Author Topic: 4-in-1 roto-rooter tonsil service  (Read 3185 times)

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

  • v=1/3πr2h
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 77636
  • The sky tastes like red exuberance.
    • View Profile
4-in-1 roto-rooter tonsil service
« on: September 26, 2009, 11:09:24 pm »
This happened about 3 years ago, but I just ran across this file and thought it might be of some entertainment value.

Part 1

So tomorrow

Bright and motherfucking early, I will be having my tonsils removed and some "work" (?) done to my sinuses. I don't know what "work" means in this context, I presume it's like a Roto-Rooter type of thing.

Also, I am quietly freaking out because I have never had general anesthesia before and the idea of being unconscious and having people doing shit to me is really disturbing. I mean, with they grubby hands in my mouf and shit. You know they're not gentle when the patient is unconscious. I mean, really. They'll be ranking around on my head like it's a gearstick knob. I'm trying not to think about it, but then not thinking about that causes me to think about how the largest risk of death from complications in most surgeries has nothing to do with the surgery; it's the anesthesia. So I'm trying to think about shopping, or what kinds of things I've forgotten to get done, like is there still wet laundry in the washing machine?

I'm going to be really fried and also narcoticked out of my membrane for the next few days, so if there is laundry in the washing machine, it will smell horrible by the time I get to it. Also I won't be able to talk, or eat anything that isn't some variation on cold and pureed. GOOD TIMES!

The thing is, though, that after I heal from this, I will no longer have a throat or sinus infection. I don't even know what that FEELS like. Having the inside of my neck and head be infected is a way of life. It sounds amazing, impossible, miraculous, for all that to be gone. Like people in LA trying to imagine imagine clean fresh tap water. Hallelujah!


Part 2

Post-op update

Actually I got back last night but I was too thrashed to post anything.

So I was totally not expecting the main part of my surgery to be the sinus thing. I thought that was kind of an afterthought, more of a "hey as long as we're in here anyway" but then it turned out that my left sinus cavity was blocked by a huge cyst and has been filled with festering solid matter for, evidently, years, and my right one was sporting a slightly smaller cyst. In the meantime my turbinates had swollen to like four times their normal size, so he "trimmed" them, which sounds like the grossest thing evar. I think he might have done something to my deviated septum as well.

My nose is all swollen and my face hurts. Also an astonishing amount of blood keeps coming from it, which is apparently normal and fine. It's slowed down since last night; I sat over a bucket last night and just let it flow because I got tired of changing the gauze. There's some sort of plastic framework inside my nostrils, which I get taken out on Monday.

Compared to the sinus reaming, the tonsils are a minimal inconvenience, although solid food would be nice. Veggie broth with silken tofu cubes is really not so bad though. Also I have the biggest goddamn bottle of oxycodone and also, for real, a whole quart bottle of liquid hydrocodone. I am waiting for Moxley to come home with some tofutti and other foods more substantial than jell-o and popsicles.

I didn't really know I was having surgery so soon, BTW. The appointment to have my tonsils just *looked at* was on Monday the 12th, they said "we definitely should take these out, let's look at those sinuses too" and then somehow everything went really fast... everyone I called had an opening that very afternoon, there was a surgery slot open Friday morning at Emanuel, right down the street from my house. The doc got the slides from the sinus CT the afternoon before and realized what a mess I had in there, so he talked to me before I went under to get my approval, and then bam, there I was waking up three hours later! It would have taken a month to get in normally, but somehow I feel like it was meant to go this way.


Part 3

Shunt removal fun

My friend Cori took me to have some shunts removed from my sinuses a couple days ago. The surgeon had called them "a little framework" and said they would "slide right out".

NO. NO NO NO. They were not LITTLE, to start with. They were the size of my nose, but inside my nose. No wonder I looked the way I did! (ie NOT PRETTY.)

My surgeon was in surgery all day so a younger partner was handling the removal. He shined a little light up there, said "OK, let me just check out what he's got going on, this will just take a minute" then had me hold a plastic tray (in case I needed to spit, he said), hosed down the inside of my nose with a little squirty-sucky device, got a little tweezer-thing and started pulling. I started saying "AAAAHHHHHHH" because OMG. No, really. Just OMG. Then he stopped and said "I'm so sorry, it appears that he did stitch those into place - I couldn't see the stitches because of the clotting. I just need to grab a suture scissors real quick..." and he started looking for suture scissors. And not finding them. And sweating. Yes, the doctor. Sweat was beading up all over his upper lip and brow, and he had a very definite "remain calm" air about him as he opened the door and yelled into the hallway "ONA CAN YOU FIND SOMETHING FOR ME?" Ona came in (she is a real sweetie, and so kind to me every time I see her) and started looking for the suture scissors. Meanwhile, I am sitting in the chair with this huge thing half-in, half-out, feeling a lot like it was trying to rip my face apart.

Finally (it was probably only 30 seconds or so) Ona found the scissors, the doctor snipped all the stitches, asked me if I was going to pass out or anything, apologized a million more times, and finished pulling the shunts out. It was... not very pleasant. Also he kept asking me if I was OK, which, you know, I was OK mostly in the "Well I'm not actually IN mortal danger right now" sort of way.

And then he rinsed me thoroughly (while I tried to as hard as possible to avoid looking at the objects in the tray I WAS STILL HOLDING) and told me to come back next week to have the other shunt removed. THE OTHER SHUNT? Yes, apparently there is still one in my head somewhere. I don't know exactly where. He said it should be a piece of cake. Then he told me to rinse my sinuses with saline solution once an hour to flush the clots out, and sent me on my merry way.

I will not talk about the clots right now. I am sure you can imagine just fine and don't need to have it detailed. I will tell you one thing, and that is that after three times in labor and childbirth, I can assure you that I like the labor and childbirth better.


Part 4

(2 weeks later)
I am trying to convince M. that we should start an acoustic folk band called "Shuntcake". So far he's not going for it.

In case you were wondering about the other shunt, it turned out there were two of them and they weren't small. They were WAYYYY up in my head somewhere, and the doctor reached in with little forceps and yarded them out. Oh my god. I don't want to talk about it.

Anyway, then I went to Sacramento, because obviously that was a good idea. While I was there my throat hemmorhaged twice, which is not, I mean really not, as pleasant as it sounds. Basically at 3 am your throat fills up with blood and if you swallow it you end up throwing up blood and if you tilt your head forward the blood runs out like sauce onto the floor or the sink or whatever is in front of you. And in order to get something, like ice water which you might want to gargle to try to stop the bleeding, you have to jam your mouth full of tissues and scuttle in a hunched-over position into the kitchen, where you try to get ice and popsicles out of the freezer without looking up because of the way the blood pools in the back of your throat, and the tissues have absorbed as much blood as they can hold and are dripping a viscous trail on the kitchen floor. And somehow a clot forms, a huge soft choking clot the consistency of liver and the size of a wet dead mouse, and you scuttle back to the bathroom with your ice water and your trail of sauce, so you can gargle the ice water and eat popsicles and spit blood until the clot makes you gag and gag and gag and then it slides out of your throat and splats into the sink, fat and red and unbelievable. You are shaking and completely freaked out but it's all too much, too wierd, too surreal to cry about. So you eat more popsicles and fall asleep and three hours later you wake up swallowing, swallowing, swallowing FAST like you're drinking a glass of milk, and in the seconds between sleeping and waking it seems like you have the most incredible post-nasal drip, but then you realize it's blood, no not again, not THAT again, and you try not to drip on the way to the bathroom where you throw up black and red cottage cheese and start all over again.

And then you are afraid to go to sleep, or ever stop eating popsicles, ever ever. You love popsicles sooo much.

Then I came home and was fine for a week and then hemmorhaged two more times, I think it's something about weekends.

The first time I learned that you should not have sex right after a tonsillectomy. You have no idea how hot it is to be facedown in a pillow having the love delivered right to you and have to say "Hey baby, we have to finish up because there's a whole lot of blood coming right out of my mouth". I think it is, for most people, completely not hot at all. That's how hot it is.

The second time I learned that you should not sit in a chair and read a book right after a tonsillectomy, and the third and fourth times I learned that you should not sleep right after a tonsillectomy, or really even two weeks later. To make sure I don't forget about that, I still occasionally wake up in the middle of the night from dreaming I'm swallowing blood.

But now, now I am not bleeding or even in any particular pain. I can breathe through my nose and mostly swallow. I can eat solid foods and there is hardly ever any blood involved. I'm not completely healed, but I'm close enough. A lot of liver and spinach and collard greens have gone a long way to restore my energy. I think in the long run this will turn out to be totally worth it.

Oh yeah

At some point while I was taking a shower a piece of bone fell out of my nose. Apparently when they correct a deviated septum it involves cutting through some bone and a piece got lost in there and was stuck to the side of my nasal passage with a scab, and when the scab came off I got a nice keepsake.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Suu

  • The Goddamn Industry Professional Who
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 35338
  • Heartless and regal murderess of the intertubes.
    • View Profile
Re: 4-in-1 roto-rooter tonsil service
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2009, 02:37:00 pm »
Holy HELL.
Sovereign Episkopos-Princess Kaousuu; Esq., Battle Nun, Bene Gesserit.
Our Lady of Perpetual Confusion; 1st Church of Discordia

"Add a dab of lavender to milk, leave town with an orange, and pretend you're laughing at it."

Jenne

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 16714
    • View Profile
Re: 4-in-1 roto-rooter tonsil service
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2009, 07:54:24 pm »
:x  Jesus fucking christo.  I got a taste of that the last week with whatever the fuck happened to my nose--I can't even fucking imagine this...well, NOW I can.

THE HORROR THE HORROR.

Loved the writing, though.

Cainad (dec.)

  • Houseplant Supreme
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 10739
  • The Emperor's Hairy Right Hand
    • View Profile
    • Internet Forum Safari
Re: 4-in-1 roto-rooter tonsil service
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2009, 07:58:55 pm »
Yowza. :eek:

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

  • v=1/3πr2h
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 77636
  • The sky tastes like red exuberance.
    • View Profile
Re: 4-in-1 roto-rooter tonsil service
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2009, 07:59:56 pm »
:thanks:
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

  • v=1/3πr2h
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 77636
  • The sky tastes like red exuberance.
    • View Profile
Re: 4-in-1 roto-rooter tonsil service
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009, 08:16:50 pm »
Maybe someday I will try writing about the other time I hemorrhaged, which was on my way to the annual awesomest party in Portland, which is this huge pirate-themed private party at this rich guy's house on Sauvie Island. I hemorrhaged from a piercing in a part where that normally doesn't happen, more than a week after getting it pierced, and then I almost died. It was great. There was this one part where me and my friend were in a gas station bathroom and there was blood absolutely everywhere; the sink, the walls, everyfuckingwhere, and we could not make it stop. I bet the attendant loved that, later. Also my estranged husband reluctantly coming home because my friend would not stop calling him, to find me lying in a blood-soaked bed with bloody towels all over the floor. If he had not come home just then, I would not have woken up. Ever.

I still have the piercing though.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 08:19:24 pm by Nigel »
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

  • v=1/3πr2h
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 77636
  • The sky tastes like red exuberance.
    • View Profile
Re: 4-in-1 roto-rooter tonsil service
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 01:14:33 am »
Bump for because I was looking for this, and here it is!
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”