On my 15th day of recovery, 3/1/17, I had a follow-up appointment with the ENT. He said that everything looked good, but that I had to be very careful over the next few days. There is still a scab in the cavern that was left where my tonsil was. The Dr. said that as the last bit of scab sloughs off there is still a chance of bleeding. I told him that my throat was still painful, especially when I yawn or sneeze, and I still had a nasty earache. He looked in my ear and said it looked fine. He explained that I probably would have an earache for a while because the nerves that run to the ear are very close to the tonsil and get aggravated from a tonsillectomy. He also told me that the pain when I sneeze or yawn is normal and should start to subside in another week or so. His last words of wisdom to me as he left the room were,
“Tonsillectomy in adults is very difficult and traumatic. Now you know why I told you that I don’t like doing adults and will only suggest it when I think that it is absolutely necessary.”
I got out of the house briefly a couple of times over days 15-18. I had the doctors appointment on Wednesday and was totally exhausted by the time I got home and had to take a nap. Wednesday night was horrible. I couldn’t sleep for more than an hour and would wake up in pain. All night my throat and ear hurt and my body was prickly all over from the shingles. My wife said that when I was sleeping I was twitching the whole time. At one point the pain in my ear was so bad I had to ask her to get me the moist heat to put over my ear and neck. It was the only thing that eased the pain for me to fall back to sleep.
On Thursday I was exhausted from not sleeping all night. I stayed on the couch all day and made sure I took every pain pill that I could. I just wanted to sleep and have no pain. Thursday night I had what would be the closest thing to real food that I had had for the past 16 days. My mother made mashed potatoes smothered in gravy, mushy squash smothered in butter, and very thin chicken cutlets. I had to cut up the chicken into tiny bites and put a lot of gravy on it. It took me a long time to finish a little plate, but it was all delicious.
Thursday night I didn’t have the earache, but my throat was still painful. Another sleepless night, like every night since surgery. I was up every hour or two with a dry, sore throat. I drank water, went to the bathroom, and did my very best not to scratch my itchy, burning, prickly spots. My scalp, face, neck, torso, and lower back all had the feeling of shingles, but only my lower bask had the rash.
Friday My mother drove me around to pay some bills and go to the grocery store for a few things. It felt good to be out in the cold fresh air. The last week or so I have also been getting what I can only describe as hot flashes. Out of the blue, for no apparent reason this fiery sensation works its way up my body to my head and I break out in a cold, clammy sweat. This happened 3 or 4 times while we were out and each time I would get a little dizzy and light headed. Again, I was exhausted when we got home and had to take a nap. Friday night was the same as all the other nights. Up every hour or two. Sore, dry throat. Burney, prickly, itchy body.
This morning, Saturday, we met my in-laws out for breakfast. My right ear feels clogged and painful today and my throat hurts to swallow. I ordered scrambled eggs and corned-beef hash, no toast. I was able to eat about a quarter of the eggs and a couple bites of the hash. Once again, just going out for a short time exhausts me and I have to take a nap.
As of today, 3/4/17, it is my 18th day of recovery. I have lost a total of 13 pounds over 18 days. I am still exhausted and weak from not being able to sleep or eat and from the pain. I am still in constant daily pain. The pain fluctuates. Some days its a 9 out of 10 and other days a 6 out of 10. I have not had 1 day or even a part of a day in the last 18 without pain. It is depressing, and at times feels hopeless.