Recovery days 7-10 I had the worst pain. It was constant, never let up. Stuck in the pain I couldn’t even remember what it was like to not have pain. I felt like someone had stuck an ice pick in my right ear, like I was hit in the jaw by a heavy weight fighter, tore every muscle and tendon in the right side of my neck, and swallowed shards of glass. I was taking Oxycodone every 4 hours and 800mg Ibuprofen every 6 hours. It didn’t touch the pain, but would knock me out for 30 minute segments of sleep.
I love my wife she was really trying and doing the best she could, but she was overwhelmed. She had to literally do everything for the first 7 days. I could only get up to go to the bathroom. She had to take care of the household upkeep such as laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, cooking, shopping, vacuuming the house every day because we have 2 dogs, walking the dogs, feeding the dogs, watering our plants, and talking to family and friends who called to see how I was doing because I couldn’t talk.
She was only able to take 2 days off from work and had to resume her regular work schedule in addition to taking care of the house. Plus, when she was home, she had to take care of me…crush my meds in applesauce every 4 and 6 hours, make me slushy drinks every hour, turn up/turn down the heat because I was fluctuating between being freezing and having hot flashes, get me an icepack, put the icepack back in the freezer, listen to me moan, make me some chicken broth, make me scrambled eggs only to have me not be able to eat them, and I’m sure there are many more things that I don’t even realize. This didn’t stop over night. I had to wake up every 4 hours to take a pill or I would be in extreme pain. She had to wake up to get it for me because it involved going downstairs and crushing it in applesauce. I was also up every 30-40 minutes to drink something and it had to be a slushy or I couldn’t tolerate it, which meant that she had to get up and go downstairs and make it for me. Because of all the liquid I was drinking I was in the bathroom every 30 minutes. She would wake up to make sure I didn’t fall down because the meds made me dopey.
When you are in constant pain and lack sleep for so long you become frustrated, agitated, and depressed. In my frustration and agitation I started snapping at her and she at me. She was exhausted, frustrated and depressed as well.
My wife made the best decision to get help. Thank god my mother flew in from Florida to help my wife take care of me on night of day 6. She is also a retired nurse so that was a BIG PLUS. My wife and I probably would have slipped into a deep depression and cried all the time if she had not thought to ask my mother for help.
Recovery day 1-8 I was strapping one of those soft gel icepacks around my neck and jaw to try to ease the pain and swelling. The cold felt good and was a little numbing. Around day 8-9 the icepack was no longer helping and the ear pain was so bad that I just wanted to cry all the time. I had ear infections and swimmer’s ear in the past, but this pain was worse then the pain of both of those on top of each other. My mother suggested trying heat.
I don’t care how old you are…when you are sick and in that much pain you need your mommy to take care of you.
The heat felt better. I had one of those long tubular neck things that you put in the microwave to heat up. This became the only way that I could fall asleep. I had to be on my left side with my right ear up. I would wrap the moist heat tube from the top of my head, over my right ear, along the jawbone and lymph glands in my neck. It also has a faint lavender sent to it and lavender is soothing. I alternated on/off about every 30-40 minutes.
My tongue and gums had been painful and the ER never addressed the possibility of thrush. On recovery day 8 I had to go to the ENT office to pick up a refill prescription for the Oxycodone. I asked if someone could just take a peek at my tongue while I was there. This was a Wednesday and I had a follow-up appointment scheduled for Friday. They had me take a seat and within a few minutes called me in. I thought the nurse would come in to see me, but is was the MD who did my surgery. He said.
“Pathology report is back…great news, it’s not cancer.”
What a relief! He then told us that he had 3 other patients within the past couple of weeks that had the same abnormal tonsil and I was the only one out of the 4 of us that was not cancer. I felt sorry for them, but overjoyed that I would be ok.
He took a look in my mouth and throat and said that the surgical site looked good. It was healing and sloughing the scab. As far as the thrush, he gave me a script for a liquid swish and swallow Nystatin. He explained that adult tonsillectomy can be extremely painful because it is so close to the nerve endings that connect to the ear and throat. He also reassured me that the hiccups while drinking would eventually stop. When your in that much pain from swallowing you clench up and cause the diaphragm to spasm. I have to give my wife a plug here because she was telling me the same thing every time I had the hiccups.
I went home with the good news of no cancer and the bad news that the pain is normal and I had to suffer through it until I was done healing. I continued with the Oxycodone, Ibuprofen and heat regimen. By recovery day 10, which was Friday, February 24, I had also been constipated for 5 days. When I say constipated, I mean absolutely no bowel movement what-so-ever for 5 days. I started taking MiraLAX and Smooth Move Tea.