.

6:30: I took my pain meds. I felt no effect from them, not after an hour, not after four hours. I tried to drink my shake (Ice and protein drink) with a little coffee to keep awake, but it was very irritating to my throat. Two sips, spat them out, back to room temp water and jello. The thing is, my throat has to stay moist. All I could do was lie in my chair, drink room temperature water, wearing my ice collar. Ice chips were too irritating to my throat, so no Otter Pops either.

10:30: I took my second pain med dose. By the time it kicked in around 11:00, the pain started to dissipate and it was back to being manageable. All day long my throat felt very sensitive to cold water - I still could not drink it. I had jello. It was the only thing that soothed my throat, that and room temperature water.

2:30: I tried applesauce with my meds. It was too acidic and it burned. Back to jello and a protein shake. I tried a few swigs of apple juice (ok) and a swig of pear juice (ok for burning but it left a weird coating on my throat).

4:30: I was able to go back to crushed ice. The pain level by this time was bearable. Just to be clear, the pain pills do not get rid of the pain. They just make it tolerable enough (most of the time) so I can do more than lie on the chair.

6:30: crushed ice, water, pain meds, might have some thinned, soupy mashed potatoes later. We'll see... maybe some low sodium chicken broth.

10:30, then 2:30 a.m. ... more pain meds, more jello.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday, 10/12/009: Day Five

More pain today than yesterday. I'm taking the Percocet every 4 hours, and at 3.5 hours the pain surges and becomes much less tolerable. Ice packs are the best thing, drinking ice water is the second best thing.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday, 10/11/09: Day Four

Looking less like rotting hamburger. The scabbing is progressing and the cauterized flesh is nearly gone. I'm finding ways to keep the swelling down as much as possible (ice, and more ice, inside and out).

Feeling antsy and it's a beautiful day. Going to the park for a walk.

A nice slow lap around the park

Water bottle in hand

The view of our little city

... and home to rest.

Saturday 10/10/09: Day Three

Hardly any blackened flesh left. Mostly scabs. Swelling down. Otter pops still doing their thing. New uvula shape becoming more apparent.

Things that help

These are some of the things that are getting me through this - in no particular order. Except for the Percocet, water, and ice packs on my throat - those are really the three most helpful things in managing the constant unrelenting pain.

Percocet. Keep a dose log. You will be Shucked up, exhausted, not thinking clearly, and you will need to write down when you take a dose. You do not want to mess this up.

Also very important: taking your pain meds on time. Set the stove timer or an alarm clock to go off when your next dose is due. Stay ahead of the pain. Don't let your meds wear off.

Water. This keeps the pain at bay in equal measure with the Percocet. Ice cold water is very soothing for the throat and helps to facilitate swallowing. I am drinking at least 24 ounces per hour.

Ice packs. 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Keeps the swelling under control. Numbs the pain.

Right now, this is my happy face.

Shave ice. It's a margarita maker - found it on Amazon. Instead of tequila, you can add non-dairy protein shakes to the ice and make a protein slurpee. It's the only food you'll have - enough protein and calories to keep you going mixed with enough ice so you can swallow it. Things that are too thick/milky are just intolerable. They stick to the wounds. They make you want to clear your throat or cough.
Do not do those things.
Just don't.

Plain shave ice is good, too.

Otter Pops (the PNW answer to the Popsicle).
Slurping them from the tube is too difficult - I can't use straws either. So the key is to break them up into pieces and eat them with a spoon. They are different colors but my taste buds are numb (tongue swollen) right now so they all taste the same. Mostly they are cold and not too rough on the wounds.

Do not eat the skin. It is too rough.
You can see the protein shakes in this pic also - Muscle Milk from Costco. So far I like this mixed with banana Ensure and ice in the margarita maker.

Humidifier. All day, every day.

Other blogs.
These are two of them - I'll add a blog roll later but for now have a look at My Big Fat Tonsillectomy and Tonsils No More.

Well wishes.
Very nice and much appreciated!!!
Thanks very much, everyone!

Emails. Very short phone calls are okay... longer calls not so much, because it hurts to talk for very long.

My wife (and ghostwriter). She's all right.

Friday 10/9/09: Day Two

The black parts are cauterized flesh. The white blobs are scabs (wet scabs are white).

Even the simplest things are difficult..laughing is a chore. Swallowing is something to get psyched up to do. After a nap when the throat dries out its especially bad. There are waves of pain that just have to be ridden out... I try to sleep as little as possible.

Later on, more swelling in my tongue. You can tell it is obscuring the view of my throat, where the scabbing is progressing quickly. The blue on my tongue is from an Otter Pop.

Thursday, 10/8/09: Recovery Day One

There are no throat pics for this long, long, day. We didn't bring a camera w/flash to the hospital.
I have sleep apnea so they wanted to keep me overnight in case my throat swelled too much and blocked my airway. My wife stayed too, in a chair by my bed... There was no sleep there. We lay there in the room with the O2 monitor beeping away and every time I dropped off to sleep the alarm would go off as O2 levels dropped... Beep beep beeeeeeeep!
But there was Jello. And ice chips. And orange popsicles. And no sleep.

Sleep is a mixed blessing anyway... when you're sleeping, you are not drinking water, you are probably breathing through your mouth, and because of these things, your throat is drying out. OUCH.

Did I mention the Percocet?

I found a video of the procedure online. It is really interesting. If you want to see it go here and scroll down for the link to the video. There is one of Coblation technique (what I had) and another of Scapel-Snare Cautery technique (old school).


Wednesday, 10/7/09: Surgery

Surgery day. Report to the hospital at 7:00 a.m.

Goodbye, Throat Oysters.

Not like this...

Like this. Ugh. Not much room to breathe ...