Monday, February 23, 2009

Hear, Hear

One unexpected side effect of having my tonsils out is that, at least for now, I can hear better. It could just be that loud noises hurt my head more, but I think it's a combination of that and being able to hear at lower thresholds. I had my hearing tested about 10 years ago and it was perfectly normal. Depending on who is setting the frequency, I can still hear that high pitch that most teens can hear and most adults can't. It could be because I wear ear plugs at loud events, or it could be my giant, "nasty, ugly" tonsils were crowding the ear tubes. At any rate, I usually listen to the TV at volume 18-19 with no background noise and 21-22 with the heat or dishwasher on. At 16-17 I'd miss a lot. This week, I max out around 19 and can hear perfectly well at volume setting 14-15. As I said, unexpected. And I don't know if it'll last.

My nose is waffling back and forth between 4X better than Breathe Right enabled and packed full of mucous (and blood). It hasn't hurt at all (as I was led to expect) but bleeds rather a lot. I've been able to flush it out with buffered distilled water with my Sinus Rinse kit for 2 days now and that helps. I've produced a lot of mucous though. And all of it seems to want to sit at the back of my throat where it's hard to swallow and makes me feel like I have to hock a loogie.

I spent a lot of time asleep. And a lot of time when I wasn't asleep at the end of my short patience rope, which from my perspective, my mom tried to tug at every opportunity. For the most part my mom and I sat around trying not to strangle each other. I do think that if you ask someone a question shortly after they have surgery on their throat and tell you 12 times that it hurts to start talking, that you should (a) look at them after you ask this question and (b) make an attempt to interpret their vocalizations and hand gestures before getting exasperated and saying, "What? What was that? I didn't quite catch it." Um, if I'm not repeating it, I felt it wasn't worth the effort for the pain, thank you very much. Stop and think for a second and see if it comes to you. I'm just saying.

I had some notion that I would heal faster than I have. Don't know why, but I guess we all want to be genetic superheroes. By way of escaping the close confines of fight club central the condo, I managed to go out for a ride with mom driving my stick shift down some Mulholland switchbacks on one day. The next day we got out for a 30 minute walk on flat ground, over to the fountains and the civic center. Today, we upgraded to a one hour hike uphill on the trail I'm trying to incorporate into a weekly walk. Interestingly, by the point in the trail where I was gulping for air and hocking up loogies last saturday, I felt totally fine today. Barely had my heart rate up and breathing was free and easy. We spent a lot of time looking at various tracks and scats. Most were from dogs and horses though mom thinks at least one was from a big, wild cat. Ah well, we're living on the edge here.

I'm going to see if I can actually get up and stay up tomorrow. Mostly, I've been wakened by needing to clear the mucous out of the back of my throat. I feel really awake at that point, but wind up crashing back to bed shortly thereafter. Maybe a walk to the allergist will be just the thing.

Until then, I'm still on cold foods. Even warm foods get irritating fast. Although for some reason toasted pumpkin seeds are totally fine, salt and all.


azteclady said...

Interesting about the improved hearing. I was tested once, loooooooooong ago, after my own tonsillectomy, and deemed within normal range--yet the reality is that there are sounds and frequencies I don't hear that most other people do, and sounds and frequencies that will give me a migraine that the people around me *don't* even hear, let alone notice enough to be bothered by.

Meh, I guess I'm just weird.

And yeah, the healing? Never as quick as we want it. Good luck and keep getting better.

S said...

Interesting about the hearing, and I'm thrilled that your breathing is so much easier than before (at least, when you're not hacking up blood and mucus.) How much longer is your mom staying with you? And have you convinced her to play "tonsil fairy" and stick a couple quarters under your pillow yet?

MarciaBC said...

I remember having a bell when I was small, after removal of tonsils, so I could get someone's attention. Probably should have suggested that to you, and now that I see your difficulties, should have added a white board to the list. For writing big, loud messages to mom.


Beki said...

Glad you are up and moving around more. I was surprised to read it wasn't as painful as you expected---the reason I always chickened out on having a tonsillectomy was from people saying how painful it is having it done as an adult. I wonder if it would improve my hearing since I am finding it harder and harder to understand what people are saying and especially on TV and in movies. I keep blaming the actors for mumbling but my husband blames my hearing.

CrankyOtter said...

Thanks for the good wishes all.