If you keep up to date with my blog, you know now that I need hip surgery to repair a tear. Well, that is not the only surgery I need. Last week I had another angioedema attack. This is the most severe attack I’ve had to date. For the past eighteen months I’ve been dealing with random swellings of my tonsils, tongue and uvula. This problem has perplexed most doctors and it has yet to be controlled by medications. During my last attack, I was prepped for intubation. They went through the protocol, numbed my airway but I turned a corner at the last moment.
My throat swelled so much so that they had planned to stick the breathing tube down my nose. This is because the area in the back of my throat was too swollen to get a tube down. To explain what it feels like to have this happen is impossible. People having to suck the spit out of your mouth because you can’t swallow is terrifying. I put on a brave face and say it’s just another Sunday. In a lot of ways it was but once again I’m faced with my own mortality.
I’m so grateful to be alive. I am grateful to breathe on my own. I am grateful to be in a medical system that can take care of me. This was a close call. In forty minutes, I developed strider and went into respiratory distress. Now, I had two options. Remove my tonsils in hopes that it will allow my airway to remain more open. Otherwise, keep investigating, hoping that we’ll discover the reason I swell like this. There are no guarantees in removing my tonsils but my doctors have no other ideas. There are no guarantees they will ever figure out what’s causing the swelling.
On New Year’s Eve, I’m going to get my tonsils removed. This involves a lot of risks, I’m not exactly a textbook patient. There are chances the stress to my body will make my dysautonomia progress. My airway will always be the most important factor. This is the only idea to ensure my safety for the future. With this surgery I have a lot of hope. Hopes that I won’t go to the ED once a month. Hopes that I won’t have to worry about my airway. Hopes that I can live a relatively normal life. With hope, comes fear. I fear that it will make everything worse. I fear that I won’t be able to deal with the pain. I fear that it won’t work. Dwelling on fear doesn’t solve any problems and the only way to know the outcome is to try and try quickly.
I would love support and well wishes, as I go into a very scary procedure. As an adult, removing your tonsils is very painful. It comes with risks and side effects, as all surgeries do. Accepting these is like swallowing a golf ball but more than anything, I want to live. I whole-heartedly believe that I can deal with anything and everything life throws at me. Believing that doesn’t come without fear. I will embrace this opportunity to grow and pray that I make it through this turbulent time stronger and more courageous than I was before.