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Old 05-16-2006, 09:40 PM   #1
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Question anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

i was checking through threads just now and have read a lot about how people had crappy post-op experiences for tonsillectomies.. is there anyone who had a good one? of course it's not "good", but in comparison to what everyone is saying that they felt like they were death for over a week..

i'm just wondering if anyone's had an "ok" recovery, what did you do that helped this? just wanting to see how i can prepare for this for the best recovery. as well what you did during the recovery.. kinds of things you ate or drank..

i'm stearing clear of all advil/aspirin types of drugs eventhough i've got a killer headache (lucky me, i'm immune to tylenol!).. so i'm not sure what other painkillers i can take for headaches.. if anyone has advice on that as well.

i'm going to guess that the painkiller they prescribe are t3's but i'm not sure on that..? i have not had any luck with t3's with any surgery i've ever had. my very first, where the recovery time was about 2-3 weeks.. all i was given was t3's, and i don't know if you could really imagine the pain i was in. the doc's told me that 50% of people are immune to codeine, and i fall in that percentile. asking for something else would probably be ok i'm thinking.. although my ent is a bit weird and he probably wouldn't even listen to me and still give me them. i suppose i'll just talk with my family doctor about that when i go in for the physical for the tonsillectomy. has anyone had anything other than t3 prescribed? i know there's a throat numbing liquid i've been reading about as well..

i really want a very good and easy recovery and as painless as possible. my cousin had hers done at 16.. she said it hurt like when she'd have a regular sore throat but nothing like what many here are describing.. so im thinking that maybe she was too young to really be affected by it the same way as adults would. i am only 20, will be 21 next month.. i'm hoping that i'm not adult enough ( ) to be affected so harshly but i still want to prepare as best as i can. it worries me to be in such pain. if it's anything like when my tonsils swelled to huge egg-sized things.. i'm in for quite a ride..

 
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Old 05-17-2006, 01:54 PM   #2
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

I'm hoping for an "uneventful" recovery myself... I get mine out tomorrow morning.

 
Old 05-17-2006, 07:37 PM   #3
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

Hi,

I had no problems with mine. I didn't take any stronger painkillers than paracetomol just to eat. I forced myself to eat and drink 'normal' food which I think played a huge part in an easy recovery. (It didn't help me lose weight though!) Best thing to do is have lots of small meals. Have a piece of toast, then hour later and bowl of cornflakes etc. Don't try to have a full meal all at once, you won't make it and will feel your ears are trying to escape through your temples.
The ears were the worst pain, especially when first laying down, but after laying down for a few minutes it obviously balanced out and stopped.

Eat properly, drink LOTS, sleep LOTS, make everyone take care of you, don't do anything too stressful. Oh, and eat icypoles/popsicles/ice lollies (whatever they are caled in your country) ... they are the BEST.

 
Old 05-18-2006, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

I have never heard that people can be immune to codeine. I had my tonsillectomy/UPPP yesterday and was prescribed T3. I've been in a great deal of pain which I assume is normal, but now I'm questioning just how effective my pain relief is. I have some Vicodin from a previous surgery and, other than giving me gnarly nightmares, they worked pretty good. Perhaps I'll try one or two and see if there is a difference.

 
Old 05-18-2006, 02:19 PM   #5
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

And to answer your question about how to have a smooth recovery, I found a post in this thread called "Adult Tonsillectomy - Guide for Friends and Family" to be invaluable, especially for my family to understand what I'm going through. I found it today on page 2, but I will reply to the post and bump it up to the top; not sure how long it will stay there but it might help you find it easier.

 
Old 05-18-2006, 07:45 PM   #6
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

I think I fared pretty well, too. No complications.
But, I won't lie, it was very very painful. Took me a good three weeks before I felt back to normal.
But, I am 37, and I do think it's worse for every few years you get older.

 
Old 05-18-2006, 08:24 PM   #7
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

good luck RW3! i hope it went good and you're not keeling over

proverbs, i didn't know about this until i went into the ER for a wicked string of migraines that lasted a good week or more. i'm prone to migraines since i was 7 up to 12 weekly.. i have never found a smidge of relief from T3's.. even during both of my surgeries i've had before. long story short, she told me 50% of people (don't know if it's of the whole population, or just of those who've used it.. meh?) are immune to the effects of codeine. it makes sense as i've taken 8 in one day and did not feel the slightest bit drowsy or cured of my killer migraine. i didn't take them all at once either lol..

i did read that thread as well proverbs, i found it incredibly useful and i will make a copy of it to keep for when my surgery comes up.

i'm not overly worried about post-op bleeding considering i can't even donate half a pint of blood without it clotting up. i have incredibly tiny veins.. so i think that may work to my advantage? plus im trying to be entirely drug free until the surgery so nothing complicates it and thins my blood out or does anything else i wouldn't be aware of although i had to take some muscle relaxers last night. don't think that's a big deal.

with ear pain.. is it the same feeling you get when you dive real deep under water? or when you're going up in a plane? i don't know if that makes sense to ask but i have a huge problem with those kinds of ear pains. i sometimes get them from driving over a hill or something.. and it kills. that's the only thing i'm worried about really.. i have a tendency to get really sensitive ears that way. i don't know if that's the same thing.. i think that's got to do with air pressure but i'm not really sure.

thanks all

 
Old 05-18-2006, 08:39 PM   #8
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

Hi Proverbs3130,
I'm surprised you Dr gave you pills. Ask your Dr for Roxicet, it is a liquid so its easier to swallow. It worked great for me and I'm 15 days post-op. I went throught 2 bottles. If he doesn't prescribed that, be careful with the pills. I'm not sure of your age, but it helped alot to make sure you drink plenty of water.
Good luck with your recovery
Shay

Oops read in another forum that you were taking liquid instead of pills. My bad

Last edited by shay01; 05-18-2006 at 08:45 PM. Reason: didn't realize you were taking liquid

 
Old 05-18-2006, 09:29 PM   #9
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

Well I'm onto my 9th Post-Op day and I think I can say that things are looking up for me. I saw my ENT yesterday for a follow-up and he said my recovery process has been very unusual - originally I thought I was having a worse time of it than most, but now I'm not so sure. Here's how it's gone so far:

My first 2 days were spent in hospital (1-2 days in hospital post-op is normal in Australia which seems a little different to other countries) and the pain was considerable but I managed to drink a stack of water during these days and eat small bits of sandwiches which is what was on offer in hospital.

My first night at home was awful. I started to bleed in the middle of the night and panic set in. However, it wasn't a lot of blood...it was more the thought of what "might" happen that got me panicing! It was controlled within 10 minutes and then I spent the rest of the night too scared to go to sleep and in immense pain!

Days 3-7 brought with them a sort of pain I've never experienced before. It was more the CONSTANT ear pain that got me rather than the throat pain - the throat only was a real issue when I swallowed. The pain killers I had (codiene-based tablets) gave me about 5 minutes of slight relief out of every 4 hours. Looking back, I think the trauma of having to swallow the tablets was not worth the tiny bit of relief it produced. The scariest part of this pain was it came on so early, so I was expecting it to get even worse once day 6-7 came along...I wasn't sure how it physically could be more painful but I was assuming it would and was petrified of the fact!

I think it was the morning of day 6 that I started bleeding again - when my partner looked at my throat and found a bit blood clot covering my right tonsil bed, however the active bleeding was very small so I didn't need to back to hospital thank goodness! This day was painfully long as I was waiting for the clot to break off and start bleeding again with every swallow.

I found it impossible to keep my fluids up during this time...I'd have small sips now and again, but nowhere near what I thought I needed.

During day 7, things seemed to improve slightly - I noticed I wasn't begging for painkillers and I was actually making it past the 4 hour mark without dying for more.

Day 8 (yesterday) was definitely my "miracle" day. Whilst my throat was still sore - it was no more so than a moderate case of tonsilitis. I only took 1 pain killer last night to sleep, but was without them for the entire day. When I saw my ENT yesterday, he was amazed that I was feeling an improvement in pain given all the calls he'd received from my boyfriend in the days earlier complaining of the pain/bleeding etc. He said usually the recovery is a pretty accurate timeline that is the same for all adult patients and that he'd never seen a recovery like mine. At this point, we're assuming that everything just happened a bit quicker than it should've...so instead of having a decline in days 6 - 8, i had mine in days 3 - 6 (which meant I never really felt an improvement before feeling crappy!).

So yeah, today is day 9 and the pain is more than tolerable so far. The worst bit now is getting food stuck in the tonsil beds!! I hope that doesn't keep happening as that's half the reason I got my tonsils out (tonsil stones from caught food).

So all in all, whilst I wouldn't wish the pain of a tonsillectomy on ANYONE, I would say my recovery has been pretty OK in hindsight. At the time I wouldn't have said that though!!

Good luck with your recovery!

Sarah.

 
Old 05-18-2006, 09:42 PM   #10
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

I was six years old. Had lots of popcicles and cold drinks. Wore a ice pack thing around my throat for about 4 days. That is all I remember. Must not have been really bad, though I do remember it.

 
Old 05-18-2006, 10:04 PM   #11
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

being 20, what are the odds of my pain being less severe then most of the people here? i know that many are older than i am. i also know that kids get over this easily. my cousin at 16 had no big problems. i've read of 18 yr olds on here having complications and severe pain.. i'm clinging onto the fact that i'm not old enough to be categorized with that kind of post-op pain. although i think i'm probably just as unlucky as every other adult :\ is it worse with age? i mean, between 20 and 30, or 20 and 40? or is it once you're an adult, the pain is bad and that's all there is to it?

sorry if i ask too many questions. my doc had a tendency to not answer me...

 
Old 05-18-2006, 10:58 PM   #12
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

Hi andvari, I have just turned 26, so still relatively young, but do not think this helped at all when it came to the severity of the pain. I should have got my tonsils out when I was about 10 - if only my parents had of listened to the advice back then!

I think it really does come down to each individual. I've read posts on here of people going back to uni/work 5 days into their recovery and could not have possibly fathomed doing that myself! Yesterday (day 8) was the first day that I was able to leave the house and that was only to see my ENT.

Being 20, you definitely have age on your side and if there are any benefits to being a younger adult, you should be inline to receive them. I know you've read it 100 times already, but the drinking thing holds a lot of merit i think. Make sure you drink as much as you can when you're able to hydrate yourself adequately to get through the more painful days.

 
Old 05-19-2006, 08:20 AM   #13
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

thanks harlee and gurguk.. sorry if i got that wrong. i plan on keeping a sac full of water bottles handy! i've pretty well got a good understanding of how to recover and get the best out of it.. i hope. i'm going to try and get my hands on a humidifier if i can.. or would that be pointless?
i hear my ent is really good, and i hear this from other people so i believe it. but he's not very good at explaining things or even talking. he just checks me out, tells me what i have is called without explaining it, and says what can be done. no questions answered and it's sooo aggrevating. i think on my physical for the op my doc will be a bit more open to questions. that's still 2 weeks away.. i think i'm beginning to get a bit more nervous though the more i read.. maybe i'll disapear to not scare myself anymore lol..

 
Old 05-20-2006, 02:57 PM   #14
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

Quote:
Originally Posted by andvari
good luck RW3! i hope it went good and you're not keeling over
I'm hanging in there... Pain from swallowing is still tough but I have had boughts of strep that were worse. It's not so much the pain as it is the "difficulty" of swallowing which I assume is from the swelling. Yesterday I could not get water or anything down without choking, today apple juice is my friend and seems to go down easier.

The Doctor removed my uvula as well as the tonsils and also stitched and cauterized the wounds. He said that he doesn't think bleeding will be an issue.

Oh and and the Hydrocodone burns like hell going down... I have been watering it down.

 
Old 05-20-2006, 04:07 PM   #15
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Re: anyone had "ok" tonsillectomy experiences? please share!

Hey RW3,

Sounds like you had the exact same procedure I did: tonsillectomy & UPPP. I had my surgery on Wednesday 5/17. I also found the pain meds burn going over the wounds and have been mixing them with water. The pain meds don't really eliminate the pain for me, they simply take the edge off. This whole ordeal seems to be more about endurance than anything else. It's a mental game; played from pain meds to pain meds. So far, I can only tolerate popsicles, jello, iced water, lukewarm chicken broth, microscopic bites of very smooth mashed potatoes washed down with water, and the same with pudding. I'm fantasizing about the day when I can tolerate macaroni & cheese! Today, my head feels the size of a basketball and my brain is sloshing around inside from the constant presence of codeine in my system. I've been taking a short walk (1/2 block) every day and it's exhausting. I'm not a wimp, have a high tolerance for pain, and this has just laid me flat out like nothing before. I just keep focusing on how healthy I am going to be when I'm on the other side of this mess. Having a constant infection in my body for four years took it's toll and this is just the road necessary to repair that. I will never be the same. NEVER. That is my inspiration.

 
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