I had my tonsils removed on May 19th. I have posted on here before the op and was hoping to write about my recovery afterwards. However, the last 2 weeks have been awful and I haven't been able to sit at the computer to write. Things started to get a little better the last couple of days until late last night when I started bleeding. I could feel a pool of liquid in the back of my throat that wouldn't shift. When I went to spit it out I realised I was bleeding. There was quite a lot of blood and the bleeding started up 4 times in an hour. I went to casualty and they said its unusual to bleed at this stage of the recovery but not to worry. They sent me home and told me to monitor it, I should go back if it starts gushing and doesn't stop.
So last night and today I have been so worried that it will start up again, it was such a horrible and scary experience, especially as I was thinking things were just getting better. There hasn't been any more bleeding so far but am worried it will start again tonight. I have had a look in my throat and can see where it has come from. My throat feels really sore especially on the right hand side where the bleed came from. I'm trying to sip ice water but it has been giving me the most unbelievable pain in my right ear for the last week. I've only been able to tolerate warm drinks so the ice water and bleeding is really hard.
Does anyone have any advice to help me through this? Thanks in advance -had enough now
Jane, I have been thinking of you and wondering how you are doing. I am sorry it has not been going well for you. Bleeding at Day 12!!
I completely understand about the bleeding. When I bled it was quite a bit...our conservative estimate at least 3 tablespoons, almost 1/4 of a cup. That's a lot of blood in 10 minutes! A bit nerve-wracking, isn't it? I bled at night and caused it while I was sleeping, so the next night the thought of going to sleep was concerning.
Just so you can compare notes with what you were told, here's what the doctor told me when I bled: if you start to bleed, gargle with ice water until it stops and then no longer, just sip the ice water (like you are doing). He put me back on a liquid diet for the next 12 hours and then very soft after that for another day or so. He told me to rest quietly, don't talk and keep my head elevated. Told me it was not a big deal unless I could not control the bleeding by gargling the ice water.
Understandably the ice water is hurting your ears like crazy right now. Do you know about warm olive oil? If not, warm olive oil up as warm as you can stand but not hot. I test it on the inside of my wrist. Fill your ear canal with the warm oil and plug with cotton to keep the oil next to your ear drum. You should get immediate relief from the ear pain but I am unsure if it will be enough to overcome aggravation from the ice water. I bled and did the ice water thing before my ears started to hurt, so I don't know. Worth a shot, anyway, and if it works please make sure you post so others know.
This bleeding issue seems to be a lot more common than the doctors would have you believe when they send you home after your surgery. I wish I would have known that ahead of time!
Am pleased to say that last night was a good night, no bleeding and I slept for 10 hours straight! Woke up with some pain and an awful headache but it was worth it for the sleep.
The bleeding was really frightening, I think you are right, it seems to be loads in such a short space of time and also its the worry of what might happen. The doctor told me about the ice water bit didnt mention anything about eating or talking. However, I figured that liquids would be best for the next day so just had some warm soups etc. The thought of eating anything else was too worrying, I was even too scared to swallow any of my meds during the Friday night and sat morning so was in a lot of pain, gave in and it was all alright! Also was too scared to talk so just been whispering!
I will try the olive oil. I can't believe how painful the ears get. I'm hoping that this week will be better and things will start to improve. I'm been signed off work for another week so I will have been off for 4 weeks now as I was unwell the week before the op. Can't wait to get back to normal!
Am feeling a little more with it now so can give you a proper update on the last couple of weeks!
The night before my op I got a phone call from the hospital at 10.30 (just as I had gone to sleep!) to say it had been cancelled. There was a staff shortage and they didnt know when it would be rescheduled for. Anyway, the next day I got a call at 10.30am saying they could do it and I had to be there for 3.30pm! When I arrived they then said they weren't sure if the surgeon would do it because I had a mild infection the week before. After an hours wait the surgeon said it would be fine but would be higher risk of infection so would put me antibiotics. So had the op and I wasn't really prepared for the amount of pain I felt when I woke up. The first thing I remember saying was, can you put them back in! Also, I wasn't prepared to have a completely numb tongue. It is still numb now on the end but it has taken nearly 2 weeks. For the first week I couldn't feel it at all, it felt like a big gloopy ball in my mouth which has made eating nearly impossible! As the feeling came back it was very painful and felt like it was burning all over. The surgeon said it was normal and could take a few months to be completely better. He didn't tell me this before the op! I'd been given something to help stop the sickness from the pain relief as I'm not good with morphine. however, I still managed to throw up 8 times - blood and gunk, gross sorry! I continued to have anti sickness injections through the evening and finally stopped at 10.30pm. The surgeon said that my tonsils needed to come out - they were full of infection, gunk and he said there was even food in my right tonsil, so gross. He's sent them away to be looked at. I was able to go home the next day at lunch time. The pain wasn't too bad but as the week went on I began to feel really sick and was sick again on Weds. Docs said was probably one of the tablets I was taking but didnt know which so had to experiment a little. By Friday the pain got heaps worse and I was continuing to feel sick - just like sea sickness. Saturday night I woke at 2.00am and spent 8 hours being sick. We phoned the hospital again and they said they same thing, could be one of the tablets (had also been to docs in the week and been given a 2nd lot of anitibiotics). I decided to just take the antibitoics as they said this was most important and took just paracetamol. I thought I would rather have pain than sickness. However, as the day went on I soon changed my mind as I was in the most unbearable pain - mainly from my right ear. I couldn't manage any water without crying. The only thing I could drink was warm milk. I know they say avoid dairy but I figured it was better to drink that than nothing. It still continues to be the most bearable thing to drink. Sleeping has been a bit of a problem until the last couple of nights. I was waking every 3 hours to take my pain meds but eveytime I woke I was in the most unbearable pain from my mouth drying out and then I couldnt drink much because of the pain it caued it my ear. I then decided it would be best not to sleep and now I am suffering!
I'm pleased to say that the sickness has now passed and the ear pain is decreasing slowly. My throat is looking quite good, the scabs just seemed to wear away. I can still some white at the base of the holes where my tonsils were and there is a blood clot, I guess where the bleed came from on Friday. I can't believe how much space there is now in the back of my throat, so used to it being really closed up!
So I am hoping that things will start to improve now and soon I will be able to eat properly again. I am craving proper food!
I hope everyone else is recovering well and thank you to everyone for sharing their stories, kind words and advice.
Looking forward to realising that life without tonsils is best!
PS did anyone else get a completely numb tongue and how long did it take to get back to normal?
I am so happy, it sounds like you have gotten over the bleeding hump. My doctor told me people who bleed only usually bleed once but it still took me a couple days to relax.
I am so sorry you woke up hurting! You should have woken up high as a kite and feeling no pain. What are you taking now for pain, is it straight morphine or something else? Depending on what it is you may be able to supplement with acetaminaphen/paracetamol if it is not handling the pain. There are many narcotics that are already combined with that drug, however, and you can't have more than 4000mg/day.
Yes, narcotics make me ill, too. I alway try to get off of them as quickly as possible. Better than liking them too much, I suppose! I can't imagine throwing up so many times and how much that hurt. The roxicet (liquid percoset) I was given is actually the best narcotic I've been on -- it wasn't too bad if I didn't move. Thankfully the doctor sent me home with anti-nausea meds, though.
Why didn't they give you anti-nausea meds when you so obviously needed them? I keep hearing how so many people are going through this recovery without meds that would make them more comfortable and it makes me so upset. THIS is the reason adult tonsillectomies are so terrible, and if doctors would adequately medicate they wouldn't have to be! People are suffering for no good reason. And then we have to go to message boards for the help and information that our doctors won't give us. Really pushes my buttons, can you tell?
Do you guys over there have any throat numbing meds you can get without a prescription at a pharmacy/druggist? We have drops and sprays which contain Benzocaine and Menthol. My preference is brand name Cepacol. I don't know if you have that over there but you should have something with those ingredients even if they are called something different? I didn't even know acetaminophen had a different name in other parts of the world until I looked up paracetamol.
I hope you get some relief from the oil. I still had ear discomfort through day 18 or so but hopefully it won't be that long for you. I didn't experience any tongue numbness and my sense of taste was only affected for a few days, so hopefully someone else can help you there and let you know what to expect.
I'm taking Zopain which is 30mg codene with 500mg paracetamol. I can take 8 in 24 hours so I take one every 3 hours and 2 before bed. I was also taking diclofex 50mg 3 times a day for pain and inflammation. I stopped taking that last week when I was being so sick and this seems to have helped the sickness. The doctor told me to take ibuprofen instead for the swelling, which I've read on here is not recommended. I don't think its been as effective as the diclofex but has stopped the sickness so thats good.
I kept asking if there was anything I could take for nausea. Everyone (GP, pharmacist, nurse at hospital) said no!
I'm going to go to my doctor on Tuesday for a check up because the right side is still so sore and just want a bit of reassurance that its healing ok.
Am going to try the oil later when I can get some. Seem to have a really bad headache today, been in bed all afternoon trying to sleep it away - not working!
You do sound as if the bad luck fairy has been following you around a lot. It is odd to bleed that far into recovery, can you remember swallowing anything, maybe too big of a swallow or anything that could have caused the bleed? I'm wondering about the vomiting, that may have caused a tear or popped a suture or 2? Was it bright red blood or brown, dark red? Bright red is a new fresh bleed, old blood that may have been lying around in tehre for awhile would be darker, almost brown. I would still follow up with a ring to your surgeons office and let him know whts been happening if you havent already done so. I cannot imagine having nausea and God forbid, vomiting with the pain of post of a post op throat for all that to pass through. Im so greatful I didnt have nausea and/or vomiting, My heart goes out to you and I hope you feel better. The roxecet for me barely took the edge off of my pain. The best relief was the couple of times I had morphine in the IV. I also had the uvula, soft palate lasered ( sleep apnea) as well as a septoplasty
( deviated septum/sleep apnea as well) So I know of what you say about pain. My surgeon uses lasers, which leaves a lot cleaner field afterwards, and I didnt have the scaby things to deal with. But I can tell you that a "toarched" throat ( as my primary doc likes to call it) is a very sore one. I lost 7 pounds in 4 days, but I was happy about that. I was told pain from the tonsillectomy would be 2 weeks and the rest would maybe be a week longer. I have been pain free since yesterday, and that is day 18, so hang in tehre, I know you'll be better every day. Just keep your surgeon up to speed especially if teh bleeding is the bright red kind, as opposed to the expected old brown crap that comes out after surgery. Let me know how you do, ok?
It was definately bright red blood, was so disgusting I could feel where it was coming from. The only thing that I can think of that may have caused it is that I did yawn on Friday - I can remember because it was so painful! I wonder if I stretched something a little if thats possible?!
Will keep you posted on how things go. Am going to bed now and hoping that it is another good night!
The last 2 days have been quite good, no more bleeding and I've been able to sleep loads - catching up on the last 2 weeks I think!
My throat was very sore and red yesterday on the right hand side but this morning it is feeling a bit better . My ear still continues to hurt but is not as bad as it has been - I hoping that things are really on the up now. I've made an appointment to see the doc tomorrow just to check everything is as it should be - fingers crossed! My tongue still feels like the end has been tied in a knot and every now and then it feels like its burning, wondering if this is a good sign and maybe its the feeling coming back?!
Ill be watching for your report on what the doc says, Jane43. Im glad you feel better. I started really turning that corner at the 2 week point too. I sleep better and breathe better now than I ever thought possible, so Im guessing the sleep apnea corrections worked! I even deliberatly tried to make a snoring noise and discovered that I am now physically incapable of making that sound! It just will not happen, and that is what started it all to begin with! Keep me posted, ok?
Just updating on my visit to the docs. He said that my throat still looks raw which is why it still feels so sore. The ear pain he said should settle in its own time - keep taking the painkillers. He also said that he thinks I my have oral thrush as my tongue still has a coating on it and is a bit spotty - so attractive! He's given me a mouthwash to use for the next 5 days and wants to see me again next week if I'm not fit for work. He said that because my tongue was so numb after the surgery, the burning sensation that I can feel and also the feeling of pins and needles is a sign of the feeling coming back. He again said this should settle in its own time - hope it is quick!!