Goodbye, Tonsils

Dairy-free ice cream
I don’t even wanna know how many pints of this I’m about to eat…

With one day left until my surgery now, it’s been an interesting week. For the first time in eleven months, I’ve stopped antibiotics completely, so as not to influence the tonsil and adenoid cultures that will be performed. The doctors also told me to stop all supplements, so my pill cases have been extraordinarily empty these last few days (a much-welcomed sight!). Although I’ve had a slight increase in tics, trouble concentrating, and more trouble falling asleep, I haven’t noticed nearly as much of a difference as I expected.

Strangely, after the flare a couple weeks ago, I’ve been doing quite well. I still have a decent amount of OCD and significant problems with falling asleep, but I barely have any choreiform movements. I’ve been walking around the house expecting that weird, limp feeling in my legs that makes me fall down, but it just doesn’t happen anymore. I’m not even depressed, either.

Naturally, this has me wondering why I’m about to go through all this pain and hassle to get my tonsils out when I seem to be doing okay now. What if I’m actually heading for healing now? What if they culture my tonsils and find there was nothing in them? I’m twenty. I legally don’t have to do what anyone tells me. I can decide to back out of the surgery.

But what if I am about to flare again? What if my tonsils are riddled with strep or another infection?

So I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I don’t really have a choice in getting my tonsils and adenoids out. I have to comply. All of my doctors—including my neurologist and my psychiatrist and obviously the otolaryngologist who is doing the surgery—agree that it needs to be done.

I’m trying to not let myself be nervous, but it’s almost impossible for someone who has existing anxiety issues. My tactic is to not think about it. I comfort myself with the knowledge that I won’t remember the surgery since I’ll be asleep. I try not to let myself think about the idea that the doctors could make a mistake. I try not to worry about having bleeding problems afterwards that send me to the ER (it apparently happens more frequently in adults).

So what about the inevitable pain afterwards?  (I’m warned that it will hurt a lot more since I’m an adult.) Well, that’s why I have narcotics. I didn’t even touch my Percocet when I had my wisdom teeth out a few years ago, though, so I like to think my pain threshold is pretty high. Besides, I’m sure that there is absolutely nothing more painful than my OCD once was. If I got through that, then no sore throat—no matter how miserable—will get me down.

My surgery won’t be until the early afternoon, which unfortunately means I have a whole morning to worry about the procedure. But because I have the whole morning, I decided that I’m going to go for a run. For me, running makes everything better. It also has the added benefit of making me not hungry for at least an hour afterwards (and I have to fast for the surgery), so if I time it right, I’ll have just enough time tomorrow morning to go for a run, get rehydrated, take a shower, gather my things, and then head to the hospital. I’m getting rid of all the extra time I could spend worrying.

Still, it might not be an easy couple of weeks. Even if I do like ice cream, it’s not going to be a fun time. But I’m going to get through it. Who knows? Maybe it will be apparent that I needed the surgery after all. Perhaps saying goodbye to my tonsils will be saying hello to complete healing.

6 thoughts on “Goodbye, Tonsils

  1. Farewell “y’all”–you now banished possible germ-havens!
    We’re rooting for you, dear Dreaming Panda!!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts–and the logistics too!
    As I read your newest entry here, I had a thought. ONE DAY you will SO FULLY KNOW (we all will) just how SMART and RIGHT all of these steps are that you are taking right now (even without the luxury of much confirming data)…and you will then be immersed in such greater health…and the knowledge that–all along the way–you have been SO BRAVE! And not only brave in ways that have changed YOUR life, but in ways will help give some OTHER kid…their family…even thousands of them…the chance to follow the same path with loads of easy confidence, thanks to the piles of data you helped to build! What a LEGACY. And you well know precisely what you will be rescuing them from–and what a gift all of your bold steps will be giving others in your shoes. And you, too, shall be WELL!
    We’re cheering for you, DP, and praying for the miraculously smooth process and recovery–and your great (& fun!) preparatory run! Looking forward to your UPdate! Be SO WELL!

    1. Thank you! I think you are right that, one day, it will be clear that this was the right decision. I’m sure they’ll find something in the culture… What it is remains to be seen. I hope that all of this will somehow help someone else follow their own path to healing… Thanks again.

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