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    Old 10-18-2006, 03:51 AM   #1
    mr_pseudotonsil
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    Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    Hello,

    I found this board and felt it would be a good place for me to unload my sorrows. I had tonsillectomy/sinus surgery(ethmoid and maxillary) this last Friday morning. I had anticipation before the surgery, most of my fear involved concerns about my recovery from the tonsillectomy. I had hyped myself up completely reading everything on the net I could.
    Well, the surgery was actually kind of exciting. I arrived early, was checked in and given an EKG. Then walked around the hospital with my wife a bit. Then I was hooked up to an IV and given some lecturing and various meds. Then I was walked over to OR 1 and greeted by a friendly surgeon, anesthesiologist, assistant, and nurse. They put something in my IV as we began chatting and I felt this tingle in my head. I was asking if it was normal when next thing I knew I was coming out of anesthesia. First sensations after not having drank any fluids since the night before and being on all the meds was that my mouth was like the Sahara. And there was some odd pains starting to kick in. The disorientation and nausea were the worst part of coming out, but didnt last too long and were pretty mild. The nurse gave me a percoset crushed up in some jello and shortly thereafter I went home.
    Ah...percoset. I was feeling actually euphoric and happy on the stuff. That lasted for two days until Sunday night when I called in concerning possible allergies. I was getting really itchy from the stuff and they said I should probably stop it(I'm still wondering if I should have) and switched me to vicodin.
    The vicodin hasn't been working quite as nicely as the Percoset, and the pain has been getting worse when it comes. I'll know I need to take more when all the sensation in my tonsils makes me cough, which causes more pain. Right now I'm trying to sit up in bed as much as possible, as lying flat causes some gunk or something to slide around and I cough. I have become really constipated from the pain meds(is this common?) and havent really pooped since last Thursday. I've taken Milk of Magnesia and done a couple disposible enemas which doesnt seem to do much. For the most part I just produce lots of gas. Of course, I've had very little real food, so the constipation isn't that bad. I do get a little heartburn reflux feeling though and wonder if stuff is backing up in me.
    I've taken some pictures of my tonsils and the white patches are coming along grandly, very white now and seemingly ripe(ready to slough off soon I hope). I have this odd feeling my throat is full of old scrambled eggs or something, and sometimes it feels like im going to produce a bunch of giant tonsilliths, although there are no tonsils or tonsiliths anymore. The scabbing is producing some metallic taste in my throat, and eating a cup of noodles today some movement back there created some odd mettalic taste and current sensations in my tongue.
    The sinus pain I guess is dwarfed by the tonsils but still there. When the pain meds wear off a little I feel it in my front teeth and in the face. Overall though I think they are doing great. There is likely some dried gunk that is trying to come down when I lie down. For the first few days I was wearinig a gaurd and mouth breating, now I'm breathing trough the nose.
    I don't really sleep that much or for long periods of time. I usually just find myself completely more or less zoning out for a while in a dreamless sleep. A cough wakes me up and I drink some more ice water(I'm sucking crushed ice and drinking water constantly)
    The feeling of gas/heartburn/constipation is tolerable but I feel the vicodin must be causing the problems. However, I've tried to wean myself off it to get the bowel motility back...and this is NOT an option now. Much better to have the pain releif. I've considered taking the percoset again even with the itching(one doc said if the vicodin caused itching just take some Benedryl with it) I'm not getting and read that itching is a side effect with these drugs. And I suppose some of it could be due to the Zithromax I'm taking. I'm considering this because I was SOOOO much happier with the Percoset and more positive about getting through this. Lately, with the awareness of the pain that the viocodin incompletely masks, I have gotten more depressed at times.
    I reached a low today when I read about bad pain lasting for 20 days in some people. My wife and doc remind me that these are extremes, and just to keep positive, but it can be tough. My whole world has become the little room I'm cooped up in, a bottle of vicodin, my little plastic cup of ice and water, constant peeing from all the water, being in pain spaced out and lonely, and a contant myriad of unpleasant new sensations from my healing tonils and sinuses. I desire more then anything to return to the world of the living, but know it's still a way off and having trouble keeping positive sometimes.
    Thanks for reading my gripes and allowing me to rant. I look forward to hearing from anyone else who has some encouraging words. I must note that I have chronic sinusisits for years. My tonsils have been swollen and inflamed for some time, and I was kind of walking around with a low-grade infection. I was producing at least 3-5 smelly tonsoliths a day, always felt run down, and had to quit marathon training this summer due to all these problems. That is why I took the steps of having this surrgery. I keep in mind that I will likely feel like a new man when healed. But for the moment I feel much worse then before...

     
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    Old 10-18-2006, 07:55 AM   #2
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    I'm not sure these will be words of encouragement--but at least words that you are not alone. My 20 year old son had tonsillectomy on the 10th. He thought he would be back in college in 6 days. We are on day 9 and he is in more pain than 3 days ago--and still at home. He is wishing he had just lived on antibiotics and put this off (dr. said not an option)--but I am sure once recovered you will both be glad it was done.

    He also has complained at times about a weird metallic taste. Also he is more comfortable trying to sleep in recliner. In fact hasn't been in his bed since surgery. The humidifier does help some with keeping mouth moister.

    Good luck with your recovery.

     
    Old 10-18-2006, 07:57 AM   #3
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    Forgot to address your constipation problem. I bought some Colace for son (which is just a softener), which seemed to help without the cramping, etc. that laxatives can cause.

     
    Old 10-18-2006, 08:30 AM   #4
    danab222
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    I had my tonsillectomy on October 6th.

    I had a similar reaction to percocet, both the itching and the constipation. Here is what I did.

    I stopped taking Percocet on the 8th of October and started taking Tylenol (Liquid for cough and sore throat) but would take half [of my surgeon's suggected dose of] percocet at night before sleeping.

    The pain was manageable this way (and the nurse from the surgical center agreed it was a good plan). The constipation went away too. I also started using Kids Chloraseptic Sore Throat relief strips, which is gentle yet effective.

    mr_pseudotonsil, I was having exactly the same pre-surgery problems as you, and had the surgery because I could no longer find the energy to continue power-walking (I'm not much of a runner but have done a few 8ks) and weight training due to constantly having a low-grade infection.

    The good news is that even being 12 days post-op I feel the benefits of having the surgery. I have NO BAD BREATH! No nagging sensation from tonsils, no nasty tonsoliths. I'm feeling pretty good, food tastes good, I have not lost any taste.

    I hope your recovery gets better with every day! Just remember 2-3 weeks...it seems like a long time but there will be an end.

     
    Old 10-18-2006, 07:47 PM   #5
    mr_pseudotonsil
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    Dana,

    Thanks for your commentary. Things have been a little better today in some ways. Last night I slept for two solid blocks....a two hour and a three hour block. Pain is pretty bad and I cen really feel the tonsils now. The scabs are white and look like they are ready to start coming off...I'm guessing it will start tomorrow or the next day, and I'm really lookind forward to getting to this stage...even though I'm sure it will be "interesting".
    I'm going in for a follow up tomorrow morning and they said they can get me some Demoral if I want? Should I get some? I want to be set up in case the pain gets too hairy, but am kind of worried about taking something so strong.

     
    Old 10-18-2006, 09:19 PM   #6
    mkgb
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    I would get the pain meds just in case. I am keeping up with mine and almost keeping normal operation in the home... minus heavy lifting and bending over due to my endoscopy. But I can get my own food, drink, bathe, dress, etc all on my own. Also getting hugs and kisses from my 4 yr old, that helps bunches.

    Drink lots of ice water! I drank 104 ounces yesterday + various other fluids.

    Today 128 ounces + plus smoothie, shake, and 4 ounces of sprite. Keeps my scabs moist and tolerable. No worse than a sore throat I would have with colds.

    Able to eat room temp. soup, mac and cheese with blended brocolli and ham, oyster crackers, short bread cookies, jello, etc.

    Best of luck to you, hope your recovery continues to progress well.
    Sincerely,
    MG

     
    Old 10-19-2006, 03:40 AM   #7
    mr_pseudotonsil
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    Boss...The pain....the PAIN!!!!

    I can't take this anymore...okay well I have to. I'm coming up on day seven after surgery and after things getting a little better the pain is taking a turn for the worst. It feels like those scabbies are ready to start doing something. I can feel there moist grossness back there. I took my two vicodin at 10:30 and kind of half slept an hour ago finally and came out of it now at 3:30 with the worst pain ever. I just took two more vicodin which I'm hoping will kick in soon.

    The pain is incredible. When will I know that the scabs are actually coming off? Should I check? How long will they come off for? And will it hurt this bad the whole time? I'm definitely getting that demerol today at the visit.

    From what I've read this is the beggning of the bad part after which things start improving. I hope so, this has been a painful, rather sleepless night.

     
    Old 10-19-2006, 07:27 AM   #8
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    I don't know how you tell where you are with the scabbing. If you can see, the whiteness should show signs of decreasing. With my son, I can't get his tongue out of the way to see the area well.

    We are starting day 10 and the pain is still bad. His worst days have been since day 6.

     
    Old 10-19-2006, 07:27 AM   #9
    mkgb
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    mr_pseudotonsil,

    I can't say anything to make it better, but I can recommend what is helping me and helped my son during his recovery.

    Get a prescription for the oticaine ear drops they are generic and due wonders, worked like liquid gold for managing my sons pain. Also use a warm pack for your ears, this will help greatly. Descabbing takes about 48 hours give or take a bit to complete. My son began with ear pain on day 5 by day 7 it was at it's worse and the scabs were coming off, can be seen visibly.

    Day seven is right on time. Day ten looks like it will be your sweet spot, all is better day. Check out your throat and keep drinking. If you are beginning the descabbing it will be over soon enough, just think 2 days.

    Best of luck. Sincerely,
    MG

     
    Old 10-19-2006, 08:07 AM   #10
    danab222
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    I feel bad reading about those of you who are really suffering through your recoveries. Tomorrow I have my 2 week post-op with my surgeon and I hope he gives me good marks

    Yesterday I took one dose of Tylenol at about 6pm. That's it.

    I really feel blessed. I never had an ear ache, never felt the need to use ear drops or moistening nasal sprays. My worst day of pain was on Monday, but even that was very manageable with Tylenol. I have not had any sleep problems (other than needed to sleep on my side for a few days while the swelling of my uvula went down). I had a humidifier ready to go and never needed to use it.

    I can only gather that everyone's pain thresh hold is different. I have had some nasty tonsil infections as an adult (even one that provoked me to go to the ER several years ago), and while I think this recovery period is monotonous, it has been far less painful that what I had anticipated. Really I am quite amazed.

    1) Drink water, water, water (I was told 64 oz a day, I did 100+ a day)
    2) Use Tylenol Liquid cough & Sore Throat as a supplement to whever your doc gives you, try it alone, too.
    3) Kids Sore Throat strips
    4) Warm soup/soft foods and liquids. The warm helps!!!

    I hope everyone is feeling better soon. I vacuumed part of the house yesterday and hope I'll be able to get out and cut the grass this weekend!

    Dana

     
    Old 10-19-2006, 08:50 AM   #11
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    Danab222,

    "Tomorrow I have my 2 week post-op with my surgeon and I hope he gives me good marks" Good luck on your follow up!

    "Yesterday I took one dose of Tylenol at about 6pm. That's it." Sounds like you are doing great.

    "I never had an ear ache, never felt the need to use ear drops or moistening nasal sprays. My worst day of pain was on Monday, but even that was very manageable with Tylenol. I have not had any sleep problems (other than needed to sleep on my side for a few days while the swelling of my uvula went down). I had a humidifier ready to go and never needed to use it."

    That is great, I glad your recovery is going so well. My ear pain is manageable right now, but I have the medicine and am going to keep using it io see its limits. Right now my endoscopy sinus window insertion is not bothering me, and my throat pain is no more intense than that during a bad cold. Medication is most likely helping alot.

    "I can only gather that everyone's pain thresh hold is different."


    Most definitely, my brother cried like a baby most of his recovery when he was 15. My son at 4 did great. Knock on wood, I am doing well right now and hoping to hold up alright.

    "I have had some nasty tonsil infections as an adult (even one that provoked me to go to the ER several years ago), and while I think this recovery period is monotonous, it has been far less painful that what I had anticipated. Really I am quite amazed."

    I have suffered from chronic ear and sinus infections for so long, that I feel I have an increased level of pain tolerance. I am expecting the worst and being suprised by the ease so far... and trying not to myself in the mean time.

    "1) Drink water, water, water (I was told 64 oz a day, I did 100+ a day)"

    Confirmed here... drinking 100 + ounces a day myself. Helps a bunch.

    "2) Use Tylenol Liquid cough & Sore Throat as a supplement to whever your doc gives you, try it alone, too."
    ATTENTION: Check the meds given by your doctor carefully. I was prescribed loretab which has tylenol rolled into it. I did not know this and doubled up on the liquid tylenol by accident. Luckily I caught it after only double loading for one day.
    You don't want to over dose on your pain medications.

    "3) Kids Sore Throat strips" Tried these, they work well.

    "4) Warm soup/soft foods and liquids. The warm helps!!!"
    Will work this probably tonight. Trying to keep things cold the first 48 hours after surgery.

    Respectfully,MG

     
    Old 10-19-2006, 10:23 AM   #12
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    "I can only gather that everyone's pain thresh hold is different."

    Not only is threshold different, but each surgical situation is different. I know I have been surprised with the reaction to the pain of my son. This is the young man who went to class with appendicitis because he didn't want to miss and barely got to hospital before it ruptured. He also washed and waxed his car 6 hours after 4 wisdom teeth extracted and continued playing in a sporting event with a broken bone---but this has reduced him to a pool of jelly. The surgeon also explained that it was less than ideal to remove tonsils when they were grossly infected (ideally they like to reduce the infection before surgery). Son has been on antibiotics since end of Aug. and throat just kept getting worse, with abscesses found inside (by CT scan). My only explanation for this pain level he is having is that his infection was so severe prior to surgery, recovery is taking longer. Not only were his tonsils infected, it had spread to a cellulitis of all of soft palate and base of tongue.

     
    Old 10-19-2006, 03:00 PM   #13
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    I have TMJ issues where my mouth opens a little over an inch, however, if I am allowed to adjust it on my own I can open my mouth to about 2 1/4 inches. My question pertains to a tonsilectomy. How will my jaw issues be handled once I am under the anesthetic? It seems as though they would have to almost rip jaw open if it isn't in the correct position. Obviously I would tell them before hand, but they may not be able to tell. I think the TMJ issue began when I had my wisdom teeth out approx 4 years ago. Anyone have TMJ issues while going through a tonsilectomy?

     
    Old 10-19-2006, 05:20 PM   #14
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    TMJ is a serious and sensitive issue. The ENT will be very caustious of it and probably consult an oral surgeon on care and method. They would not just rip your jaw open, I am not completely sure of the procedure; but they will apply the appropriate muscle relaxors and take all precautions necessary. My sister-in-law has had many jaw surgerys as a result of TMJ... they never just rip your mouth open.

    Best of luck and just make sure that the doctor knows of your situation.
    MG

     
    Old 10-19-2006, 09:49 PM   #15
    mr_pseudotonsil
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    Re: Need Support Tonsillectomy/Sinus Surgery

    Well, I went for my first follow up this morning. Doc blasted my sinuses with this Afrin/Benzocaine mix, then probed around inspecting my sinuses. He suctioned out some material that had build up there. It felt pretty intense when it came out, must have been very sticky blood/mucus that had been stuck in the passages.

    He said I should prob just stick with the Percoset, so when I got home I took one instead of two as before. The pain is more manageable now. He also said my scabs are still 3-4 days away from sloughing off. So I'm guessing by Sunday they should be doing there thing. Prob be about done by thur. Then I'll be on the mend?? This would be 14 days post surgery. I'm hoping this is where things will look brighter. Then another week until I'm feeling good, or a lot better at least.

    The sinuses are sore from the inspection, but with the Percoset I was able to sleep a little more today, and feel some more energy. I got on the scale and was shocked to found I've lost 11 pounds! If this keeps up I'll lose about 20 before this is over. Is this common???

    Well, this surgery is quite an adventure. I'm looking forward to when I am healed, and feel better then I did going in. Theres light at the end of the darkness, its just kind of obscured right now.

     
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