Friday, July 27, 2012

Seering Throat Pain and Incredible Hulk Pills

So, I spent a night in my own bed for the first time in the last three nights, and, trust me, it wasn't an extravagant stay anywhere that kept me from home.

First, some back story: On Thursday, I awoke with (or, rather, was awoken by) an extremely sore throat. I didn't think much of it, considering I was waking up at 3:30 am for the 10th out of the previous 11 days, so I sucked it up, went to work, gobbled some Ibuprofen, and looked forward to the nap I would have when I got home. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were pretty well the same: painkillers, honey, Vick's, throat lozenges, and mostly acting like a bit of a baby. I had the weekend off (it was supposed to be a 4-day weekend, but that's another story), so I was able to mostly relax and catch up on some movies.

Then, oh Jiminy, Monday rolled around. My throat was actually half better - the left side was suddenly pain-free. The right side, however, was indescribably worse, my right ear hurt, although not being congested, my voice sounded as though I had a terrible cold, and when I actually could swallow something, it pretty much went down whatever tube it wanted to because of how swollen and distended everything was. I still went to work on Monday, as it would seem a bit odd to be "sick" when you just got off a three-day weekend that was supposed to be a four-day weekend.

Tuesday, however, was different. I didn't start work until 2, so I had plenty of time to decide if I could actually get better. My throat woke me up at 7:30, so I decided by 9:30 that it was going to be a sick day, and that I had better go to the doctor's. My appointment was at 5:301, and after that, it was a bit of a whirlwind. Allow me to summarize:

- Doctor came in to check on me. Upon checking my throat, she just went, "Wow" and did a double take
- Doctor told me I had severe tonsillitis, and that she was going to prescribe prednisone and an antibiotic, and that if my symptoms got any worse, I was to go to the emergency room
- Doctor went to write up a prescription, but came back in five minutes later and just told me to go right to the ER
- Off I went to the emergency room, where I got another "Wow", and began to wait (by now, my mum had come to hang out with me for the ensuing six hours)
- It was finally determined that I had a peritonsillar abscess, which would need to be drained surgically. FUN!

And there we have it: a diagnosis! So, they hooked me up to a steroid and a broad-spectrum antibiotic (ceftriaxone2) and the waiting continued. Four rounds of blood test followed, from which was learned that my potassium was low which meant I was hooked up to that too.

Basically, I waited for about 3 more hours, until the procedure, which I'll try to describe in as much detail as I can considering it was about two minutes long and I couldn't see anything. Basically, he froze my tonsil, made a couple of incisions, and, with a pair of forceps, removed two abscesses and then sucked a good amount of blood and pus out. Delightful!!

It was amazing, though - as soon as it was done, I immediately felt better. I knew I was going to be stuck in the hospital for two days, but I swear I could have walked out right then, the improvement was so marked.

But, yeah, I was stuck for two nights in the hospital - constantly hooked up to potassium and rounds of antibiotics. The antibiotics have to keep coming for 10 days, but at least it's in the form of little green pills instead of being hooked directly into my hand.

All told, I would not recommend "peritonsillar abscess" as something to put on a birthday wish list.  But a very big thank you to my mum, dad, sister, Meaghan and Jenn for coming to visit and keeping me sane with presents!

1 - Well, it was at 6:30, but I'm stupid and showed up early, but they snuck me in
2 - I had a lot of time to look up what I was being given

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