Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
TONSILLECTOMY questions and experiences
Hello! I am 20 years old and had my tonsils out seven days ago. Thanks the lord I did not read these boards before surgery, or I'd have been way too scared to follow through. However, since the procedure, this site has been extremely helpful. I am going to record my experience here, so that it, too, may help others, and also pose a few questions!
Day 1 (day of surgery): Scared out of my mind. No kidding. I brought my favorite stuffed animal to snuggle and squeeze in anticipation, and he stayed with me for the entire procedure. The procedure itself was easy, the nurses were all very nice, fetching me warm blankets and cozy socks. I was out pretty much as soon as they had me on the operating table... then woke up in surprisingly little pain in the recovery room, the nurse feeding me ice chips and a popsicle. The drugs made me a little loopy, and I kept asking the nurse what her favorite book was. She had really nice nails, and I remember telling her so at least three times. My parents were allowed into the room, and I was sent home pleasantly drugged. I took my first Lortab before leaving the recovery room. Day 1 was really not bad. I drank LOTS of ice water, as the minimal throat pain was made even better by cold. I ate some dairy-free ice cream, and later two cans of warm soup. Pain: 4
Day 2: I was pleasantly surprised once again to have another day similar to day 1. I watched movies, drank water, ate spaghettiO's, and kept taking the lortab (liquid vicoden/acetaminophen) every 4 hours, and liquid Advil every 6. Pain: 4
Day 3: Pain increased a bit, and taking the pain meds that night was not fun. I began having ear pain, but was still managing it quite well and it was by no means unbearable. Had trouble talking, though, and as the day wore on pain got worse. However, I was able to shower, eat ramen noodles, soup, jello, and spaghettiO's. Pain:5-6
Day 4: This is when it got bad. Like I said, the night was bad and every time I swallowed the Lortab it would make my throat sting/ache and give me incredible ear pain. I was unable to eat more than a tiny amount of jello, and even water became painful to swallow. Truth be told, the jello was easier downed than the water. Around 4:00 p.m., I suddenly became very nauseous and threw up. The act of throwing up, surprisingly, wasn't that painful to my throat. The aftermath, though, was excruciating. The ear pain was so intense it was all I could do to clutch at the toilet and drool into it. I was crying (but trying not to, as this only intensifies pain), and unfortunately my parents had left so I was home alone. I stayed there until they got home, at which point my mom ran me a bath and I got in, still in unimaginable pain. The rest of the night was not much better. I stayed in the bath for a while (I recommend it, it does help with the pain) and then got out and tried to get some water down. My mom said that it was most likely the liquid advil that had upset my stomach, so I didn't take it for the rest of the night and waited a couple extra hours to take the Lortab (which, of course, was painful). I slept okay but every time I had to wake up and take the lortab it was complete misery. I was in such intense pain for about three minutes after each dose that I began dreading the pain medication (ironic, huh?). Pain: 9-10
Day 5: This was just as bad as day four. I wasn't vomiting, but the lack of advil had me in more pain and I was still unable to eat, speak, or open my mouth very wide. There was still a thick layer of white stuff on my tonsil beds, and for most of the day I was in such intense pain I thought I was going to die. It sounds dramatic, but it's true: I have never, ever, experienced pain like that in my life. I laid on the couch all day, ate nothing, and drank little. I felt hungry at one point, so I had my dad make me some lukewarm chicken and stars soup. I took one sip, and almost instantly my ears and throat exploded in uncontrollable, excruciating pain the likes of which you cannot even imagine. I rolled into a ball and started hyperventilating and crying it was so intense and it was all my parents could do to keep me from screaming. I was tearing at my hair, sticking my fingers in my ears, and hitting everything. Finally, after about three minutes, it let up and I rested. Pain: 9-10
Day 6: I woke up for my 6:30 meds feeling nauseous, and it continued and got worse as the morning progressed. I was totally unable to take the meds, drink water, or eat because of the intense nausea. I didn't throw up, but I was in (once again) horrible pain and didn't know what to do. My mom called in and told the doctor, who wrote me a prescription for Zofran (an anti-nausea med). I took the Zofran, which dissolves on the tongue, and soon after my nausea went away and I was able to take my Lortab. I was still in pretty intense pain though, and my ears hurt a lot. I took a bath, then watched tv and in the evening I started taking Advil again, but not the liquid kind. Instead, I tried the liquid-gels, which are supposedly less hard on your stomach. Swallowing it actually wasn't as painful as swallowing the liquid Lortab, and soon I felt much better. Still in pain, but much decreased. I was even able to eat a bit of Jello and drink a good amount of water. A chunk of the white stuff came off (about 3mm in diameter), which I swallowed. It bled some but clotted fast. I went to sleep, and once again, every 4 hours when I woke up to take my pain meds, it was awful. Pain: 10 (7 towards the evening)
Day 7 (today): I woke up taking the Lortab and it was still pretty painful. Ears hurt like the dickens, etc. But I have a lot more energy today, and my pain has decreased substantially from yesterday. I even ate half of a scrambled egg, with lots of water of course. So far, my throat is still mostly white. Pretty much all white. I'm not sure if this means I will go through more intense pain when the white falls off, or what... I am REALLY hoping my decreased pain today means I'm on the mend. It still hurts my ears and throat to drink anything, and there is a lot of stinging, even with water. I feel a lot more energized today, though, and not at all nauseous thanks to the Zofran, which I took earlier today. Pain: 7-8
So, this brings me to my questions...
1. I keep getting the hiccups for extended periods of time... 30 minutes or so. It is quite painful. Has anyone else experienced this? Remedies?
2. I am concerned that my throat is still mostly white. Shouldn't the white (scabs) be falling off? Isn't it supposed to be intensely painful when that does happen? Does this mean that my decreased pain today is only temporary, and will be worse again when the white stuff starts to fall off???