04 July, 2012

How does it look/feel like to have your tonsils removed?

     After years of being sick every few months, not being able to drink cold, eat a lot of ice-cream, and generally looking funny when I open my mouth, I finally decided it was time to do something about it!
     I used to have naturally enlarged palatine tonsils, which grew a lot when I would have a soar throat or something worse. Once, when I had mono, they grew so big that I almost couldn't breath, let alone drink, eat, speak. But now, I will never have to deal with any sort of displeasing things as those I mentioned, because I had my palatine tonsils removed, and this is how it all happened...

     First of all, before I guide you through this really unpleasant journey, I have to explain what are actually tonsils.

There are two kinds of tonsils:

First, we have a pair of two - palatine tonsils, which I had removed:

And we also have a (as we call it in Serbia) the third tonsil - pharyngeal tonsil:

(pictures found on wikipedia)

     First, before I went to have the surgery, I had to have an otorhynolaringologyst (or whatever the spelling) check me up. It was pretty fast actually. He looked at my throat for about 3 seconds and said: "Yep, you should have them removed." Few weeks later we set up a date, he gave me a list of all the things I had to do beforehand:

* blood tests (biochemistry mostly)
* blood type test (it's B+ if anyone wonders)
* general check up by a Internal medicine specialist
* urine sample check up 
* a few more which I can't really remember (nothing scary nor painful)

     After I had all the results, I went to see an anaesthesiologists who gave me his permission to be put under general anaesthesia during the surgery. A few days later I went to the hospital where I was for 5 days who looked like this:

Day 1:
I was admitted around 9.30 AM and put in a room with an 18 year old girl, Danijela. She was to have a nose deviation surgery. We were in a two bedroom room, and it was ok. She was young, full of joy kind of a girl, and we got along pretty well. They gave us pajamas and told us to shower before bad and put them on. We laughed so much when we saw them, and later after we showered(that was an adventure, but not as big as the Day 3 adventure which i will explain when i get there) and put them on, she said we looked like prisoners from a popular movie in Serbia (Pljacka treceg Rajha). Of curse, I had to take a picture, so I can show you people. The pajamas are huge and sooo funny!

     Soon after I went to bed trying not to think about what will happen next.

Day 2: 
Being woken up at 5:45AM is not something I like, but they had to take our temperature, so I had to keep the anger inside. I tried to go back to sleep, but around 7AM I gave up and just lay in bed until the doctors came to see us. After that i did all the calls to my mum assuring her I am fine, not worried, not nervous etc. Around 9AM, they came for me and I was taken to the Intensive Care(IC). They gave me an injection to calm me down, but I was really feeling ok. I think it was actually a pre-anaesthetic if there is such a thing. The guy who gave me that injection was very funny, and made me laugh several times. He even answered his cell and gave his email to a guy from Canada, and holding the injection in his hands the whole time, just prolonging the inevitable. 10 minutes after the injection that didn't hurt much(I got around 15 more in the following days), they took me to the Operating Room(OR). I saw that there was an ongoing operation in another OR but didn't ask what it was because I saw the bed where I was supposed to lie down. After they lay me down, everything happened very fast. I had to undress the jacket of my pajamas and but it on my chest. While this nurse was helping me adjust my head to this leather thingy (I think it was leather, can't recall exactly), another guy, who I believe is the anaesthesiologist put a needle in my hand. Now, I am sure there is name for what he put on/in my hand, but I have no idea what it could be in English, and I tried to find it, but I couldn't. I did find a picture, and it looks like this:

     Why is this detail so important to me? It isn't, put having that thingy in my hand for the following 4 days was such a pain in the neck -.-. Anyways, after he put that in my hand, the nurse put a mask on my face. Now, she said it was oxygen, but honestly, I have no idea. I remember I asked whether I can see my tonsils once they get them out (don't even ask!), and I think they all started laughing, but I am not really sure, cause the next thing I remember I was in the IC again, where they gave me some dish, and a tissue so I can spit out blood. I slept for an hour more in a few turns during which i remember seeing people coming to the IC, when a nurse came and said someone needs to go back to their room, and I volunteered because I felt ok. I was really ok, because I even walked to my room. I fell asleep again, and two hours later (around 2PM), the nurse came and gave me 2 injections of Lendacin through that thingy I had on/in my hand. Since it is a strong drug, and i didn't eat, i felt rather dizzy, and sick, so I had to lie down again. he also gave me an injection in my behind so I wouldn't feel too much pain. He also so gave me tea, and demanded I drink as much as I can. I slept some more, and woke up in time for my friends, and later my mum and sister to come see me and bring me pudding. I ate it somehow, and it wasn't all that bad. I also had dinner(mashed potatoes) around 5PM (?!! - hospitals) and got back to bed. I got another anti pain injection around 10PM, and feel asleep. I didn't wake up much that night.

Day 3:
Again, waking up at 5:45, having my temperature taken. Danijela and I were in our room almost the whole day, drinking tea, and feeling shitty. I was in so much pain, because of the anesthesia. I felt like every single muscle in my body ached! I didn't feel much pain, but I did get injection for the pain every 7-8 hours. I ate ok that day. Mashed potatoes, pudding... That is pretty much everything I ate since I had the surgery and even now that I am writing this. It was Friday, and I was hoping they would let me go home on Sunday, because they let most people go on the third day after the surgery. Also, I showered and washed my hair. It was an adventure I must admit. I had to make sure my left hand what that thingy inside doesn't get too wet, and if that wasn't hard enough, the shower hand (is it called like that?) didn't work, so I had to crouch the whole time and use my right hand to wash my hair, and do all the work. If someone saw me, they would still be laughing...

Day 4:
Unfortunately that didn't happen, so my mum brought me my laptop to keep me company. By noon, I was in so much pain that I actually didn't complain that they kept me in the hospital. Even the night before I couldn't sleep so I asked for an injection around 4-5. I could eat the mashed potatoes, the mashed chicken (only a few bites, cause it is gross), pudding, and finally ice cream! Though I am pretty much disappointed by the one they bought me. It is supposedly high quality vanilla, and it was actually gross. I threw away half of it. I did kill time by watching two movies from the huge pile my friend Sandra brought, and catching up with the episodes of my favorite series I missed. 

Day 5:
Waking up to find out they might let me go home, and then see they wouldn't cause I live far away from the hospital (and that is bull, I live 20 minutes away!), I felt really frustrated. But I was still in pain, so I didn't complain much. I spend the day reading, watching movies, and playing rummy with a few other patients. There were around 20 of us. Some were kids, some were really old, and some were 20-45. I was in a double room, so I didn't really talk that much with others, but those that were in 4-6 bed rooms were socializing much more. I didn't bother with that much, cause I just wanted to be done with the whole thing and go home.

Day 6 - Coming home
I finally was being released home. I did ask for another injection before I went home. I think if I'd stayed one more day, my behind wouldn't have a place to be given an injection. It is all blue and ugly now. Both sides. Anyways, around 11AM I was at home, and the first thing I did was wash up. Wash my hair normally, and feel clean again.

     So, after 5 days in a hospital, the 5th day after the surgery, when I was no longer getting injections every 6-7-8 hours, the pain felt real. By 3PM I couldn't talk, I just wanted the pain to go away. On Tuesday, mum consulted with a nurse who is also our family friend, and she recommended I take another anti pain med, so now that I am taking it, the pain is less horrible, but still very unpleasant. I hope that it will go away in a few days, or at least be bearable without the meds, because I am not really happy drinking a strong med to prevent infection that the doctor prescribed + pain meds for almost a week now. My immune system will go downhill, especially when I am not eating much, or healthy for that matter.

     Hopefully I will be like new in 7-10 days, and I will tell you how it feels to not have tonsils anymore...


  1. oh, honey, I'm sorry it is hurting, but I am glad you're alright!

    And it's a shower *head, not hand. lol.

  2. I knew it was shower - part of the body - something :D

    It hurts less everyday. Just a few more :D