Wednesday, February 2, 2011

T+1: Hello Thick-It

That’s grape juice on my spoon. I went
a little overboard with the Thick-It!
They brought me breakfast, consisting of clear liquids: chicken soup, grape juice and tea. I added Thick-It to everything. Note that they’re quite stingy with the Thick-It packets at the hospital so I had to keep ordering more. They would bring me 3 packets per meal when I needed about 10. Word to the wise: have someone sneak your own can of Thick-It into the hospital just in case. At first it was a bit tricky to swallow but I managed to get through breakfast. Dr. Berke stopped by and showed me a few tricks to help swallow, which helped. Lunch and dinner (with similar “cuisine”) got a bit easier. Definitely can’t drink fluids, so the Thick-It is important.

Compression bandage already
removed, just gauze now.
The residents came in and removed my compression bandage and replaced it with a large piece of gauze wrapped around my neck. It’s not uncomfortable.  With the help of a nurse, I walked around quite a bit on the first day. My voice is about the same as day 1: weak and croaky, and the croakiness is more pronounced if I have a little fluid/phlegm in my throat. I had a headache at one point, but no pain at the point of surgery.

I was transferred to a private room finally. The private rooms at UCLA Medical Center are quite nice, and feature both a couch and a reclining chair for family or friends that want to visit. There are no visiting hours at UCLA Medical Center; family and friends are welcome around the clock. I got a little more sleep the second night, but still using the suction, and/or tissues to deal with the phlegm. They gave me some liquid Colace (stool softener -- typical after general anesthesia) which I mixed into some thickened water – it tasted terrible.

I read on Scott Adam's blog (he’s the Dilbert creator that had the same operation a while back) that the first two weeks would be “highly unpleasant.” I found the first day to be somewhat unpleasant, certainly not “highly unpleasant.” In fact, the most unpleasant thing was eating that horrible tasting Colace mixture – the other stuff wasn’t all that bad, maybe just because I was expecting it to be worse.

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