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  • My Tonsillectomy+ Adenoidectomy Survival Tips!

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    Old 12-05-2016, 01:03 PM   #1
    LiliBee12's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2016
    Location: San Francisco, CA
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    LiliBee12 HB User
    Thumbs up My Tonsillectomy+ Adenoidectomy Survival Tips!

    Welllllll, I read a lot of these scary tonsillectomy posts, and now it's my turn as a post-op patient to report in. Here are MY tips and my therapeutic post-mortem. Hope this helps someone who is as terrified going into this surgery as I was.

    Background: 26 yrs old. Tonsilitis/Infected Adenoids/Strep 4x im past year. Eventually became resistant to several antibiotics after 3rd infection. I think I became fully bacterially colonized during the 4th infection. lovely. Chronic sore throats during time of infection (usually 3-4 weeks) but also pressure in the ears + headaches that would flare up in the months that would follow. Moved home to live with mom and dad for a week.

    I am on day 12, and finally back to work. I am mostly healed with the exception of lingering ear pain when eating, overall exhaustion, and 10 pounds lighter! Still havenít had alcohol or meat besides some shredded chicken in fried rice on day 10. This was a brutal experience but there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can do anything for two weeks if it means never having infections again. I assumed Iíd still be suffering on day 12, but Iím at 85% and good! Should be back to my normal self in a few more days. I wonít say that you get better each day. For me, I felt like I improved every 2-3 days. No real bleeding. No scares. Not even any big painful scabs. Just get through it, zone out for a week, and buy some chai tea. Expect bad breath.

    1. First time being knocked out, and anesthesia hit me hard. I sat for the first day and didnít puke b/c I didnít move.
    2. Incredible ear Pain. Constant (more on one side than the other) from day 2 to day 8. Then Ear pain when eating and swallowing day 8-12. No one warned me as much as they should have about the ear pain. The throat pain is bad, awful, miserable. But the debilitating ear pain after so many days in a row had me wondering if they had clipped nerve in there. I was sensitive to loud noises from tvs, clanking dishes, slamming microwave doors, and I felt very high maintenance.
    3. I didnít look, and it helped my morale. On the night of day 3, I thought I had loose skin resting on my tongue so I asked my mom to take a look again. It was my uvula. She began to not so discretely giggle and said it was about 4x too long and looked quite phallic. It was resting on my tongue. My uvula still isnít back to normal but it went down in size a lot over the next two days. Thanks roids. I finally took a look on day 5 and scabs had fallen. Just some mucus remained and I could see fleshy pink.

    Medications, etc.: Thank you, America.
    1. Liquid oxycodone for week 1/ Hydrocodone+ Acetaminophen for week 2
    I did not react well to the switch over to the hydrocodone on week 2. The liquid burned my throat like gasoline so I called my doc and they got me on tylenon-codine. In all honestly, I was still taking a little oxy when the pain got bad on days 7-9. I tried to take it sparingly during the first week just for this reason. Iíd take 9ml instead of 10ml if the pain wasnít as bad, and I still have some left (to save for a future emergency. shh).
    2. Daily Steroids for days 1-7
    3. Liquid Amoxicillin days 1-14
    4. Anti-nausea pill to take as needed (rarely)
    5. **MIRALAX** - which was a star recommendation from my ENT. Took for first 5 nights. It's tasteless, I mixed it with gatorade, and never had any issues in that department.

    Food and Drink:
    1. Low-Calorie Gatorade: I put tick marks on the sides of my gatorade bottles to set drinking goals for myself. I had to get to the next level on the bottle before i could stop and rest. (One of the nurses in the hospital on surgery day said to take advantage of every sip you take. Drink as much as you can each time you try to drink b/c it hurts every time you start drinking anyway.)
    2. Regular Vanilla Yogurt - not thick greek. I never had any issues with dairy. it bothers some but if you dont produce extra phlegm, I think this played a major role in my recovery. 1. it's alive and 2. it acted as an invisible brush in my throat. I never had painful scabs, and if i did, they were pushed away by day 4 b/c of all the yogurt i was eating.
    3. CHIA TEA LATTES (Day 5+). I donít know why!!! Before my tonsils came out, I never drank them. My mom was going to the store, and I asked her to get me something besides Gatorade, and she bought Tazo Decaf Chai Tea Latte concentrate from target. Mixed with equal parts milk and drank just above room temp. It was some kind of incredible soothing miracle. By day 5, I was feeling better and wanting to eat, but every time I tried, the pain was unbearable. Iím not sure if it was the tiny bit of chai spices, when I started drinking the tea, it would barely numb up my throat a little, and I could eat things without instant pain.

    Early days: More regular yogurt, jello, pudding, then some Rice Pudding, and Apple Sauce
    Later on: Scrambled eggs + cheese (over very easy), Mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese, sweet potatoes
    Never: Smoothies, popsicles, ice cream Ė cold things felt like knives until day 10. Not sure how other people eat these.

    1. Humidifier Ė and keep the door closed so the humidity doesnít escape! I sat in room for 6 days with a humidifier and Netflix. It helps to get up, move, shower, go outside for a minute, but otherwise, sit next to that humidifier and keep it going all day and all night. Special thanks to my mom for refilling it every 6 hrs. This was a major game changer and probably another reason I had minimal scabbing.
    2. ICE. I had large gallon size zip lock bags rolled and filled with ice, and Iíd place them on each side my neck from my ears to my collar bones. Id leave it on for even 30-1hr at times, and it made a huge difference for ear pain and swelling.
    3. Stay ahead of the strong medication. First few nights I set alarms to take my oxy. Then after 3-4 days. Iíd take it before bed and leave a little dosage on my nightstand. If I woke up around 5/6am in ear pain, Iíd take it immediately. I did not have too many issues taking the oxy on an empty stomach so going right back to sleep without eating worked fine for me.

    Good luck!! Dont be as afraid as I was. You'll be okay!

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