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Old 08-23-2010, 05:35 PM   #1
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Question Tonsillectomy concerns

I know that there is another thread going right below mine about tonsillectomy, but my circumstances are a bit different and I don't want to take over that person's thread, so I hope you don't mind me starting another.

PS - I apologize for the length of this! I want you guys to have as much info as possible so you know what's going on.

I'm 17 years old and I'm having my tonsils out on Friday of this week. I haven't had strep throat a certain number of times or anything, but rather it's like I've had one bad sore throat for an extended period of time. I could live with it. But I'm a singer and in February I lost my voice I haven't been able to sing properly since then. Whenever I think I'm getting better, I lose my voice again and it's even worse than the time before. I've taken voice lessons for a few years, so right away I asked my teacher if I was doing something wrong technically that could have caused the problems, and she said I was fine.

so I went to my ENT to see if he could figure out what the deal was. I was checked for vocal nodules, and I have none. He told me what I've been told by a few doctors in the past few months - one of my tonsils is "severely enlarged", but probably not infected. It's blocking my airway, therefore preventing me from getting enough air to support my voice, and preventing the sound from getting out. This is causing strain, which could lead to vocal nodules. So, after some time of discussing the potential pros and cons, and having my tonsils rechecked a few times over 3 months, I decided to have the surgery. and I was pretty darn excited about it because I would have my voice back.

But now it's 2 days away and I've been doing a lot of research. I'm not allowed to sing for about 6 weeks after the surgery. Because of a cleft palate I had when i was born, there is a bit of air escape in the back of my throat (which creates a sort of nasal sound in my voice), and there is a possibility that it'll get worse without tonsils. There are some people who've said their voice was completely different after the surgery. I'm hoping to pursue musical theatre as a career. My voice is useless as it is, so I figure the surgery can't make things much worse, which is why I didn't chicken out of it when I started hearing horror stories.

Is there anyone who sings who can give me some pointers about recovery time and how their voice was affected by the surgery? You could say I'm starting to freak out, and I'm interested in seeing if the cases I've been reading about are unusual, or if there really is a good possibility that this could have a negative affect. and I go back to school on the 2nd, which is about a week after the surgery. Should I be feeling good enough by then to go back on time? Thank you guys so much! and again - sorry for the length!

 
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:29 PM   #2
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Re: Tonsillectomy concerns

Hi, Megan! I just noticed that you have your own thread! I guess I told you all I know about the singing topic on soardkat's thread. I see you aren't supposed to sing until 6 weeks post-op. I wasn't aware of that. I first tried singing with the congregation at only 10 days post-op. I sang quietly and didn't try to push it. I remember when we sang "The Old Rugged Cross" I sang the first verse. For the rest of the song, I sat out the verses and just sang the chorus. Since then, I've been singing all of the verses of all of the hymns, but I don't try to get very loud. I hope I didn't try singing too soon , but I'm 5 weeks post-op now and I think it's going okay.

Today's your big day! By the time you read this, it will probably all be over. That's the first step on the way to recovery. Drink lots of water, chew lots of gum, and take your meds on schedule. I bet you'll do just fine.

Last edited by choirgirl; 08-27-2010 at 12:32 PM.

 
Old 08-27-2010, 04:02 PM   #3
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Re: Tonsillectomy concerns

Thank you so very much! I'm sitting in recovery now. It took longer than normal (about an hour and a half) but my Dr said there was very little bleeding and all went well!


I think singing is anywhere from 4-6 weeks. I'll resume my voice lessons after 4. It might only be so long because I'm a musical theater belter so I'm naturally very loud LOL!

My pain is very minimum right now but I can tell I'm not going to be talking for a few days. Apparently when I woke up from surgery I told the nurse there were unicorns in the corner of the room haha.

 
Old 08-27-2010, 04:29 PM   #4
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Re: Tonsillectomy concerns

HA HA HA! That's funny, Megan! At least the unicorns weren't in your throat!

So...why is it that you're not going to be talking? Is it because of pain...or is it the fear of saying something stupid? Just kidding. I sounded really funny when I was talking in recovery, but I didn't let that stop me. I soon learned how to use my mouth again. Fortunately, talking never seemed to bother my throat.

Take care and keep me posted!

Last edited by choirgirl; 08-27-2010 at 05:09 PM.

 
Old 08-27-2010, 07:13 PM   #5
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Re: Tonsillectomy concerns

LOL! If it was for fear of saying something dumb, I'd have to just tape my mouth shut. Thank you so much for your concern for me. I really appreciate it.

I'm doing really, really well. The pain is a little worse than before but not at all unbearable. I'd rate it as like a 4. I think I'm supposed to lose weight with this but I've been shoving so much crap in my mouth (pudding, ice cream, jello, sherbert) for the last 3 hours I think I'll end up gaining some! LOL!

My best friend and her boyfriend "broke into" my house and left me ice cream, flowers, and a balloon. so that lifted my spirits a lot. I'm hoping that this is going to be much less horrible than I anticipated, because it certainly has been so far!

 
Old 08-31-2010, 03:20 AM   #6
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Re: Tonsillectomy concerns

I'm hoping someone can help me out! All went well with my tonsillectomy. It's been 4 days and I've had very minor throat pain (just discomfort when swallowing or talking), however, I've been incredibly nauseas and throwing up since day 2. It is AWFUL. It could be the pain meds, but I stopped taking thrm this morning and continued throwing up all day. I was given zofran t5o help nausea incase the medicine caused nausea, but it isn't doing much. Has anyone else had this? It stinks because I'm not eating anything so its just making me weaker than I already was and causing a LOT of pain!

Might this just be a very inconveneintly-timed stomach bug?

 
Old 08-31-2010, 06:47 AM   #7
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Re: Tonsillectomy concerns

Bummer!

I threw up twice. Since my surgery was at 8:30 A.M., I call the day of surgery my Day 1. I wasn't given anything to take for nausea.

My first vomitting episode was immediately after taking the Lortab at 8:30 P.M. on Day 1 (12 hours after surgery). I hated the taste of the Lortab, and the pain wasn't horrible, so I decided to try liquid Tylenol. My second and final episode was immediately after taking the liquid Tylenol at 2:00 P.M. on Day 2. All I had in my stomach both times were water and orange jello. It was a surprise to me that throwing up didn't hurt at all.

I stopped eating jello after that. I went back to the Lortab, but I ate instant mashed potatoes before and after taking it. That seemed to work, because I didn't throw up anymore. I still hated the Lortab, though. I kept taking it (with mashed potatoes) until the doctor's office opened on Monday morning (Day 4). Then I called the office and asked to be switched from liquid Lortab to a pill (Norco). Much, much better!

Since your nausea medicine isn't working, I'm not sure what's going on. Being hungry can make me feel a little sick to my stomach. I suggest that you try instant mashed potatoes (or "real" mashed potatoes, if you don't mind the extra time it takes to make them). If you're afraid of throwing up something with that consistency, add milk to make them as thin as you like.

Have you called the doctor's office about this? Maybe there's a different anti-nausea medicine that would work better for you. I would think all this throwing up would be hard on your throat. No matter what's causing it, I sure hope it stops soon.

Keep drinking! You don't want to add dehydration to your list of problems.

 
Old 09-01-2010, 03:03 PM   #8
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Re: Tonsillectomy concerns

Thank you choirgirl! You've been so helpful for me with this!

The nausea has pretty much subsided. I'm kind of dreading the few days of 'unbearable pain' that I keep hearing about. I'm on day 5, and the pain is still only like a 4/5 at worst, it's usually around a 3. Nights are the worst, but the days are totally tolerable. I'm thinking the nausea may just be from not eating, so I'm going to try to do that a little bit more.

I'm talking quite a bit (it's only uncomfortable most of the time, not too much pain), and sipping as much as I can. I'm hoping that my theory of the more I "use" my throat, the faster it'll heal, isn't gonna come back to bite me. Tomorrow I'm going to my doctor to get some stitches out of my ear (a separate thing he did during the tonsillectomy) and he'll check my throat then too, so hopefully he'll say it's looking good!

Last edited by MeganS93; 09-01-2010 at 03:05 PM.

 
Old 09-01-2010, 04:39 PM   #9
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Re: Tonsillectomy concerns

Good! Glad you're feeling better!

I didn't have a "few days of unbearable pain". As I remember it, the really horrible part probably only lasted for 15 minutes or so...until my Norco kicked in.

Here's the story: I had been doing so well that on Day 6 I decided to cut my pain meds dosage in half. Most of that day it seemed like it was harder to breathe and things seemed swollen and my jaw hurt, almost like a mild toothache. I went back to the full dosage at around supper-time. I woke up at about 3:30 the next morning (Day 7) with excruciating throat pain...swollen...trouble breathing...I could hear my heartbeat in my left ear (tick, tick, tick...). It was pretty scary. I thought maybe I had an infection or something. But, instead of panicking, I took my pain pills, crushed some ice to suck on, grabbed my homemade ice packs from the freezer to put around my neck, and sat back in the recliner to be miserable. Before long, I spat out a couple of pieces of soft "scab" and immediately breathed better and felt better.

Swallowing hurt a lot on Days 7 and 8, so I made my mashed potatoes really, really, really thin. At 3:30 A.M. on Day 9 I cut my Norco dosage in half again, and on Day 10 I switched to extra-strength Tylenol tablets. From then on, I took Tylenol only before bed for a few nights, and then went off pain pills altogether. From Day 9 onward, things just got better and better.

Hang in there! You're nearing the finish line! I hope you get a good report from your doctor tomorrow!

Last edited by choirgirl; 09-01-2010 at 04:45 PM.

 
Old 09-03-2010, 08:35 AM   #10
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Re: Tonsillectomy concerns

I hit a little speed bump yesterday. I woke up with an awful burning in my throat. Took some meds and went off to school. Half way through the day I coughed up spme blood and figured it was a scab, but they sent me home. Went to my ENT who freaked out and said the scar tissue was coming off. He spent an hour recauterizing it in his office. That was the most painful thing I've ever gone through.

After 15 minutes I started coughing up a LOT (A LOT) of blood so I was rushed off to the hospital for some emergency surgery. They kept me over night and I'm now home on bedrest for a week.

It was without a doubt the scariest thing I've ever gone through and I'm soooooooo glad its over!

 
Old 09-03-2010, 09:27 AM   #11
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Re: Tonsillectomy concerns

Oh, man!!! How scary! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I pray that the rest of your healing goes by without incident. Glad you're okay. Take care.

Mary Lou

 
Old 09-06-2010, 05:32 PM   #12
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Re: Tonsillectomy concerns

Thank you so much. I think it turned out to be a good thing, because I feel better now than I have since I got my tonsils out to begin with.

I have a question for anyone who went through it. It was only the right side that had to be re-cauterized. Now it's been 4 days since my second surgery, 10 since the initial surgery, and there is litterally no pain at any time in the right side of my throat. the left side, however, still feels "weird" and there is still pain while swallowing. Is this because it's in a different stage of healing than the right side or should I be concerned? I'm trying to be extra-cautious after the complication because I'd really like to avoid that happening again LOL. I'm going to see my doctor on wednesday for a follow up, but I may call the office tomorrow if it persists. I just want to be sure.

 
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