Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tonsillectomy Chronicles - Day Fourteen

Well, I just put the fourteenth "x" on my calendar, (exactly one year after the boys both had their tonsils out!) and I do think that the estimated 10-14 days for recovery is pretty accurate, at least in my case.  This will conclude the tonsillectomy chronicles.

I am able to only take medicine a couple times a day now, I sleep fairly normally, and only feel like I have a mild case of strep.   My ear pain almost gone, and I am one thankful girl!!

I want to thank each and everyone one of you out there who has prayed for me during this time.  Your prayers helped carry me through THE MOST difficult physical challenge I have ever been through. 

Philip - you are amazing.   Thank you for all the time and energy you put into caring for me.  Thank you for all the hours of sleep that you lost, and for your patience with me when it got really tough and I just needed to cry and express my fears to someone.   I love you so much.

Thank you to all my sweet friends who visited, brought food, sat with me, watched the kids, etc.

I am so blessed!!

Thank you Lord, for carrying me through and proving that even in the hardest, darkest, most painful hours of the last two weeks, you were there with me and you never left me to do it alone.

Here's to NO MORE STREP!!!!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Tonsillectomy Chronicles - Days 12 and 13

 Twelve - Philip has moved back into our bed (I guess he figures the few interruptions in sleep for my medicine alarms is worth getting to sleep in a more comfortable bed) ;)

It was a pretty good night and a sweet morning, with all the kids snuggling in our bed.   

Philip went in to work and I ventured to Walmart with the kids to do some Christmas shopping (a collapsible cup and my 11:00 medicine in tow).   It was pretty crazy, shopping for gifts for two of the kids with all three kids with me!   Lots of "you go hang out in the toy aisle and I'll take so and so and we'll go over here.." and then hiding purchases under coats and such in the cart.   ;)

I came home and took a two hour nap.   I had one crazy pain episode in the afternoon that landed me back in bed, but otherwise am starting to feel almost normal!

Got to go to house church and it was wonderful to be with everyone (I skipped the singing), and to thank them for all their prayers and love and care over the last two weeks!

Day 13

Other than some mild throat pain and the ear pain (that just won't let go), I am feeling like myself again!   I don't know how many days I'll still have to be on meds, but the longest I've gone so far is five hours.  Soo thankful for more normal sleep, especially!

My friend, Melissa O, and her three sweet kids stopped in for a short visit this morning and brought yummy soft pretzels from the mall.  :)

 I had this delicious drink tonight. Melissa had bought it for me a week or more ago, but I wasn't ready for carbonation yet.  Quite lovely!

Check out this ADORABLE ornament I got in the mail from Mom E today!

And she sent their new Christmas pajamas! 

Tonsillectomy Chronicles - Day Eleven

Last night was the best night of sleep so far!

Throat pain was fairly mild today.

Philip took the boys to Keenan's basketball game this morning AND took all three kids to piano this afternoon.   That guy has been Such a champ and such a sweet help to me!

I got a nap and was able to get the house ready for the Penny's to come over for the evening.

 Look!   I wore real clothes!!

Philip, Keenan and Devin played "Ticket To Ride - Rails and Sails", Moriah did a Fabulous job of babysitting the twins, and Melissa and I got to sit on the couch and catch up!

This girl really outdid herself entertaining and cleaning up after the twins - I'm so proud of her!


 Hanging out and chatting with good friends is the best reason to have a sore throat from overuse!

This is my post surgery progress calendar on my bathroom mirror
(because sometimes the only forward movement that seemed to be happening was the passing of time!)

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Christmas around the house 2018

The kids put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving.   I kept decorations to a minimum this year, but it felt good to have it all done before my surgery.

We replaced our usual ribbon this year with the popcorn and cranberry chains

I love how pretty they are!
(Mind you, the cranberries are turning into craisins now)  ;)

The mantle

I love this print I found online!

I strung some square photos of past Christmasses

I made this on the reverse side of a piece we had on our fall mantel

Caleb got this cute little guy for Philip for Christmas from their little Awana store...and couldn't wait to give it to him.  :)

I got a kick out of "Christmas-ifying" the kid's photos this year!

Caleb, Moriah and I made some fun little Christmas sketches

The beautiful, fresh wreath that Melissa gave us!

The kid's gingerbread houses this year
(Well, Caleb's, in the middle, is actually a reindeer barn!)


Friday, December 7, 2018

Tonsillectomy Chronicles - Day Ten

Last night was one of my worst nights of sleep so far and I got up this morning feeling really discouraged that I was still having so much pain on day ten.   I definitely didn't feel up to taking the kids to CC this morning (since I couldn't see myself being in pain and away from the house for several hours).   They stayed home for the morning, Keenan finished a writing project, and we made these cute treats for their Essentials class party in the afternoon:



Since I've lost 11 pounds so far, I mentioned in a text to my siblings that I was working on a pamphlet for my new big money venture, the "tonsillectomy diet"  ;)

Step One:  Have surgery on your throat.
Step Two: Take medicine that makes you nauseous for days.
Step Three: Find one food that you can tolerate and try to eat it.  (Your gross, fuzzy tongue will make everything taste vile).
Step Four: Once food seems appealing again, take some bites.  After 2 or 3, you should feel a fire starting in your throat, so you give up.   Also, if the food you chose is super cold, it will feel like ice cream is seeping into your ear drums. 
Step Five:  Drop pounds fast!
I really think this could take off!  Do you think "tonsi diet" is more catchy?

As the morning went on, I became aware that the pain in my throat had calmed down a LOT and actually felt a little numb (my ears felt totally blocked, too), maybe that helped with the pain.  I was able to eat breakfast And lunch!   Woohoo!

Philip came home at noon and took all the kids to CC.   I wrapped some Christmas gifts and then took a glorious nap!

Friends of ours had offered to bring take out from anywhere we chose for dinner, so I asked for Papa Murphy's pizza (she convinced me that we should get two, not just one).   Five minutes before her husband dropped the food off, we ended up with our four neighbor kids unexpectedly, so the extra pizza was perfect!   So cool how God worked that out!

Moriah drawing with her friends, Allison and Alexis

Caleb with his buds, Abram and Aidan

Our friends brought me a milkshake, but I also ate my first solid food tonight!  (I opted for a piece of pizza, cut up into tiny pieces).  Interestingly, this is the same thing I ate after my last surgery, when I was scolded by the doctor I live with ;)  Hopefully this turns out better than that did.

Today has been a pretty great day.   I slept only once during the day and only a couple of times (usually when taking my medicine) did my throat hurt enough to bother me.   It's happening, people!   I'm thinking I might even wear real pants tomorrow.   No promises, though.

Tonsillectomy Chronicles - Day Nine

I figured out why my tongue has been so sore and swollen the whole time!   Apparently, during surgery, they clamp the tongue and hold it out of the way, since there is so little room in there to work.   During the surgery, however, it isn't uncommon for it to get bumped or poked by instruments, and thus, ends up pretty bruised and swollen.  Poor thing!

 This was actually Caleb snuggling me last night

My friend Bekah, came over today with her two boys, but first she picked me up and drove me to the grocery store.  (Since I got so sick the last time I rode in a car, Philip wanted to make sure I felt better before I drove myself anywhere).  It was weird being in the grocery store by myself and kept hoping that no one would talk to me because it was so hard to talk. ;)

 Becca's baby, Levi is so cute!!

This is my most normal looking photo in days!

I had a great time with Becca and made a new record of time out of bed (most of the day today!).
I drove for the first time since the 27th (to pick Keenan up from basketball practice).   All these little steps feel like progress!
  The frustrating thing is that now my appetite has totally returned, food smells and tastes good, but today I barely had any periods where my throat was pain free enough to eat much.   I would get really excited about eating something, take 2 or 3 bites and my throat would be so on fire, I'd have to stop eating and put an ice pack on it.

Philip says the inside of my mouth is making slow, but steady progress.

Tonsillectomy Chronicles - Day Eight

When Philip asked me how I slept, I said, "Like a baby...
who's just had throat surgery"  :)  The truth was, it was the best night I'd had in a while.   Charis and Joia came over for lunch and for a visit.  I did a TON of typing in conversation with Charis and it was so fun to watch Joia play!   I set out lunch, sat at the table and the couch and cleared lunch away and then visited.  This was the most time I had spent up and around, doing semi normal things.

How cute is that?

She loved the little people nativity!

Love this sweet girl and her Mama
(Wow!  A picture not taken in my bedroom!!)

After Charis and Joia left, I was quite tired and napped for about an hour.  I must have slept with my mouth open (a tonsillectomy no-no) and woke with a very dry mouth.  As I got up and moving and swallowing, I was overwhelmed with a Wave of pain (unlike any I had felt yet).   I think if crying wasn't so painful (which I was already doing, quite hard), I would have been screaming from the pain.   Keenan and Moriah (poor kids, they were so overwhelmed) were great and got me my warm rice bags and an ice pack for my neck, and when I could calm down enough to lay my head flat, Keenan put my ear drops in and got my Tylenol ready for me.  Fortunately, both of those things worked pretty quickly and Keenan helped me get situated back in bed and stayed with me for a bit (Arden had arrived to do Moriah's session as Keenan was doing my ear drops).  I was hoping that the intense pain was the start of my scabs coming off and was in fact progress.   When Philip got home and looked, he confirmed that yes, two large chunks were missing!   Woohoo!

 The kids made me this sweet card <3 p="">


I stayed in quite a bit of pain the rest of the evening and was unable to eat anything.   As I was going to bed, I felt a "change" in my mouth and had the distinct impression that most of my scab was gone.  Things didn't pull or stab like they had when I swallowed now.  Boy, was I excited!!   After I'd slept a bit, I was woken by pain on the left side, so I got up and watched several episodes of a show I know a lot of my family and friends watch, but had never tried out, "Call the Midwives", and when I took a picture of the inside of my mouth at about 1 am, it was starting to look different   Maybe this is the dawn of the light at the end of the tunnel!!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Tonsillectomy Chronicles - Day Seven

Last night was rough.   I ended up awake most of the night, in too much pain to sleep.  Since there was nothing to do about it (my meds were already maxed out), I showered at midnight and watched a couple Christmas movies - I also tried massaging my head, putting cold packs all the way around my neck etc (both which worked to varying degrees).   I told Philip to sleep downstairs since I was going to be up so often, and he deserved to get some good sleep for a change, poor guy.  He has been A.mazing.  I think this experience has required more of him than either of us expected and he has been an excellent caregiver - keeping the house in order and laundry done because he knows that brings me peace of mind, especially when I can't do anything about it.

Today was a tricky one.   I accidentally took too much medicine this morning and felt GREAT (ALL my pain was gone for the first time in days and I was really sleepy due to my lack of sleep last night).  The kids were with friends for most of the day, so for the first few hours I just relaxed and slept, feeling pretty good.  When I looked in my mouth this morning, it looked like my scabs were making progress in coming off, so all was good!  Today would be the day I'd start on an "up" swing!

Well, not so.   My throat ended up having more pain today, so much so that I barely talked, even to Philip and the kids, and did a LOT of typing.   Eating wasn't as great as yesterday either and constipation (another side effect - hey, this is no holds barred writing here) was causing problems as well.   

 The flowers from Mark and Rebekah all opened up SO wide!!

 I took my longest trip yet and walked to the mailbox in my pjs.
Not sure if it was due to this, or trying a bite of tomato soup (which maybe was too acidic for my open sores), but shortly after this, I had the worst pain (throat and ears) that I've had in days

A selfie with my friend, Erin, after she dropped the kids off
(along with a huge crock pot of homemade chicken noodle soup!)

Swallowing is the hardest thing I do.   I think I've learned how to do it as little as possible (and also how to suppress my crying because it makes the pain twice as bad).   Swallowing my medicine and taking a drink with it makes the pain SO bad that it's hard to concentrate on anything else until the medicine has time to calm it down again.

As I marked off day seven on my mirror calendar tonight, I can't help but think:  "What if I'm only Halfway??"

Monday, December 3, 2018

Tonsillectomy Chronicles - Day Six

This morning I woke with foreboding.  What if today was as bad as yesterday?  How would I possibly handle that again?   I had lost seven pounds and still felt horrible.  Philip had to leave early for work, and I texted out early, asking some friends for help over the next couple of days.   Deep inside though, I wondered and feared that everyone I was communicating with just thought I was being a baby and that this shouldn't be that big of a deal.   A week ago, I might have said the same thing!   I knew this was going to be hard, but I was not adequately prepared for just how hard and lasting it would feel.   I was so desperate I called in some offers of help from weeks ago from a couple people in our CC group.   Amy was the first one and she and her boys came over at 9 and stayed until 3 today!

Amy and I

She was a champ and took all the kids downstairs, did CC review with them, read books to them, fed them all lunch, made sure my kids all did their math AND cleaned up the basement!

My friend, Suzanne, has been sending me multiple daily Marco Polo videos of herself to keep me company, and today, 30 seconds after posting one, she was at my bedroom door!  What a fun surprise!

It was partly due to her "bossing me around" about eating that I pledged to myself that I would try eating something every couple of hours throughout the day today.   First I had a few bites of coconut milk ice cream, then I had a tiny bowl of apple sauce, and then a whole SCRAMBLED EGG! 

 Here's Suzanne and I
(never have I entertained so many guests in my bed before!)

After Suzanne left, she grabbed a couple things at Target for me - new lip balm, some cottage cheese, orange creamsicles, strawberry fruit pops and some canned soup.   Moriah heated up the chicken noodle one for me in the afternoon, and IT WAS THE BEST THING I HAD EVER TASTED!!!  :)   This was soo exciting for me!

 Since I really have no idea how long my recovery will take (here's hoping for 10 days or less!) I had to have something to mark the days going by, so I made this calendar on my bathroom mirror and it gives me great pleasure to X off each day!


 Today was also the day that I bid goodbye (hopefully Forever) to liquid medicine!   Oh how I love just having regular pills!

These are numbing eye drops that we got for the boys ear pain when we had their tonsils taken out.  It's amazing stuff and is a favorite part of my day.

*  Nighttime:  My 9:15 meds have not lessened my pain at all (it's 10:40), so I just got back up and decided to try watch a movie to distract myself.

Tonsillectomy Chronicles - Day Five

December 2 - I believe the internet accounts of tonsillectomy experiences now.  They weren't lying.

Today has been the worst day so far. 

It started out not so bad.   Melissa texted and asked if I wanted to take a quick easy trip to Target with her to get a Christmas outfit for Grace.   I usually still got lightheaded after being up for five or ten minutes, so we decided we'd use a wheelchair when we got there.

I got up, showered and put real clothes on, and as I sat in a chair waiting for her, I wondered if what I was doing was a good idea or not.   On the drive there (about six miles), I got feeling so car sick that when Melissa discovered they had no wheelchairs, I didn't even feel well enough to go in the store, and just waited in the car with the window down while she went in.  On the way home, I felt like it would be a miracle if I made it home without puking.  I wanted nothing more than my pajamas and bed.

 I made it back to bed!

After that, the nausea was overwhelming and ever-present.   I felt sick from not eating, but also felt too sick To eat!  My mouth tasted horrible and nothing appealed to me.  When I did try to eat something, it tasted awful.   I felt nauseated at the thought of taking more liquid medicine and would dread the two hour alarm going off, and once in the evening, just burst into tears when Philip brought me my medicine.  So. gross.   Even writing this now makes me feel sick.

He figured that the hydrocodone was what was making me nauseous and i decided I'd rather go off of it and risk a little more pain on regular Tylenol in hopes of not having the nausea.

Philip went in to work for a bit in the afternoon while Caleb was napping and Keenan and Moriah were invited to the neighbor's house.  When Caleb and I woke up, I decided to finally try to help him with his gingerbread house.   Coupled with horrible supplies and frosting that didn't stay put, my nausea came back on full force and I fear that (despite him being really sweet and thankful) it wasn't the nicest bonding experience for he and I.

 Caleb and his reindeer barn!

My feelings did NOT match my face here
(Here I come, bed!)

As we went to bed tonight, I said to Philip, "If I could go back and undo my surgery right now, I totally would.  It is NOT worth it yet.  I would have gladly had a lot more strep for the horrible time that I've had so far".   Thankfully, I can't get my wish.

The Tonsillectomy Chronicles - Day Four

December 1st - In hindsight, days one, two and three were pretty rosy, and things started to tank on the fourth day...

So glad I had my surgery mid-week so that Philip was able to be home with me on the weekend when things would get tougher.

It was a nice slow paced day at home with the family.   We gave the kids chocolate advent calendars and Keenan and Moriah decorated their gingerbread houses (Caleb waited to do his with me).

In the afternoon, Keenan had his first Defenders Basketball game (not sure if I mentioned that he joined a Christian homeschoolers leaugue, coached by Jens, the dad of some of Keenan's best friends from CC!) Philip and the boys went to the game and Moriah stayed home to keep me company.  She watched a couple shows with headphones on my computer on my bed while I napped.

I asked this cutie to paint my toes...

 She did a great job on both of ours!

 A selfie with two of my snugglers

One side effect that showed up today was that I found my skin to be really itchy (apparently from the hydrocodone).  My pain was also starting to increase in intensity and duration.

Starting to feel cruddier and even though my family is here and around the house, I feel very lonely being in my bed and not just able to call out to them and have them hear me anytime I want.

Melissa came over in the evening, helped eat some of the food that was piling up in our fridge and sat on the bed with me and chatted while she worked on a shutterfly photo book.

I have been so blessed by friends sharing their day with me!

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Tonsillectomy Chronicles - Day Three

Philip took the kids to CC today for me and several sweet friends came and spent time with me while they were gone:

First up, my friend, Steph!   She was here from 8-11 this morning and it was really fun to catch up!

I definitely talked too much today, but really enjoyed visiting with friends!

While Steph was here, these beautiful flowers were delivered from Mark and Rebekah!   How special!!  <3 p="">

When Steph left, Melissa came by with a massive pot pie and sat and chatted and worked on notes (see that chair behind us?  It usually sits in our living room where the Christmas tree currently is, so it has made a great "visitor chair" in our bedroom!)

Melissa bought this beautiful fresh wreath for our front door!  I have never had one before!

Next, Shannon stopped by with some homemade sweet potato soup!

In the afternoon, Robin and sweet baby Zeke hung out with me for a couple hours.   She also brought fresh cookies, split pea and ham soup and some more of my yummy coconut milk ice cream!
(Robin's two kids, Nora and Dawson hung out downstairs until our kids got home to play)

Tonight my friend and neighbor, Sara came by with pasta, garlic bread, salad and brownies for Philip and the kids!

I still haven't been eating much, but am trying to down one of these bottled green smoothies each day to keep my insides happy.   

Today was an incredibly socially fulfilling day, but I did talk way too much and ended up with a very sore throat and pretty bad ear pain after everyone left.    We tried to taper me off of the hydrocodone last night and discovered that it's still too soon.

Philip texted me from CC and said "Lots of people have asked about you.  I told them you feel fine but sent me because you don't like them".  :)

A couple pics from outside of my bedroom today:

My friend, Leah sent this to me from Caleb's class at CC:

That's him in the gray hoodie, sneakily holding his friend, Adilyn's hand!

Philip and the kids stopped at Kohl's after CC to get basketball shorts for Keenan.  Look what they found!



I can't even believe how cute and HUGE he is!!!
(They did not, however, buy him for me)

At the end of the third day, I am incredibly thankful for how my recovery is going.   Thanks to all near and far who are praying for me!