tonsils

Gallbladder Secession From the Union

I’m losing another vestigial structure today.

gallbladder

Little known fact in the history of Speaker7, but a week before my tonsillectomy I had a HIDA scan. I was crammed into a tube, filled with helium and then twisted into a horse balloon for a child’s birthday party. The scan showed not only a propensity for breakdancing, but a nonfunctioning gallbladder.

For awhile, I had been experiencing what I’ve medically termed as “shitkickers”–meaning I felt the shit was being kicked out of me. I would sit up, and it was as if the skin under my ribcage was going to rip apart. I figured I’d either had hernia or was about to give birth to an alien baby à la John Hurt.

Nope. It was just my gallbladder yearning to be free. I began to grow suspicious of a romantic relationship between my tonsils and my gallbladder.

tonsilgoneI postponed the surgery because it’s really out of style to have a breathing tube inserted twice in a season (source: “Who Wore the Breathing Tube Better?” US Weekly).

But the shitkickery continued. I remember trying on shoes when the onset of an attack started, and hoped the shoppers would politely ignore me as I crouched and gasped on the floor for a few minutes. I explained I was a foot fetishist.

This past week, it became even more apparent that we could no longer live together and one of us had to move out. Every morsel of food became the equivalent of eating a Thanksgiving-style banquet of Big Macs encased in Doritos taco shells covered in KFC grease dribblings. My abdomen turned into its own flotation device, and I told my gallbladder to find new living quarters.

So yay! Another surgery. I can’t wait to see what will go next. I’m banking on the brain.

As to be expected, Hugo is thrilled.

hugopingpongOh–I’ll have a new post up at The Official How To Blog tomorrow about the Game of Thrones. I’m figuring I will be too hopped up on pain medication to promote it. 

Post-Tonsillectomy Adventures

Many of you have been asking about my tonsillectomy recovery.

This may be something I hallucinated. I’m on some pretty strong painkillers.

It turns out it wasn’t such a bad idea to read tonsillectomy horror stories online. It makes the throat and ear pain seem not so bad compared to those who complain of choking on phlegm, vomiting blood, transforming into werewolves, etc.

I’ve mainly been sucking down pureed cauliflower and watching DVDs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All in all, not too shabby.

But it’s nothing compared to what my tonsils have been doing.

Apparently the infected duo had a bucket list, and in less than a week, have crossed 10 items of their list.

1. Meet other vestigial organs

appendix

2. Visit an art gallery

tonsilsatgallery

3. Go parasailing

parasailing

4. Go horseback riding

horse-running-beach

5. Play music on a street corner

streetcorner

6. Get interviewed by Matt Lauer on the Today show

mattlauer

7. Climb Mt. Everest

everest1

8. Perform stand up

standup

9. Enter a hot dog eating contest

hotdogcontest

10. Meet E.L. James

eljames

What’s on your bucket list?

Speaker7 Moves to Canada

Not really, but I do have a new post up today at Canadica. I’m hoping this is the correct link. If that didn’t work, just click on Canadica and it will take you there.

Just so you know and won’t succumb to any weeping, it will take me some time to respond to any comments because:

  1. I just moved
  2. My Internet connection has not been hooked up yet
  3. My tonsils are being removed today by salad tongs
  4. I may possibly dribble popsicle juice onto my laptop

The good news, I will have plenty of time to catch up on my blog reading (when my #@&!&^$ Internet is hooked up and if I’m not vomiting blood). I have been remiss in reading all of your wonderful posts and wittily replying with comments like “turd nugget.” I know you have missed that.

I also recall promising a reader giveaway thingy, and telling a few of you that I would be sending interview questions. Didn’t happen because moving is a giant suckfest of suckitude suckness. It will happen.

Here are the people who responded with a reason why Hugo should interview them and will see their name in lights in 2013. If I missed you or you don’t want this great distinction of Hugo adding your picture to his “People-to-lurk-at” wall, please let me know.

Le Clown, H.E. Ellis, Ned’s Blog, Jules of Go Jules Go, Dutifully Broken, Alice at Wonderland, Madame Weebles, Adam S., Vyvacious, Mollie and Alfie, Artsifrtsy, Jen and Tonic, 1pointperspective, shapelle, merbear264, GiggsMcGill Jill, Wendy Reid, jdanryan, Rule of Stupid, Emily at the Waiting, Lynette d’Arty-Cross, Twindaddy, Nancy of Not Quite Old, Lyssapants, iRuniBreathe, She’s a Maineiac, Michelle Stodden, and my BBFF Angie Z of Childhood Relived even though she said she was exempt.

To Doc with Love

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are aware of my tonsil issue, which the media has dubbed Tonsilgate.

If you are not a regular reader, you can catch up by clicking here and here. The short and simple version is this: my tonsils were going to be removed by a tap-dancing koala bear on a Venezuelan children’s show.

Actually that would have been preferable.

The real thing is worse. My pre-operative surgery consultation was this: “Drink vanilla milkshakes. Here’s some drugs. Bye!” When I attempted to get an appointment with the surgeon, I was treated as if I asked to father Mitt Romney’s baby. “How dare you, sir! The utter gall to ask about your surgery with the surgeon! Pish-posh, you, crawl back to your hovel and leave our majesty be!”

I was finally able to turn my post-operative appointment into a pre-operative consultation with the doctor, but then I thought Do I really want to see a doctor who saw no trouble leaving my pre-surgery consultation in the hands of the first person he saw walking down the street?

The answer was: Fuck no.

So I’m now with a new ENT. My first appointment was with the nurse practitioner. She actually described the surgery to me.

In case you did not know, they do not use this:

The nurse knew how long it would take. She told me what to do to help recover. She didn’t try to sugarcoat anything. “It’s going to be miserable. It’s going to feel like the worst sore throat you ever had.”

She did not mention vanilla milkshakes.

She actually looked inside my mouth. The other nurse didn’t bother with that part although she did listen to my heart and lungs. In all fairness to her, she likely thought my tonsils were located in my chest cavity.

It turned out, I was sick again. She said I would not be able to have the surgery if I was sick because it increases the chances of bleeding during and post operation. She gave me super amoxicillin. She said my next appointment would be with the doctor because he did not like to feel like a ghost surgeon and actually wanted to meet the people he operated on.

I refrained from enveloping her in a giant bear hug and left.

But I feel like I owe something to that former ENT’s office to say “Hey, thanks for all the weirdness and incompetence because now I’m at a real doctor’s office and it’s really awesome.”

Maybe something like this:

This will be the note attached: “This is the only guy you should operate on.”

Or how about a giant vase of notes, one for each day of the year?

The notes will all say the same thing.

Or maybe since the nurse has such a hard time talking to such a difficult patient, this will make things easier next time:

Or maybe just this will suffice:

Dearest Reader: Speaker7 is attempting to write a post every day in November so she doesn’t have to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). This is the seventeenth post. She appreciates any and all suggestions unless you recommend she recrap Fifty Shades of Grey. She did that already. And she is stupider for it. 

Mission Not Accomplished

Friday was supposed to be the day my tonsils were liberated from my body.

But alas it is not to be.

My pre-operative experience has been…troubling? Is that the right word?

No,  I think I meant to write “giant clusterfuck.”

If you had read this earlier post, you would know that I had a pre-op consultation last Friday that was about as helpful as a duck fart. The nurse practitioner could not tell me anything about the surgical procedure I was about to undergo and decided the whole-fasting-before-anethesia was not something I needed to know upfront.

This past Monday, I called the doctor’s office first thing to try to schedule an appointment with the doctor.

“But you had a consultation with the nurse practitioner.”

Yup. But I have questions about the actual surgery that she wasn’t able to answer.

“Did you review the paperwork she gave you?”

Didn’t give me any.

“Well let me put you on with the nurse.”

Oh joy.

When she got on the phone, I said straight off that I was really only calling to schedule an appointment with the doctor so I could get the answers to questions she didn’t know.

“Well I don’t know what you mean Speaker. I spent 45 minutes with you answering all your questions and concerns.”

Uh, what now? The appointment lasted 15 minutes. I should know because it was at 4, I was back in my car at 4:15 and had ample time to slam my head repeatedly into the dining room table, which prompted my husband to call the doctor’s office at 4:30 to try to schedule a new consultation. Office hours being until 5, they of course were already closed for the day so my husband ending up talking to the emergency phone service.

But I guess I was getting my lengthy consult and didn’t realize it.

“You know you were so anxious that I guess you weren’t listening to me.”

This is when I began to wonder if I was on some kind of hidden camera show, like at any moment my doctor and Ashton Kutcher would pop out and yell “We got you! Ha! Okay, here’s how the surgery’s going to go…”

But didn’t happen. I explained that I knew exactly what she said, which was why I was trying to get another consultation. I said: I had to ask you about fasting before anesthesia. I had to ask that! You didn’t even tell me that part. 

“Well I was just trying to help the doctor. And I felt I needed to spend the majority of the time getting you to calm down.”

Okay at this point I’m wondering if she was mixing me up another patient? It’s not like I was swatting at imaginary bees, defecating freely from my bowels and howling like a banshee at the appointment. I might have had a confused look on my face, but that’s because I realized I could be getting better information from a Snapple bottle cap.

I felt I needed to get this train, which was currently heading full-speed to Crazy Town, to make a stop at Saneville. I figured I would be showing my face at this office again and didn’t want her to “accidentally” stab me with her stethoscope. I asked her if she could answer my questions, which she did–poorly–and thanked her. She wished me luck and said she would have the doctor call me.

Still waiting.

I call on Tuesday. When I identify myself, the secretary takes on a tone where I know I have been labeled that difficult, deranged, annoying, lunatic patient. I can almost hear her eyeballs rolling around in her head. I request an appointment with the doctor.

“He’s booked.”

Okay. Well my surgery is in three days and I need to talk to him before I have it.

“I know the nurse talked to the doctor and they said you could cancel.”

Well that’s nice of them to decide that for me. However, I want my tonsils out. I’ve already requested the time off from work, got a substitute in place, met with my sub to go over plans.

“…”  – This is to signify dead air.

I just want 10 minutes. I don’t even need to actually see his face. A phone call. A simple phone call that explains the procedure.

“He can’t give you 10 minutes.”

Alright. Can I ask you a question? Do you think I’m being unreasonable for wanting to talk to the doctor who is going to perform my surgery? It is my body, my health, I’m being put under. Is this so unreasonable?

I sense a whiff of understanding.

“I see you have a post-op scheduled for Oct. 26. Do you want me to schedule a consultation with the doctor?”

Yes. Yes!

“What time?”

Anytime. I will clear my schedule for this appointment.

An hour later, I checked my voicemail on the cell phone I never use and there was a message from the nurse practitioner.

“Hi Speaker, I talked at length with the doctor and told him how anxious you were and he said you didn’t have to go through with it. It’s not a necessary surgery to have and you can continue to live with the condition. Let me know.”

There’s about a .003% chance this doctor will be performing the surgery, but boy do I want to meet with him.

Con-sul-ta-tion

con·sul·ta·tion/ˌkänsəlˈtāSHən/

noun:

1.) The action or process of formally consulting or discussing

2.) A meeting with an expert or professional, such as a medical doctor, in order to seek advice

Did you know that a tonsillectomy entails removing one’s tonsils?

Shocking, yes?

This is what I learned yesterday from my pre-operative consultation.

The question I had asked after the nurse practitioner tried to speedily push me out the door in order to get to happy hour at a reasonable time was: So what is going to happen in the surgery?

“You’ll get your tonsils taken out,” she replied.

Um…knew that. Let me rephrase: How the fucking hell is it going to be done? Pliers? Hedge clippers? The Expelliarmus charm from Harry Potter?

“Oh…I don’t know. I’ve never witnessed a tonsillectomy before, but he’s a really good surgeon.”

Well then, I am filled with relief. He will be using the good-surgeon method as opposed to the shit-surgeon one. Phew! Big weight off my even bigger tonsils. Wait, I’m sorry, aren’t you leading my consultation about my tonsillectomy? Shouldn’t you have a basic understanding how such a surgery is performed? Can you at least tell me how long it will take?

“Oh…well, they’ll call you into a room. There’s paperwork to fill out. You’ll have anesthesia. I’m guessing…hmm…90 minutes?”

So is this guess being pulled directly out of your ass or thin air? The distinction is important to me for some reason because otherwise my brain will blow apart into little pieces. Maybe you would like to see that so you can tell future patients what that looks like.

“If that’s all…”

Hold up, hold up…um how long will it take to recover?

“A week.”

Okay, well I read on some blogs written by people who had this saying the first couple of days aren’t so bad, it’s really fifth–

“Tenth,” she interrupts. “Tenth day’s usually hard. You’ll be fine.”

You just said I would recover in a week. Although I feel completely insane, I’m pretty sure there are still only seven days in a week.

“Oh, you are right! Anyway, I don’t want to keep you. You’ll do great.”

Wait..wait…wait. I’m getting anesthesia so is there any time I should stop eating?

“Oh yeah. Yeah, that’s right. Don’t eat after midnight.”

Because I’ll turn into a Gremlin? This might have been something to have told me during our consultation not in this five-second frenzy of quick questioning as you stick one leg out the door.

Here was the consultation:

“You’ll need pain medication, but don’t worry, it’s liquid.”

“You can have milkshakes after the surgery. Vanilla not chocolate.”

“He’s a good surgeon.”

She did listen to my heart.

“Wow. It’s pitter-pattering like a little humming bird.”

No shit.

My Dear John Letter

Break-ups are never easy.

In a few weeks, I will be saying goodbye to my tonsils.  They will move out of the space in the back of my throat that they have been living in rent-free all these years, and take their reoccurring infections with them.

“Just for the record, I hate you both.” – Speaker7

Frankly my tonsils have been acting like giant a-holes with the emphasis on the giant. If this country worshipped giant tonsils rather than giant breasts, I would be regularly featured as a Playboy Tonsilmate.

For the past three years, I have felt like I’ve had popcorn kernels lodged in the back of my throat, and I don’t even eat popcorn. The glands in my neck have swollen to a point that they could appear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and people would say “There goes two of the largest balloons I have ever seen.” And I am responsible for the influx of peed-out antibiotics in the local water supply.

I know the recovery is going–to put it bluntly–suck a huge tonsil stone. But I am at the point where I’m ready to take them out myself with a spork.

I find that now people know of my impending surgery, they find it of great import to tell me their own personal tonsillectomy-horror story. I’ve been regaled with tales of throwing up blood and post-anthesia paralysis. I’ve been told that yes, the person had them out as a child, and yet the person remembers it as the most vividly horrifying experience of the person’s life.

I enjoy this.

I do because I’m going to have my tonsils out in less than three weeks.

So please, by all means tell me:

I had my tonsils out and I threw up so much blood, they had to give me all new blood and then my head fell off.

-or-

I was scheduled to get my tonsils removed and the doctors accidentally removed my larynx instead. They replaced it with the mechanical voice box of a talking Barbie. Math class is hard. Tee-hee.

-or-

I had my tonsils removed and now I can’t stop scatting. Zoop-de-flee, zoop-de-fly.

-or-

I had my tonsils out and they went on to win The Voice and refused to get me into the after party.

-or-

I had my tonsils out and now they’re seeing someone else and have even proposed. What does that person’s throat have that mine doesn’t?

That one especially hurts. Get it? Get it?

Because it’s the worst pain in the history of pain in the history of surgeries in the history of vomiting blood.

If you don’t believe, just tell someone you’re getting your tonsils removed.