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  • Tonsillectomy Recovery - 21 yrs, F

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    Old 08-10-2010, 11:20 PM   #1
    eliteglory's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2010
    Location: AZ
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    eliteglory HB User
    Tonsillectomy Recovery - 21 yrs, F

    Hey all,

    I had my tonsils out today, and I used this forum to research a lot before I went through my surgery. Even so, I still had some questions going into it, so I figured that maybe if I post my own recovery story, I can help answer other people's questions (and may still have some of my own to ask).

    Day 1:

    My surgery was at 11:45 this morning, and I had to arrive at 10:45 to my surgery center. I didn't have anything to eat or drink since 8 the night before, but I don't think that was necessary. The doctor said stopping 8 hours before was fine. When I got to the center, I filled out some paperwork, waited for about 15 minutes, and then left my dad in the waiting room to go into pre-op. I was weighed and asked for my height, and then signed three forms, saying that I had no living will, I was getting a tonsillectomy, and I think the third one was some liability one.

    The nurse had me change into a hospital gown (opening to the back), but I could keep my bra and underwear on. I also put one of those hospital cap thingies on over my hair. I couldn't have any makeup, moisturizer, lotion, or earring on. I also left my contacts out that morning and wore my glasses. After I changed, she put a sticky thing on my upper chest, and one on my rib cage. She checked my blood pressure (which was very high both times, but that tends to happen to me when I'm at the doctor's, otherwise I am fine). Then she put the IV in, which I was nervous about cause I've never had one before and am not too fond of needles, but I let her know that I was scared. She put on a tourniquet and had me put my arm over the edge of the bed. She first used some kind of injection to numb it, and then put the IV in. I didn't know that it wasn't actually metal, the IV is a kind of plastic that they put it. She taped it to me, along with the wires. For the first few minutes, my arm felt cold, but after that I couldn't really tell it was there.

    She left me to wait for the anesthesiologist and she gave me a warm blanket (it was rather cold). I waited for a while, and listened to the chatter of the nurses and the other patients. My dad could've come to wait with me, but I didn't want him to worry and I managed to stay relatively calm by myself. I felt more excited and anxious than scared and worried at that point - after all, I was comfortable at the surgery center, confident in my doctor, and the surgery was only going to last 15 minutes.

    Eventually the anesthesiologist came in and asked if I had questions and I couldn't think of any. We chatted for a bit, then he told me that since I was young and female, he would be giving me anti-nausea medicine with the anesthesia, in addition to some kind of shot in my upper arm that I probably wouldn't even notice. Then my doctor came in, asked if I had questions and I still couldn't think of any. He told me recovery would be painful, but didn't tell me much I didn't already know from reading the stories here. He said he'd be giving me a liquid antibiotic, and Percocet, which I could crush up and have with water if I needed to.

    Then a nurse came in and told me her daughter had her tonsils out in December, and that mashed potatoes with lots of butter are easy to eat afterwards (THANK YOU!). Then the anesthesiologist injected something into my arm, they wheeled me into the operating room (which is a little intimidating, but not too scary), and I was awake in there for maybe a minute or two before I was out.

    Next thing I remember, I woke up extremely groggy, and coughing. The coughing lasted a few minutes. Then I said, "My mouth feels empty." The nurse gave me ice water and I asked for a mirror to look at my throat. It was pretty gross. Then my dad came in. He checked my memory by having me sing the Fresh Prince theme song, which I did flawlessly until he made me stop. Then the nurse removed my IV, and the little sticky thing on my chest (which hurt the most of anything at that point), but I think she forgot the one on my ribs, and I had to take that off later. She helped me get dressed, then wheeled me out to the car. The drive was about 45 minutes, and I had to stop to use the restroom. I was pretty groggy and a bit giggly and very forgetful - I kept saying the same things over. Apparently, I made the same joke about selling my leftover painkillers. (Now I'm thinking there won't be any leftovers). My dad dropped off the prescriptions on the way home.

    So, today hasn't been too bad in terms of pain. The back of my jaw hurt, along with the back of my tongue and my throat, of course, so I've been icing it with either the ice pack the nurse gave me, or frozen peas (those really work well!) My throat has felt very mucousy-y, and my uvula is swollen, which makes it uncomfortable to swallow (along with the soreness of my throat). I also have this strange white thing on the left side of my uvula - it kind of looks like a tonsil stone (which I've never had before), and I can feel it on my tongue when I swallow. Has anyone else had that? I really don't like it and want it gone

    I have a pretty strong stomach and a very handy tiny flashlight, so I've been looking in the back of my throat pretty often. I didn't know how far tonsils went into the side of your throat - and it's all streaked with white lines or fully white. The only really gross thing is whatever's on my uvula.

    I've been drinking a lot of ice water, have had a few popsicles, had some gatorade, and I was STARVING today, so I probably ate more food than I should have. I've had mashed sweet potatoes with margarine, vegetable broth with soggy crackers, and tiny cous cous. Everything was luke warm or else it would've hurt, I could tell. It hurt a little to swallow the food after a while, but I was careful not to be too rough, and I had water after every couple bites to make sure nothing got stuck.

    I've been taking one Percocet every four hours since 3:30. The first one made me lightheaded and kind of dizzy, but it helped a bit with the pain (which hasn't been very bad, I'm just a wimp). The second one made me sleepy, but it's a weird kind of sleep. I almost feel like I'm just laying on the couch and passing out ever once in a while. And it feels like no time has passed when I wake up. I took one nap that was a little longer, about 30 mins, and woke up with a very dry, painful throat, so I rehydrated myself and it was better.

    I'm about to take my third pill, and hopefully sleep for longer, although I'm nervous about my throat getting dry. I doubt I'll sleep the full four hours, but I guess I'll find out soon enough!

    If I'm feeling up to it, I'll be posting again tomorrow. I hope there's someone out there who can use this to help them - I'd never had any kind of surgery before or been under anesthetic, so I was nervous about the process. I hope some of this has answered someone's questions Let me know if anyone has any more!

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