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April 27, 2011

Day Three, the Marshmallow Couch, and Ice Pops

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

When my doctor told me that my throat was going to be in severe pain following my tonsillectomy, I really got nervous. For weeks, I was preparing myself mentally for the “pain to end all pain.” When I was handed a pain killer prescription prior to my surgery and told to get it filled, my stomach jumped a bit.

‘Could the pain really be that bad?,’ I asked myself over and over.

The doctors warned me that it would hurt. My oncologist said the pain would not be as bad a giving birth, but being that I was guy, any pain over a paper cut is usually described by men as equal to birthing pain, so she warned me not to be a typical guy and moan about how bad it hurts and instead, take the pain meds.

Then Monday’s early surgery came — and as expected, the medication given me by the doctors during surgery took its sweet time to wear off. And when it wore off, I had pain.

Not the horrific pain that I was warned that I would have; but it hurt…badly.

On Monday night, thoughts of Tuesday and the icky pain I would experience pounded in my head. When sunrise Tuesday arrived, I woke up thinking that the world was going to end today because the pain would be bad. It was bad, but not that terrible. What got me on Tuesday was an overwhelming sick feeling where every muscle and bone in my body hurt. Bored by 10am, I figured the best thing I could do is fight.

So I got up off the marshmallow couch in the living room (the couch is way too soft), took a shower and got dressed. I must have been three-quarters crazy to even think about leaving the house, but that is what I did. Achy and feeling terrible, I drove to The Christmas Tree Shoppe on Route 4. Walking around a bit, I left and headed back home. But on my way back, I pulled off and went to Whole Foods to pick up vegetable broth (it is cheaper there than at any other supermarket) to have it in the cabinet when I had the energy to make soup.

Arriving about an hour-fifteen minutes after I left home, the crazy me decided to open a bottle of water and sit down. And while watching something on TV, I fell asleep. Waking sometime later feeling bad, I stood up and decided that the best thing for me to do would be to sit right back down. But the marshmallow couch was warm; so I went outside to sit. I lasted for about an hour before my body told me it was time to sleep again. And that is what I did, this time in the bedroom. After a short nap, I got up again, opened another bottle of water and headed downstairs to watch hockey. I popped on the Boston-Montreal game first, switching over to the Philly-Buffalo tussle from the City of Brotherly Love, and then spent two hours flipping back and forth.

By the third period of the Boston-Montreal game, I was dead tired and fell asleep.

One thing in this whole time – my throat hasn’t been as painful as the warnings. My body, on the other hand, hurt like hell (sorry, needed to vent). I didn’t know what to expect on Wednesday morning, but getting up at 4:00am, I was worried that my body would be fighting me all day.

However, I didn’t have much body pain. My throat was raw and hurt, but it wasn’t unbearable. I drank more water and sat down and opened my iPad to read the news. I was tired (getting up at 4am will do that to a normal person, then again, I may not be completely normal), my throat hurt, but I was feeling better than Tuesday. I made a commitment not to talk at all for a second day, hoping that my voice would not be completely destroyed by the tonsil surgery.

Of course, by 6am, I tested my voice. I sounded bad, kind of like Kermit the Frog. Several hours later, I talked to myself again and my voice sounded clearer, though it was gravelly. Honestly, I was kind of stunned about how my voice sounded – I was thinking that it would sound completely icky and my throat would pound for hours just for talking.

That hasn’t been the case. Since my second voice test of the day, I have not spoken a word, hoping that the swelling in my throat would continue to go down. Cold water has been my best friend since Monday morning. I haven’t eaten baby food, but I have gone through enough of those sugar-free ice pops where I have made a vow never to eat them ever again.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow in NYC to get my throat inspected. Hopefully, everything is moving along well. I can’t see why it isn’t since I have not experienced the terrible, horrible, “aaaaahhhh! pain that everyone was warning me about. Yes, it has hurt throughout, but it is hasn’t been anything that I can’t deal with.  After tomorrow’s appointment, hopefully my food choices can expand just a bit.

Tonight, I hope to watch Game 7 of the Montreal-Boston NHL Playoff game, but I already know I will not make it through the game. Thank goodness for the Sporting News Today that will wrap up the series tomorrow.


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