medical tourism.

My tonsillectomy

I have had chronic sore throats for years. I had them checked by a doctor in Thailand 2 years ago, and he said the only thing he would recommend was having my tonsils out. After the past 2 years of chronic pain and inflammation – I decided to make plans for my tonsils to be removed.

These plans consisted of me emailing the hospital (across the globe) and asking to have the surgery scheduled. They agreed, without even seeing me! The first time I saw my doctor was when I was dressed in blue scrubs, strapped to the gurney in the operation room, with the anesthesiologist ready to put me under. He looked at my throat – and agreed with my diagnosis! He answered my questions…and then I woke up in the recovery room!

The entire operation only lasted 1 hour (or less) but I stayed in the hospital 3 nights. The hospital staff were amazingly helpful & kind, and I felt very cared for. I was always being checked for BP and vitals around the clock. It was uncomfortable to be hooked up to an IV (my first time!) – but I think it was better to have my pain meds given thru my IV rather than swallowing a pill. Because - DANG - it HURT to swallow anything.

I was really drowsy the first day, but I knew that I needed to keep drinking water if I wanted my throat to heal faster. The anesthesia made me extremely nauseous, which made it hard to keep my water down the first day. I was able to talk, and sit up with the girls. My first pain medication was given almost 10 hours later thru my IV….which I took religiously for the next 13 days. Most of all, I kept taking sips of water…as often as I could. The doctor told me I was healing well, and could go “home” anytime. I chose to stay an extra night to make sure I could keep food down, and have fluids thru the IV.

I checked out on day 3 – and paid my medical bill. It was amazingly cheap for 3 nights in the hospital, surgery & general anesthesia! I highly recommend medical tourism if you have the time. It might just be cheaper to fly to Thailand and have it done. I am serious!!

The recovery continued for the next 2+ weeks. Both sides of my throat were covered in a large white patches, where my throat was cauterized by the laser. There are also reddish patches behind the white areas, where you can tell it is trying to heal. My throat is so much wider – now that my tonsils are gone. I feel like my throat is BIG!! I was only able to eat soft, liquidy foods – like applesauce, yogurt, or hummus. If I ate anything that scratched the back of my throat – it was very painful!! I also couldn’t pick up the girls, because I could feel my throat pulsate. So I took it easy. There were times that I couldn't talk without pain. I was very hungry those first three days! The pain was there, but manageable.

Days 4-9 were HORRIBLE!! It hurt SO bad that I cried. I could hardly eat or swallow without cringing or making painful, contorted faces. Sometimes it felt like my throat was being torn with each swallow. It got worse if I didn’t continue to drink water. Drinking water hurt too, but I knew it would help. Some of the worst pain was stemming from my throat into my jaw and ear canal. My entire face was hurting. Everything I tried to eat was too acidic or cold or citrusy or milky. I was still taking Tylenol with Codeine (one tablet each 3 hrs) so I needed to have some food in my system. I had read that the healing took awhile, and got worse before it got better – but it felt like FOREVER!! I was so sad that I couldn’t eat much, especially in Thailand!!

Day 10 was better….not the horrible burning in my throat when I ate. I had to chew everything extra well….and even with that, it hurt to swallow. I didn’t eat a ton of ice cream like you hear everyone else does – ice cream hurt too. But I am slowly getting back to normal. I weaned myself from the Tylenol on Day 13, since the pain was more manageable, and Justin said I was pretty grumpy on meds. I can’t say the pain was gone, but I could handle it.

Day 11-18: We are traveling again, and I still have a slight sore throat. The scabs are completely gone, but it’s still sore. It hurts to yawn. I am definitely glad to have this behind me, but I would like to feel 100% soon! I am very glad to be able to eat whatever I want now.

There you have it. The best thing about being done with my surgery & recovery is that I can sing again! That is what I missed the most!