Starving But Unable to Eat

For those of you that would like an update, I’ve decided that tonsillectomies are not quite as fun as they sound. I’ve also decided that having 1 tonsil out is quite enough. I was told that the discomfort would get worse during the first several days and then get worse again during days 5 to 7. The day after I actually felt really good: not much pain or discomfort and much better than I felt before the surgery. But just as predicted, things steadily became more uncomfortable. I had the tonsillectomy on Tuesday. By Friday it was really difficult to eat, even while on pain medication.

I’m on day 6 now. Fortunately I don’t think days 5 and 6 were any worse than day 4; however, eating and talking are both really, really uncomfortable. It’s about all I can do to drink a glass of juice or an 8 ounce Ensure shake. With every swallow the pain gets worse. After drinking or eating 8 ounces of food it usually takes me an hour or more to feel okay again.

The pain medication also doesn’t have a consistent effect. First off, I have to take it with food which is excruciating because the previous dose has usually worn off. Then it takes a half an hour or more for the pain medication to kick in enough to counter the soreness from having to eat something. Then after a couple hours the pain medication all of a sudden comes on full force and for about a half an hour I lose the ability to stay focused on anything and feel really drowsy. This is the best time to eat, because it only hurts a little to eat, so I can actually drink two glasses of juice or eat a yogurt and some apple sauce before having to give up. Basically I am just able to eat a little more before hitting the same level of pain so it still takes a while after that for my throat and ear canal to stop aching.

On a more minor note, my jaw muscles and teeth have become a little sore from clenching them so tight every time I swallow. I have also lost my ability to swallow in my sleep and have had to start covering my pillow with a towel at night. At least it’s more absorbent so I can move to dry spots multiple times throughout the night.

So right now I’m starving and I’ve lost 5 pounds this week (which I just barely got back after my connective tissue graft). I haven’t had pain medication for 6 hours, so taking it with food is going to be really awful. Most food sounds really good to me, but the discomfort of swallowing definitely outweighs the benefits of eating right now. Starving to death is sounding more and more tempting …