Hello everyone! I'm new to the forum, although I've been looking around as a guest for a while. I'm a 20 year old female student from Australia, and I'm scheduled to have my tonsillectomy a week today, Thursday 15th April 2010! I'll be keeping this online journal of all my thoughts, feelings and experiences throughout this journey and recovery period, and I appreciate any tips/ encouragement for recovery
Quick update, it's 6 days til I have the op but I thought I'd give you a better background on myself.
I started off getting tonsillitis just after I turned 18, and so far, I've had it 11 times in the last two years -.- I've been to the specialist 2 times, and this time he's said I need them out. Which I'm so glad about because I've taken way too much time off uni and work. He had to put me on steroids last time to reduce the swelling, and I'm immune to pretty much all of the antibiotics now because I've taken them so much.
On another topic, I know I have impacted wisdom teeth at the moment. They've only just recently started bothering me, but I'm hoping this won't interfere with the surgery. Any opinions?
Had the op yesterday, and there were some positives and negatives of it all. Let's start with the Operation Day.
I woke up at about 6.30am, guess I was a bit nervous and my Dad banging around in the kitchen getting ready for work didn't help much. I lay around in bed then got up at aroun 8.30am, when I had a shower and got dressed. I was told to fast from 8am this morning, but my Dad thought it was a bit off, and I should be fasting from midnight last night, so after coming home from hockey training and eating dinner at 7.30pm, I hadn't had anything to eat in over 13 hours.
My Mum and I left for the hospital around 10.30am (I had been asked to get there at 11.15am), and got there with about 5 minutes to spare after getting lost and missing the turning on the way. We checked in, and I sat down in the waiting area, where I was called from about 10 minutes later and taken to my room. The nurse that took me and my Mum there said that there'd be another nurse there shortly to give me my wrist and ankle bands and ask more questions.
The nurse came in about 30 minutes later, strapped on my wrist and ankle bands and asked me about history of Mad Cow Disease in my family (which there is none of). While she was finishing up, the anaesthetist came in and asked if I had any allergies and told me briefly what to expect. Then both the nurse and anaesthetist left me and my Mum in my room. I was then told that the anaesthetist would come back with some pre-meds for me at around 2pm so I went outside to phone my boyfriend (who was coming to visit me after he finished uni) to let him know what was happening. He came and brought me flowers and a teddy bear, which definitely brightened up my stay.
At 2pm, I was given the pre-meds but they didn't seem to do much. I was then asked to change into my gown (which doesn't close at the back btw) and then go and wait in my bed, so I did just that while my Mum and boyfriend waited close by.
At 4pm, I was taken to the room that you sit in before the operating theatre where I was given a shower cap thingy, and where I was talking to a girl next to me who was having her appendix out. I waited for a little bit, and they gave me a warm blanket, took my blood pressure and pulse rate again, then wheeled me into the operating theatre. I remember the anaethetist being there and folding down one side of my bed so that I could scoot onto the operating table. Once on the table, the anaesthetist put a blood pressure machine on my left arm, whilst the nurse put one on my right. He then took my wrist and said I might feel a bit of a ***** as he put the IV into the side of my wrist. Then he strapped the oxygen mask to my face, and I felt a slightly warm sensation in my chest and in my hand as it went through the IV, felt my eyes go heavy, and fell asleep.
I woke up an hour later in the recovery room with the oxygen mask back on, where the girl that had her appendix out was also waking up. There was a nurse above my head who took the mask off, and I remember the first thing I said to her was "have you chucked them out yet, or can I have a look at them?" and then laughter. I remember her telling me I'd been bleeding and when I wiped my nose, there was blood, so I asked for a tissue and she told me it was from where they'd inserted a tube up my nose. I was so confused, "wowww, I had a tube up my nose?", more laughter. After 15 minutes or so, i was wheeled back to my room, where my boyfriend and Mum were waiting. The nurse raised my bed a bit, and checked the IV was still working whilst another nurse took my blood pressure and pulse again. I was then given jelly with ice cream and sandwiches and apple juice, but only managed a tiny bite of the sandwich and some of the jelly. Surprisingly enough, ice cream felt pretty bad, probably because it lined my throat and caused masses of phlegm. Not a nice feeling.
My family came to visit me that night, and the nurses kep coming in, giving me IV panadol and IV therapy. I tried to get to sleep as quickly as possible, but my IV machine kept beeping, telling me that there were air bubbles and that they were dangerous, so I kept having to call the nurse. I also kept having to call the nurse when I wanted to go to the toilet since I was connected to the IV machine, which was connected to the wall.
DAY ONE POST OP
At around 2am, I was in quite a bit of pain, so the nurse gave me a pain-relief injection, as well as keeping giving me IV panadol and IV therapy. All in all, I slept for about half an hour a time, probably getting around 4 hours sleep in total.
I woke up feeling pretty bad, and was told that I must eat toast otherwise I wouldn't be allowed to go home. So I managed half a piece, as the nurse took the IV off me. It stayed down about half an hour, then as soon as I was told I could get up and get changed into my own clothes, I brought it all back up, as well as some blood and whatever had been in the IV. Nice. The nurse left to get me an anti-nausea tablet, which I was told to dissolve under my tongue, but before it managed to all dissolve, I was sick again. Lovelyyy. My Mum came in just enough time to witness the end of this episode, and afterwards, I felt so crappy.
I lay in bed, staring at the first antibiotic that I was supposed to take, but knew that I was just going to bring it straight back up had I swallowed it. Around 1pm, the nurse decided I'd need the anti-nausea injection, and within 30 minutes, I was back home, feeling okay, just my throat stinging from the being sick. I finally took the amoxycillin by cutting it open and dissolving it in a glass of water, wasn't too bad but there's no way I'd be able to swallow them. And here I am now! 3:30pm, sore throat, back in bed, always feeling the need to go to the toilet??
Hi... thanks for posting your experience. How are you feeling now? My daughter is 17 and having her tonsils out in June when school lets out. Her doctor said she would need to allow 10 days for recovery and since she already has missed alot of school from being sick with tonsilitis and strep throat, we thought it best to wait till then. I hope you are feeling better everyday. Looking forward to reading an update on your recovery.
I am currently 4 days Post-Op of my Tonsellectomy. I am 37/F. I thought I would share my experience also, andhopefully offer a few tips that will be helpful to somebody else going through this
Keep in mind that everyone reacts to the various drugs/anasthesia differently. For example, a lot of people get nausea/vomitting and I haven't had that whatsoever (lucky me!).
On the day of the Op. I got there, checked in, and was shown to the pre-Op room. Here they had me undress, put on the fetching hospital gown, and get hooked up to the IV. This hydrates you, since you are not allowed to eat or drink for 12 hours before (maybe longer, or shorter, depending on your surgeon, but I was 12hrs....and thirsty!!). I did not like this one bit...it is quite painful goin into your hand, but once it was in it wasn't a problem. I had to answer a series of questions regarding my health and so on, and was then left to rest. During this time my surgeon, the Anasthesiologist and the OR Nurse all came by to see me, which I liked. I have heard from others who didn't even see their surgeon before or after the Op!
Eventually I was wheeled into the OR. You are asked to shuffle over to the OR Bed from your other one. They place a mask over your face, and you start to relax. When the anaesthsia goes in, it stings your hand (at the point of entry of the IV) which I did not like at all. However, that feeling lasts only a second or so because it is lights out!!
The next thing you will be aware of is coming round in recovery. To begin with it is a tad confussing (for me anyway) but once I got my barings I could answer their questions. The nurses were mainly concerned with my pain level, which wasn't too bad at this point because I was given pain killers during the Op itself. However, I was hovering around a 6/10, so they gave me a shot of morphine. This feels like a warm blanket wrapping you up and makes you very sleepy (or it did me!) and I fell asleep for about an hour. When I woke up again I was in Recovery II, which is the next stage along...where they wheel you once you have been monitored for a while immediately after your surgery.Here I was given another shot of morphine and left to sleep again. My hubby came in to join me at this point, and met with my surgeon to go ver home-care etc.
Within an hour or so, I was getting dressed and being wheeled out to go home. I left with 2 RXs - an antibiotic to minimize the risk of infections and a pain-killer (Roxicet). We drove home via the pharmacy and dropped the RXs off, then stopped by Sonic Drive-Thru. Here is my tip #1. And no, I don't work for Sonic ....pick up as many large drinks as you can manage. Personally I went for 2 waters and 2 diet-cokes as a treat for myself, PLUS be sure to get one of their wonderful bags of ice!!! This is small pips of ice which is totally chewable and lovely! Tip #2 - drink, drink and more drink. Start guzzling that water as soon as it is given to you, and do not stop. Does it hurt to swollow??? You bet your life it does - it is agony....but staying hydrated will speed up your recovery and will keep you feeling half-human. Once I had swigged all 4 drinks, I used the cups to refill from my 'fridge and also filled one up with ice and chewed on it all day long. This also helps keep things moving, and lessens jaw pain you may otherwise get. The ice on your throat is soothing and slightky numbing so helps with the pain, which is great!!
Once I picked up my RXs I stuck to a strict schedule for the first 48hrs, (Tip #3) which included setting an alwarm through the night. It was awful to be woken up, but by doing so I kept the pain-meds on an even-keel, and also it gave me the chance to swig more water and ice. It is night time when your mouth gets real dry and the mornings were the worst pain because of this.
Tip #4 would be to use the ice pack that hopefully the hospital will give you - but if they don't it is worth buying one. I have used this constantly, day and night, and it has helped immensley to reduce discomfort.
At night I slept slightly propped up, which I think helped with any possible drainage etc. I also slept on my sofa so I could shuffle around to my heart's content and not disturb my DH too much, because I needed him awake in the day to nurse me to health!! LOL! Anyway - I set up a little table of goodies for myself. It may not seem much, but I found this a great source of pleasure...books, throat sweets, water, ice, ice-pack, magazines, lap-top and so on. It has been like my little sanctuary!!
Obviously it is a personal decision, but I would suggest taking a full 2 weeks off work. I am coming on day 5, and 6 if you include the day of surgery itself (since I had my surgery very early in the morning) and I am still in considerable pain despite every self-help measure known to man! Not only is the pain HORRIBLE, but it simply knocks the wind out of your sails having this surgery. There is really no getting around it either. The pain meds only took the edge of the pain. Also, one thing to note IMO, is that unlike most other situations....it is not a case of feeling horrible the first few days then starting to get better, it is actually the opposite. I don't think this is something that is discussed or highlighted enough. The first 2 days were, for me, and for many others based on my reading, actually not too bad. Yes, painful, but not excruciating. Day 3 I started to get worse, and day 4/5 has been even worse, with ear pain and extreme soreness.
At this stage I have a ways to go....I am so thankful I took 2 weeks off and not 7, because I would never be ready for work at this point. My concern now is with the slughing off of these gross white scabs, because that is when the main risk of this surgery presents itself: bleeding. So far I haven't had much...I tasted a little in the middle of the night last night, but otherwise nothing, so fingers crossed it will stay that way.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions...I hope these tips help. Thank you to everyone who shares their stories because I have taken tips from everywhere and it has been an enormous help! If I think of any more I will post them
Eating. Personally, I stayed away from food for 48hrs. After that I ate soggy cereal. I suggest a high fiber cereal because the drugs can cause constipation...especially the one I was on (Roxicet). Obviously if you can tolerate more, then go for it! One thing I did consume in huge quntities was sugar-free popsicles. Very soothing on the throat!! Stock up a couple of large boxes prior to your surgery!
Also - your skin and especially your lips will likely be dry and chapped, so be sure to have vaseline or chapstick on hand. This is because they have to hold your mouth open for the surgery, I think. Mine were a little sore and very dry, so I was happy to have vaseline on hand.
One more thing - I would suggest keeping a log of when you take your meds. I made the dumb mistake of forgetting and then taking too much, which resulted in an overdose. Thank goodness my husband was with me and recognised the symptoms immediately, and lucky for me it did not require emergency medical attention, but it was nevertheless a very scary experience and not one I wish to repeat!!
Thank you KatieMomma and volleymom for your replies, I am currently on Day 6 and thought I should update, so here we go.
Pretty annoyed today that I'm missing my friend's 21st, but I know there's no way I'm up to it. Boyfriend came over to watch movies, but we only ended up getting half way through one before I started to feel incredibly tired and sick, so I needed to go to bed. Foodwise, tonight I was craving wedges, so that's what I had to eat. I managed only a couple, but was content with that. I left the house today to go to the video store, and as long as I clung onto my boyfriend's arm for support, everything was fine.
Today was the first day that I didn't feel completely drugged up anymore. I didn't managed a whole lot of food, though. Pain was better than yesterday, but still not very nice. I still wouldn't say that it's any worse than tonsillitis though. I managed a couple of pieces of garlic bread for lunch today, then dinner was chicken and pasta, which I couldn't swallow at all. Dad put it in the blender for me (surprisingly enough, it tasted okay) but I still prefered the chicken straight from my plate. I ate as much as possible, and then went to bed. Pretty tiring stuff, hey?
Today, I woke up for an hour between 3 and 4am again. I still don't know why this is happening, but it really doesn't bother me much. And I am still getting 8-9 hours sleep a night, so I'm sure it's not important. Managed to stomach a chocolate smoothie from my sister's work again. Actually felt pretty good today, only took one pain killer. Had my first proper venture out of the house today, Mum and I went for a drive to the beach, then to pick up some groceries, including a new magazine, from the store, and then to pick up my sister from work. I also managed a chocolate cookie after dinner and my Mum made some excellenttttt lentil soup, which I ate half a bowl of, with some crusty bread. Sounds painful, but it wasn't at all. Pain wasn't high today, although I've noticed it tends to spike after I've had something to eat or drink. Nothing too serious though. Took another pain killer and antibiotic, and went to bed, trouble-free.
Today I woke up at around 5.30am with incredibly bad pains. Not wanting to take the pain killer again, I drank more of my water through a straw and placed that cold face cloth on the front of my neck again whilst I lay in bed surfing the internet. My mum went out in the morning to drive my sister to Uni again, so I was alone for about 30 minutes. When she came back, she made me a toasted bacon sandwich (which I found to be incredibly salty, but nevertheless, very tasty) which I managed to eat half of before giving the other half to my dog, who was looking longingly at me. I'm pretty sure she's gaining the weight that I'm losing right now.
Whilst eating, I felt a bit more pain, then tasted blood, so of course, I ran to the bathroom to have a look (and also brush my teeth) and when I opened my mouth, I saw that part of the scab was coming off the left side of where my tonsils used to be. I showed my Mum, and she said that most of it had already come off the left side. I was a bit worried because I didn't think the scabs were supposed to come off until much, much later, but there was no blood so I didn't panic. I had a shower and watched a bit of TV, then decided that I was well enough to go out properly, so me and Mum headed to Ikea and then to a shopping centre for the day. We were out for a good 5 hours, and the only problem I had was running out of water in Target and being bought a new one. No major dramas there.
Whilst at Ikea, Mum decided it would be a good idea for me to eat something, and since the meatballs were half price because it was Tuesday (?!) she went and bought me some. I did however, only manage about half of them, and none of the chips. Nevertheless, she was delighted I had managed to eat (and then I proceeded to eat my mini chocolate mousse too).
For dinner, Mum made enchiladas, which I tried a tiny bit of, but were wayyy too spicy and burnt my throat like hell. So I proceeded to mix my pain killer and antibiotic in a glass of water (I know, I know, I just still don't think I can swallow them whole). Two seconds after swallowing the concoction, something felt wrong. My ears started hurting. My throat started stinging. I was in excruciating pain, and drinking cold water didn't help anymore. Calming myself down, I decided just to relax and breathe, and two minutes later, everything was pretty much back to normal. Mind over matter, much?
I proceeded to eat a bowl of last night's home made lentil soup, at lukewarm temperature, which felt wonderful. Mum then presented me with a Turkish Delight chocolate ice bar, which left me feeling like I hadn't even had an operation at all (although this might also be the pain killers kicking in).
After dinner, my boyfriend came over, and we sat in my room talking for a couple of hours, before my throat got pretty sore and he left to go home.
Discovered that I have an incredibly itchy rash on my lower back, and the site of my IV insertion still itches like a ***** too. Comments?
After BF left, I again went and mixed my pain killer and antibiotic in a glass of water (still tastes feral, by the way) and decided to go to bed. No problems falling asleep, I found I was exhausted as soon as my head hit the pillow.
I think we had our tonsils out a day apart, so we are both on the road to recovery at the same time. I seem to remember you are in your late teens or early 20s, and lucky for you that should speed up the process. I read that generally children bounce back after 5 days or so, teens after 8-9 and older adults (like me, I'm 37) can take up to 3 weeks. Plus the pain is usually greater the older you get. Sorry - it sounds like I'm "competing" on who is in more pain I'm not - just stating statistics. What I do know is I feel miserable and I am in a ridiculous amount of pain which is just awful. I can't wait for this to be over because this truly is a grim existence right now!
For the itchy thing you mentioned...I had that too, and it is a common side effect to the strong painkillers. Itching at the site of your IV is a sign of healing. My entire body itched on the Roxicet. I have quit taking that since it is an narcotic drug, and my OD experience scared the crap out of me, not to mention my hubby! Now I am just on regular Tylenol, butr it seems almost pointless as it barely touches the pain. In fact, even the Roxicet did very little for me.
I managed a bowl of tomato soup and bread with the crust peeled off, but it was agony to swollow the bread. I had a good cry today because I felt so sorry for myself and I also feel so bad for my kids....I am usually very involved in what they are doing and I am just moving from one sofa to the other and back again. I did manage to drag myself out today in the car (hubby drove) with the kids to go get a bite to eat, and I promptly fell fast asleep, so they left me in the car. I may as well have been at home for all the company I was!!
I sound like a right misery-guts, don't I?? LOL!!! Today has been one of the worst for me both pain-wise and mentally I am just DONE with this pain. I am worn out with it. It is exhusting to wake up every day in agony and grimace at every swollow. Logically I know that it will end, but right now it feels like it will go on forever. UGH!!!!!!!
Gripe. Gripe. Gripe. Glory be the day when these yucky things drop off and I start to feel myself again!!! I will be singing from the roof-tops!
BTW - where are you? You used the word "Mum", which is unusual for the States.
p.s. ignore my venting - I'm just feeling so antsy!
Hi, How are you feeling now? My surgery is scheduled for June 9th. I teach, and knew it would be better to wait until school was out, so that I could take plenty of time. I'm also 57, and know that this is not going to be much fun. I have been asking myself why I'm doing this. I know it's because I refuse to live with this constant strep. I'm sure you are glad that it's over. So when did you finally start to feel like you were 'over it'. Any encouragement will be deeply appreciated. Thanks, Wallaj
KatieMomma, you're right, I'm 20 and I'm from Australia, hence the "mum".
And wallaj, I've got to say that today is the first day I feel completely "over it". I'm on day 9, and am eating whatever I want, drinking whatever I want, with only minimal pain when I swallow orange juice. I've got a couple of my antibiotics to take, and then I'm done for good! Throughout the whole process, I was given 3 boxes of pain killers to take (meant to take no more than one every 4 hours) and I've only taken about 10 painkillers in total!
I know that the recovery process is supposed to be worse the older you get, but I believe that my eating solid foods from the very first day, practically drowning myself with water and "positive thinking", taking one day at a time, were all what contributed to my quick recovery.
I'm not going to lie and say it's not painful - it's the worst pain I've ever been through, much worse than having tonsillitis, but seriously, take it one day at a time and you'll be fine
Today is day 10 Post Op for me, and this has been the first day I have seen any light at the end of the proverbial tunnel! Am I out of pain?? Nope...not by a long shot, but the painkillers have really helped (whereas initially, and up until today, had only taken the very outside edge off the pain). In fact, to give you some idea of the enomity of the pain, I actually ended up OD-ing on the Roxicet....not on purpose, but i simply got confussed over when I had last taken some and I ende dup taking double the amount. It was serious enough that my pupils became fixed as pinpoints and I was talking nonsense, plus being giddy and hyper....and I STILL had pain...the only difference was that I found it all quite amusing! Hahaha! Anyway - that was a scary time, but thank goodness a massive amount of water and time and it wore off.
I am still only eating soft foods...soup, well chewed bread. Today we went out for the first time and I had a burrito, but it was too much for me to handle (pain wise))...I ended up scrapping the beans out and eating them off a spoon. Bummer...I was so looking forward to some "real" food....I think I just tried to run before I could walk because I had felt quite a bit better.
I think mainly I am starting to feel better in myself. I haven't left the sofa in 10 days up until today, other than to pee and get drinks. Literally, I have slept, eaten, and writhed around in pain here for 10 days. I am here now, on my laptop! LOL!!
There is simply no two ways about it - this recovery is the worst ever. I so wish I had had this done as a child or teen...the recovery is noy nice, but it is so much better and faster than as an adult. Not to say a 20 yo such as Nickey is not an adult...but I mean an older adult, such as you and I.
However, like you, I suffered with recurrent bouts of tonsillitis, and last year I had quinsey which in a nut shell is a severe case of tonsilitis where yoy have flu like symptoms and the puss filled spots/streaks of the tonsils go so deep they become like an ulcer. I was so, so sick, and almost ended up in ER because it got so bad...but the ulcer exploded one night. O....M....G....never in my life have I been so grossed out.....it was like a damn of puss burst into my throat. I threw up, as one might imagine....not so much because of the taste (which was rank) but the thought of it. Felt SO much better after that though
Anyhow....I think that was a turning point, or a deciding point for me, if you will. I was sick of being sick. Plus, my tonsils were so badly damaged from years of chronic disease, they had swollen to 3 times their normal size...this caused snoring and also the disgusting issue of tonsilliliths, or tonsil stones which cause chronic bad breath. Eeewwwwwwww!!!!
So, I figured despite the risks and pain and slower recovery and so on, it would erradicate so many problems in one go for me that it would be worth it. And it has been!! I am sure you have thought a lot about this, and luckily you have plenty of time to research self-help measures and so on.
I doubt you will have been thru pain like it....I gave birth naturally w/o pain killers, and this has been way, way worse than that for me. One of the hardest things is how long it drags on, and for us "older" peeps, that can be even longer than you might imagine. I am used to being sick and healing quite fast - 2-3 days tops, as I am sure you are. This just seems to go and on and on forever...with unrelenting pain....so it really starts to get to you emotionally (well, it did me).
I wish you well and as speedy a recovery as possible. My advice would be to use this time to gather as much info as possible and go in there armed with info!!
Nickey - glad you're doing so well....boy, to be 20 again...<sigh>.....I would love that!!! Wishing you a happy tonsil free life!
I am new on the forum. My son is having a tonsillectomy tomorrow(29 April 2010) @ 1pm South African time. He's 20 months old. He's been sick so many times i've lost count of the many visits to the dr & the endless antibiotics. He's having his adenoids removed as well.
I did a lot of reading on the net as well as leaflets from the the ENT specialist but still so nervous for my baby boy
Not really sure about the foods to eat afterwards as i've read many conflicting stories on the net regarding food. Are the fruit & vegetable jars safe to give?
And his formula (milk) , can i give that?
I'll give you guys an update later in the week!
Hope you are all feeling better
Last edited by Theri; 04-28-2010 at 08:16 AM.