Last week I told you all about the “before” of my tonsillectomy, which you can read here. Today I’m sharing with you how the surgery actually went. In these posts I will not post any photographs, because I know some people might not like it, since they’re very graphic.
I was told to check into the hospital on the day before surgery. At 8:00am Markus and I arrived at the Hospital and had to wait our turn. Afterwards we were told to go to the clinic and I had to fill some forms – the usual stuff, they have to tell you all of the things that can possibly go wrong, even if it only happens 1 time in every 100.000 surgeries.
After all filled out we were told to go to the 3rd floor, where the station is. I was then seen by the doctor, who checked my throat, was extremely surprised that I knew all of the procedure, since I had watched a couple of surgeries being done online and also two videos that another doctor had sent me. She then told me how they would put me to sleep and some other details. Then I had a talk with a nurse about food and had to tell her if I have any allergies and so one – let me tell you, they take Histamine intolerance very serious!
Then I was told to go downstairs and meet the anaesthetics department. I had a small talk with someone there who totally did not take me serious. The thing that was making me nervous was the fact that on my first surgery I woke up too fast, so I was totally conscious and awake and I felt when they took the tube out of me – all of it! This isn’t supposed to happen, you’re supposed to be groggy and very sleepy – they slightly wake you up just so you can take a breath on your own (still half asleep) and they take the tube out of you and you don’t even realise. In my case, I was completely awake and felt everything. I tried explaining this to the woman, because it basically means my body metabolised the anaesthetics much quickly than they anticipated and, trust me, I do not want this to happen again! This lady did not take any of it serious and basically wrote I was “panicking” (she literally wrote this word!) about it.
Afterwards I was done and was given my room – right next to the nurse’s station. I spent the rest of the day reading and spending time trying to relax. Two of the ladies in the room went home that day and it was only me and a younger girl who had already done a tonsillectomy and was doing extremely well. Later in the afternoon someone else came in and I have to say I really liked this person – we even shared contacts on the day we were sent home.
The next day came along and I was picked up at 8 am and taken to the operation room. I ended up talking to the anaesthetics doctor right before being rolled into surgery and he completely understood what I meant and said the lady should have written that in my folder. I was a lot more relaxed. The hardest part was finding a vein for the needle – I have horrible veins!
I woke up a lot later in the recovery room. They let me wake up completely naturally and it was better that way. Usually they give you something to speed up the process, but this time they didn’t. I ended up taking around 2h to wake up – which was fine. Eventually a nurse came and asked how I was and I said I had pain. She then asked me what number on the scale it was (Pain scale, from 1 to 10) and I told her it was a 7. She complained and asked why I hadn’t said anything earlier and I told her “because I could still handle it”. Her answer was simply “you’re not supposed to ‘handle’ it, we don’t want you to be in any pain!!!”. She gave me something in my IV and then I was sent back to the room. I have to say that having woken up naturally, I did not experience any nausea at all – which apparently never happens. According to the nurses and doctors, around 98% of the people feel nauseous after the surgery and end up throwing up.
I was back in my room by 12pm and they rolled in lunch a while after and expected me to eat it. It was soup and pudding. I was able to eat the pudding, but the soup had some noodles in it and I felt that they would get “stuck” in my throat. I was very surprised and thought I would be able to eat normally in a few days. (boy was I wrong!)
I started experiencing some swelling a bit later in the afternoon and they gave me an ice pack to put on my neck and also some yummy ice cream!
In the evening I got some more pudding and all throughout the day I also got pain killers. Markus came to visit after work and I even wanted to go downstairs, even though the nurses said it wasn’t such a good idea after a surgery and they ended up being right, since I started getting extremely dizzy only a few steps away – so we stayed in the common room, that was empty anyway.
I didn’t sleep much during the night and kept drinking a lot. The nurses kept telling me to eat and drink a lot. I did have soft food the next two days I stayed in the hospital and the first day after surgery I was able to eat pretty well. On Sunday however, things took a turn for the worst. Again I didn’t sleep much (mostly due to this sweet old lady that was transferred to our room from another floor and who snored like a truck! None of us got any sleep in the room) and I was felling pretty shitty. The nurse took a look at me when they came to the room and said I looked like “cheese”. Apparently she meant I was extremely pale – to which I answered that’s my normal complexion. It was also almost impossible for me to eat, I had a lot of pain and everything going down would feel as if I had a knives going down my throat.
However, later in the day I started feeling really bad. My heart was racing, my ears were ringing and I pretty much felt like fainting as soon as I got up. My throat and neck were also very swollen and hurt a lot. The doctor was worried and made some blood tests, which showed my iron was dangerously low and my vitamins too. My period had started the day after surgery, with a very light flow, but the doctor thought it wasn’t enough to get that low. They kept me under their eye all day – coming into the room every 15 minutes. The doctor told me if it got any lower or if I started feeling worse, they might have to make a blood transfusion.
Luckily it ended up not being necessary, even though the doctor was still very worried. On Monday at 5 am someone came to draw blood again and make tests. The doctor later on told me the iron levels were still extremely low. However, an iron infusion was out of the question, since that would make the chance of bleeding be even bigger, as it would only make the healing process worse. So he told me to take it easy and should anything happen, I should call an ambulance or my GP – depending on the case.
I was discharged from the hospital on Monday morning and went home.
On my next post I will tell you how everything went after I got discharged from the hospital – since it went very differently than what is supposed to happen.
* Please bear in mind this is solely my experience. This is what happened to me and it should be taken into account that every person is different and reacts to any surgery differently. Also, a healthy person will most likely not have the issues I had with it – since I have a chronic illness and my body reacts differently to things