Wow, this board is fantastic for finding out all sorts of things. I have been suffereing from strep throat for three weeks now, and am currently on my third round of antibiotics. I hope this set works to knock this stuff out!
So, a few questions to those who had a tonsillectomy:
1. Did you ever have recurring strep that didn't respond to antibiotics? (is this more common than it seems?)
2. Did the tonsillectomy help with your symtpoms in the long run?
I've battled bouts of strep since I was young. In college I would have 6-8 cases of it per year. It subsided in my late 20s and 30s (I'm 36 now) but I still seem to get a lot of "sore throats" that are pretty severe. Trying to get the doctor to test them every time is a hassle, so a lot of times they end up giving you antibiotics regardless.
I have an appointment with an EMT later this week to see what he thinks and if getting the tonsills out is the way to go. After reading this board, it looks EXTREMELY painful, but it may be worth it in the end.
For me, I had really bad tonsilitis in January. I tried 3 rounds of antibiotics and it finally killed it after the 3rd. However, it resulted in my tonsils swelling up to a very large degree, so badly that I developed sleep apnea. I would literally wake up choking every single night.
When I made the appointment with the ENT to discuss a possible tonsillectomy, he realized that my tonsils had actually grown even more in the 2 months since the last time I saw him. That's when he said they had to be removed and if I let them continue growing, I could suffocate myself in my sleep. Well, I guess that was what made me decide to get it done.
So I had mine out on April 10th. I'm not going to lie, it was the most horrible experience of my life. I mean the recovery, not the actual surgery (for which I was totally asleep the entire time). The recovery was the worst pain I've ever felt in my life and I thought I was literally going to die from the pain. And it took me a good 4 weeks before I felt any significant pain relief. And then I worried about my sense of taste being totally gone (because it was), it took at least 6-8 weeks post-op for me to even start noticing any kind of return to normalcy in that regard.
However, all of that being said, I'm still glad I had it done. Now that I'm totally healed and recovered, I can say it was worth it. Because although I'm more prone to waking up with a dry (and therefore a little bit sore) throat, it actually goes away when I have some water in the morning and I haven't had any colds or anything since then.
I've talked with a few people who had their tonsils out 10 years ago as an adult, and they said they never get sick with any sore throats or colds or anything of that nature since the surgery. So they say it was worth it, too.
It's a risky surgery because of the potential for bleeding for an adult, but if you follow your doc's instructions and seriously take it easy and just don't do any kind of activity at all whatsoever for at least 14 days post-op, then you should be fine.
I haven't had mine out yet (9/18 surgery), so I can't answer your second question, but I am having them out because of recurring strep. I had it 3 times last year and so far 4 times this year (twice since mid-July and after a 17-day round of strong antibiotics). My ENT said I would probably continue to get it every month if I didn't have them taken out. This board has been wonderful in helping me prepare (even if I am scared to death! )
I am right there with you. I am due to have tonsils & adnoids removed and sinus windows inserted in all of my sinus infections, 09/05/06. I have been on antibiotics at least once a month for 9 months now (chronic sinusitus and tonsilitus); your digestive system really kicks you about two months in... but I am looking forward to the relief surgery will provide. My son was suffering from many of the same problems as me, and just had his tonsils out in May. He has not had an infection since. I hope I will be able to bear the pain.
I plan on remembering my 3 year old son pleading with me to "make my throart and ears stop hurting". I feel there is nothing more painful than not being able to make it better, but we did make it better. No more snoring and restless sleep, no more waking up choking, and no more sinus/ear infections every other month. If a tonsillectomy is prescribed, take it... we don't need 'em any way. Sincerely, MG
Thank you for all of your replies. One of the things I love about this board is the feeling that you're not alone. So many of my friends and co-workers just don't understand or have much sympathy ("Why are you always sick?" "How come they can't just give you antibiotics and make it stop?") At least here, I can feel like others have been going through similar circumstances and that I'm not so unique with my throat problems.
Bracelet - thank you for your candid review of your surgery. I think I've now read all of the tonsillectomy threads on here and believe I have a pretty good understanding of the surgery and especially the post-operative healing process. While I dread feeling horrible for about a month or so, the pain I've been dealing with the past three weeks has convinced me that if the doctor will take the tonsils out, it will be best in the long run.
Amcsmom & mkgbrook - I'm glad to hear you're going ahead with the surgery. I'm scared of it too, but at least I know there are two others out there that are about to face the same challenges. I hope in the long run the benefits of the surgery far outweigh the several weeks of pain you'll have to endure.
Only one more day until I meet with the ENT. I hope I have some news to report soon. Until then, be healthy!
I can also say that having the surgery is worth it. My son was having constant tonsillitis and strep infections. He had one in Feb. that was just NOT getting better with the antibiotics and he got really sick and ended up having an abscess on his tonsil that required him to be admitted to the hospital and have it lanced! It was a horrible procedure done while awake and no medicine etc. I hate that he went through that and they say if it happens once it will happen again. His tonsils also were enlarging and causing him to snore and have sleep problems as well as the infections. He also was getting food stuck etc... Having surgery scared me (AND HIM!!!) but he was so miserable we knew he had to do it. He did have a very rough recovery and also had to have second surgery due to bleeding..but it was still all worth it. He had adnoids out too which were infected and we did not even know it!
It is now a month later and he is FINE and so glad he had it done..no more snoring or food getting stuck and I know he will not have to suffer another abscess!
Since it has only been a month I can not say if he is suffering less infections..but I have to believe that will the case as those nasty tonsils are GONE!! So hopefully no more infections or antibiotics!!
It is definitely not an easy recovery but you do recover!!!