Thursday, February 10, 2011

getting better all the time (can't get no worse...can it??)

***i wrote this post more than 2 weeks ago... i didn't publish it because i was taking massive amounts of percocet and i wanted to come back and read it after i felt better. i am publishing it as is - no edits. i'm three weeks post surgery now, and i'm still alive, although this has been a very dark time in my life. i'll come back and write a full followup post very soon, but for now, enjoy a story about my horrible tonsillectomy.***

i haven't brushed my teeth for eight days. EIGHT DAYS. before you judge me... let me explain. i had my tonsils out just over a week ago. there is nothing that could have prepared me for how harrowing this experience has been. how humbling. i've been overwhelmed by my friends bringing dinner over for me and my family. for the treats they've brought just for me, things like chocolate creamies, italian ice and vanilla ice cream. for the trashy magazines i love so much - like people, star and US weekly. my husband has been an absolute rock star to take care of me - because i'm so sick of myself, i can't imagine that no one else is sick of me yet. he assures me he isn't...but he probably is ready for me to be feeling back to my normal self.

i had two weeks to get all my "houses" in order before my scheduled surgery. the work house, the house house and the mental house. work house - easy to prep for because i have fantastic colleagues. house house, pretty easy to prep for, but as i was writing everything down, the schedule, who needed to be where and at what time and the mode of transportation, i realized just how much stuff i really do! I AM AMAZING. and i'm worried that paul will be able to handle everything. while he's a great husband, he's not the household CEO. he's never not been married or lived at home... so running the whole show by himself will be his own personal accomplishment.

last of all...the mental house. how do you prepare for something when you have no idea what is going to really happen?

nothing could have prepared me mentally for the hell i was about to embark on. nothing.

i got to the hospital and everything there was standard. i have to put in a plug for cache valley specialty hospital here. their staff are personable and amazing. they are friendly, compassionate and they explained things clearly. the anesthesiologist laughed at me because i was uber concerned about begin able to get my nose ring back in RIGHT AFTER SURGERY. super important, right? he walked me to the OR and i laid down on the table. the nurse wrapped me up in those warm blankets that i love so much. i want one of those blanket warmers in my house. i remember telling her about my dogs, and what kind they are and that's the last thing i remember.

when i woke up, i didn't know where i was. i must have asked for diet mountain dew, however. and god bless cache valley specialty hospital. THEY HAVE DIET MOUNTAIN DEW. and the nurses made me a diet dew slushie. swoon. the one who was taking care of me knew me from high school and i wish i could remember her name, but i don't. maybe paul remembers her. anyway, she was super nice and they took excellent care of me there. i was almost sad to leave.

the rest of that day wasn't really that bad. i drank lots of water and paul kept my humidifier filled up. i set the timer on my phone to go off every four hours so i would remember to take my percoset. i rotated percoset with ibuprofen or aleve every two hours. the pain was under control and i was even able to eat.

the next day i woke up and i was extremely nauseated. i tried to eat a little bit, but i was afraid i was going to vomit whatever i ate. i knew i was in trouble because the pain in my throat was beginning to grow exponentially and i knew the percoset would make me sick if i didn't eat. vicious cycle. to make a long story short, i threw up. not awesome. it hurt like hell and i wanted to saw my head off with a butter knife. i sent paul to logan to get me some anti nausea meds (prescription) and to get me some yogurt. and some cup o soup. i miss savory food ... i don't want any more sweet foods at this point. i'm tired of them already.

so, the next two days (friday and saturday) are pretty much repeats of thursday. this is where the mental breakdown starts to occur. in my experience, when i'm sick - i expect to have a day where the sickness comes, the day or two of hell, and then the storm passes and i'm on the upswing. THIS WAS NOT TO BE THE CASE with these tonsils. i'd go to bed at night. i'd think to myself, "tomorrow will be better. i'll probably be able to eat something more substantial."

and then i'd wake up in the morning. i'd know that there was no way in hell i was going to be able to eat. that there was no way today would be ANY better than yesterday. and honestly? the horrible feeling that today might actually be worse than yesterday. as if that were possible.

well it is. it's entirely possible. and it's enough to make me want to cry. but i didn't... not because i'm tough. i didn't cry because i knew it would hurt and i didn't want any more pain.

sunday and monday were horrible. they were twice as bad and friday and saturday. i had a brief respite on monday evening through tuesday evening. i was able to eat a delicious broccoli chicken casserole with rice and i felt decent. however. enter wednesday morning. i think this is when the scabs in my throat started to fall off. it feels like i have sheets of thick black ragged plastic hanging in the back of my throat. i can't move them. i can't dislodge them. i can only swallow around them. gag gag barf barf. right? this is when i really started to unravel. my husband had to go back to work last night and i wouldn't go to sleep until almost 3 a.m. because i was scared i might need him in my sleep and he wouldn't be there. i slept for most of the day yesterday. most of the sleep was feverish and i felt like i was half awake. stuck in this no-sleep-no-food-tons-of-pain purgatory.

...more to come later.