So, I kind of skipped a few days there, haha. Well, if I thought day three was bad days 5-8 were torture. It did get a little better for thanksgiving and then started back full force. Last night, around 1 am I woke up in a decent amount of pain thinking my meds had worn off and it simply was time to take them.. until I realized I had the sensation of liquid running down my throat. I went and checked and sure enough- somehow the right side scab had came off and was bleeding. I woke up Charlie and he calmed me down and we agreed to wait and see (after looking online) if it would get better and scab? over on it’s own. It actually did, so after about an hour of worrisome sucking on ice cubes I dozed off again. 3:45 I woke up again, I guess I had cleared my throat or something in my sleep and sure enough it started again, this time worse. I rationalized that it just hadn’t been enough time for the scab to heal so I went downstairs, cleaned my self up, refilled my ice cubes and entertained myself for a good two hours. Eventually during that time I got brave enough to see what was in my throat since it felt so wonky- it looked like a big bloody loogy hanging back there! No wonder it felt so.. awful. After a little research from message boards I decided there was no hope and woke up Charlie. He was good about it, called his SGT and got the kids dressed. Luckily one of my amazing girlfriends here woke up when I texted her and she said she would keep the kids and get Nora to school. Of to Tripler Army Medical Center we went!
Maybe because it was so early, but unlike the horror stories I have heard there was almost no one in there and I was admitted within fifteen minutes of arrival. One thing I am still getting used to about Army hospitals is that there are always a lot of people in training and residency. For example, the extremely nice nurse anesthetist (luckily his demeanor made up for blowing up the vein in my right hand, which is still bruised) was training still. I don’t mind, because there is always supervision from more trained doctors, but sometimes it means a few extra pricks and pokes, or awkward bedside manner. Anyways, once back there all the talking I finally had to do expelled my blood-loogy and started up the bleeding again, though this time much slower than before. Maybe I kept the disgusting thing in place long enough to help secure the area, who knows. Because of the nature of my problem we did have to wait for an actual ENT doctor to come down from the 4th floor, but the general medicine doctor was very friendly and reassured me that it happens all the time and I would live to see tomorrow. Although, the numbers say only 2-3% of tonsillectomy patients bleed so there must be millions of us going through this hellish surgery.
Once the doctor (not the one who did my surgery) made it down he peeked around and decided my fears were confirmed- I needed to be cauterized. And not the chemical cauterization I read about on the message boards that was generally less painful, the full on tissue-burning-with-electricity one. Let me tell you..THAT is an experience everyone should have. You get to not only taste/smell burned flesh, but enjoy having your gums/tongue zapped occasionally on accident, poked with a lot of tiny needles (sting and burn!) and sprayed with the most vile numbing agent invented. Can’t they add a little bubble gum flavor to it? After about forty-five minutes we were finished and the nurse came by and gave me my Dilaudid dose. Then all we had to do was wait for the pharmacy to fill my prescriptions (another bottle of liquid Oxy and a three pack of children’s bubblegum flavored liquid tylenol) and were able to go home.
Funny enough, maybe because I was so doped up, but on the car ride home I craved Taco Bell like nothing else. The smothered burrito was totally worth the twenty minute detour!
Now it’s late, I should be sleeping but I guess all the junk they gave me today is starting to wear off and the pain is finally setting in, despite taking my prescriptions as scheduled. I’m going to try to snuggle up in bed again and get a few hours before Nora needs to be in school. Adios!