First Blog Post… It’s a long one

Some of you may be wondering why I am writing a blog. Well, that’s a great question. I’ve thought about starting a blog in the past but never really had anything to write about at those times. Well, now I feel like I do. I am not a professional writer or anything like that, so please be kind. This is simply a way for me to express myself when I don’t feel like I have a voice, literally. So I guess I’ll just jump right into it then!

Last Thursday September 7th I started feeling a little under the weather. I thought it was just allergies since the weather has been changing recently. When Sunday came around, I felt myself getting a little worse and my throat started hurting. When I woke up Monday, I felt 10x worse and knew I need to go to the doctor. I went to an Urgent Care Clinic and they said I had an upper respiratory infection, which being a nurse, I knew wasn’t exactly accurate given my symptoms. I felt much more sick than that and I had a low grade fever, which never happens if you know me. They gave me an antibiotic and told me to rest and it would run its course. So I did what the doctor told me to do. Tuesday early morning about 4:00am, I woke up feeling like I was dying. I knew something was terribly wrong with my body. My entire right side of my face and throat was in extreme pain, I couldn’t stop coughing, my entire body was hypersensitive like I was being electrocuted, and I knew I had a fever. After talking to my mom and friends, I decided I needed to go to the Emergency Room. It’s a blessing and a curse to work in the ER because everyone knows you so they will take great care of you, but at the same time EVERYONE knows you…

I asked for one of my good friends who was working that day to be my nurse and I’m so glad I did. She took such great care of me, and I knew she would! I had a 102.7 fever and heart rate was 120, much higher than it should be. After several bags of IV fluids, antibiotics, pain meds, and a CT scan of my head and neck, the doctor came in to talk to my mom and me. We both thought it was going to be a conversation including discharge instructions but it went an entirely different way. The doctor came in and said “I’m going to admit you to the hospital and you are going to the OR tonight.” I looked at him and looked at my mom and said “…what?!” So he repeated himself and I was just in shock. I have never had surgery ever in my life, only had my wisdom teeth taken out. He explained to me that I have an abscess deep inside of my right tonsil that required surgery to get it removed (still in shock). Soon after the news, I was taken upstairs to my room. Now we were just waiting for the Ear Nose and Throat surgeon to come talk to me about the procedure. He arrived around 5pm and told me about the procedure and how it could result in having both of my tonsils removed. Not even 10 minutes later, they were ready to get me for surgery.

Pre-op was quick and painless, just very scary for me. I was on the other side of the bed for the first time. I’m used to being the nurse not the patient. All of the doctors and nurses were very nice and informative. The thought of being intubated for the surgery was very scary to me because I’ve seen several intubations while working and I know how rough they can be while putting the tube in, so I made sure the doctor knew that I wanted to wake up with all of my teeth still in place. They thought it was funny, but I was definitely serious.

Post-op and recovery was very rough. Waking up dazed and confused, in a cold room with a lot of pain was not a fun experience. The nurse would give me pain medication and then my oxygen level would drop down and I could see the concern on my parent’s faces. But then I would complain of more pain, so I would get more pain medication. Even being out of it, I was still asking my mom to find out what the nurse was giving me. I guess you can’t fully be a patient once you’ve become a nurse. I took awhile for them to get my pain under control enough to send me back to my room. I was informed that the surgery went well and I was able to keep my tonsil but he had to cut back 30% of it away from the wall in order to reach the abscess deep down inside. So that means a lot of pain and soreness and only soft foods for awhile…

I got back to the room pretty late at night, around 9:30pm. The doctor had set me up with a pain pump of IV pain medication. I had gotten this medication in the ER too so I knew it would help. My best friend came to visit me that night too, which was really nice. My dad stayed with me overnight. Throughout the night, I realized I started to become really itchy. I thought it was the pain medication but knew itching was a common side effect so I didn’t think too much about it. When I woke up that morning around 5:30am, I could not stop scratching everything. My either body felt like I had 100 bites all over me. My face had swollen up and was red and my body started to have some small hives. On top of the pain in my throat from the surgery, I now have this uncontrollable itching that was literally driving me insane. So much for being discharged…

After many, many rounds of Benadryl and steroids and antibiotics, I was finally started to see the light at the end of the tunnel of itching. Due to the pain and the reaction I had, I needed to stay another night in the hospital. I had a few more visitors throughout my stay which made me feel really good, and lots of people were reaching out to me too! Thursday came around and I felt okay enough to be discharged from the hospital and able to go home. My parents insisted that I came home with them so they can keep a close eye on me and take care of me, rather than being in my apartment by myself. I’m so glad they did.

This has just been a crazy situation, full of unexpected and challenging experiences. This has really tested my patience and my ability to stay positive and push forward. Fortunately, I have a strong faith and will continue to put one foot in front of the other. No matter how much pain I’m in and how exhausted I am overall, I will make it through this. Thank you to everyone who has read this entire post, and to all the people who have helped me through this situation.

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