HAVING YOUR ADENOIDS REMOVED, AS AN ADULT.

Having Your Adenoids Removed, as an Adult!

I never really talk about my health on my blog. I mentioned it slightly when I was reviewing 2015 but never any more. I've written this blog post mainly for those that are preparing to undergo adenoidectomy because there was absolutely nothing for adults when I looked into it although, if you're interested in this sort of thing then read away but prepare for a slightly long post.

The Background

All my life I've struggled with breathing through my nose, it's always felt blocked and affected things like exercise, eating, sleeping and it's even been a cause of my asthma. It's been an issue for as long as I can remember and the doctors only really started taking notice when I was about 14. I'd go to them complaining that I couldn't breathe properly and that it was affecting everyday life. I was given countless different nasal sprays to try and rectify the issue but none of them worked. 

Fast forward slightly to 2013, I was 19 years old and still having the same issues as I'd been to my doctor about 5 years before. This time they actually did something about it. I was referred to the hospital and the ENT department referred me for surgery. This wasn't the removal of my adenoids though, this was a Septoplasty to try and create a larger airwave through my left nostril due to the passage being very narrow. They mentioned then that I had large adenoids but nothing else was done. So that was it, I was put to sleep and they went to work. The recovery wasn't great but I could actually breathe a little bit, much more than I ever could before! I thought I was sorted for good but this wasn't to be the case.

Getting the Referral

Now to present day. I, once again, as a 25 year old, went back to my doctors complaining about my breathing and also my asthma which had gotten progressively worse. The doctor asked about the nasal sprays and I told them about my previous experience with them and that I would need a referral to the local ENT department which, to my joy, they did straight away. This was way back in October 2018 when I was referred and I was told of the 18-week waiting list just to be seen. At that point I thought it was at least going to be another 6 months or a year before I had anything done and it started to get me down. 

When my letter for my appointment came I was absolutely delighted. I headed to the hospital mid-February to see the consultant and discuss my issues. She wanted to take a closer look and they used a super long, thin camera up my nose (nasal endoscopy) to capture the adenoids. This wasn't painful, but it was uncomfortable. After she had taken the photographs she explained that 'adults are not meant to have adenoids', and that they naturally disappear as you get older. It was then I was told that the likely procedure would be an adenoidectomy. 

After the appointment I spent ages researching the procedure and everything that I found was related to children's surgery and was targeted at parents so for me, that was no use. It gave me a little bit of an idea but I didn't know whether it would be the same experience for adults. Not even a week after I had been at the consultation I had a phone call from the consultant saying that they were pushing me through as an urgent case and to expect my surgery within two weeks. TWO WEEKS! I'd waited 18 weeks just to see someone in the first place! 

I headed to the pre-op just over a week before my surgery date where they took my height, weight and checked my bloods. As well as this they directed me to come off my blood-thinning medication and switch to Aspirin for the week before. 

Surgery Day

When surgery day came I was absolutely bricking it, I'd been put to sleep before but I don't remember being this anxious about it. The staff at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield were wonderful and certainly calmed my nerves. I was due to arrive at the hospital for 12pm, had to eat not later than 7:30am and couldn't have a drink after 10:30am. I slept through my alarm anyway and missed my eating opportunity, I was gutted. 

Once at the hospital I was taken into a room with the nurse to go through my details and answer a few questions. Afterwards I was given the hospital gown and very attractive socks to change into. With my Harry Potter dressing gown over the top, I headed back to the waiting area. It was then a matter of waiting. From getting to the hospital at 12pm, I was probably waiting just under three hours until I went through to the anesthetist and her team of nurses where we discussed Harry Potter (obviously). The last thing I remember was being told that I was having some Butter Beer to put me into a deep sleep. I love that they made me feel better by the Potter references. Then, that was it, I was under!

When I woke up I felt super groggy and absolutely freezing. Two extra blankets and a heated sheet later, my body temperature was back to normal and I was starting to come back around. I did have a little bit of a headache but this was due to the drugs that I had been given. They drip-fed me some paracetamol to help, and, when I felt a little more normal I was transferred from recovery to the ward. 

I couldn't talk, I couldn't swallow and to be quite honest, I felt like shit. The ward sister brought me a cup of tea, some biscuits and a yoghurt. I managed the yoghurt, slowly but surely. I then attempted the biscuits, figuring out that the only way I could eat them would be to make them super soggy from my tea. Did I lose a biscuit in my tea? Yes, I did. 

By 8pm I was on my way home with Gary who had been there alllll day. I felt absolutely shattered and fell straight to sleep when I got in bed. 

Recovery

A week and a half after surgery, I'm writing this blog post. I've recovered quicker than I thought to be honest. I still struggle with the occasional headache and yawning still hurts my throat but other than that I've started to feel myself again. 

During recovery I couldn't swallow very well which woke me up a few times a night and it hurt to use my throat. So laughing, coughing, yawning and consuming drink or food was painful. This eased off towards the end of the first week and I am able to talk and eat perfectly fine now. I did suffer with really bad headaches during recovery and ended up going back to the hospital for the day where they concluded that it wasn't linked to surgery and was more likely to be a stress headache. 

Happily Ever After?

I'm hoping I've gotten my happily ever after! It feels amazing to be able to breathe through my nose and even smell things like food from a distance for the first time. I am due back at the hospital in a couple of months for my follow-up appointment but other than that, everything is all good! 

If you're planning on undergoing this surgery and have any questions, please ask away and I will try and answer the best I can. Otherwise, the NHS website has some pretty good information! 



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