Wednesday, December 30, 2009

a seriously disgusting post

No, really. This will be incredibly gross. If you are not into puss or medical procedures, just skip this one. Trust me.

You're still here? Ok, but you can't get mad at me for not warning you!

Here's the next chapter in my throat abscess story. A peritonsillar abscess is also called "Quinsy". Apparently, people die of quinsy. I thought that was a great section at wikipedia.

On Monday, I called my ear/nose/throat specialist, and talked to scheduling. They didn't have any openings available, but were able to squeeze me in for a visit anyway, given how serious this can be.

By the time my appointment came on Monday, I was starting to feel pretty miserable again, and my left tonsil had swollen up even more. J took me to the appointment. In the car on the way over, he told me that he would be unable to watch the procedure. He was genuinely concerned that I'd be upset over this "lack of support". I thought that was very sweet, and told him he did not have to watch. In fact, I was glad he was not going to watch.

I got to the doctor's office, and they got me right in. The doctor took a peek at my throat and declared it to be pretty bad. J was turning green watching even that (he hates tongue depressors) and announced that he was going to wait in the waiting room. The doctor let him go, and looked a bit envious at his exit. Hmm. That's not a good sign.

He said that the pocket of puss was pretty serious and needed to be lanced so that I could heal. To do this, he would take a syringe and give me a small injection to numb the area, and then take a scalpel and make a small incision to allow the infection to leave the body.

He gave me a small shot of anesthesia in my tonsil to numb the area. It was very difficult to not gag or throw up. Looking a bit grossed out, the doctor told me that there was puss coming out of the injection hole. Ew.

A couple minutes later, he poked the area to see if it was numb. Nope, not yet. He injected me with a little more anesthesia.

Then, he got one of those small bowls they use in the hospital for spitting/vomiting. He told me that when he cut the abscess, all of that grossness (my word, not his!) would come out, and it was very important to not swallow it, but to spit it out.


I couldn't believe this was an instruction given. Like I'd be soooo tempted to swallow it! Ew!

The doctor approaches me, looking pretty grossed out. I'm pretty sure he was wishing he was out in the waiting room with my husband. I'm also pretty sure he's afraid I'm going to throw up all over him.

He makes a slight cut, and then I had to lean forward while everything came out. It was unbelievably disgusting. It was green and slimy and the consistency of snot. There was also about 1/4 c. of it. No wonder I felt so incredibly ill. Even now, two days later, I get a little queasy thinking about it. After 30 seconds or so, it seemed to be over. The doctor gave my tonsil a little poke to be sure, and it was empty.

The doctor looked like he wanted to bolt from the room at this point. Before he could leave, I asked him if I should get my tonsils out. He thought that would be a great idea, but not til my throat has totally healed. He then dashed from the room, saying he'd see me in a couple months.

I think I'll schedule the surgery for June, when the kids are out of school. I figure it'll be easier for other people to step in and help out if there's not basketball, scouts, girl scout cookies, preschool or school.

They say recovering from a tonsillectomy is much more difficult as an adult, but I think that going through what I just did is probably just as bad as a tonsillectomy. I am so prone to throat infections that I think it makes sense to do this.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has had a tonsillectomy done as an adult so I can have an idea of what to expect.


Kristen said...

I haven't had to go through that but as I was reading this post, I got to the end and realized that I had my nose scrunched up in a "yucky" face the whole time I was reading it. I'm glad you are done with it, and tell your hubby not to feel bad because mine wouldn't have watched either.

Christine said...


You poor darling! I'm sure glad there weren't any pictures inserted in this entry. However, I did have only one eye open while I scrolled down line by line...

Here's hoping you have no more inspiration for another ER, clinic, hospital or even veterinary entry any time soon!