January 2009


A week down.  I’ve lost 10 pounds.  Weighed in on the scale at 175 this morning. This tonsillectomy recovery has been really bizarre. Part of the difficulty during the recovery process, is that it is not a linear path. The first couple of days after surgery are actually not quite bad.  The pain seems on par to a bad case of tonsillitis and your throat just feels inflamed and bruised.  Then the scabs start coming off and you are coughing up bloody mucous. It doesn’t really hurt, at this time, but you are constantly coughing up these never ending gobs of blood, wondering how you are ever going to be able to get to sleep at night.

Finally, the bleeding subsides, but the razor blade cutting pains come back. A week after the surgery and I am having trouble waiting for my next medicine dose.

Also, during the bleeding, I was playing head games with myself trying to deal with the bloody scabs. At first, the scabs were large and bloody, becoming less so as they healed. So in the beginning, I was coughing them up frequently–less and less often as they healed up and dried up.  Then, I would dislodge another scab and the whole process would begin again. Well, near the end of the healing, I would find myself coughing uncontrollably, as if my body was attempting to dislodge something. I lot of times, this was done fruitlessly, as I didn’t feel any obstructions in my throat.  I would have to sit down and will my body not to cough any more so that I could keep breathing. It became a contest of mind over matter–no, you don’t need to cough, breathe normally.

Fortunately, vigorous coughing doesn’t seem to irrate any part of my throat or cause any pain. The cough appears to hit the back of the throat, whereas the recovering areas are more forward?

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Entering the second stage of recovery, where the tonsils start scabbing up and the scab comes loose. The Ask.meltafilter.com site was right on the money describing how the scabs are these incredibly thick, bloody mucous plugs. I wasn’t sure what to do. At first, I tried not to cough them up too often, so that the scabs could set and I wouldn’t bleed so much, but they were so mucousy and large, that I felt I was gaggin on them.

So then I tried spitting them up in the sink and rinsing my mouth with water, but there was no end to them. Then, finally, I started feeling light headed and nauseous. I guess that I was swallowing so much blood that it was making me sick.  I couldn’t stand upright anymore, so I sat in front of the toilet instead, spitting up the bloody scabs.  Then, the next thing I know, I curled up on the floor, lying in a pool of blood. There was blood all over the front of my shirt and a pool of it around me. I was like, “whoa! Who did I kill and eat while I was unconsious!”

I was still too weak to move, so I must have layed there for another half hour, gathering up my strength. Then, I cleaned up the area as best as I could so that my wife wouldn’t go into shock seeing the bloody bathroom.  Then, I took a shower — sitting down. I tried to evaluate how badly off I was. This was a little like when I had my ulcer and lost a pint of blood.  It wasn’t nearly as bad, though.  Still, I couldn’t really function without feeling nauseous, so I decided to call 911 and head back to the hospital, where they can bring my blood pressure back up.

Over at the ER, they gave me an IV, ran a bunch of tests, and gave me a clean bill of health.  Apparently, all the blood on the floor, just came from my tonsils — there was no other source of bleeding.

tonsils1I just had a tonsillectomy on Thursday.  I called up a co-worker who had his removed last year to get the low down. He assured me that it would be a miserable two weeks of recovery. One of his major difficulties is that he’s very thin.  He didn’t have a lot of extra fat reserve to tide him over, so that he was starving after three or four days.   For me, dealing with hunger is much easier.  Four days after my procedure, I’ve already lost five pounds, but I haven’t really been hungry.  Except for the one time I made the mistake of watching Top Chef on TV.

A really helpful site is Ask.MetaFilter.com, with numerous posts from other people who had the procedure, their experience dealing with the pain. My favorite post so far is by Wubbie:

“7. I do not want to hear from you if you had your tonsils out when you were a kid and don’t remember it being “that bad”. Once you’re past 25 or so, it’s a whole different ball game. If you have your tonsils removed when you’re 8 years old, it’s true, it’s not that bad—your body is still developing, the top of your skull is still hardening, your teeth are just coming in, your legs are still wobbly. But when you’re in your 30s, your body has grown accustomed to having an inside to its mouth, so removing it really puts the rest of your body in a foul mood as it tries to figure out what the hell just happened.”

I can whole-heartedly agree that right after the surgery, swallowing feels like swallowing a bunch of razor blades. The inside of my throat is all lacerated and burning. I also experienced the distended tongue and swollen uvula which makes it feel like I have something stuck in my throat.  Here is an excerpt from   Adipocere’s description.

“SURPRISE PAIN VECTOR: Your tongue. Your tongue will be swollen because they put a device called a “tongue blade” on you that pushes the annoying thing against the bottom of your jaw so it doesn’t flop around during surgery. This made mine swell up and was probably the most painful part.”

Over all, my recovery has been going pretty smoothly.

A side note: Ask.metafilter.com had a server crash on Friday. Although it is back on line, the link in this post used to have 20+ pages.  Now, it is only displaying one page.

My original plan to market Freebestdeals.com involved promoting the site to college students and Myspace ads. But, the nature of most of the free items I’ve encountered has me rethink my core audience. Instead of the teens and young adults in college and online, I think that my core audience now may be people in their mid twenties and thirties, and couples families. I am scouting out the money saving websites now to see if it may be a better fit.

I’ve been following FrugalDad for a while now.  He started a new blogging website called SideHustleBlogging.  I’m also reviewing some of his reader’s weblinks.

One useful example that I came across is from PickUpPennies blog.  Here, she is holding a contest to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

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Contest Summary:

To get you started, I’m doing a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card. Most of you should know the drill by now. You can receive an entry:

  1. If you are a subscriber. (Anyone who’s let me know they subscribed in the last is already entered.)
  2. If you mention this on your blog.
  3. If you refer anyone to this blog. (They need to let me know in a message.)
  4. If you post this on any social bookmarking site.
  5. Leave a comment on any post — but please something more than “Great post” or “I agree.”
  6. And, now, if you tweet it. (Let me know if you do.)

Contest ends 1/17 at 11:59 p.m. PST. I will draw a winner using Random.org.

Here is a good example of how to hold a contest. One good tip – use Random.org to select the winner.

Although I have always planned on holding contest to promote Freebestdeals.com and attract new members and member participation, I’m kinda in a bind at this early stage. Since I only have a handful of members, there’s really not enough people to hold a contest.

If I hold a contest to recruit new members, I may have people opening up multiple accounts, or have people recruit their friends who sign up but never come back.

I could have an entry submitted per deal submitted, but that will just encourage someone to troll all the other free sites out there and submit entries.

Perhaps, I can hold the contest for anyone who follows freebestdeals on twitter? That way, I get an audience for my twitter announcements.

I came across a Keyword Strategy article at JoshCanHelp.com.  Josh has written up a clear, easy to understand guide on how to determine and select your keywords.

I’m following along to see if I can update my Freebestdeals.com keywords. One key element that Josh highlights is using Google’s tools to identify a keyword that’s not too broad and with less competition.  In other words, identify a niche.

  1. Goto www.google.com/keywords
  2. Type in 6 – 8 search words that you think people will use to try to find your site
  3. Make sure that use synonyms is checked. Generate key words.
  4. Review the results. Check for words with:
    1. Less than half advertisers
    2. Under 10K/month
    3. Example 1 – free stuff keywords

i. Totally free samples, half, 3600

ii. Samples and Freebies, 55%, 1,300

iii. cosmetic free samples, < half, 6600

iv. free sample products, half, 8100

v. get free samples, 60%, 8100

vi. totally free baby stuff, half, 2600

vii. free stuff mail, <half, 6600

    1. Example 2 – low volume (competition) search. Start off with these?

i. free stuff giveaways, < half, 260

ii. free stuff offer, <half, 320

iii. free trial samples, 15%, 720

iv. free samples for babies, 20%, 480

    1. Example 3 – website content

i. Deals infinity, 15%, 1600

ii. Clearance deals, 20%, 2400

iii. Red hot deals, 50%, 1600

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Ricardo Montalban 11/25/1920 - 1/14/2009

All those times I can remember seeing Ricardo Montalban as Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island on TV makes it feel like I’ve just lost an old friend.  He was so classy and comforting in this role that it was hard to believe he played Khan in Star Trek II.  Its a dramatic anti-thesis to his Mr. Rourke character.

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Ps. here is another fabulous tribute to Ricardo Montalban and write up on  his Wrath of Khan role!