Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Turn

Wonderful Wife has had recurrent annoying health issues related to her throat and jaw for a couple of years. She has seen an ENT for these issues several times and they eventually came to the conclusion that removing her tonsils was likely to provide relief.

One issue she has had is tonsil stones, formally called tonsilloliths (if you want to gross yourself out, do an image search for that). They felt constantly irritating to her. She described it as feeling like someone was constantly poking her tonsil with a sharp pencil.

In May she decided to go for it. She scheduled the surgery for July.

Then, as is her way, she started researching.

She discovered that a tonsillectomy is a pretty serious operation for an adult. The post-op nurse told me that they are roughly the size of golf balls in an adult. Those are a couple pretty big hunks of tissues to cut out of one's throat!

She also read about ways to prepare foods she'd be able to eat: lots of frozen fluids like broth, Ensure, Jello, etc.

Most adults do not like to eat a lot of ice cream post-tonsillectomy: the injury already causes increased mucous production and dairy exacerbates that for some people.


Wonderful Wife was going to need some TLC for at least a week. She would be in fairly serious pain.

It was time for me to pay back a tiny portion of all that loving care she gave me two years ago.

The ENT called me immediately after the surgery to tell me everything went fine. He commented that he thought Wonderful Wife's tonsils had more stones than any he could ever remember.

Also, almost under his breath, he mentioned that he was sending the larger one for lymphoma screening. Uhhh. I wasn't sure if his delivery indicated that it was completely routine, or that he was concerned but didn't want to give that away. He happens to be a practice partner of my ENT, Doctor B. So he knows my history.

I arrived at the hospital a short time later, with Progeny the Younger, and found Wonderful Wife in the recovery room. She had a huge smile on her face and seemed very happy. Probably a mixture of residual anesthetic and relief. She was still pretty woozy, but we got her dressed and wheeled out to the car and shortly thereafter I had her resting in bed.

We were told to take the opioids on schedule to stay ahead of the pain. So we set alarms for the middle of the night to keep her dosed up. I tried to help keep her fed and hydrated.

Recovery went pretty much as her research indicated it would. Surgery was two weeks ago tomorrow and she is almost back to normal.

During the middle part of recovery she became a fan of my favorite post-cancer food: Cream of Wheat. I've eaten it almost every morning ever since I resumed eating. Sometimes I have it for dinner, too, if I'm tired and don't feel like working my way through "normal" food.

The past week I've been making enough for two.

I don't feel like it was much, but I liked being to give Wonderful Wife back a little bit of the care she gave me.