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Noturningback 03-24-2008 09:56 AM

Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
[FONT="Verdana"]I thought I would share my story because, previous to surgery, I read so many horror stories in relation to tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies.

Let me start by saying, so far, my story is very positive and I have had very little pain. I would equate my pain with strep throat - if at that. I am a 34 year old female and my surgeon used the traditional scapel. First, I'll sum it up in a few words: continual liquids/moisture and continual pain meds (througout the night).

Now, I'll give you the details.

I had a T&A Wednesday, March 19th. I checked in at surgery around 12:45pm and soon after, the nurse took me to pre-op. By the way, the nurses were great. Anyway, they asked me some questions - mostly about what I ate previously and if I was preganant.

I ate a heavy meal the afternoon before and a bowl of high fiber cereal the night before. My goal was to not starve - yet - empty come surgery time. It seemed to work for me because I was not hungry at the time of surgery.

After some questions, the nurse gave me a gown, slippers and hair 'net' to change into. She then took my temperature/vitals and started an IV. For those afraid of needles - she numbed the area where she inerted the IV. Admittedly, medical procedures don't scare me and 'they' say I have a high tolerance for pain.

My little glitch in the plan - I had a slight fever and a high white blood count. They almost cancelled my surgery due to this. Thankfully, the anesthesiologist believed me when I told him I was in no pain. I really wasn't and we now realize that I have been going years with chronic tonsilitis. Yet, another reason to remove my tonsils. :D

I was taken around 3:15pm to the OR. I was bumped (late) due to an emergency surgery. That was less fun for my husband who was, at that point, hungry and tired.

I walked to the OR got on the table and they asked me a question about New York (my hometown) and bye bye.....

Next thing I remember, a post-op nurse woke me up. This was my first time with general anethesia. It felt like someone woke me up out of a deep sleep. I was slightly disoriented but, I felt fine - no pain. After about 30 minutes, they took me to recovery which is the same type of 'room' I sat in for pre-op. They helped me into the chair and got my husband.

By the time my husband arrived to see me, the anethesia wore off enough to not make me feel I was Alice in Wonderland. :jester:

I drank some apple juice and ate some apple sauce. My throat /uvula was very swollen. Eating felt odd but, I was able to swallow. They then told my husband to get the car. [I][B]I asked for an ice pack and barf bag for the ride home. This was a very smart decision. I urge you to do the same.[/B][/I]

Half way home, I became a little clamy and vomitted. That was the anesthesia and thankfully it was all liquid. (Thank God for that barf bag! :D

When I got home, I again became clamy and vomitted.

I then felt great and decided to eat some ramen noodle soup.

That was not my smartest move because as you can imagine I vomitted again. That time wasn't too fun because it wasn't pure liquid. Well - third times a charm because after that I was good to go and haven't vomitted since.

My lesson for the day:

[LIST=1][*]From the hospital, take with you a barf bag and ice pack[*]Wait to eat solids because the anesthesia gets almost everyone[/LIST]

I've been blogging about my recovery daily. I'll cut and paste them to this thread along with my [I]survival guide[/I].

Best health,

Noturningback 03-24-2008 10:03 AM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
[B]The following posts, about my recovery, have been taken from my bl*g which I update daily.[/B]

Day of Surgery - Update #1


I'm home.

Everything went well. They almost didn't perform the surgery due to a low fever and a very high white blood cell count. However, this has been a problem for a few years. So, we are all suspecting that I've been going years with chronic tonsilitis and I have learned to live with it.

Nurses were the BEST.

I did vomit twice due to anesthesia.

I now feel like I have a mild ear infection and strep throat but, that is just due to my raw throat being in shock

My uvula is HUGE and making it hard to eat food and breath.

Medication Perscribed:

Percoset (pain)
Hydroxyzine Pamoate (anti-nausea)
Augmentin (antibiotic)

I'll post later with an update.

Off to be a good patient and drink/ice,

PS - My tonsils and adenoids were taken and the ENT said they were bad! :eek:

Noturningback 03-24-2008 10:08 AM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
[B]Surgery Day - Update #2[/B]

Okay it is 11:35pm (PST).

Earlier I was feeling very good and ate some ramen noodle soup.

Unfortunately, my stomach didn't like that and I got nauseas and vomited again. That was the third time and I must admit that time was a little painful. However, it wasn't horrid.

I was really afraid to take my pain meds because I usually get sick off of them. The last time I took hydrocodone my world was spinning. My ENT told me that they are all somewhat related and could cause the same reaction. Long story short, I took half a painkiller (Percoset) with anti-nausea medication and then waited a half hour to take the second half with my antibiotics. I'm doing fine and was even able to eat about a half cup of macaroni and cheese. Yes, I am allergic to cheese but, I'm prioritizing. I'm also drinking a ton - via Gatorade and ice pops. The annoying part is urinating frequently.

I'm sleeping on and off. My uvula is so swollen, I sound like a pug. I end up waking myself from the noise - which is fine because it reminds me to move the ice-pack on my neck. I've been placing a heating pad under my arm to draw the lymph to my axillary nodes. A trick I learned in massage school. In the least, it makes the ice pack tolerable and almost downright comfortable.

At this point, my ear pain is gone and I only have a bad sore throat like a strep infection. My uvula is probably the most annoying thing but, it is tolerable. I'll stick to one pain killer every three hours (throughout the night as well) and perhaps up it to two when the scabs fall off because I hear the pain increases greatly at that point.

Best health,

Noturningback 03-24-2008 10:13 AM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
[B]Day 1 - Post Op[/B]


I'm still hanging in there.

I woke up this morning and showered and brushed my teeth. I'm using a gentle enzyme toothpaste for dry mouth. I'm trying to avoid thrush which some people can get after surgery. For that matter, I'm taking Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium so the yeast doesn't travel. Talk about friends in low places!

I weighed myself and unlike the rest of post-op patients, I gained almost 2lbs from yesterday. I started eating soft foods from the get go - which is a good thing. Most of that weight is from drinking tons of Gatorade - no dought.

I'm still on this cycle of sleeping three hours and then up a few hours to eat and take medication. I'm also still drinking/icing the neck. My uvula is still swollen but, I think I am more used to it now and it's less annoying. I feel a bit more pain. Again, really nothing to complain about. The pain increases slightly when I'm due for more pain meds.

The post-op nurses called me this morning to check up on me. I told her everything I was doing and that I feel excellent. She was impressed with my recovery and reminded me to take it easy and drink - which I am. She also told me that if I drink as much and as often as I am, when the scabs come off the pain may very well not increase much. She explained that drinking and sticking to soft foods will keep the scabs in place longer which will decrease the chance of pain and/or bleeding. I think a lot of people do not realize the scabs are white in the throat, due to moisture, and some people pick at them because they are annoying. Reminder - don't do that.;)

I must admit urinating as frequently as I am is a bit annoying. I have a small bladder and hit the bathroom at least once an hour. I seem to be sleeping a little harder and longer. Not too shabby.

I've eaten more mac and cheese, cream of wheat with egg protein and omega 3 oil, soy protein shake and some baby food prunes. The pain medication can be constipating. I don't know how one would know since the diet changes so drasticaly within 24hrs.

Tonight - maybe I will attempt some chicken shredded and mashed potatoes.

Best health,

Noturningback 03-24-2008 10:21 AM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
[B]Day 2 - Post Op[/B]

I'm still standing - yeah - yeah - yeah...

That was ode to Sir Elton John.

I'm doing very well. The pain has increased slightly but, nothing much to talk about. I think it has increased because I am sleeping more and my throat is drying out a bit in the process.

My friend came over last night and brought us some fried chicken. Yes - I ate some chicken strips. yes - I chewed well.

After dinner, we all sat down to watch a movie. I think I lasted thirty minutes. I was reading some papers the doctor gave me about post-op and literally dropped them and started snoring. My husband thought that was humorous and I can't blame him. I went to sleep. As you can imagine, reading is virtually impossible while on Percocet. :cool:

I woke up in the middle of the night and again, started watching the movie. Well - that wasn't happening. The Percocet gave me enough time to make some Cream of Wheat and that is about all.

Around 9am, I woke up from my next shift and weighed myself. I've gained 5lbs. in total. I know that this will be a joke to me at some point. :rolleyes:

This morning, after I showered, I headed over to the Pharmacy. I did not drive myself. I informed the Pharmacist that my GI tract had slowed down, thanks to those lovely painkillers. I'm grateful it only slowed and didn't come to a screeching halt. The Pharmacist suggested a stool softener (not laxative) to make sure everything goes (tahhheem) smoothly. I'm happy to report that as of this evening, things seem back to "normal".

Things I have eaten today are Cream of Wheat, Supreme Croissant, chicken strips, mashed potatoes, a yeast roll and some sweet potato pie, pureed prunes, apple juice, Gatorade and half a lollipop. Liquids are more annoying today because the liquid seems to linger in the back of my throat and cause me to want to clear it.

Hey - I'm starting to see a connection to those five pounds gained! Hmmmmm.

No fever. I think I found a few stitches where my tonsils once were. My uvula looks like it may be shrinking a bit back to normal and the abyss where my tonsils were are white like chicken skin (TMI?)

Best health,

Noturningback 03-24-2008 10:24 AM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
[B]Day 3 - Post Op[/B]

I can sum up today in one word ...


Percocet is pretty much ruling my life. I'm a slave to it. I need it because it cuts the pain. Thanks to Percocet, I haven't had [I]any[/I] pain. Unfortunately, it is also making my sleep pattern distorted - to say the least.

I was up most of last night because my own snoring kept me up. It takes me a half hour to fall asleep. Then, of course, I need to be back up to take my medication and the cycle goes on.

So, last night was pain free yet, sleep deprived. I did catch up today, quite a bit. :dizzy:

I discovered that sleeping on my stomach, which I do normally, stops the snoring. It also cause jaw pain from me clenching my teeth, unknowingly. Tonight, I’ll probably go one round on my tummy and the rest on the pillow wedge.

Other than my odd sleep pattern, there isn't much to report today. I'm still virtually pain free. I've gained again, for a total of 6.5lbs. My percentage of body fat has remained the same. Proof for all those dieters, your waistline is a better indicator of fitness than the number on the scale.

Today I ate Cream of Wheat, ramen noodle soup, chicken strips, two yeast rolls, a few French fries, a slice of sweet potato pie, Gatorade, peppermint tea and some raspberry flavored drink. I'm officially done with chicken strips. I think I wore that idea out - LOL Actually, don't hold me to that thought.

Best health,

Noturningback 03-24-2008 10:29 AM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
[B]Day 4 - Post Op[/B]

I'm afraid, yet happy, to say there is nothing new to report. I believe everything, for the most part remains the same until day eight which, if I calculated correctly, is this coming Thursday. That is when my scabs begin to fall off and could cause possible bleeding. Of course, nothing will most likely happen as far as bleeding is concerned and I'm going to hope the scabs come off later rather than sooner to help prevent that possibility. For that reason, I've stuck to softer foods today. My husband will most likely work from home on Friday and maybe even on Thursday, to be home, for the main event. I was also able to catch up on my sleep by removing the pillow wedge. It helped tremendously the first few days but, now puts me in a position which allows those warthog noises to echo within my head.

We went to the supermarket down the block. I needed some more food and a chance to get out of these four walls. It was a quick venture. I think it did me a bit of good.

Today, I ate Cream of Wheat (most comfortable thing to eat), pureed banana, ramen noodle soup (least comfortable), macaroni and cheese and ice pops. I also drank lots of caffeine free tea, apple juice and Gatorade.

I attempted to read but, again, that increased my sleepiness and I was back to napping in no time flat.

Today, I typed out a Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy Survival Guide. I know two more people who are going to have a T&A and it may help them. :confused:

Hakuna matata,

kittywake 03-24-2008 11:44 AM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
It sounds like you're doing pretty good.

I had my tonsils out on March 12th and I typed up a brief summary of how things are going for me. I don't think I have it bad either. It seems pretty straight forward.

lisalikesmakeup 03-24-2008 04:28 PM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
Hi! I also had mine out on the 19th! How are you doing talking-wise? I'm still having some trouble. Today I only took one 4 hour pain pill and one 12 hour pain pill.. I'm trying to cut down on them.. I'm also have problems going potty. I took a stool softener around 1 PM today and it still hasnt kicked in. Ughh.

Noturningback 03-24-2008 05:22 PM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female

I spoke from the get go. It is slightly muffled because my uvula is still swollen. My voice also wears a bit quicker. However, I would assume this is all normal. We are only 5 days post-op at this point.

I also never had jaw pain from the clamp or taste change.

I'm taking one percocet every three hours. I want to start weaning myself off pain medication after the scabs fall off. I hear that is when the pain may hit home. I may need a refill. I hate to take them because they are narcotics but, I'm all for keeping the pain at bay if possible. Why needlessly suffer? I'm fortunate where I work for myself and can take the time to heal.

I also started eating from day one and it took a few days before my body signaled me for a BM. I took the stool softener, as the pharmacist suggested, and it kicked in within 24hrs. I think it may have done so without the help of the stool softener but, honestly, I didn't want to deal with constipation. (TMI?)

Today, I am dealing with some edema of the legs/feet. I gained 6.5lbs initially and now down 1lb - so 5.5lb gain in total so far with no change in body fat%.
I guess with those results the edema shouldn't be a shock. Not to mention, I take a diuretic for my hypertension. I'm retaining water like a camel - LOL. :D

It looks as though you are doing well?


Twinklez81 03-24-2008 06:40 PM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
You are making me laugh and im trying not to LOL

I had my tonsils and adenoids taken out this morning. Like you said its like having a bad case of strep throat. In fact having all three of my wisdom teeth pulled at one time was way worse than this. I know im just in day one, but I love to read positive stories. Before going into the hospital I read all the horror stories and made my Fibromyalgia worse so I went in the hospital feeling overwhelmed and achy.

I'm drinking A LOT of water, not as much as I do any other day, but pretty good for having a sore throat. So far almost three bottles. plus I've been drinking Ensure, eating popsicles, and trying to mucn on some bread but it hurts if I eat too fast. I tried grits but those grainy things were all stuck in my throat which was annoying, so I'm just eating "something" every hour. The Ensure is great because its soothing and also has high protein which makes my hunger not so bad.

I purchased Cepacol but the only thing that seems to be doing is numbing my tongue lol.

Glad you talked about the ice pack because it had been sitting in my kitching all day and I forgot about it lol. Thanks for the tip about the heating pad under the arm, im going to do that.

I pray for a speedy recovery.

Noturningback 03-24-2008 09:55 PM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
[B]Day 5 - Post Op[/B]

[B][U]e·de·ma[/U][/B] also oe·de·ma (ĭ-dē'mə)
n., pl. -mas also -mas, or -ma·ta also -ma·ta (-mə-tə).
[LIST=1][*]Pathology. An excessive accumulation of serous fluid in tissue spaces or a body cavity.[/LIST]

Swollen ankles and feet are the highlight of today's recovery. I look more like a pregnant woman than a post-op patient from T&A surgery. I guess my weight gain can be explained in two words: water retention.

Another painless day - yay.

I'm still chugging away at my liquids and percocet. My days go something like this: sleep, drink, eat, percocet, set timer for three hours, watch in awe as my feet swell (lasting 2 minutes) - REPEAT

So far this recovery has been a piece of cake (yum cake). I've had little to no pain at the surgical area or at my jaw from the clamp (ice - very important) nor have I had any change in taste. Maybe I was a good kid after all?

Today I ate Cream of Wheat, macaroni and cheese (repeat, repeat, repeat), ice pops, soy shakes, Gatorade, juice and a cinnamon roll. If I never eat mac & cheese again, it will be too soon! It's a creation of the devil - I tell ya.

As evidenced by this post, I need to get out of this house for a bit. Oh wait, tomorrow is trash and recycling day - wooohooo. :bouncing:

Hasta manana,

Noturningback 03-24-2008 10:05 PM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
[B]Danielle’s Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy Survival Guide[/B]

Things you will need/want:

• Pillow Wedge
• Lip Balm/Moisturizer
• Timer with hours
• Large Mug
• Cool Mist Humidifier
• Movies/Books/Magazines
• Emergency Contact Sheet
• Mini Flashlight
• Ice Pack
• Heating Pad
• Powdered Protein
• Stool Softener
• Thermometer

[U]Pillow Wedge:[/U] You will want a pillow edge or several bulky pillows to prop you up. That way you will be able to lie in bed and watch television or read. It also helps you get a better night’s sleep during various stages of recovery. Initially, you will be swollen and it helps keeping your head elevated for proper drainage.

[U]Lip Balm/Moisturizer:[/U] You’ll do a decent amount of mouth breathing. You’ll need a lip balm that sticks on your lips for a few hours. My skin dried out quite a bit and became flaky and itchy. I used an easily absorbed moisturizer to stop the itch. Your hands may crack and dry from the constant hand washing. I used antibacterial soap and paper towels to ward off germs.

[U]Timer:[/U] You will need a timer that lets you add up to 4 hours. This reminds you to take your pain medication – even when you fall asleep. Staying on top of pain meds is one key element to an easy recovery. I took then throughout the night and never felt pain more than mild strep-like.

[U]Large Mug:[/U] Remember Wilson in the movie Cast Away? Your mug, water bottle or thermos will become your Wilson. Take it with you everywhere and drink ‘till you can’t drink anymore….and then drink more. A hydrated mouth is virtually pain free. I took sips anytime I woke up at night. I varied the liquids to stop boredom. I drank Gatorade, water, caffeine free tea (warm not hot), soy milk, protein shakes, rice milk, apple juice and cranberry juice. The world is your oyster. 

[U]Cool Mist Humidifier:[/U] I kept this on while I slept. It adds moisture to the air which leads me back to the phrase “pain free”. If you don’t like humidifiers, run the showers and breathe in the steam.

[U]Entertainment:[/U] Honestly, the pain meds knock you out a good chunk of the time. I took the smallest dose of pain killers. So, I was up and down throughout the recovery. I had lots of light hearted movies and easy to read magazines and books. You most likely will not have the energy for Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

[U]Emergency Contact Sheet:[/U] I printed this from my computer. It was an emergency contact sheet with all the information one could possibly need in case of an emergency. I hate to be the voice of doom. However, there is always a possibility of an emergency. In the case of T&A surgery, there is a chance of hemorrhaging. If, this was to happen, all you need to do is grab this sheet and head to the emergency room. No need to worry about your doctor’s information, medications being taken or blood type. Type it all out ahead of time – just in case!

[U]Mini Flashlight:[/U] You know you’ll be curious to see how things are going in that great abyss once called tonsils. Honestly, in the beginning the swelling mimics the feel of food stuck in the back of your mouth. The flashlight helps to reassure you that all is good on the home front.

[U]Ice Pack:[/U] many doctors don’t mention this but, as a massage practitioner, I can tell you it helps. Ice your neck! You can ice 10 minutes on/10 minutes off – 10 times every 2 hours OR 20 minutes straight every 2 hours. I had minimal swelling and I believe the ice helped. Some people complain of distorted taste (especially sweet) and jaw pain from the clamp they use to keep your mouth open. I had neither. My uvula and ex-tonsil area were swollen only – that is to be expected.

[U]Heating Pad:[/U] I learned this in massage school. Place the ice at the lymph node closest to the injured area (neck). Then place a heating pad by another lymph node – under arm. What we are trying to accomplish is drawing he lymph toward the heat and uninjured area. That way your lymph will be cleaned and help you recover better. We want to avoid having stagnant lymph in the injured area. In the least, it makes the cold ice pack tolerable and actually comfortable!

[U]Stool Softener:[/U] This is embarrassing but, it’s honest. Narcotics can constipate you because they slow everything down. The Pharmacist suggests taking a stool softener (not laxative) from the get go. I never became constipated but, my body never felt the urge to do more than urinate. Much of this has to do with our stomachs being empty the day of surgery and then the small “meals” that follow. You can try the natural route at first – such as pureed prunes and apple juice or go for the stool softener.

[U]Thermometer:[/U] It’s normal to run a low temperature for a few days. I personally didn’t after surgery – only before.

[U]Powdered Protein:[/U] I used soy and egg protein because I’m allergic to milk but, you can use whey or casein as well. Milk tends to make people congested with mucus. In any case, I added the protein to hot cereals. I also used it to make protein shakes. The protein helps rebuild tissue and doesn’t digest so quickly, you become starved. I ate soft/solids from the get go. However, I have heard many people don’t even think of food until week two. Protein powder is an easy way to keep you out of starvation mode….

…..other food I had on hand: baby food, ice pops, soy ice cream, various drinks, caffeine free teas, puddings, eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, cream of wheat, hot rice cereal, macaroni and cheese, tiny baby-style pasta, couscous, apple sauce, jello, sorbet….soft chicken nuggets/strips, soft rolls, mashed potatoes, soft French fries, ramen noodle soup/chicken noodle soup – just watch out for acid (fruit/orange juice/tomato sauce) Acidic food can burn.


• Comfortable clothes.
• I used powder instead of antiperspirant since I had a heating pad under my arm. I wanted my body to sweat if it wanted to.
• My doctor suggested not using a mouthwash - even a prescription based product. However, I did use mild/natural toothpaste made for dry mouth. Of course be careful to leave the back of the mouth alone to do its thing.
• I used pro-biotics. Antibiotics can wreak havoc on the immune system causing thrush and yeast infections. Taking a pro-biotic will help. You could also eat lots of yogurt to get those natural live cultures.
• I’m a bit of a germ freak. You don’t want to catch any other illness. We used antibacterial hand and body soap and paper towels (for the hands) for two weeks. I also sanitized all dishes in the dishwasher.
• Don’t stop the narcotics “cold turkey” - wean yourself off. I’m sure that was a given :D
• If I could change one thing – I would have not attempted to eat the first 24hrs because the anesthesia made food impossibility.
• Two things I was smart enough to do – ask for a “barf bag” and ice pack before I left the hospital. I was shuffled into my car about an hour or so after surgery. I didn’t feel sick but half-way home my stomach said “NO WAY” – LOL Anesthesia makes most ill.
• The nurse encouraged me to take things easy but, try and resume life to some degree of normalcy. She said that eating and talking was a good thing because you are beginning to use the muscles you’ll need every day. However, I didn’t need to speak non-stop or eat a t-bone steak. As they say, everything in moderation.
• I needed a pill splitter for my pain medication. My antibiotics were liquid and my anti nausea pills were small

[COLOR="Red"]**[/COLOR]If you are taking a narcotic pain killer (Percoset 'Oxycodone', Vicadin 'Hydrocodone', Codeine etc) [B]WEAN[/B] yourself from these medications toward the end of your recovery or you increase your chance of withdrawal symptoms! See my final post - Day 14.

Most important - Listen to your body, speak to your MD/ENT/Pharmacist with any questions and cheer up! :jester:


kittywake 03-25-2008 07:43 AM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
I had the doctors pump me full of anti-nausea medicine. It worked for about 8 hours. Then once I was home and taking the Tylenol 3 I started feeling sick. Partially because of the phlegm problem I had, but also the Tylenol. I had my husband go get me some Gravol and I just took the gravol whenever I took the Tylenol for the first two days. Then I stopped taking the Tylenol 3. Shortly after I stopped taking the Gravol as well.

My pills were solid. No liquid. Also, I didn't get anti-biotics. They said I wouldn't need them and sent me on my way. Heh.

Noturningback 03-25-2008 07:55 AM

Re: Positive T&A Story - 34 yr old Female
I took all my meds, which included anti-nausea, before I left the hospital. Unfortunately, the anesthesia won the battle. :D

They did help with the percocet though. Actually, I was given an antihistamine which allows the percocet to work better and also acts against nausea as well.

I guess I received the antibiotics not only as a precaution but, because I had a fever and high white blood cell count presurgery.

How are you doing today?

I've dicovered yawning can be slightly painful - more a nuisance.


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