And Now, The Moment You’ve Been Waiting For

If you saw this video I posted on Twitter yesterday, you may be wondering about what the heck happened to me:

If you saw my previous post, you might remember that I went into surgery to get my tonsils removed. And I was very, very scared. So scared, in fact, that I put off scheduling my surgery for an entire year because I was so terrified to have any kind of surgery, or be put under with anesthesia.

But, I finally gathered up all my courage, and despite crying a little bit every time I thought about it, I got my surgery scheduled! I went to the hospital at 8am on May 12th, and was put under at about 9:30am. This was the easy part. To all of you that said I wouldn’t feel anything and I would just immediately pass the fuck out, you were right. Literally I was laying on the operating table for all of two seconds before the world went black. No distracting question from the anesthesiologist, no warning, just… going to sleep.

And then, after a perfectly routine and normal surgery, I woke up in recovery with my lungs full of fluid and unable to breathe. I was immediately surrounded by six doctors and nurses, and everyone was talking about me in the third person, barking orders about what to do in order to get me a shred of oxygen. I was coughing up blood, gasping for air, clutching my chest, thinking oh shit am I gonna die?

They forced an oxygen mask on me and despite it forcefully pushing air nonstop into my mouth and nose, I couldn’t fuckin’ breathe. Pulmonary edema, I think is what they called it, which just means I had a bunch of fluid in my lungs and wasn’t getting air, so, that was neat.

After a bit, I could breathe again, though it was hard and hurt to do so. They gave me a shot that was supposed to help get the fluid out of my lungs, and I stopped coughing up frothy pink stuff.

Finally, things calmed down and I was doing okay. I had several different specialists around me, trying to explain to me what happened. Apparently, some saliva hit my vocal chords wrong and it made them snap shut and this caused my lungs to panic and try to intake air but they got fluid instead? I don’t exactly know, but what I do know is that it sucked!

What was supposed to be an outpatient surgery turned into me staying the night in the PCU (I said ICU in my video but that’s because I didn’t know that the PCU existed until my mom saw the video and was like, girl you were in PCU not ICU). So, yeah, if you’re like me and have never heard of the PCU before, it stands for progressive care unit, and is a step down from the intensive care unit.

I was hooked up to the little nose oxygen thingy, IV’s were put in me, I had x-rays for blood clots, and my blood drawn four different times! It was a lot, honestly. A lot of firsts that day! I also got a lot of Jell-O so, y’know, you win some you lose some.

I got discharged yesterday at noon, and then I got a Frosty from Wendy’s, and then I’ve been laying on the couch ever since! I’m currently switching between pudding, Jell-O, buttered noodles, Kraft mac and cheese, and ice cream. It’s not so bad.

So, yeah, I’m just chilling, waiting for one hell of a hospital bill to come through, but enjoying some popsicles in the meantime.

Thank you all for your concern and kind thoughts! I’m pretty okay now! It was just a scary experience. One of the nurses actually told me that she’s worked in recovery at that hospital since 2004 and that was the second time she’s ever seen that happen! So I’m just cool like that, apparently.

A lot of the doctors told me that they hope this experience doesn’t dissuade me from having future surgeries, but, it might’ve a little bit. Like just a smidge.

Anyways, I’m going to go eat some more Jell-O, so I’m off for now. Have a great day!

-AMS

125 Comments on “And Now, The Moment You’ve Been Waiting For”

  1. I’m glad you’re ok!!! Thank you for the update, and here’s hoping the rest of your recovery is smooth sailing!

  2. Devin L. Ganger – He/him | #BlackLivesMatter | IT geek, space nerd, guitarist, writer | Social Justice Monk | Train yourself to be kind (it's hard)
    Devin Ganger

    Glad to hear everything is better! I can attest, ICU (or PCU or any kind of need for extra care) sucks — I had to spend a night there after an emergency surgery a couple of years ago so they could monitor me every hour before moving me to a normal wing as part of a 6-day hospital stay, and that is simultaneously the part I remember the least and the part I remember the most.

  3. I’m so glad you’re OK! What a scary experience. You’re clearly exceptional! I feel bad for your parents too. Take care, y’all!

  4. Remake Chronicles – Adam-Troy Castro is the award-winning author of the Andrea Cort novels, which include EMISSARIES FROM THE DEAD and THE THIRD CLAW OF GOD. His newest books for 2011 include Z IS FOR ZOMBIE and V IS FOR VAMPIRE (both Eos, and both produced with illustrator Johnny Atomic. Look forward to the Gustav Gloom series, coming from Grossett and Dunlap in 2012!
    Adam-Troy Castro

    I am so glad you’re okay.

  5. So sorry that happened! Sounds miserable.

    A lot of the doctors told me that they hope this experience doesn’t dissuade me from having future surgeries

    ?!? This concern with future traffic strikes me as unseemly. We’re not talking about a water park here.

  6. I think you told your story well. I had a bleed this week where more blood went out than I actually have. (Thank G-d for massive transfusion protocols.) I can’t figure out how to tell the story. “Yeah, I almost died, but didn’t.” won’t cut it and the blow by blow would take too long and makes me feel too vulnerable.

  7. I’m so sorry that happened! Glad you’re back at home. At least you can comfort yourself knowing that even though the rare/scary thing happened to you, your care team was able to quickly address it. I hope your recovery continues on a smooth path from here on out.

  8. Wow, that sounds pretty traumatic! I’m so glad to hear you’re doing OK.

    (And I’m also amazed that tonsillectomy is now an outpatient procedure! I had mine taken out when I was 8 – 42 years ago – and it was a week in hospital, lots of gargling horrid tasting medicine and being miserable. But worth it in the end. Never forgotten the time the infection was so bad I temporarily couldn’t walk)

  9. Yuck, not the optimal experience you might have hoped for. Fortunately, if something was going to go wrong, you were in the right place for it, surrounded by experts. I can relate to your anxiety about surgery and anesthesia. I’ve been under a few times now, no problems but I still hate it. Good for you for getting the surgery done and here’s hoping you won’t need any more for a long time, if ever.

  10. Wow, scary! Sorry you went through that but really glad to hear you came through it OK in the end. Yeah, the anesthesia part is right: one second you’re on the table, next second you’re out, then you wake up and it’s over. Only you got the extra scary bit. The only thing close here was when my wife had a total knee replacement, and the drugs they gave her for the pain after she woke up caused a “hey, I can’t breathe!” reaction, but they handled it. Yours was so much worse.

  11. Whoa! Well, at least we were half right. lol.
    Glad it worked out okay, girl. “Whatever doesn’t doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, as they say. Plus you ended up with a decent war story, which is something all young’uns need.

  12. Good grief! Here we’re all telling you no big, and it WAS.

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better and able to eat the comforts, but that kind of experience can mess with your head. Dissuade you from future surgeries, indeed. Crossing to the other side of the street on seeing someone in scrubs wouldn’t be out of line for the next little while.

  13. I had planned to write an encouraging message the other day because your nerves were perfectly normal.

    I didn’t because I kept thinking about my last surgery where one thing was supposed to happen but I woke up to an anesthesiologist saying “um … so we had some excitement. You have a pacemaker now.” While I consider it a funny story, somebody nervous about surgery would not, so I just thought positive thoughts instead.

    Holy crap. That is a freaking terrifying story and I’m so glad they got you through it.

    Unfortunately now you’re never going to give pre-surgery pep-talks now (even though your story, like mine, is proof that things can go wrong and still turn out ok). Oddly e

  14. Well done getting in there and having it done. Having had surgery for the first time myself (at 50) I know it’s a bit nerve wracking going in. Great to here it all went mostly well and that you got solid care even after it went a bit pear shaped. :)

  15. Oh Athena that sounds so terrifying. I’m so sorry you went through that. Thank goodness you’re okay! Big hugs to you and your family.

  16. When I had my tonsils out years ago, everyone else got ice cream. My doctor ordered orange juice for me. Count your blessings — jello and frosties.

    Glad you’re doing better.

  17. Hope the rest of your recovery goes smoothly, and that the resultant bill doesn’t cause a relapse!

  18. Sending a virtual even though I know you have a love pile there at home. Glad to hear the scariest part is over and hope your recovery is swift, trouble-free, and complete. <3

  19. timeliebe – Central NY – Dreaded Spouse-Creature to bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce (SONG OF THE LIONESS, THE CIRCLE OPENS, BEKA COOPER: A TORTALL LEGEND series), a co-author of TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE, Co-author with Tamora Pierce of Marvel's WHITE TIGER: A HERO'S OBSESSION for Marvel Comics. Contributing Editor for VIDEO Magazine during the 1990s, Columnist for C/Net 1999 - 2002.
    timeliebe

    OMG! I’m so sorry that happened to you, Athena!

    Every time I’ve done under (mostly for colonoscopies/endoscopies, because I do NOT want to be awake for that!), I’ve woken up without incident – most of the time, I’m just wobbly on my feet for a couple hours, then I go back to work.

    That’s a bad screwup they did.

  20. Whoa. What a roller-coaster. Glad you’re doing OK now. Take care and get some rest.

  21. Wow. It sucks to be the exception, but I’m glad you’re okay and it’s behind you and that you can even approach it with humor. Take care!

  22. I wonder if the complications are connected to having had COVID-19? Either way glad you’re okay and glad that no additional damage was done when the doctors led with “edema” and “oxygen” instead of “she’s fine” :D

  23. I’m glad you’re ok! I take longer to go under, depending on when the anesthesiologist gets tired of me telling him how to do his job and just turns up the juice. Sorry not sorry, anesthesiologists, but I’ve surfaced too many times!

  24. Well, that sucks, but I’m glad you’re okay. Recovery otherwise should be fairly quick with any luck.

    2 comments, worth what you pay for ’em. I’m 57, so I can safely say, avoiding surgery unless necessary is absolutely okay. I’ve got at least one friend that seems to prefer surgery to, say, modifying her behavior (i.e., diet and exercise), and I think she’s crazy. So there’s that.

    And, uh, well, hopefully this won’t happen to you, but I had my tonsils out twice. Apparently they didn’t get all of them the first time around when I was 5 or 6 and they grew back, and they went back and got the rest when I was about 8. But y’know, that would have been in somewhere between 1969 and 1972, give or take, & I think they’ve learned a few things since then. :)

  25. I’m it ended up all right. Watching medical people handle a crisis is a lot different when you’re the crisis and it’s not just on TV between scenes of doctors and nurses having personal drama.

  26. Congratulations on getting it done.

    That first wakeup is always disorienting, but you really had a scare, there. Glad you’re feeling better, and may a cat come sit on your chest and purr.

  27. I have a daughter, too. And my blood ran cold as I read about this incident. My heart goes out to you, Ms. Athena Scalzi, to your mother, and to your father. May your recovery be uneventful and swift.

    Hug your parents, they doubtless need it as much as you do now.

    Sincerely,

    Niall Shapero

  28. Sami g up is always weird but I’ve never had an experience like that. Yikes! I’m so glad you’re doing better.

    I advise sitting down when opening the hospital bills. Or possibly laying down.

  29. Jeez Athena, sounds like you have really been through it, glad you are better and resting at home. Wishing you a speedy and smooth recovery!

  30. Wow, that must have been terrifying. And it must have sucked in general. Glad you came through OK and hope you feel all better soon!

  31. Ack! Holy heck! So glad you’re okay! I hope you have a speedy recovery with MAXIMUM Jell-O/pudding/ice cream!

    (and may your family’s constitution have a speedy recovery as well!)

  32. This sort of puts a new spin on that Superman scene:
    “I hope this little experience hasn’t put you off flying. Statistically speaking, it’s still the safest way to travel.”

    He winks, the music swells, we in the audience think ‘oh man, Superman is so cool.’

    But poor Lois Lane – man. She’s gotta be thinking: “My dude. That helicopter disaster. You SAW THAT, right!?”

  33. Very happy to hear you’re okay. I had a lot of surgeries as a kid, and it’s always terrifying, but this was over the top!

  34. I don’t know if your cats are like mine. but anytime I don’t feel well, they snuggle up with me and share their purrs (which actually have healing properties). Hope you have some furry friends snuggled up with you.
    Glad you’re home.

  35. The good news is that if you will need surgery again some time in the future it will very likely go better than this time!

    Although I hope that won’t be any time soon.

    Anyways, glad you’re doing alright!

  36. Hi, Athena,

    First, I am so sorry that that happened to you.

    I’m glad to see that you are alright and recovering comfortably.

    I don’t blame you for considering noping out of future procedures .

  37. Whew. I’m glad that the surgery went well, and relieved that the…. excitement…turned out okay. I am sorry that you had this scare.

    This is also why I say “I hope everything goes well” instead of of “I’m sure everything will go well.”

  38. Holy crap! Sorry you had to go through all of this. I got scared for you. I’m glad you’re all OK now. I hope you enjoyed the Frosty immensely.

  39. Holy fuck! I was on my phone when I saw your previous post, and I hate typing on that, so I didn’t post that I’ve had five surgeries, it’s generally very routine, blah blah blah — and now here you are, having had that incredibly unlikely and incredibly awful experience. I can’t think of anything any of us could say that would convince your instincts that surgery is not TERRIFYING DEATH TANGO, after going through that. Even though it normally isn’t! I hope you don’t need surgery again, ever — but if you do, seriously, it’s worth talking to a therapist/asking your doctor if they’re willing to prescribe Valium or something/otherwise taking steps to reprogram the part of your brain that has had such massive negative reinforcement.

    And I’m glad you’re home safe.

  40. Wuff, what an experience! Glad it’s all behind you.

    As far as “This concern with future traffic strikes me as unseemly. We’re not talking about a water park here,” I think the repercussions of deferred care are on a lot of medical minds of late. I saw a number of about 90,000 opiod-related deaths for the last year because of shuttered clinics. Diabetic foot amputations are up. Three-quarters of a million fewer HIV tests were done last year. Lead testing was down about 400,000.

    I didn’t get a chance to comment on the post before the surgery but I want to tell you – if your experience is anything like mine, having your tonsils out will be one of the best medical procedures you ever have. I’m a year younger than John and back in those days the medical community was on a backswing from an earlier take out ALL the tonsils! kick and they’d pendulum the other way into a big reluctance. For much of my life I’d have strep twice a year and various throat ailments with regularity. I was in my mid thirties when I finally got fed up and saw an ENT about it after yet another run of strep and antibiotics and he said yeah, those are huge and if you want em out it’s justified.

    I have not had strep in the ensuing sixteen years. My regular throat ailments pretty much vanished. An occasional sleep apnea that my then-girlfriend now-wife had noticed? Disappeared. I wish I could go back and do this at fifteen. Both for the payoffs and because recovery from this sort of thing in your thirties SUUUCCCKKKKSSSSS.

    So, congrats on your new throat. I hope it’s as big a payoff for you as it was me and your recovery is better. It took about five days before I felt myself again. So worth it.

  41. Yow! I expected you’d write something interesting about your surgery, but, goddamn, not THAT “interesting”.

    I’ve been fortunate that my own “wild times in the hospital” experiences have been mostly about other patients I shared a room with. (The roommate who tried to commit suicide-by-sandpaper was, uhh, pretty memorable.)

  42. I am glad to hear you are on the mend now. I can only imagine what that experience was like.

    I am also sure (as a parent) that your parents were a bit “WTF”, and “Will she be OK”. So, I pray they are recovering well also.

  43. How terrifying!! I second everyone’s sympathies and well-wishes. I am glad you are safe now.

    As someone who has also had traumatic medical experiences, I also want to say that this kind of event absolutely falls into the category of “trauma,” and you might find it helpful to think of yourself as “recovering from trauma” for a little bit. Even though the event is over, it may be a while before you yourself are “okay” again — and honestly, even though the danger is gone, it might not feel “over” for a little while. Healing from a surgery is physically exhausting even when it goes WELL and you DON’T have long covid, so in your case I wouldn’t be surprised if it was weeks before you felt back to full energy and your anxiety comes down from high alert. I hope you can find some time to let yourself rest and find some calm. In my experience it’s especially valuable to have positive physical experiences, not just consuming entertainment: cuddling with a cat, having someone braid your hair, sitting outside and watching birds, things like that.

    This was a bunch of unsolicited advice from a stranger so of course you are always free to ignore it. Really what I mean by it is that I am wishing you well. You have a lot of people supporting you.

  44. I am someone who really is uncomfortable with surgery even though I have never had a bad outcome or even a scary one like you did. Worst was when they woke me up halfway through because they forgot to get permission for a bone graft on a really bad break. They had to get me to give permission before they could do the graft. As a lawyer, I will tell you I doubt that would have been legally binding since I was still pretty dopey, but there weren’t any complications so no problem.
    Good luck with recovery. And just skip the truly elective surgeries. You never know when you will need to have your appendix out.

  45. Hope Griffin Diaz – North Carolina – So, to borrow from a popular shirt, I love Jesus but I cuss a little. Well, a lot. In fact, I just don't believe Jesus really gives a shit about the word fuck. He does care if you say f you or go f yourself. But a general adjective? Nah. I am married to the love of my life, Louie (aka Luis) and have an adult child, Christy. My mum, Nancy, is still with us and active in our lives. I love to read, I fancy myself an amateur gardener, I am owned by a large black purr machine maine coon cat named Samwise aka #SamSam and a Border Collie/Australian Cattle dog mix named Daisy. I knit. I craft. I sew. These are at my leisure and are hobbies. I don't take commissions nor do I do alterations. I'm an aspiring human being. I battle several mental illnesses including depression, major panic disorder, agoraphobia, germaphobia, claustrophobia, and some other assorted illnesses. I also have fibromyalgia and have had numerous traumatic brain injuries (into the double digits now). I am not able to drive at night. I don't know where this blog is going ... if anywhere.
    Hope

    Oh Athena, I hate for you to have had such a bad experience. I hope the kitties are giving you special love and you heal quickly. :-)

  46. Very glad you’re OK!

    Not all surgery is that bad… ask me about my emergency knee surgery sometime. (Who knew concrete steps could be sharp?)

  47. Glad that you’re still here, though I think everyone would prefer less interesting next time.

    I guess it doesn’t happen often enough to take lots of countermeasures, but it seems like having saliva go down your throat during anesthesia would be something they would look out for, particularly if it ends up like this.

  48. That sounds really scary. I’m glad you’re in the clear and recuperating now! Thank you for the update.

  49. Yikes! Bit more eventful than it needed to be, glad you’re OK – you look fine in the video, older people need a longer time to bounce back from a general, but take it easy!

    Also, this: “I’m currently switching between pudding, Jell-O, buttered noodles, Kraft mac and cheese, and ice cream.” sounds like one of your Dad’s “burritos”.

  50. Oh my word, how scary! Sorry you’ve had such a horrible experience :( . All the best with recovering well, and, as has already been suggested, it is trauma; I hope you get whatever help you need to deal with that.

  51. Thank the powers you’re OK! This sounds terrible! That’s one thing I’m really terrified of — not being able to breathe.

  52. Woah. I’m glad you’re doing okay and sorry you had such a traumatic experience!! Not being able to breathe is one of the scariest things ever. I’m sending you good thoughts for a fast recovery.

  53. Glad you are OK, and Bravo for having a sense of humor about it.

  54. Glad you made it through that. Pulmonary edema can definitely be scary. Glad they didn’t have to lance your side as well. And that’s why we watch patients through recovery.

  55. I am so glad you’re okay.

    The reason I didn’t post when you asked for reassurance was that I couldn’t. If I’d tried, I’d have felt like a liar, because I know people who have had their tonsils out as adults, and every. Single. Damn. ONE of them had some serious problem during the surgery–not what happened to you that I can recall, but SOMETHING. So I kept my mouth shut (my hands off my keyboard) and said a little prayer that it would be different for you, that my observational, anecdotal experience wasn’t typical.

    I know it must have been terrifying, and I’m sorry it happened–but again, I’m profoundly relieved to hear that you are all right, so thanks for updating us all so quickly.

  56. Oh no! I was wondering how things were going when I hadn’t heard anything from you yesterday. I hoped you were just napping. I wish you a speedy, and medically boring recovery from here on out.

  57. OMG that’s so scary! The human body sucks sometimes. As a mom, I would be so freaked out. I warned my son early that he will ALWAYS be my little baby, lol. He’s 32 now. I’m also now hungry for buttered noodles. Hope you’re feeling 100% soon!

  58. OMG that’s so scary! The human body sucks sometimes. As a mom, I would be so freaked out. I warned my son early that he will ALWAYS be my little baby, lol. He’s 32 now. I’m also now hungry for buttered noodles. Hope you’re feeling 100% soon!

  59. Athena, So sorry to hear about your post surgery experience. That sounds pretty scary! I hope you and your parents have a restful convalescence and you get lots and lots of kitty love and milkshakes/puddings/popsicle treats.

  60. Yikes! I was wondering if something had happened. So glad you’re okay – geez.

    In retelling the story later on, I suggest attributing the nerves to your pre-awareness that there was going to be something unusual, complicated, and scary!

  61. I want to say first off, how glad I am that you are OKAY and will be okay.

    That is an incredibly scary event and I would not at all blame you for being anxious about it.
    Hopefully everything will be quiet for you going forward and you can rest and recover and get back to doing things

  62. I don’t exactly know, but what I do know is that it sucked!
    … right into your lungs.

    Yikes. Glad yr on the other side.
    Kudos for mustering the gusto in the first place.

    Hopefully knowing your strength now – you were able to make it through, despite your fear – gives you strength and gumption for further project you may feel hesitation about.

    Likely to early for “cup half full” comment but all the same, kudos.

  63. Heartily sorry you had to go through that! But glad that you seem to be mostly ok. Fingers crossed for quick and thorough healing, and NO MORE COMPLICATIONS!

  64. Only just watched the vid and whoa, for someone who just had a near-death experience, you are cool as a cucumber!! Chapeau—

    All kidding aside, really super-relieved you are okay!! So, so glad! Hope your parents are pampering you right now…please have a good, long rest and take care of yourself.

  65. A story about 8-10 y/o me. Had an issue with my ear, they wanted to put a tube in it (this would be the 1960s, for context). I was in the hospital in a dorm type room and, because mom added a TV guide in my “important stuff you might need” I got the TV remote for the whole room. Like, 10-12 kids. Saw an entry for Red Skelton, misread it as Skeleton, and we all watched some variety show none of us understood. Cuz to change the channel you had to press a button and wait for a nurse to come in and change the channel.

    I think that was also the same time I was sedated, heading into the operating room, and saw a doc with a circular saw. Me: “um, huh?” Him: “removing a cast”.

    I had 4 surgeries to install tubes before I left high school, I went under and had tubes stuck in my ear. About 20 years later turned out those tubes were worse than doing nothing. So goes medical research. I am now pretty much deaf in my left ear due to scar tissue.

    And back then you woke up in a recovery room. They put a mask on you, told you to count down from 10, smelled something really unpleasant, then woke up to a room by yourself where a nurse would notice you woke up and say something like “everything went well, in an hour we’ll move you back to your room”.

    Not to mention, each of these was a 2-3 day stay in the hospital.

    I waited to post this until you said you were OK, didn’t want to freak you out. Reading the comments I see anesthesia has changed a lot in the past 50 years (who woulda thunk?).

  66. Oh wow, I’m so sorry that happened! All good thoughts and best wishes for a speedy recovery being sent your way.

  67. Oh, dear! I am so sorry you had postop complications! Pulmonary edema is not something with which we play around. It sounds like they gave you Lasix for the pulmonary edema to pull the fluid off of your lungs. A nasal cannula for oxygen is not the most comfortable thing, but I did tend to prefer them to masks. I used to work in the progressive care unit (they called it cardiac telemetry where I worked). We watch you carefully there. I know the cashectomy is going to be the scariest. Remember, you can negotiate your bill. Bring Dad. Sometimes they listen to men more than us. Sigh.

    Cuddle the cats and heal well. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

  68. Kat Goodwin – A former publishing person, sometime writer, confirmed book addict, and clueless searcher, just like everyone else.
    KatG

    My mother had the same situation due to her heart during the first surge of the pandemic and so had to handle everything herself, spending a week in the hospital trying to get her lungs clear. So I’m delighted that you are okay and home eating soft things to soothe your vocal chords while cuddling dog and cats. We all wish you the best with your recovery.

  69. Oh Athena! Phew! Best wishes on your recovery to you and your parents. I hope it all goes smoothly—and I’ll continue to send you positive thoughts.

  70. BTW, KFC has very nice mashed potatoes and gravy. Their biscuits, when buttered, and consumed with plenty of fluid, work out well. Chunky and Progresso soups taste very good and are soft enough for a tender throat.

    Don’t forget you may be more sore seven days postop.

    Can you tell I remember my tonsillectomy well? I hope your meds taste better than mine did. Blecch!

  71. PS: I forgot to ask you how your mum & dad are coping. I’m sure the whole thing was terrifying for them.
    Also, people shouldn’t have to stress about medical bills. I don’t live in the USA, & the only hospital-related costs I’ve ever had in my life have been for parking or the cafeteria. Please fight hard for Medicare For All, so you guys can join the rest of us in the First World.

  72. Ugh. That sounds horrible. But I’m glad you are okay and can now take solace in loads of ice-cream and other sorts of soothing yummy stuff.

  73. YIKES!

    Well…at least you got a good story out of it?

    I’m so sorry your very first surgery turned into more drama than anyone wants. And I’m very glad the medical folks were able to sort you out and you’re doing well.

  74. Ouch! Glad you came through it OK. I didn’t have my tonsils out until much later than you, but I did have to be put under when I was your age to have my wisdom teeth removed. That was not fun, but also not nearly as scary as what you went through.

  75. Wow, that sounds like it was way too exciting – as in completely terrifying – for you and your folks. Very glad to hear that you came through ok!

    Here’s hoping that your medical experiences are safely bland and boring: having an interesting story to tell afterwards is all well and good, but skipping the drama & trauma seems like a better deal!

    I hear popsicles are the way to go if you want something you can bite/chew that won’t be too hard on your throat.

  76. So they saved your life and now they’re sending you a bill? Sorry that’s fucked up. You live in a fucked up country.
    Anyway, glad you’re alive.

  77. Glad to hear that the emergency was short, the danger averted, and that you’re okay! Heal up well and quickly!

    And my best thoughts to your mom and dad too … I know how much anything that happens to you slices into them!! May you all recover well and quickly!

    G

  78. That does not sound like fun at all….even with the pudding. I am glad you are home and feeling better.

  79. Holy crap. There’s something you never need to do again. I’m glad the anesthesia turned out to not be a Big Thing, but the rest of it? Bad experiment, do not repeat.

    In all seriousness, there is nothing I have experienced that beats the raw terror of not being able to breathe. I’m glad they got you sorted, but… people talking about you in the third person is no fun. I am so glad you’re mending. My RX: extra ice cream and pudding, and cuddles from all available dogs, cats, and parents (if you like that sort of thing).

  80. Glad to hear that you are OK despite a scary experience. Don’t let it dissuade you from future surgical procedures if they are needed. Most of mine at the hospitals in Ohio I have frequented, including one a month ago at the Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy, Ohio, have been fine. Most. The most annoying experiences were the cheerful post-surgical letters that began with (or words to the effect), “We hope you had a pleasant visit to the colorectal department of the Cleveland Clinic.” Not hardly.

  81. What an experience! Glad you are on the other side of it and now sans tonsils so sans future infections. It’s frightening to skirt around the edge of death (speaking from experience here) but when back on the side of the land of the living, living itself becomes so much more precious when you know you might not have been here for it. Keep getting better and enjoy the Jello.

  82. If it is any consolation, I’ve lost count of the number of surgeries I’ve had (I routinely have to go under to have kidney stones removed, as well as having some chronic health issues that have led to several surgeries.) One of the early procedures went very similarly to yours (I bit down on the intubation tube and the anesthesiologist didn’t notice until my oxygen tanked) and everyone was so shocked and relieved that I survived. I’ve never had that issue again. Over all, this sort of thing (a negative pressure pulmonary edema) is exceptionally rare and, as long as you tell the surgeons/anesthesiologists in the future what happened, they will keep an extra close watch over you and take measures to help prevent it from happening again.

  83. Holy cow! That was scary in the moment. I’m glad you pulled through.

    btw: Your writing is improving. I felt your anxiety while reading your post.

  84. I was in the recovery room after a lumpectomy, and heard someone saying “her blood pressure spiked to 200” and wondered if they meant me, until I got the Medicare report that showed a blood pressure drug got used during surgery. (The surgeon has never said a word about it.) The effing dye they used to identify the lymph node – that had me puking. (Yeah, the get you out pretty fast. It was more like 30 seconds for me.)

  85. Wow! You Scalzis will stop at nothing to tell a suspenseful story! Good pacing, would read again.

    Seriously, thank goodness you are OK and I admire your sangfroid and skill in laying the tale out so clearly. Obviously you need to stick around for a good long time! Sending healing thoughts.

  86. Wow! Sorry you had to go through that. It is rare, but it does happen.

    I’m glad you had a great medical team right there to take care of you, Athena!

  87. Rob Wynne – Seattle, WA – Chair of Georgia Filkcon; musician, songwriter, essayist & dilettante-at-large. Almost certainly not what you expect. (they/them)
    Rob Wynne

    Yikes! How scary! I’m so glad you’re okay!

    Wishing you a swift and complete recovery!

  88. Holy cow that’s crazy. Glad you had the people there at the hospital who figured it out. Here’s hoping to a quick recovery.

  89. Holy smokes! Ya stay off the internet for a day, you miss some stuff!

    Athena, so glad you’re mending … and so DAMN sorry that it was more of an adventure than is typical, or than was anticipated. Hang in there, heal, and know there are many of us rooting for you.

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