Popsicles! Ice Cream! Sno Cones! OH MY!!!! That’s what tonsillectomies are made of, right?
I woke up one day at the age of 21 and couldn’t swallow. Obviously this was hazardous to my social life… because not being able to swallow meant I couldn’t consume alcoholic beverages. (If you thought of another reason, then you are gross…not me.)
You know how when your throat hurts you go to the mirror and try to look at it as though you’re going to see what’s happening in there? I always thought that was silly… I never look in my throat when I’m healthy so how would I know if something is different or wrong when I feel sick?? Anyway… I did it.
I took a quick bathroom mirror gander and saw something extremely alarming… I didn’t see my throat. At all. All I saw was two masses eerily resembling two strawberries on one stem. There was no hangy-ball-thingy back there…no hole where food would go…nothing…just strawberry lumps.
My mom (yes, I still lived at home at this point) called my primary care doctor who suggested an ENT that he knew, and he called them to make sure they’d fit me in that day.
The ENT took half a second’s glance into my throat and said “Well those tonsils are swollen, huh…?” So, hey… those strawberry thingies were my tonsils… interesting. I learned something that day! He prescribed me a heavy dose of Prednisone (the steroid that is both the BEST and WORST medication on Earth) for 2 weeks.
They worked almost immediately. My tonsils returned to their correct size, color and location. I was able to eat, drink and swallow as normal. I was HEALED!!!
The day immediately following my last Prednisone dose (the smallest dose…they ween you off of that shit) I woke up unable to swallow and at the mercy of my strawberry masses. We made an emergency appointment with the ENT.
As it turned out, my tonsils had long ago staged a coup to take over my entire throatal area (yep, I made the word “throatal” up) staging small battles all of my college career through cold and sore throat after cold and sore throat and culminating in the hostile strawberry mass takeover. So those bitches needed to come out. After being put back on Prednisone until my surgery 2 weeks later, I was sent home where I did some research.
I would not be able to speak for a day or so after the surgery
I would probably only be able to eat soft and cold foods for a couple days
I would spend less than 24 hours in the hospital – outpatient procedure
My voice would likely change
I should be aware of “dry pockets” which can be very painful
I COULD die. It’s a very low likelihood, but still possible
So I went and had these fuckers removed. They sedated me, then knocked me out, took out the bitches with a one-two punch only possible through the help of the medical army and woke me up in the recovery room.
I could talk immediately – albeit quietly and softly – and nothing really hurt. I was sent home with pain killers and very attentive parents.
For 2 days I felt FINE. I had friends over. I drank room temperature water and soup broth. I watched movies. I didn’t touch the pain medicines. I was fine.
Then I thought I’d dabble into the fun benefits of having your tonsils removed…ice cream, popsicles, sno cones!!!!
That shit hurt. SO BAD! SO SO SO BAD. I was limited to room temperature water and soup broth. For 2 weeks. This is not an exaggeration. I couldn’t even have thicker soups. It all made me cry in pain. And I’m pretty good with pain…
On days 4 and 5 I acquired a fever and an extreme migraine headache. My parents loaded me up with ice packs and cold compresses around my throat, head, back of my neck and eyes in an attempt to bring my fever down and alleviate my pain since – as you may have guessed – swallowing pills was not an option at this point.
Once that pain passed I was gifted with thrush. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a fungal infection (similar to athlete’s foot, a yeast infection or jock itch) but in your MOUTH. My mouth looked like a sno cap and it was tingly, numb and swollen as fuuuu…
They gave me a mouth wash to swish around in there 3 times a day. It went away in a few days.
I went back to my filling meals of water and soup broth and slowly started to add in overcooked short noodles in butter sauce and thicker soups until I was good to eat again.
Two and a half weeks later, down 15 lbs and with a slightly different tone in my voice, I had won the battle. Do NOT rest in peace tonsils, you little fuckers.