Barring the stomach flu, getting your tonsils out is a quick way to lose weight.
Before I continue, please be warned that this post includes some really unflattering pictures of me. I’m partially trusting and partially crazy for sharing these on the web. Read on for the ugly pics and gory details of an adult tonsillectomy.
I don’t remember when I last had strep throat before February of this year, but I got it then and kept getting it all winter, spring and summer. Once per month from February to September, except not in April. In May my temperature hit 106 for an hour. That was kind of scary.
Finally in August, my doctor said it was time to yank my tonsils. Getting sick over and over isn’t easy for anyone, let alone a mom of 2 little kids. Illness was crimping my style. I happily complied with surgery.
Thankfully, @TM_Erin educated me about this process, which is kind of knarly on adults. The recovery process is slow and painful. It’s a good thing she got my head on straight ahead of time.
October 1, I wake up at 5am in order to be checked into the hospital by 6am. As hospitals are wont to do, the first thing they do is take my clothes and put me in the typical washed-out gown and this stupid hat. The last time I wore a hat like this was when I worked at PEZ Candy. We wore them when walking through the candy factory. I guess OSHA doesn’t like stray hairs in food or in operating rooms.
Allison Czarnecki could help me accessorize this better, but alas all I had was the little finger oxygen meter thingy.
They also gave me a pregnancy test, which turned up Negative. Jake and I HIGH-FIVED! The nurse gave us a disapproving look. Then she asked if I could be pregnant. Um, didn’t you just give me a test that says I’m not? Very confusing.
They put an ID bracelet on me in case I forget who I am, or in case they forget who I am. Good thing I didn’t get lost.
Then the nurse came and put the IV in my hand.
I drank a ton of water the day before, and stopped eating and drinking by midnight as directed, but my veins were still wiggly. The very experienced nurse (really she was, no snark here) almost blew my forearm vein and had to insert it into my hand instead.
Here’s a piece of advice: Always ask for a tiny lidocaine shot before having an IV needle inserted. I’d never had one before, but having the lidocaine shot during the botched IV insertion kept the pain away and made it much more bearable. Too bad I didn’t know that during my last baby labor when the crazy nurse dug through every vein in my arm and totally messed up my meditation.
And then I waited.
And Jake waited.
And he asked a few times how much longer this would take because he was really hungry for coffee and donuts. Brat. He knew I was starving.
Sometime around here, I guess the good stuff started flowing through the IV. I remember saying ILoveYou to Jake and then I must’ve fallen asleep on the gurney ride down the hall. While I was asleep, this is probably what happened.
Warning: The next image is really gross. These aren’t my removed tonsils, but they belong to someone and is an approximation of what came out of me.
Ew. So glad I’m not in medicine.
When I got to recovery, I was delighted to have my sweet sister-in-Christ friend Candie as my recovery nurse. She was very comforting. That’s a giant ice pack on my neck.
She said I rocked my recovery. I don’t remember. Jake ran around the hospital getting my prescriptions filled, and then he drove me home. It was 11:30am.
I spent some time in bed and asleep…
…and later that day was able to sit outside and eat Jell-O. My little biker was happy to partake in this jiggly treat, too.
Mostly I spent a lot of time sleeping and drinking water. This time was punctuated by movies including Pride & Prejudice, To Kill A Mockingbird and Anne of Green Gables. I also read all 833 pages of Gone With the Wind. All in all, a very girly-comforting time of recovery. Scarlett O’Hara was at once fascinating and depressing. What a very unhappy girl.
This time was aided by visits from friends who brought smiles and flowers. One funny friend Flocked my house which was hilarious and totally made my day.
Thankfully, my mom came from Wyoming to stay with us for 2 weeks. For real, I don’t think we would’ve made it without her. I was completely wiped out for the first week and still weak the second week. She totally took over the kids, laundry and cooking. She is a saint.
I started going nuts with all the Jell-O, pudding, ice cream and Ensure. As @TM_Erin said, the sugar overload gets old. Add syrup medicine to that. I was constantly hungry (literally dreaming of potatoes dripping with butter) and my stomach was in revolt. I started this process a little underweight from being sick over and over again, and then lost 11 lbs. in 11 days after the surgery. That left me at 100 lbs. I went to Sam’s Club with Jake one night, and for real felt like the girl that people look at and say,
So now I’m in the throat scabbing stage and am slowly introducing soft solids back into my diet. My wonderful mama made me homemade chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes and green beans for my first full meal.
I’ve gained 2 pounds back so far and am totally pumped to get healthy and strong again. The doctor said to be careful lifting weight (like my kids) for 3 weeks post-surgery because there’s a 1-in-20 chance of bleeding. That’s high enough to scare the bejezus out of me, so I’m being careful and taking it one day at a time. I don’t know how many times Scarlett says a variation of “tomorrow is another day.” But it’s true.
Have you had your tonsils out in adulthood? Please share your experience and maybe let me know if it helped!