Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Adult Tonsillectomy: My Day by Day Recovery Journal

Some of these entries were, admittedly, written while I was on pain meds, so if I sound less lucid or articulate than normal, that's why. :)

Day 0.5- Pre-Op Jitters
from http://joejackphotography.com/
I haven't written anything in a long time. I have a few excuses, but the truth is that summer vacation has made me lazy and unmotivated. I have accomplished a few things, though. Things like watching all of "Bates Motel" and "Fargo" and reading a handful of books; staying up late and sleeping in and cooking on the barbecue. You know, summer stuff.

And I've had my first bout of insomnia (which is really fun; you should try it) and late-night anxiety due to a low-simmering terror over my impending tonsillectomy. 

Which is why I'm writing now. I figured I would start a post about my surgery and document my experience for anyone else planning or preparing to have this surgery done-- especially as an adult. If you're not interested, that's cool. We can still be friends. 

Day 0.5: Pre-Op Procedures:
The hospital called yesterday to let me know they would be calling today with my surgery time. Which just served to make me anxious. She also mentioned no food/drink after midnight (standard procedure) and then she said something that has given me pause: "wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes that can be easily taken off and put on."

from gownies.com
Last night, I realized this means that I will be forced to remove all of my clothes (ALL of them, people!) and put on a hospital gown (Why do they call it a gown? It's a thin piece of fabric, people, not a prom dress.) before my surgery, during which I will be completely sedated and naked, remember, and completely unaware of what's what. Then I will wake up, still nude, and have to have my husband help me get dressed!! Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm modest to a fault. I don't like any extra skin showing, I don't like to attract attention to my body, I don't even wear shorts in public anymore, people! I think I'm now more nervous about the public nudity (under a gown, I know, but STILL) than the surgery. So, thanks, LDS Hospital, for helping out there. 

My husband Kriss said it's so that when I flatline on the table the doctor can revive me. He thinks he's funny.

As I said, I've been experiencing some pre-operation insomnia and anxiety, so that's been fun. I'm looking forward to sleeping for a couple of days while taking heavy-duty painkillers. Though, I'm NOT looking forward to the liquid diet. I love food. I really love eating food. I'm going to be very lonely for food...

Today, I'll be doing a few errands to get ready. I'll be buying more pebble ice from the grocery store (the butcher has it, who knew?), as well as lots of soft, baby-like foods. I'll also be writing down how to make a good strawberry smoothie. And I'll be cleaning the family room and bathroom that will be used post-op to recover. 

I also need to buy freezer bags and/or a refillable ice pack, so I'm prepared for all the cold treatment I'll require. I've read that it's good to ice the throat and ears the first couple of days to reduce pain and swelling. Goody. 

Here we go.

EDITED: I forgot to mention that my doctor is a specialist in the newer Coblation method, which uses a radio frequency and saline solution at room temperature rather than a scalpel or the more popular electro-cauterize at 400 degrees method. Supposedly the recovery (especially the first 3 days) is MUCH better with Coblation, as there is a lot less tissue damage, etc. Just keep that in mind as I whine and fuss. It could be worse.

Surgery and Recovery: Day 1
I am finally lucid enough to type up a short update. I had my surgery today around Noon, and now it's 6:30. Odd how long anesthesia hangs around... I still feel dizzy (mostly because I just used the bathroom and sat back down) and a little loopy, so please excuse any grammatical or spelling or punctuation errors in this post. I'm not 100% focused.

I got to the hospital at 10:30 and signed in and waited...

Then I got weighed and such by a nurse, who took us to a room and told me to put on hospital issue pajama bottoms, remove everything from the waist up (she said it's so they can attach a heart monitor-- I guess Kriss wasn't too far off in his joke) and put on the standard so-called "gown". 

Then we waited some more...

Soon another nurse came in and caused me a ridiculous amount of pain putting an IV into my hand. I didn't know getting an IV could hurt that much! IV's I've had in the past didn't, so maybe I was just hyper sensitive today. I didn't cry, though, and the pain settled into being tolerable discomfort after a bit.
The only selfie you'll see of me pre-surgery. The IV of Pain.

Then we waited longer... like a half hour.

Finally, a tech came and had me sit on a different rolly bed, and took me on a tour of the hospital. I swear, we went down every hallway there. Then, he left me in a hallway. With the bed cage sides up, in case I decided to make a run for it. I think I sat there for about 20 minutes. Fortunately, all the employees at this hospital are very nice and many stopped to ask me if I was warm enough and would I like another blanket. Still, I was bored. 

Eventually, my surgeon came by and reassured me, mentioned that I would have a very sore throat (duh).Shortly after he disappeared, the young, pretty, lady anesthesiologist arrived and explained what she would be doing, then she gave me something to relax me and wheeled me into the operating room. 

Looking up at the ceiling's collection of UFOs, I felt like I was on a TV show or something. At one point, before I slipped into blackness, I realized they had STRAPPED ME DOWN. My legs were under a strap and the nurse sweetly asked me to lay my arms down by my sides one at a time, and she proceeded to gently wrap something around them. Luckily, I didn't have a chance (or the inclination) to panic, because believe me, I WOULD HAVE. I'm not okay with being strapped down while conscious. 
* * *
The next thing I knew I was awake and very anxious and crying. Yep. I'm a crier, including during my coming-out-of-anesthesia experience. I then felt embarrassed that I was crying. The nurse with me was very kind and understanding, and she gave me something for my anxiety (I don't know what), and then my throat hurt, so she brought me some ice which was like HEAVEN. You know how you can't eat or drink after midnight then night before surgery? It been like 14 or more hours since I had a decent drink of water and I was so thirsty! And pepple ice? The best thing ever. (Which my dear friend Nancy and I called "deer poo ice" because... you figure it out.)

Once I stopped crying and dozing, and I was good and iced up, I got to go to a recovery room where my husband joined me. Talking to him about how I felt made me tear up again, so I concentrated on eating all the pebble ice in the hospital instead.

And then we checked out and came home. 

My throat hurts, but not horrifically. I'd say about a level 2 (out of 10) constantly and a 5 when I swallow. It feels like a bad case of Strep or a horrible cold today. 


But I'm hoping that it will be manageable. I have an ice pack from the hospital that my hubby keeps refilling for me-- I'm keeping it tied around my chin against my throat (I look like I have mumps) and I'm drinking loads of ice-filled water and it seems to be helping keep the pain to a minimum.

I set a timer and I'll be taking my meds every 4 hours like clockwork; I'm chewing gum now that I'm done eating (oh my gosh, watermelon is the tastiest thing I think I've ever had-- thank you to the neighbor who brought my family dinner, because watermelon turned out to be SO much yummier than applesauce!!); and I will be icing, icing, icing for at least the next two days as well. It does hurt when I talk too much, so I'm doing a lot of gesturing to get people to come closer so I can whisper to them. This is very odd. I need a bell or something to get their attention in the first place...

The verdict? So far so good.

Oh, and my doctor told my husband that taking out the evil traitor tonsils was a good move. He said they were riddled with pockets filled with bacteria and that I will absolutely benefit from having taken them out. I like to have my decisions validated-- especially in something like this where you might not ever know...

And as soon as I was home and settled in the recliner, my daughter's sweet kitty came to find me and snuggle on my lap for a while. Made my day. 
Holly, my lap kitty.
Day 2

I spent last night in my husband's recliner and woke up about every hour to use the bathroom, as well as whenever my iPad alarm went off to keep me on my schedule for pain meds. I don't want to get behind on them, because they seem to be doing the job, so although I'm super tired today, it's worth it.

I've also been icing my neck a lot, and I think that (in addition to drinking loads of icy water) has helped prevent severe swelling in my throat. 
from EmaCartoon.com

So far, so good. I'm anticipating that tomorrow will be the worst, if the internet is correct-- everyone says day 3 was the most horrible. At the risk of jinxing myself, I haven't really had any pain above a level 3. I'm shocked by this, and very grateful. My throat feels about like I have Strep. Which is ironic, since that's kind of what started this whole thing... 

I am feeling super loopy and tired, though. I'm sure the combination of not sleeping for more than an hour at a time and the pain meds and the less-than-adequate caloric intake are all contributing to the feeling of light-headedness. Since I'm not in severe pain, though, I don't mind. I'm just resting and letting my kids take care of me (Kriss had to work today, but will be off for the next 3.) 

I've been able to eat okay today-- I had half of a very soft hamburger bun in the night with my meds (it took me like 20 minutes to eat it!) and today I've had oatmeal and watermelon and popsicles and an orange ice cream bar. It's tricky finding things I can eat that won't tear up my throat that are filling and taste good. Soft foods are so boring!

And that's today's update... not much to say. 

Days 3 & 4
Day 3-
Rumor has it that day 3 is the usually the worst day when recovering from a tonsillectomy. So, in anticipation of this, I was prepared for severe pain and misery. Imagine my shock when I woke up this morning without any pain in my throat! My uvula is swollen, which is very... ODD, and I have some soreness still in the back of my throat, but it's mild and tolerable.

The day is almost over now, and I haven't had above a level 1 pain in my throat all day. I am very weak and tired, due to the continued combination of waking up every few hours for meds all night long and the meds themselves making me loopy, but I'm looking forward to tapering back the meds beginning tomorrow if I am still in the low-pain area. 

I feel very blessed to not be totally miserable today. Whatever the reason is, I'm happy for it. I have spent the day being visited by family members bearing treats and flowers, and resting a lot. I have similar plans for the next two days, as well. 

I may have over-done it talking today, since I had visitors, so I might have to ice my neck again tonight, if it feels extra uncomfortable, but if not, I stopped using the ice packs last night and I hope I won't need them anymore. I'm still drinking icy water constantly, which is like icing it from the inside. 

Day 4:
Today hasn't been too bad, uncomfortable; not especially painful, but as the day has progressed, it has gotten slightly worse. I think this is because I cut my prescription pain meds to the smaller dosage today. I'm still taking my ibuprofen, and I'm not miserable, but there is some notable discomfort. My uvula is still swollen (ick) and my body still feels weak and sick, so I'm just resting and taking it easy. 

I'm still feeling grateful that my pain hasn't been unbearable. I haven't been in agony at all since the surgery, and I haven't really suffered. I consider myself very lucky!

Days 5, 6 & 7
Day 5- Pain again. I woke up this morning in quite a lot of pain in my throat and all over the back of my mouth (I'm not sure what they stuck and jabbed around my mouth with, but it's left behind some soreness!) My uvula is still swollen, and it hurts when I talk, yawn, or swallow. Fun times. I'm back on full meds and ice packs all the time.

I was hoping that since the pain yesterday had lessened, that it was a sign of healing happening, but I guess the normal routine is to feel better for a day or two and then to have more days of pain and misery.

Truthfully, though, I haven't had as much pain as I expected, so I'm trying not to complain. But I'm not a very patient patient. I don't want to feel better then worse then better then worse before being 100% better. 

I will manage, though. 

Day 6- OUCH! I have had a lot more pain today than any day since my surgery. I'm annoyed by the need to take the full dose of pain medication, because it makes me so tired and dizzy and light-headed. I don't like having to spend day after day after day just resting and sitting here. Normally, I would look forward to time spent relaxing and resting, but this is boring and frustrating. Not to mention that I'm in a lot of pain.

Day 7- Lots of pain again today-- on and off. I'm taking the max doses of both my prescription and ibuprofen, and that seems to help. I had to take my daughter to the doctor today-- she's got Strep Throat (good timing, eh?) so I had to function a little bit, and it was probably good for me to get out of the house for a minute. The pain levels today ranged from a 1 to a 4 or 5. It was pretty painful this morning. Tomorrow marks one week since surgery, so I hope it also marks the beginning of the downhill slide into healing.  

Days 8, 9 & 10

Day 8: Shoot me now. I have been in such horrible pain today and I'm running low on meds, so I'm taking just one pill at a time instead of 2, and it hurts. So so so hurts. Tonight, while doing the salt water rinse, I spit out some phlegm and there was blood. So I switched to cold water and gargled and spit a few more times, and there was some blood. I also horked out something nasty, which I can only assume was one of my scabs. I won't describe it. It was really disgusting.

Since there was some blood (even just a small amount) I decided to stop taking ibuprofen for a while until I was sure it wasn't going to continue bleeding. 

And I paid for it. Such horrible, sharp pain in my throat. And one of my ears has begun to ache, just a little. I can barely feel it, though. I'm back to icing my neck as much as possible and mostly just sipping ice water. I hardly ate anything today at all.

Day 9: More of the same. My throat is killing me, my ear is a little bothered, and I'm beginning to wonder if I will ever be done with this ordeal. Having pain day after day after day, and not sleeping in my bed, and waking up in the night to take pain meds, and SITTING AROUND all day every day for over a week is rather depressing. I feel discouraged and frustrated and angry and mostly miserable. 

I haven't had any more bleeding today, so I'm going to add ibuprofen back in tonight. Also, I called and was given a partial refill on my pain meds, which should get me through the last few days of agony.

Lord help me, I hope it works.

Something else unpleasant, but common following surgery: I did experience some constipation-- I didn't have a "movement" for a whole week, so I started taking a stool softener the evening of day 7. Yesterday evening and into today, things seem to be slowly returning to normal in that area... 

Day 10: Still very painful. So very painful. Miserable. My dear friend Nancy sent me some beautiful flowers that arrived today and helped cheer me up, though. I'm so tired of being in pain and sitting and sleeping in this stupid recliner. I'm so tired of not doing anything. I did get up and clean one room and wash one load of laundry, but then I needed to sit/lay back down and rest. Nice. I feel like a feeble old lady! So frustrating.

Day 11

Ugh. Still hurts a lot. Still feeling tired and lazy and bored and annoyed. I feel like there is something jammed in my throat that I can't clear-- I'm not trying too hard, it's very sore back there and still scabby, so I don't want to hurt the tender area by coughing hard or anything, but it's like an itch I can't scratch. 

If I accidentally miss a dose, even if I'm only 1/2 hour late, I can feel it. Bad. Especially since there's no way I can not talk. I have a family-- I have to talk. 

So, although I feel better overall, my throat still hurts. Especially when I wake up for my meds. And I'm still sleeping in the stupid recliner. Probably will be for another couple of nights. 

But I'll get better.

Any day now...
Day 12
On Friday and Saturday (days 9 and 10), due to an increase of pain, I don't think I ate at all, just lots of ice water. Sunday looked like it would be the same, too painful for even eggs and if I have to eat pudding or jello one more time I will die in protest. 
At some point, though, as I stared forlornly into the pantry, I noticed a Box of muffin mix. I mentioned to Kriss that I thought I could eat a nice, soft muffin. Shortly after, I smelled them baking. That is a good husband. He even slathered two with butter and brought them to me while they were warm. Soft enough to swallow with minimal pain, and SO delicious... Blueberries are good for me, too, so BONUS! 

Had a nightmare, woke up at 1:00 am Monday morning, grateful for my pain meds alarm, tasted blood, so I grabbed the flashlight and had a look. I noticed blood in the healing area, (just a tiny bit) and got all worried and worked up so I had to do some reading to make sure I was still healing normally. Now I'm wide awake and not sure what to do about it. I'm beginning to feel like this ordeal will NEVER end...

On the left side, just a tiny, bright red spot -- not oozing or anything. On the right, a dark red spot (small, but bigger than the other side), with a small line trailing down. I can't see well enough to tell how long the streak is. At first, I worried that it is oozing, but after gargling ice water, sucking ice cubes, and sipping ice water for about 30 minutes, the spot-line is still there, but I'm not spitting any blood now, nor did it visibly change. I suspect it's a small clot, and it just has a tail. It's darker than fresh, bright blood. Fingers crossed. I REALLY don't want to take a trip to the ER. Ever.

In my reading it looks like some bleeding is common when the scabs come off, and it looks like they are almost completely gone tonight. 

For days I've peeked back there and seen much white nasty coating, but now it's mostly a tender red color. My uvula is slightly smaller, but still swollen. Which is a ridiculous experience. Currently, because of the sipping, probably, my pain is pretty low. I kind of dread going back to sleep, though, because I don't like waking up and taking that first conscious swallow to gauge how horrible the day will be.

I realize I'm in the home stretch; this is the last worst part. Once the scabs are gone, if there are no complications, I'm home free. Right? I'm really looking forward to that glorious moment when I wake up for meds and DON'T NEED THEM. 

I'm so done with this experience.

In the meantime, I've found some shows on Netflix that I've missed out on, not having cable. "Dog Whisperer" made me realize how amazing some people are, namely Cesar Milan. I doubt I will ever be like he is with dogs. Whatshisname who helps people on "My Cat From Hell" has simultaneously made me feel like it's okay to obsessively love my kitties, while also making me feel bad about the old girl cat who lives in the yard and garage since she refuses her litter box. But I have some ideas to try to improve her life now. If I ever get better. And I started watching the Duggar family on what used to be 17 Kids and Counting. Wow. They are amazing, and their kids are remarkable! 

We've also watched every '80s comedy on Netflix that was suitable to show my kids (So, Beethoven, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, etc.) and the classic Cheaper By the Dozen and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And loads of other movies. I've watched hours of YouTube videos and slept a lot. And I've even done a little reading, though not as kick as I would have thought-- mostly because Percocet is brain-fuzzing.

Time to go back to sleep. Hopefully no more nightmares and in the morning hopefully I will wake to a miracle of swallowing normally...

Let's play "What's Making Me Super Dizzy Today?  Is it- 
A- The fact that I probably only slept about 4 hours total last night and that was broken up into smaller chunks of time
B- I stopped taking prescription meds this morning and I'm sticking to that good old Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen rotation. 
C- I had to get up and drive people around today and then get up a bunch more times to help my daughter excavate her room to find items to take to camp tomorrow, even though I should still be on "bed rest".
D- Loss of sanity from all this "resting"
E- All of the above


This morning I stopped the prescription meds because I realized the pain wasn't any worse just on IB and AC, and that's a good step in the right direction, but I don't care. It doesn't make me feel any better.

I look around and my house is a mess, there's no food in the fridge and my poor hubby has to come home and figure out dinner AGAIN and I'm beginning to have panic attacks about money and the lack thereof and then the van won't start?? I'm losing my mind. 

I suppose it's interesting that I'm feeling depressed enough that everything is starting to look bleak and hopeless. Maybe tomorrow will be the day that I wake up with no pain and I will feel like a miracle has happened.

But when will I get my strength back? I'm so weak and exhausted.

I keep reading personal accounts online that say you aren't back to "normal" until 3 weeks post-op. Super. In the meantime, what isn't being done? What have I neglected or forgotten? 

OHMYGOSH. In this moment, I just realized why I'm probably feeling dizzy and weepy and sick. I forgot to take my anxiety meds this morning!!! GAH! It's 6:30 p.m.!!! CRAP. It's one of those meds that you can't miss a dose without feeling bad effects. I think I missed yesterday's dose, too!


Day 13

Dare I say "I think we've turned a corner?" Yes. I dare.

Although I don't feel anywhere near 100%, I feel much better than I have since this ordeal began. For one thing, my brain has stabilized, thankyouantianxietymeds, and for another, even though my throat still hurts, it's gone from mind-numbing, all-consuming torturous pain to a rather notable discomfort.

That's big.

So big, that I almost got out of bed and started doing lots of stuff today. 

Then I remembered reading stories of people who did just that on the first day they started feeling better and then paid for it by having their knees buckle under them while at the grocery store, or by having a much worse day the next. So I'm doing a few things, but mostly I'm still going to take it easy, so I can truly, fully recover. 

Last night, I slept in my bed instead of in the recliner. It took me a while to get settled and when I woke up at 4 a.m. for ibuprofen, my ears both ached a little, but now they feel fine. My pain in my throat level is probably only at a 1 or 2, and I'm still constantly sipping ice water to keep it there. I still have scabby areas and I'm not ready to eat those onion rings I've been craving, but soon. Soon soon soon.

I've been the recipient of such incredible love and generosity and kindness since my surgery, and I'm so very grateful to everyone who has brought in food and popsicles and sent or brought flowers an came to visit and especially for all the prayers on my behalf. I'm so glad I can finally see the light at the end of this ridiculously long tunnel. 
Source: http://www.altenergystocks.com/archives/bigstock-Light-At-The-End-Of-Tunnel-3470269.jpg

 Day 14

I slept in my bed again last night, but I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and after taking some ibuprofen, I couldn't go back to sleep. I laid there for an hour, finally gave up and went downstairs to the recliner. I didn't fall back asleep, though, so I spent some time on the internet and then I got up when the sun came up (the kitties were meowing to be let in) and did a few light tasks, such as paying a bill and sorting papers on my desk. I finally felt tired again around 8:00, so I slept for a couple more hours then. 

My throat hurts pretty badly again this morning. I really feel like this is never-ending! In spite of turning a corner yesterday, I'm still in pain and SO SICK OF BEING IN PAIN.

I'm a baby, I know. 

But seriously... can I be done now???

I do feel well enough to wash laundry (my husband will be so glad!) and a couple of other things. My kids have been really, incredibly good about doing all the cleaning and even some of the cooking these last two weeks. This is a blessing in disguise, because I've wanted them to share cooking duties for a long time and now they have proven to themselves that they CAN. 

Blech. I need to eat something. Wish me luck...

Same day... later:
I took a long, hot shower, made myself a piece of toast (I keep reading that toast is good for the last bit of healing? Helps the scabs slough off? Hope so...) and a strawberry smoothie. Yummy and I feel SO MUCH BETTER.

Still a little pain, but less now that I'm up and moving a little. Maybe I'll go out into the sun for a minute. Although, it's Utah summer, so it's in the mid 90's today, so maybe not... I'm not heat-tolerant. :)
Day 15

I feel like I've been on a 2 week vacation to Hell. But today, I'm almost home. 
I woke up at 5:30 this morning in quite surprisingly severe pain on one side, took some ibuprofen and grabbed an ice pack, and within 15 minutes of sipping ice water, I was much better. The rest of the day has had only minimal discomfort.
Guys, I ate pizza last night. And today? I had half a nasty hamburger from Burger King. I hate Burger King. I'm still fantasizing about Crown Burger's onion rings...

I have a TON more energy today than I have since the beginning, and although I could use a nap, I've gotten quite a bit done today. My daughter is at Young Women's camp and while she's gone we are hoping to paint her room for her. She was promised a bedroom makeover for her birthday and it's time to finish up that promise. I'm hoping to surprise her when she comes home on Saturday. Fingers crossed! Today I cleaned the room and vacuumed it and moved the furniture out of the way (it was a disaster, it really has taken me ALL DAY to clean it. With a short 2 hour-ish break in which I was supposed to be napping but instead I watched "Pretty in Pink" on Netflix. Ah, the '80's.

So, happy happy happy day. The left side of my throat still hurts a little; I'm still taking OTC pain meds as needed, but they are needed less and less. And I'm still sipping ice water almost constantly, but it isn't painful anymore.

I will be home soon.

Praise the Lord.

This may or may not be my final entry about this ordeal. If you're getting ready to go through it, I wish you luck and I would tell you to hang in there. It WILL get better. Eventually.

I wrote this while I was up early one morning, sipping ice water: 5 Things That are More Fun Than a Tonsillectomy 


Anonymous said...

i would take all of your advice with a grain of salt as you sound like a wimp. crying when you wake up from surgery? give me a break.

Steph said...

Hello, Anonymous Troll! Welcome to my blog. :) You're my first troll, I'm so excited to meet you!!

I actually asked the nurse why I was crying and she said it's fairly common to wake up from anesthesia and have a strange reaction. I hadn't ever had surgery before, so it was a surprise to me that it happened that way.

And I may be a "wimp" (I have been known to cry when I'm sad or angry or hurt or...otherwise emotional), but if you do some research and talk to other adults who have been through a tonsillectomy, they will tell you it is HELL. Not sure why you would discount my whole experience because I cried coming out of anesthesia, but that's your prerogative. If you're having your tonsils out, good luck.

Thanks for reading!

Neeley said...

I've had several surgeries and I've cried almost every time waking from anesthesia. You have my support my fellow post-surgery emotional mess. ;)

Steph said...

Why, thank you. I appreciate it. 😃

unsweetened icetea said...

For me... i took the day of surgery off from work because my surgery was ar 12 pm. I went back to work the next day and been back to work since. The procedure and healing process is painful..especially the nights Omg. Day 5 i stopped taking meds to see how my body adapt. I take doses here and there now but not religiously. I am on day 8 and drinking cold water hurts all the way in the back where the tonsils were. No one ever mention that the back of tongue feels swollen.

Steph said...

Wow- you're awesome- that's amazing that you've been able to work during recovery! Glad you're healing up well. And my tongue didn't feel swollen, but my uvula sure did. FUN!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your blog. Hoping to get my expectations to a reasonable level. I had the procedure done on Wednesday. Had to spend night in hospital because blood pressure went up and wouldn't come back down. First night was pretty uncomfortable. I went to work on Friday for about 4 hours. I quit taking pain medicine Friday and take 1 dose at night to help me sleep. I've been eating soft pasta the last few days. I hope I'm out of the most intense stage but reading your blog ,I'm not so sure. Most uncomfortable time is sleeping as throat seems to dry out and it takes a little while to get it back to unagitated state. Also feels like something is caught in throat all the time. I hope when it's all done it will be worth it. Thanks for your candor

Steph said...

Good luck, Anonymous! Hope your recovery goes well.

vcu1212 said...

I'm only 16 so my experiences may be different for all of yours (fair warning). After surgury, i woke up kinda loopy but i was in a very good mood.

Unknown said...

I have cried when coming out of surgery. I had my tonsillectomy September 1. I know exactly how she feels. It is pure hell, you ignorant ***hole. Maybe you should get some type of surgery or do some d*** research before calling someone a wimp. Grow the f*** up.

Officer Tenpenny said...

That's a common reaction when coming out of anesthesia you f****** ***hole. If you're having any kind of surgery, get ready to deal with that. Everyone has different pain tolerances and when it comes to having a tonsillectomy on September 1st, I know exactly how she feels you dumb****. Grow the f*** up and get a life, dude.

Bradley Voss said...

How long did it take for the pain to stop

Steph said...

For me, it took just over 2 weeks for it to be completely painless, and then it felt kind of funny for a long time. I guess I had to get used to not having those enlarged fleshy monsters back there. Good luck!!

Katie -age 27 said...

I am currently on day 9, my recovery has been much better than expected. I even went shopping for several hours yesterday and cut my pain meds out and went to straight Tylenol which helped the nausea immensely. The worst part for me has been the nausea. UNTIL TODAY when I literally woke out of a dead sleep in excruciating pain. It has been my worst day by far since day 2 when I got a migraine. The pain today is unbearable and I've only managed a few painful sips of water down. I feel so discouraged, but thank you for taking time out to write this blog. It is really encouraging to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I'm not the only one that was a bit discouraged with the length of this ordeal! So glad you're feeling better now. Here's to hoping that day comes soon for me! :-)

Steph said...

Oh, I'm so sorry!! It will get better, I promise. In the meantime, I hope you can suck on some ice or something to stay hydrated and I also hope you can rest. That seems to help, too. Good luck!!

Mike Winspear said...

Hi steph,

Have read your blog with great interest and dare I say some encouragement!, I am on day 6 today of having had the tonsillectomy although in fairness I did have Septoplasty at the same time, I had expected to be feeling better now (not 100% of course, but improving), but sadly not, the throat pain today has hit a high of 8/10, just so, so difficult to swallow anything which is making keeping hydrated difficult but just having to suxk it up and take the hit when I take my meds. Noticed that my uvula has become very swollen too now as well, anyway I was beginning to think that there was something not right with my recovery but your blog has eased my mind a little, so thanks.

Steph said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, Mike. I hope you get feeling better soon. People ask me now, almost 18 months later, how it was, and I say it was Hell. But the good news is that in a couple of weeks at most, you'll come out of the worst and return to the living world. Hang in there!!

Anonymous said...

I am 27 and had my surgery last Monday...so it's been a full week. I love your blog. I don't know if it's the pain meds or how relatable this is to me right now, but it made me all weepy. Thanks for posting this.

Steph said...

Thank goodness for pain meds! Thank you for your kind words, I hope you bounce back quickly!

MelB said...

Hi Steph,

First of all, I'm a nurse, and crying is a TYPICAL reaction after surgery. Ignore troll...

I had my surgery on 8/20/15 (today is 10/1/15) and I still feel like i have a little bit of scab back there. I'm also still having a bit of pain (1-2/10) when I yawn. Was this the case for you? I don't want to bother my doc about it, but may if it doesn't sound "normal" to others' experiences. Hang in there! <3

Steph said...

My throat felt funny for months and months, but the pain was gone after 2 months or so. Unless it's bleeding, my guess would be its normal, but I'm not a medical professional... Thank you for your comment, I hope you're back to 100%soon!

Anonymous said...

I am 19 years old and have had tons of trouble with my tonsils in the past. Recently, I had tonsillitis all last week. It was miserable. Was put on an antibiotic and a steroid that did not help at all. This morning, I woke up with my tonsils so swollen that my throat was almost swollen shut! I was scheduled to have a tonsillectomy on October 28th, but my mom is worried about me missing too much school. She had the surgery switched to December 15th, but I and the doctors don't think I can wait that long. Does it sound realistic for me to get the surgery on a Wednesday (28th) and for me to be ok to return back to school on Monday (Nov. 2nd)? Just wondering if that sounded realistic to you since you have gone through the surgery. I just want these tonsils out because I'm miserable! Thank you!

Steph said...

I wish I could give you a good estimate-- honestly, I have no idea. 19 is a lot younger than 40, so you may bounce back much faster than I did. It's so hard to predict things like this. I'm sorry you've been so miserable-- few things are as horrid as tonsillitis and strep throat. I hope you can get it done quickly. Maybe you won't have to miss as many days as your mom fears. It will be worth it. Good luck!!

Christine Bellerose said...

My friends daughter got hers done on the Thursday and returned to school the Monday, ask for a doctors note, at worst they'll give you an extension on homework
Just remember to drink ALOT of water set alarms wake up during night every half hour keep hydrated

Anonymous said...

I am 24 I had mines done on wen the 11th and it has been one roller coaster ride... The pain makes me want to cry ...I can't stand the disgusting taste and breath smell the ear pain is horrible and I just gotten to the point where I can drink ice cold water with no problem...I'm super tired I Dont want to keep taking the meds BC they make me weaker I feel woozy at times I want it to be done now

Steph said...

I'm so sorry, 24! I hope you recover soon. It really does suck.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I'm a crier when waking from surgeries too ;) but I wanted to ask....now that your tonsils are out, do you get less sore throats than you used to?

Cupcakes4me said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I'm a crier when waking from surgeries too ;) but I wanted to ask....now that your tonsils are out, do you get less sore throats than you used to?

Steph said...

Hi, Cupcakes! I don't seem to have the sore throats I used to, and I haven't had strep since getting them out. My main goal was to try and overcome my Chronic Fatigue-- I hoped my enlarged tonsils were a contributing factor. I'm not sure that was helped, but overall I think I'm healthier, yes. :)

Rosie said...

I'm on Day 8 and still just water feels like swallowing razor blades. My doc says that I need to toughen up! I'm so hungry, depressed, and exhausted. Your blog gives me some hope, though. Thank you!

Steph said...

Good luck, Rosie!! Try toast. I swear, I thought it would make it hurt worse, but when I finally gave in and ate some, I was shocked at how good it felt. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey. 25 years old female. On day 13 post-op. Still have scabs that haven't come off. Still have a sharp, jabbing, and stinging pain every time I swallow. I'm drinking lots of fluids and still eating soft food. The first week for me went fairly well. But ever since the scabs started falling off the pain has been almost unbearable at times. I can't wait for my throat to completely heal so I can eat again! This surgery has made me depressed. But on the upside I still believe getting my huge infected tonsils out was the right thing to do! Good luck up any future adults getting their tonsils removed!

Steph said...

Good luck, Anyonymous!! Try buttered white toast. Seriously. :)

Anonymous said...

I also cry coming out of anesthesia. Does being mean make you feel better? You are a sad human being.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your experience! So you had the Coblation procedure instead of the usual way tonsils are fully taken out? I have cryptic tonsils and am dying to get mine out but i have read horror stories about the usual tonsillectomy procedure but I have hear coblation is a newer, less painful option.

Steph said...

I did have a doctor who does Coblation, and supposedly it's less painful, but my experience was so painful anyway, who knows!? It's worth it, though, in the long run. Good luck!!

eraerice said...

Hi Steph! I had the exact same type of experience regarding the days that were the worst. The first 3-4 days I thought, shit, maybe I'm so tough this will be easy for me... and then I was set firmly straight by my pain. Definitely a depressing ordeal to go through. I didn't have any visitors or flowers or treats. :( my friends are assholes. What did your throat look like around day 15? Mine has white parts. It looks infected. :(

Steph said...

Oh, Eraerice, I hope you heal up quickly. I think I also had white gobs back there on day 15. Most likely they are "scabs". If you are oozing blood or pus, though, make sure you call your doctor. hang in there. It's almost over.

The Moto Files said...

im a 41 yo male and I just had my tonsils out yesterday.
The doctor called me after and I asked if they were infected. He said they werent.
They will know more after the pathology is run. He said they were large, about 2"x3".
I have been having throat issues for 2 years now. I noticed my tonsils were swollen about 2 months ago.
They were sore and I could feel them bothering me.
I still question if they would have gone down after a longer period of time but I became frustrated with them.
I read the blog and I felt your frustration and pain as I have gone through a similar experience except for 2 years and it still continues.
Today I tried eating regular food. Big mistake. Pain level was very high. Im not on pain meds but Im thinking about using my perscription. Oh, and I feel like my throat is tight. Ive heard of others with similar experiences.
Thanks for posting this blog.

Steph said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, and good luck with your recovery!!

Anonymous said...

I am on day 3 of recovery! I'm 24, and omg, it has been terrible! I have been the biggest crybaby ever! Lol. I woke up from surgery crying for my mom. (both my mom and husband where there)today things feel a little less painful, and even a bit of scabbing. But what's getting me is the fatigue �� and unfortunately, I sneezed today... Not a little sneeze, but the big sneeze that shakes your body. I would take a period cramp over that intense pain. Over all my recovery has been going good. I am surviving off of Tylenol and water, and naps. Sneezing, hiccups, coughing, and laughing hurt. I'm trying to be strong ��

Steph said...

Oh you poor thing! Hang in there. And drink more than you think you want!! Hopefully you won't sneeze again. It's almost humorous how horrible such a simple thing as a sneeze or a cough can be after a tonsillectomy.

Brian Oldro said...

Did it get better yet got mine out the 14th hurts can't drink

Steph said...

Brian, you're probably at the peak of the pain. Hang in there, keep sipping even though it hurts. Try gargling/spitting lukewarm salt water too. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hey steph love the post. I recieved my tonsilectomy 4-27 im 33 and i have been on a good recovery since then. Swallowing freaking hurts but my goodness this whole experience is the pits and i have a pretty high paun tolerance and what makes it worse was the uvula being extremely swollen i choked every Time i would drink. But thank goodness for posts like this and people like my wife and children that help me get through this

Steph said...

Glad to hear you have good support and you're doing well, Anonymous! Best of luck to you!

1997nick14 said...

Hello Steph,
Thank you for this Blog, it is very encouraging because my 19 year old son is on Day 8...today! He has been a real soldier since last Wednesday, but last evening/night he started to hurt...a lot. I held his hand and prayed while gently touching his throat. His is on pain meds of 325mg which I stupidly advised him to take 1 & 1/2 and he took 2! I didn't realize that the boy had barely had water....all DAY! I was so concerned that he would become sick enough to puke and make his throat worst, but thank God that he finally fell asleep and his stomach settled with some Ginger Ale. This morning I came out from a shower and there he was standing in my room hunched over in pain trying to open my Motrin PM's! He took 1 and crawled back into bed. I'm super concerned and didn't even want to leave him today, but duty calls. He has a follow up next Tuesday and I certainly hope that he's much better by then. Thank you again

Steph said...

Oh, I so hope your boy is better fast. It's hard enough to go through things like this ourselves, but to watch our kids suffer is agony! He definitely needs to be drinking lots. It hurts to drink, but keeping the throat lubricated will help it heal faster as well as add some level of comfort. Poor guy! Best of luck to you and him.

Felix Elkin said...

Thanks for writing this blog, 40 year old male in the uk, I'm on day 9 after tosellectomy and Uvupalatoplasy, I ran out of Codiene and the IB that they prescribed on day 7 which I thought would be OK, I've got soluble paracetamol and off the shelf liquid IB, The pain is hard today, I've been away on a pre arranged family trip with my kids 5 and 1 and driving etc, thought I was doing ok but tonight back home the pain is awful, gonna go to doc tommo for more Codiene. Can't eat, can't sleep, constipated and irritable, had a run in with my 5 yo daughter over washing her hair (stupid little thing) my wife fortunately intervened because I'm so tired and stressed and feel bad about that too. Guess I'm in the where does it end phase. Can't wait to eat proper food, I've hardly eaten anything for days. Again thanks for sharing your experiences, gives me hope, PS that troll needs to try a tonsillectomy what a twat !

Steph said...

Hang in there, Felix, and try to get some rest, for Heaven's sake! I hope your doctor takes good care of you. I promise, you will recover. :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Tokyo Dreamer said...

I loved reading your experience!! Thank you so much for sharing this!! I loved how thorough you were in relation to everything!!! It's so, so helpful!! And as for the crying after surgery... I just had my tonsillectomy today and woke up in recovery crying.. The nurse told me nearly all the tonsillectomy patients wake up crying along with many other patients having other surgeries. General Anesthetic effects everyone differently. Thanks again for this amazing blog!! I know I will be referring back to it many times...

Steph said...

Thanks for your comments, Tokyo! I sincerely hope your recovery is fast.

Tiffany said...

Hello Steph,I've been going through and researching the internet regarding adult tonsillectomy and I SO appreciate your blog. I'm currently on Day 6 of my surgery...I'm in pain, hungry, depressed and wondering when this will be over. What seems similar in each blog I've read is that this surgery takes a LOT of time to heal, much patience and doing the same things seem to help each person (ice water, ice chips, pain meds, rest...). However, I've been so afraid of eating anything firmer than applesauce, so to hear that you've had a muffin, watermelon and a half of a hamburger bun, I'm looking forward to trying something more than pureed chicken breasts in broth, popsicles, applesauce, jello cups and protein drinks. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!!!

Steph said...

Thank you for your comments, Tiffany! I really hope you get feeling better fast. I was shocked at how good it felt to eat buttered toast-- I was sure that would hurt, but it was amazing. Recovering from my tonsillectomy was the worst thing I've ever been through physically, but the good news is, it does pass and you will get better. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...


I'm a 21 year old female, had mine out recently.
I'm on day 7 of recovery and about to take myself to the GP for a follow up. So far it's been really painful and miserable! I've been crying like a baby and depressed as all hell. I went almost three days without food and minimal water. The only food I can tolerate is a frappe from mcdonalds or some Kraft Mac and Cheese. I've also been seriously constipated. The pain medication is literally doing nothing, I'm going to harass my doctor into giving me something decent. I was given Panamax, Oxycodone and Ibuprofen, but I was told that Ibuprofen would encourage bleeding?? I'm so confused. I also wasn't given any antibiotics.

I've had some nausea and vomiting as well. Not been fun. Hopefully I'll be good to go back to work in a week or so. I'm stressing about financial stuff so bad it's probably not helping my recovery at all.

So yeah, I feel I may be getting better. But I'm trying not to jinx myself.

Glad you're feeling better! Thanks for your post, it's given me some hope that this does eventually end. I just feel like it's never going to stop.

Steph said...

You poor thing! I hope things go well with the doc today. If you can't drink, you really should suck on ice at least so you don't dry out-- that makes the pain SO much worse back there. :( And yeah, ibuprofen acts as a blood thinner, so it's not ideal until you're past the risk of bleeding.

Becs said...

Would you believe it's been 2 and a half years since my surgery and I'm only now able to read other people's experiences of it?! I've avoided anything to do with it online because it was just so awful and I didn't want to relive it. For those who have had people say, "Toughen up" - my ENT specialist said that this surgery is the most painful one he performs, including surgeries for throat cancer. SO THERE. It's is hell, you're absolutely right about that. In my case, it took me 14 days to be able to go without pain meds. Unfortunately, I reacted to the stronger ones so had to cope with paracetamol (your Tylenol I think) and ibuprofen. I had some nights where pain was 10/10 and nothing helped. I sat in my living room sucking on ice and crying. I've had two children and live with a chronic pain condition, and my tonsillectomy was the worst pain I've ever been through by a long way.

But... there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Before surgery, I had tonsillitis 9 times in 12 months. I had strep over and over as well. Since my tonsillectomy, I've had minor sore throats but they never develop into anything, even when everyone else in the house gets really sick. Colds are over and done with in a shorter amount of time too.

I always say that it was the best and the worst thing I've ever done.

Steph said...

Becs, thanks for taking the time to comment! I'm so glad you're able to look back now. :)

I was hoping mine would help with my Chronic Fatigue, but that's still haunting me, but I haven't had Strep or Tonsillitis since, so I think it was worth it, too.

Something Crafty said...

I'm on day 7 post op. I keep coming back and rereading your blog every day to see where you were at on the corresponding day. I am so tired of the pain. I too have not been able to go to the bathroom since the morning of surgery and I've been on a gentle laxative for 3 days now. I am sick of the pain meds and feeling dizzy from them and I want to eat a cheeseburger so damn bad. If I have to eat any more apple sauce or jello I think I might throw up, and that would hurt so bad. I want a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm supposed to return to work as a preschool director in 8 days, I'm starting to wonder if that will happen.
I had something happen on day 2 that I haven't read about anywhere yet....a huge tonsil stone appeared. I figure it must have pushed its way out of some deep pocket that would have been behind my tonsil. I did a lot of gagging when I was in the hospital when I was first waking up, I think that's when it happened. I noticed it when I got home the following day and looked with a flashlight. After working up the courage to do so I grabbed a qtip and pushed it out of the spot it was lodged in. It came out with minimal effort and no pain to my surprise but it was the size of a small cashew and so disgusting. The tonsil stones and the sheer size of my tonsils (and possible sleep apnea) are the reasons I had my tonsils out at this age (34).

Steph said...

Oh, that sounds awful!! I don't think I've heard of tonsil stones either-- you're brave! Good luck getting back to work. Take it slow!!

Anonymous said...

I honestly thought i was getting a 2 week holiday from my drs note, but a week has already passed and I've been bed bound. I keep thinking that the pain can't get any worse.... unfortunately it can! All I wanted to do was pee this morning, but the pain made me nearly pass out as I stood up to use the loo! Am on Codine, Paracetamol and ibuprofen. Still feel like death! :,) I would be so greatful if someone gave me morphine! I don't mean to scare people. Its all good experience! :,) If you can face this- you can face anything! :D :D :D

Steph said...

Hang in there!!

Anonymous said...

Im on day 4 post op and the pain comes and goes. The worst is the ear pain. Last night i hardly slept because the pain was bad. The dr prescribed lortab and no one could fill my meds lol so have been takinh ibuprofen. Luckily tomorrow they will get me something better. I drink lots of water regularly and have been eating jello, mac n cheese and soup. I can say the pain gets bad but take it a day at a time. I made the mistake of sneezing and burst in tears from the pain. Ive been coughin more and my throat itches. I also noticed some mucus came in my spit and one of the scabs looks less then the left. Not sure if they started coming off but last nights pain was on the right ear so i wonder if that was why i couldn't sleep. Been taking meds every 4 hours and just want this over with

Steph said...

Aw, it stinks. I wish you all the best. Hang in there!

Tim said...

Hey there. I’m 37 and on day 5. I’m ready for the pain to be turned up a notch, even though I’ve been pretty bad since day 2. My main problem is the choking. My tonsils were pretty bad from years of quinsy and I had to stay in overnight due to excessive bleeding from scar tissue. They also had to remove some muscle. I have a minor cold but it just feels like there is constant phlegm hanging around my throat that won’t budge and every time I try to drink, it’s painful but makes me choke and cough. Nighttime’s are the worst. They prescribed me ibuprofen, codeine and paracetamol but told me I could only pretty much have them 3 times a day with none during the night. It takes me hours to build up the courage to take the pills in the morning. I’m dehydrated and hungry :( and not looking forward to further pain. Still don’t regret it though and loved the blog!

Steph said...

Thanks for commenting, Tim! You sound like you have a great attitude. Good luck and hope you heal up fast!

Kellz said...

Hi there! I'm 18 & just had my tonsils out last Monday..
I've had 4 knee surgeries due to torn ACL & I can almost say this was worse then those just due to the prolonged pain!!
Yes I missed Christmas lol & it was honestly a terrible way to spend my winter break. It's day 8 and I'm not fully recovered, but I can tell I'm getting there which is really awesome. I missed high school graduation due to being in the hospital because I was so sick... Got strep again 4 times after that so I guess this surgery was necessary (let's hope it's worth it) !!
I know exactly what it feels like to lost hope so it's nice to know other people can relate..
I am CRAVING panda express lol but I bet it's going to be a long time till I can have it.

Steph said...

Aw, good luck, Kellz! I hope you get Panda soon. <3

Anonymous said...

Hey, got my tonsils out 7 days ago (great start to the year woo) anyway the pains been awful it always seems to get worse as the day goes on and I stopped taking the prescribed pain killer at day 2 as I kept being sick so stuck with paracetamol. Need to return to school on day 10/11 for my exams hopefully I can make it!

Steph said...

Hang in there, anonymous!! Rinse with salt water and take tylenol or ibuprofen if your doc says it's okay. Good luck with your exams!

Stephanie Joanne said...

Thanks for this! I'm at day 11 and it's honestly been my WORSE day in pain levels!! How ? Why!! I've read most people reach their peak of pain much early on and after day ten in subsides. But I was on the floor in tears few hours ago :( i cant even swallow my own saliva forget taking sips of water. I can barely open my jaw, my ears feel like they're going to explode and my throat feels like there are fish bones stuck at the back each time I swallow. Really worried and frustrated. I want the pain to stop now. So done with this :'(

Steph said...

Thanks for your comment, Stephanie, I really hope you feel better soon. I remember just being so tired of pain by day 11! If you can, gargle salt water. And maybe it's time to call the doctor if you can't drink-- you don't want to get dehydrated! Good luck!