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Aprilis 07-13-2012 08:25 AM

Tonsillectomy, read if you are scared, its OK,
I decided to post because I had a tonsillectomy yesterday morning and my experience might help others who are as scared as I was. I was so scared that my ENT gave me Valium the day before surgery! But it all went fine and I am doing well 24 hours later.

I decided to have my tonsils removed because of chronic tonsillitis, the most difficult symptom of which was extreme fatigue that would not let up.

Day of surgery: I was lucky to have an early appt. My mom and fiancÚ were with me. A friend told me that the hardest part of surgery is the IV, and she was right! The nurses were kind and answered all my worried questions. I just kept breathing deep breaths while they got me setup, blood pressure, etc. deep breaths while they inserted that darn IV. My mom and fiancÚ were with me. They finally gave me the IV sedative. If you are scared for your surgery I will tell you, once they give you that you are DONE worrying or caring. I barely remember saying goodbye to my loved ones and getting wheeled into the OR, all fear was gone. I do remember saying "oh, is this the operating room?", kind of excited even, and the male nursed laughed a little and said yea. I remember getting into the OR bed, wrapped in warm blankets, and the next thing I knew I was in recovery! The nurse told me that I woke up and said "I'm so glad I'm alive" lol I don't remember that at all. I also don't remember telling them my pain was at an 8 when I first came to, but they said I did. The first memory I have post surgery is realizing where I was, and that I could not breath out my nose (that's normal, and I was able to breath out my nose after about 30 mins. Best to relax if you have this issue and let the airway open back up). Throat and ears hurt but not terrible, I told the nurse my pain was a 4. So I don't even recall the worst of the pain!
I was woozy, mom and fiancÚ came in. The recovery nurse was an angel. I ate two bites of a fig newton to go down with the pain meds. It was very hard to chew and swallow but with enough water I got it down. I was given a freeze pop and ice water, all felt good. Eventually I got dressed on wobbly feet, used the bathroom, and got wheeled to the car and home.
I'm obsessed with the scale and I saw that I had gained FIVE pounds from all the IV fluids!
The rest of the day was in and out of throat pain. Nothing horrible but it did hurt to swallow, I have not eaten much. Some Jello, cool chicken broth, water ice. And I recommend you drink drink drink! My uvula was huge and swollen but is aready going down, probably from all the fluid.

Recommendations so far:
Freeze apple juice and then drink it like a slushy. So cooling and it's nice to get some nutrients in.
Drink tons. For a while I was peeing every ten minutes but it helps everything. I already took off 4 of the fluid pounds I gained, even while drinking constantly!
If mucus is building up gargle gently with ice water and spit. Do it again and swallow. Relief!
Go ahead and look at your throat. It's white and weird but you will feel better to know all is well in there.

Ok the bad part so far: trying to sleep! My uvula was still huge last night so I was gagging on it and snoring. I had to sleep sitting up. I woke myself up every 1-1.5 hrs to drink, which is terribly painful even after only 1 hr of drying throat while sleeping. You NEED a humidifier. Mine was broken last night and the dryness was agony. My fiancÚ just went out this morning and got me a new one.
So the whole night sucked and it felt like needles in my throat but I kept telling myself it's just pain, kept drinking and drinking.
Other advice: wrap ice packs around your neck, front and back, and put one on top of your head. I think this has helped me avoid ear pain thus far and has a soothing effect overall.
Take your meds on time or even 15 min early, set a timer (I'm on Tylenol with codeine and it's helping pretty well)
Have someone to lend you a hand so you can sit still the first day
Gently gently brush your teeth - it feels good.
Get a dry erase board to communicate, talk in a whisper and not too often!

Well I know it will probably get worse but I wanted to let you all know that the surgery was a breeze. Just keep taking deep breaths and once you get sedated it's all good.
I will update again, hopefully not in agony lol. Let me know if you have any advice or any questions. Best wishes to all who are doing this operation for a better lifestyle of health!

dls1968 07-13-2012 09:19 AM

Re: Tonsillectomy, read if you are scared, its OK,
Hi April...glad to hear that you are not in much sound as nervous and I am and my surgery is not until August 17th :( I hope your recovery continues with little discomfort as possible... I will check in on you again :)

Aprilis 07-14-2012 11:07 AM

Re: Tonsillectomy, read if you are scared, its OK,
Thank you Dls! I wish I could have worried less before the surgery. It's hard to stop worrying, I know. But it was so simple and over before I knew it. You will be OK!

Day two post-op. ouch. Last night wasn't good. I slept too long and my throat dried out. Then I threw up around 3am, I guess I need to lay off the codeine for a day. It was too much for me. Today I have been getting by on tylenol extra strength gel tabs. They don't help as much as the codeine but really, I needed a break. I dont feel like puking again.

Although, in case you are wondering, puking was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be, didnt really hurt my throat. I just felt better afterwards and it was a bit of a relief.

Pain today sucks. It's creeping into my ears. But it's only pain and it will pass. My dad and sister visited me today and I was able to chat with them for a little while. My mouth is staring to taste really awful, too. But still, this is not the end of the world. I'll update agin. Stay hydrated!!

dls1968 07-15-2012 05:35 PM

Re: Tonsillectomy, read if you are scared, its OK,
Hi April,

Awww, so sorry to hear that you were sick and vomiting...have you tried putting a little food in your stomach before your pain meds? I have read some blogs where people will put a heating pad over their ears for the pain...hope you are feeling better today :)

dls1968 07-17-2012 09:09 AM

Re: Tonsillectomy, read if you are scared, its OK,
Hi April,

I hope you are feeling better :)

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