Things got better once my mother arrived. She helped with the household chores, taking care of me while my wife was at work and cooking dinner. My wife was able to relax and not worry about me while she was at work and didn’t have to come home to do more work. Mom took me to doctor’s appointments and to the store. The store was difficult. Just going in for a few basic things wiped me out for the rest of the day. My legs felt weak and wobbly and I walked slowly with a foot scuffing the ground shuffle.
Most of the scab has sloughed off. There is still a small part of the scab in the cavern that was left from where the tonsil used to be. I have been using the Nystatin swish and swallow 2-3 times per day and gargling with warm salt water at night when I wake up and in-between Nystatin swishes. The thrush has cleared up, but I still have raised bumps at the far back of my tongue that scratch and irritate my throat whenever I swallow.
The severe neck and lymph pain has started to ease up, but I still have a constant earache. The throat pain has actually become worse since the scab has started falling off. Sneezing or yawning feels like knives in my throat. The cavern where the tonsil used to be feels like there is a cotton ball stuffed in it and everything I eat gets stuck in it. I have to gargle with warm salt water after I eat anything. I am finally able to eat soft food like farina (hot cereal similar to cream of wheat), scrambled eggs, mushy vegetables, and overcooked small pastas with butter.
The morning of recovery day 11 (Saturday 2/25/17) I was itchy around my hairline and lower back near the spine. My mother looked at it and said there were a couple of tiny bumps that looked like a pimple. We thought it could be a reaction from the medication and decided to just keep an eye on it. My mother left for the day. She went to spend the night with my sister-in-law and niece because my niece was in a play.
I was still constipated, the MiraLAX and smooth move tea were not helping. My wife brought me to Walmart to get a fleet enema, some yoga pants, and more popsicles. I was pretty loopy and apparently moving very slowly and didn’t remember why I was on a certain isle. My wife said,
“Ok, time to go, lets get you home now.”
As a last resort I used the enema and spent the rest of the day on the toilet. When you have been constipated for a week and finally go it is like giving birth out your butt hole. You want to get it out, but the cramping and pain are excruciating. Once it starts to release it feels like it will never stop. Just when you think you’re done and go to get up, another round comes and you have to sit back down.
By the time I was done I was exhausted, felt disgusting and humiliated. I took a bath to try to relax. My wife came in to wash my back for me and said that I had 3 red welted areas on my back going out to the right of my spine. I told her I had my mother look at it the other day because it was itchy and it was only a couple of tiny dots.
My mother came back Sunday afternoon, 2/26/17, and I had her look at my back. She said it looked like it could be shingles. She checked the rest of my body to see if it was anywhere else. I had a couple of tiny dots coming around my right side and also on my neck. I started to feel hopeless. If it wasn’t the pain from the tonsillectomy it was the bloating and nausea from the constipation and then cramping and a whole day spent on the toilet shitting…and now possibly shingles!
I called my PCP office Monday morning. My PCP is pregnant and the nurse said that I couldn’t see her because pregnant people are not supposed to come in contact with anyone with shingles. She offered me an appointment with another Dr. in the practice for 2:40 pm and I took it. We ran a few errands on our way to the Dr. and by the time we got there I was exhausted.
I told the Dr. why I had the tonsillectomy and about all the problems I had been having during recovery. She looked in my mouth and said that it looked like it was healing well. There was still a little bit of scab left and she didn’t see any thrush. She explained that the raised bumps at the back of my tongue were actually swollen lymph glands and that they should go down in time. She took a look at the “rash” and concluded that it was shingles. So now I am on Valtrex 3 times a day for the shingles. She gave me lidocaine patches that stick to your skin. You put them on for 12 hours then remove for 12 hours and cannot put it on any skin that has the rash or sores. It is supposed to help numb the pain associated with shingles. She also gave me a script for Tramadol to try instead of the Oxycodone. She said it shouldn’t have the same constipating effects as an opioid.
On Tuesday I had more small red bumps around my right side and neck show up. I wouldn’t exactly call it pain, at least not compared to the pain of the tonsillectomy. It is more of a constant feeling of a hot, prickly, itchy sensation. The sensation is not just where the rash can be seen, its kind of splattered around my body. The Dr. did say that it looked like it was running on more than 1 nerve branch. Most people only have it on one branch. By Tuesday night it had spread to spots on my face.