Surgery, part 2.

OK, so here’s what happened after the surgery, or as much as I can remember of it. I woke up in what I assumed to be a recovery room with an oxygen mask sort of leaning against my face. The nurse who saw my eyes open told me to breathe deeply, so I did for a bit, then she moved the mask and periodically reminded me to breathe deeply. I complained (or tried to) that my mouth was dry and she put a different mask up near my face, one that blew hydrated air (uh, is that how it’s called?) to help alleviate the dryness from having had my mouth open for a while. Ian told me later that the surgery took 1 hour 45 minutes. Took no time from what I could tell. Hell, I hadn’t even noticed being put under and just woke up here kind of confused. Dr. Moss wandered in at some point, and while I know he talked to me, I had little idea what he said. I must have forgotten or was unable to pay much attention at that point. I do remember attempting to smile at him and giving him a thumbs up. I was in that room for a while, and it was kind of funny because every nurse in the place had to stop by to look at the roof of my mouth. Seriously. They left a flashlight beside my bed so they could ask me to open my mouth so they could look at the crater. I guess they had all heard about the huge tumor and wanted to see where it had been, especially ’cause you could see all the way to my skull. Katie says nurses are curious people like that, lol.

After hanging out in that room for a bit, I vaguely recall being wheeled away and was surprised to see myself back in the room where I had started. I figured this meant the husband was around somewhere with the little brother. Sure enough, they were trooped in, and there was some random conversation that I didn’t quite catch or pay much attention to. My head was foggy, my throat hurt, and I felt like I was moving even though I wasn’t. When the husband and nurse went to sit me up, I felt even more dizzy. The nurse left for some reason, and within no time at all, I was throwing up in a trash can that Ian had grabbed for me. Apparently it’s not uncommon for people to react to anasthesia (however that’s spelled) like motion sickness, and I get motion sick pretty easily. I threw up again at least twice more at the hospital, might have been three times. They had given me water to sip and orange Jell-O to nibble on, and I threw all of it up. After some more recovering, the husband helped me get dressed and ready to go. They put me in a wheelchair, and I clutched one of the hospital’s barf bags on the trip, figuring that the motion was going to make me sick again. It didn’t, but when we went outside the heat nearly bowled me over. Rook and Ian helped me into the van, and we took off for CVS. Ian went inside to get the liquid Lortab and some other stuff, and Rook stayed with me until I begged him to go inside to get me a bottle of water. It was burning up out there in the van and my throat was dry and painful. Rook got me “Smart Water,” and I wondered if he was being snarky, ’cause he’s like that. We finally made our way home where I ended up on the couch and didn’t move much other than to drink water and throw up some more orange Jell-O. I love the hospital’s barf bags. I could throw up in those all day, I mean, if it weren’t weird to do so or like a disorder or anything. I guess I should say, if I’m gonna puke, I wanna puke in those things. Luckily, the hospital gave us a half dozen barf bags, all but two of which have been used.

Well after the fact and when I was more aware of my surroundings, Ian told me what Dr. Moss had told him. The surgery had gone well, and Dr. Moss was expecting a good recovery. He was happy with the way the tumor was shaped because it didn’t have tendrils or weird bits coming off of it that might indicate malignancy. The tumor was pretty round and smooth and turned out to be about the size of a walnut once all cut out. Dr. Moss had given Ian pictures of the surgery, before the tumor was removed and after as well as the tumor lying on a table somewhere. If I feel up to it, I might scan them in and put links up to them so the less-than-faint-of-heart can have a look. While the nurses at the hospital had made it sound like I’d be on a clear liquid diet for a while then a full liquid diet a while longer, then soft foods for quite some time after that. Dr. Moss, however, told the husband that if I asked for steak whenever we got home to give me steak. He said my body would know what it wanted, and so far it’s been pretty accurate. After the pain of the biopsy a couple months ago, I knew what would stick to the roof of my mouth and went from there.

And speaking of biopsies, they’re going to do several on Mr. Lumpy, sending some of him off to the Mayo Clinic again. They still don’t know for sure what kind of tumor it was or what caused it, plus there’s still the fear it’s malignant despite the signs pointing to benign. I’m curious to know what it really was, but I’m far happier it’s gone. Tentatively, the biopsy results should come in sometime next week.

As for recovery, I’m doing OK for now. The scabs from the tonsillectomy are going to start coming off sometime this week, and that’s going to suck majorly and be totally disgusting. Probably will be tender as well. Dr. Moss said that the roof of my mouth should start growing back about 2 weeks after the surgery, and that’s likely to take a month or more before it’s back to pre-tumor normal. Dunno about where the adenoids were removed; guess it’ll all come out in the wash as well. As for being a fully functional person again, I dunno how long that will take. As it stands, talking hurts and is awkward, so I’m sticking to the dry erase board as much as possible. Even once my throat stops hurting so much, the roof of my mouth will still be tender and will likely make talking difficult. I’m not getting a whole lot of calories each day, and what calories I’m getting are mostly from liquids like soup broth and popsicles and Jell-O, so I’m weak and can’t do a whole lot before tiring myself out quickly. I can eat some soft foods like mac & cheese or soup noodles, but I can really only eat small amounts because the act of chewing even a little tends to make my jaws and throat ache. There’s that and my stomach just doesn’t want to handle much food right now, so I stick to water and small amounts of food throughout the day. I drink tons of water. I always have water near at hand, which is good because I need to stay hydrated to heal. I am looking forward to being able to eat more soon, but there are some things I won’t eat for some time like potato chips or toast or anything else scratchy that will irritate the crater. I’m already having fun with some foods getting up in there and I have to poke around with my tongue to get them back out. Creepy, let me tell you. The edges of the crater are a bit jagged in places and getting stuff stuck in there is high on my list of “stuff not to do.” It’s going to be interesting the rest of the month to figure out new and creative ways of eating. I’ve already lost 7 pounds since the surgery last week. I don’t expect to lose more, but I could. Madness.

At any rate, I’m getting tired and my throat’s feeling tight and achy so I want to lie down and relax. Glad I’m not snoring much anymore. That was freaky the first couple nights because I never snore, and here I was waking myself up with this newfound snoring thanks to the out-of-whackness of my throat. So quiet relaxation time, here I come. 🙂

Oh, and for some odd reason, comments on my page don’t seem to be working, so sorry if you’ve been trying to comment and can’t. We’ll work on that.

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