Sunday, October 24, 2010

Briefly: things I have learned:

1. Colace elixir hurts like a sonofabitch on a sore throat. I don't know what's in the stuff, but yeah, that was indeed the worst pain I've ever felt.

2. There is no good way to prevent nasal regurgitation. You can tip your head back, tip it forward, take tiny sips, swallow multiple times--it doesn't matter. If the liquid feels like shooting out of your nose, it'll shoot out of your nose.

3. Even if you don't have the back of your throat any more, whatever is there will get very sore if you try to talk with your surgical obdurator in. I felt so good yesterday that I talked up a storm, then stretched my jaw muscles, then went off to bed. I woke up at 1 ack emma when I rolled onto my right side. Two doses of pain meds and a Benadryl-and-wine cocktail later, I'm almost comfortable.

4. Ramen, which would seem like a good thing to eat, is not. Neither are refried beans, strangely. Applesauce, yogurt, ice cream, and pita chips are good. And you're eventually going to sneeze, and everything that ended up on top of your obdurator is going to reappear, so just get used to it.

5. If you have no back-of-throat, you will not be able to sip from a cup or drink through a straw. There will be no suction there.

6. Pills are doable, but only with yogurt rather than a liquid.

7. Whatever you do, do NOT eat anything tomato-based for the first several days after surgery. Trust me when I say that even V-8 is startlingly acidic.


Eileen said...

Think I understand the apple sauce, yoghourt and ice-cream - but the pita chips???? What are the criteria for good vs bad? I'm intrigued.

You're obviously doing pretty well - GREAT!!

CQ said...

Colace: Possible irritants include sodium citrate, citric acid, alcohol. Could be others.

Also, a site called is reprinting your blog entries.

Allison said...

When I could not chew, I consumed a lot of Ensure and tapioca pudding. With no palate, tapioca might be an issue, due to the little pearl thingies. Glad to see you posting. Will the food through the nose ever be fixed with the permanent obdurator?

RehabNurse said...

So sorry about the Colace. I know it's bad when I put it in cups at work (wax coated) and if it sits more than a minute or two, it starts eating the wax off the cup, and eventually the cup leaks.

Hope you find better foods to eat!

birdie23 said...

How about rice pudding? or any kind of Pudding. Not to be a smart ass, maybe a bib would help with the loose "food" instead of a towel.

Joy K. said...

If the nasal regurgitation is going to be a problem for a while, could you learn to aim?

Lurkette said...

Aww, sugar. Not fun. But you're doing a great job. Looks you and I are in the same club of humor-copers. Don't suppose it could do with being nurses, hmmmm? *grin*

Hugs and light and prayers and all that from Jerusalem.

Anonymous said...

Went and looked, and yep, that site IS republishing your stuff without citing the source. That's plagarism by one name, theft by another.

Glad things went so well for you.

Celeste said...

How about Miralax rather than Colace? I know a lot of people who think it's the best thing ever.

I like the pudding idea. What about cheese grits? That sounds like something that could work.

Very sorry about the nasal issues especially the tomatoe-y stuff. It would probably be pretty graphic nasally and who needs THAT drama?!

That site that's culling your posts has no comments or contact info. It seems like some kind of bot for collecting posts from all over, maybe to collect advertising revenue. I'll stay away just to smite them.

Hookers & blow vs. frightening plastic bit....girl, you've still got it!!!

messymimi said...

And I thought eating after having my tonsils out, at 24, was difficult!

I hope the pain passes and it all gets easier soon.

bobbie said...

I was surprised by the pita chips, too!!!

but I'm glad to see your sense of humor is intact ~ that's huge!

Hugs and healing ~~~

Silliyak said...

Might be good to collect all this info for any who follow in your footsteps. Post it somewhere with easily to Googles terms. Hope this is as bad as it gets.

Bonnie said...

Nurse Jo, I've only commented once or twice but am a devoted reader of your blog, in no small part for the help it provides me as a nursing student.

I wanted to know how long you will be off work, and will you be taking 'open questions' like you did previously?

I don't want to overtax you (especially when your pain meds are making you go "Wheeee!") but goddammit, I've a couple of questions about decorticate and decerebrate posturing.

Specifically, what areas of the brain have to be damaged to result in the above conditions? Why is one considered a worse result (and gets scored lower on the Glasgow Coma scale) than the other?

If you should feel the need to wax eloquent on some neurology, I'd be interested and promise to read *every word* of a neuro post.

Anonymous said...

Eating Right Light Ice Cream Cups come in Mocha and some other flavor. The packaging says they have probiotics in them. I'm not convinced that probiotics survive freezing, but what the heck it's low calorie and tastes like chocolate.

gorochan said...

would thickened liquids help you not regurg? Forming a bolus that's easier to keep together? Or is the ickyness of thickened liquids too much for the muscles to deal have a speech therapist for these things too, use him/her.

Celeste said...

MIL had to use thickened liquids for a time in rehab due to vocal cord damage. They keep you from aspirating liquid if there is a swallowing problem, and they will hydrate you, but they do not quench thirst. FYI.

Anonymous said...

For pain - last week I woke up with a wicked sore throat. Went to a minute clinic and the nurse did a rapid strep test (negative) and sent another off to a lab for longer testing. He then gave me a scrip for a Lidocaine 2% viscous solution to "gargle with" Well you can't gargle with a gel, or at least if you are ME you can't. But I did roll it around in there and even swallowed a small amount. Helped quite a bit and went right to the location. Might be a good option for you when you are ready to step down from the knock you out pain meds.

Molly said...

How does one drink without a back of throat? As you said, the lack of suction seems like it would make it impossible. Do you just sort that thing ducks do?

Gretchen said...

I'll just go along with the person who said "hope this is as bad as it gets." I can't imagine, as I am a complete wuss about dentist/mouth-type pain. Wishing you a speedy recovery and all the good drugs!

inkgrrl said...

I'm so glad you're through the surgery, and agreed, definitely hope this is as bad as it gets - that every day will be better from here on out as you get farther and farther away from that point in time where you HAD cansuh. I'd mention adding hummus into your mix of things to eat, but it's usually made with lemon juice and crushed garlic, neither of which are awesome on raw/inflamed tissue. Unless you really don't like someone but they keep asking you what natural antibacterial ingredients are best to toss into their neti pot when allergy season hits because they don't believe in going to the doctor. Theoretically.

And geez, I go away to a writing conference for a week, and you get all slicey dicey whee! I'd say I'm sorry I missed the actual event, but that would probably sound weird, so I won't say that, exactly ;-)

YAY to Blankie of Awesome and Win! YAY to bonus tooth! As you know, stay on top of the pain and as amused as you can possibly manage. HUGS!!!