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purple2067 07-20-2005 01:04 PM

24 and getting my tonsils out
I am 24 years old and never had a strep infection in my life until I started teaching. I've had 4 or 5 throat infections in the past 6-8 months, and the last strep infection that I had was so bad that it basically ate away at my tonsils. I had a fever of 101-104 degrees for almost a week until the anti-biotic finally worked. I now have HUGE craters in my tonsils and I routinely cough up pea sized follicles. My breath is HORRIBLE! It's not a question of whether or not I need to have them out, because several doctors have told me that I do. I just want to know, from a patient's perspective, what to expect after the surgery. Also, do they routinely remove your adenoids as well during a tonsillectomy?

Some people have told me that I will be able to eat nothing but jello (which I hate!). I have heard that now they tell you not to eat ice cream because it is too cold, some people have told me that you HAVE to eat cold things because it stops the bleeding, some have told me I will be able to speak normally after a day, some have told me I won't be able to speak normally for two weeks!

Also, I take a few prescription medications. One pill is very very big, and not crushable. I know that I won't be able to swallow it, even if I put it in ice cream or applesauce. And I don't just take one. It is for digestion, and I take seven of them at a time. My GI doctor may be able to give me a liquid form, but what do I do if he can't? My other pills can all either be crushed or opened.

I basically want to know about the experiences of other patients while recovering from an adult tonsillectomy. My surgeon said that he will go over everything with me the day before surgery when I see him for my pre-op exam.

Do I have to take an anti-biotic during recovery like you do with some other surgeries? I am allergic to so many, I don't even know what they would give me. Last time he gave me an anti-biotic for a throat infection I ended up going to the emergency room in an ambulance, with an anaphylactic reaction.

Thanks for any replies. I am just very nervous!

purple2067 07-21-2005 10:41 PM

Re: 24 and getting my tonsils out

kafish67 07-22-2005 06:24 AM

Re: 24 and getting my tonsils out
I had a tonsillectomy at the age of 34. I also had surgery on my neck so I had that pain to manage as well. I remember that my throat was extremely sore and I wasnt back to normal for about 2 weeks. My doctor never changed my menu at the hospital so I was given normal food. Couldn't really eat although I tried. After a while I learned to take food with sips of water so it could be swallowed. You have to make sure that you take in calories, otherwise you will lose alot of weight. I remember eating popsicles alot but I think the extreme cold hurt my throat. I tried soft things like eggs, yogurt (not mashed potatoes, too sticky) After my surgery, I was on morphine for 1 day ( maybe because of my neck surgery). I started taking darvocet after that, and with a little practice and manipulation, I was able to swallow the pill.( It's a pretty big pill too). I know vicodin comes in liquid form. You have to be able to manage your pain. Also darvocet is an anti inflammatory and will reduce swelling. All in all, it wasnt that bad. I've had worse things happen to me, but thats another story. Like I said before, you will be back to normal in about 2 weeks. Hang in there. I'm sure it'll be worth it in the long run.

Mom22greatkids 07-22-2005 06:26 AM

Re: 24 and getting my tonsils out
If you go here [URL][/URL] you will find tons of info from people who have had tonsillectomies.

For food, I started on Boost but it made me throw up. I had ice cream, scrambled eggs, soup, puddining. The first few days I wasn't able to eat much though.

Personally, I had a great recovery. I was up and feeling better by day 5. Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated. I drank very very icy water. It numbed my throat so I didn't feel the pain as much. They did not remove my adnoids. I was able to start speaking better by day 6. I was talking normally by day 9.

I'm not sure about the pills. It won't be easy to swallow big pills. Do you have to take them the first few days? Try to see if you can get the liquid form.

I took an antibiotic after.

Hope that answers some of your questions. Go to the thread but don't let it scare you. People have many different experiences. But my best advice to you is to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. Try to eat but if you can't at first it's ok as long as you drink. Good luck. You will do fine.

The Inquirer 07-22-2005 08:45 AM

Re: 24 and getting my tonsils out
Hi there,

I had my tonsils out when I was 18. People had me scared to death! I must say that it really wasn't that bad! I didn't need stitches, or any of those things that they tell you you might need bec you're an adult and the blood vessels are grown in, blah, blah, blah. Of course, there's no telling whether or not you will have the same experience, but, for me, it was really not bad.

As for adenoids, they didn't take mine, but you'll have to ask the doctor when you have your pre-op visit. I had antibiotics before and after the surgery. I would imagine they will do the same for you, as it sounds as if your tonsils are quite infected -- they don't want that pus to get into your bloodstream while they're operating or you could get sick while you're recovering, which is the last thing you'll need.

Good luck and let us know how it goes...


purple2067 07-22-2005 11:26 PM

Re: 24 and getting my tonsils out
Thanks everyone. I will certainly go look at the thread that you mentioned Mom22greatkids. It's a comfort to know that most of you were up on your feet soon after, and it didn't take you too long to be able to speak normally. I'm a teacher, so that was a big concern for me. I'm so glad to be off for the summer! I go back to work September 8th. I wanted to make sure I'd have plenty of time to recover. In fact, I would've done the surgery immediately after the last day of school (June 26th) but I had 3, weddings to go to in July! I wanted to be able to go! So, my surgery is scheduled for August 3rd.

Yes, unfortunately I do have to take those pills that I mentioned. I can't skip even one day. They're for my digestion. In 2003 I had my gallbladder out, and some people recover from that just fine and have no problems afterwards. I have excess bile, and can't eat anything at all without taking the pills that my GI doctor prescribed for me, called Colestid. They're also used for Cholesterol sometimes. If anyone has ever seen them, you know that they are absolutely gigantic! They are the among the largest pills I have ever seen. Sometimes I have trouble swallowing them even now, and I haven't had throat surgery yet! Unfortunately, I will not be able to take even one bite of food, or drink a glass of water without taking them. I would be in agony and be RUNNING to the bathroom ALL DAY!

The good thing is that a while ago he mentioned to me that Colestid is actually the pill form of a powdery medication called Questran, that gets dissolved in water. I have to call him and ask him for that. I do take some other oills, but they are fairly small to swallow and can probably be crushed or opened and mixed with pudding or applesauce. I better ask my pharmacist about it first though.

My tonsils actually are not infected at the moment. (although my throat is hurting pretty badly right now, so maybe they are!) All of the strep infections and tonsillitis that I had previously, all in the past six or seven months, seems to have eaten away at my tonsils (even with anti-biotics) and now I have HUGE craters in them. I get these nasty looking, foul smelling green particles coming out of them. My doctor says this is called "Chronic Follicular Tonsillitis". The big problem started when I got my very first strep infection back in March. It was a sunday, none of my regular doctors were around, and my throat was absolutely on fire. I had a high fever, and I knew I couldn't wait until monday. Even never having had strep before in my life, I knew this was strep! I got myself over to the local walk-in clinic and saw a P.A. who said he could tell immediately just by looking that this was strep. He did culture it, but they just grow it out overnight in the office, not send it to a lab. He prescribed one of the few anti-biotics that I am not allergic to - Levaquin. It's an excellent, broad spectrum anti-biotic, but not a penicillin. I took it for 10 days. I thought I was better. As soon as I came off of the anti-biotic, I got sick again. I went to my own GP this time and he cultured it and send it out to the lab. He couldn't prescribe an anti-biotic for me until he knew exactly what kind of infection I had and what it would be susceptible to. So, I walked around with strep for another 5 days until the lab culture came back and it told him that I needed a penicillin. Yeah, well I'm allergic to Penicillin. But he found a third generation Penicillin that I had taken before and not had a problem with, called Ceftin. It worked. Until I got the next throat infection a month later, and the ENT guy gave it to me again and I had an anaphylactic reaction to it. Then they had to wait a day for it to get out of my system and prescribe me Levaquin again. This time it worked. But by that time I had had so many throat infections (I think I was on my third one in three months) that every time I got one my tonsils just got worse and worse. I haven't had one in about a month now, but they are still getting new craters and gunk. Now the pharmacist says that the only anti-biotics I can take and won't be allergic to are Levaquin and Zithromax. Hope they come in liquid form!!!

I have been gargling with Listerine to prevent any abcess from forming. I think it has also been helping to ward off infection. My tonsils are just very abnormally shaped and extremely enlarged.

Ten days and counting!!!!

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