My tonsillectomy diary

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Day 1

I woke up this morning feeling nervous, the typical butterflies feeling I have had so often. It’s worse though because I feel that some food would make me feel much better but I can’t eat as it’s finally the day of my operation. It’s now 8:10am and I am scheduled to be at the hospital at 11:00am. I thought I would be desperate for a drink of water given that I can’t have one, but somehow I’m not, thank goodness!

I arrived at the hospital half an hour ago and have already changed into my gown and awaiting my fate! A few minutes ago the nurse anesthetist visited me and asked me a bunch of questions about my weight, my diet, if I smoke, etc. It’s all very real now and I’m nervous. When I mentioned this to the anesthetist she gave me some type of tranquilizer to calm me down which I really appreciated.

It’s 4:30pm and I’ve just woken up! The operation went smoothly I am told. I remember waking up after the anesthetic and feeling a little clumsy and quite ‘high’ actually. I think I said some silly things to the nurses! Anyway, I don’t feel that bad right now. I can feel that something big has happened to my mouth and my jaw is very stiff. I guess this is exactly how I was told I would feel afterwards. I feel a little nausea though. My mom should be here soon to collect me; I wonder how if my mouth looks any different?

I’m home and its 9:00pm and I’m not feeling so great. I can definitely feel some pain coming on and it feels very similar to the last tonsillitis I had. Anyway, I’m taking my ibuprofen and going to sleep now.

Day 2

Well, this is not as bad I thought it might be. I did get up to go to the bathroom at about 4am this morning and I made a note of drinking some water and taking another ibuprofen. I’m noticing that my tongue is really sore. It’s not a striking pain but more of a dull pain when I move it around inside my mouth. My mom is staying with me for a few days to help me and made me some scrambled eggs without any toast. I couldn’t enjoy them really as it was quite painful trying to swallow, again not a sharp pain, but a dull pain. I’m already missing my cereal and milk! Maybe I could just let the cereal soak for a few hours in the milk. Good idea, I’ll try that tomorrow. I’ve got about ten DVD’s to watch, so I’m actually quite excited about this and not having to go to work!

Its 7:00pm and I’ve just had some dinner. Whoopee! Oatmeal for dinner! Mom cut up some bananas in the oatmeal not knowing that I don’t like them so I can’t say I enjoyed it. I did pass out for a few hours this afternoon and when I woke up my throat was a lot more painful. A sip of water and 20 minutes later it was feeling ok again.

Day 3

I’ve just realized that frozen lollies are very popular during recovery and so I’ve asked mom to grab some. It’s crazy how much information there is out there on the internet about recovery, some of it doesn’t seem right though. It seems that in England the doctors tell their patients to eat rough foods like toast and pop corn etc. The theory behind is that it ‘scrapes’ the throat and keeps it clean and also somehow makes it heal faster. This doesn’t sound right to me; I would have thought to give it some tender care before ‘scraping’ it with food like toast. My goodness, I can’t think of anything worse now that having to eat toast!

Yum, lollypops! I’m loving this whole eating flavored ice exercise.  They’re definitely making my throat feel numb and I know it must be hydrating my throat and I feel like a kid again!

Its 6:30pm and I’m feeling very nauseous, I don’t know why. Mom has cooked me oatmeal again and I just don’t feel like eating. My throat is feeling ‘scratchy’ and I’m not feeling in such a good mood 

Day 4

Mom has left and I’m on my own! I can’t say I feel any better than day one, I would say it’s about the same. I’m getting used to this constant dull pain now but am already fantasizing of what I am going to do when all this is over and what I am going to eat etc. Yesterday, mom bought me a humidifier that I pumped  into the bedroom all night. When I woke up I definitely felt slightly better. I’m thinking of just staying in my bedroom all day today and taking my laptop to bed to watch movies.

Its 2:30pm and I just got off the phone with my doctor. I was really scared! I was trying to brush my teeth (for the first time since the op!! – yugg!) and when I was spitting out I noticed some blood in basin. I’ve been warned by the nurses to contact my doctor if I saw any blood and so I panicked a little. Thank goodness, he said it was nothing to worry about as it was so little and also very dark, so unlikely to be fresh blood – something like that. I’ve noticed that I can sleep for at least 3 hours if I try getting to sleep within half an hour of taking my pain medication.

Day 5

Last night was uneventful other than feeling very frustrated. I want this over now and  even though the  pain  it isn’t that bad, is just irritating. Can’t I just have one hour of no pain! I looked in the mirror this morning and got a bit of a fright. It’s so gross I almost felt sick. It’s like thick greenish white scabs where my tonsils would have been. This morning I have a new problem though, ear pain. Every time I open my mouth slightly, I have this very sharp pain in my left ear. It’s so painful than when I eat or yawn; I grab my ear and squeeze it. I don’t know how serious this is or what it is, I’ll give it a day until I call the doc.

Day 6

5:30am – Can’t sleep. I’ve just taken some Tylenol with codeine medication and hoping that it takes the ear and throat pain away and allows me to get back to sleep. Drinking water is becoming harder, I don’t know why. I just take very small sips as often as possible now.

I did fall asleep after about an hour and I’ve just woken about two hours later. I feel a little bit like I have flu today. It could also been the codeine which I’ve been taking quite a lot lately. I believe that all narcotic drugs such as codeine have pretty bad side effects. I just hope I’m not getting sick with my flu like symptoms. I’ve also developed a small headache which I haven’t had since the operation.

It’s just before 10pm and I made myself some ramen noodles for dinner. It was painful, but I enjoyed having something savory for a change. I took a sip of water between every mouthful. The ear pain is still there but after doing some research online I believe it quite normal so I’m not too worried about it. One of my friends from work called and wanted to chat but I couldn’t, talking is quite painful and just chatting is not worth it!

Day 7

06:45am – Oh cr*p! I’m not happy Wow, the last time I felt this kind of pain was when I had tonsillitis and got ulcers on the tonsils which was excruciating. I tasted a bit of blood this morning which obviously made me feel a bit panicky. When I brushed my teeth, I looked into my mouth and I think some of my scab might have come off. The pain in my throat is no longer a dull scratchy pain, it is sharp and intense.

2:15pm – I called the doctor and asked exactly how much codeine I could take because the pain is really bad right now. I can’t believe that I’m unlucky enough that my period had to start yesterday, the timing couldn’t be worse. I’ve been crying all morning from the pain and I feel very emotional. I wish I could just fall asleep now but I’ve got pain in my head, ear and throat. I can’t even call one of my friends to have a chat and share what I am going through. This really sucks.

4:00pm – I’ve just had a meal; I don’t know what to call it, late lunch or early dinner. I first made myself some two minute noodles, but there were some spices in it which was too painful to eat. I remembered that mom bought me some baby food last week so I tucked into that and it was ok. My taste is off, so it tasted weird. I don’t know how I am going to sleep tonight. Time feels like it is going so slow.

2:30am – I can’t sleep. I’ve got bloody period pain and everything else! I’ve taken the maximum amount of pain killers and I don’t feel much better. I haven’t smoked in three years and I’ve just had my worst craving. I’m going to cry myself to sleep tonight I think. I’ve just thought I should try watching something on my laptop to cheer me up, maybe Seinfeld!

Day 8

I don’t care what time it is, it’s dark outside which means that I haven’t slept very much The pain when I woke up was excruciating. I feel angry that I am in so much pain, but I don’t know why. I can feel something in the back of my throat; it feels like a piece of scab hanging down. It tickles my throat and is so irritating, but I can’t see it in the mirror. I want to try coughing it up, but I am scared it will be too painful and I also don’t want to encourage any hemorrhaging.

Its midday and I’ve just brushed my teeth. I noticed that my tongue is an ugly grayish color, I have no idea why. I’ve read that your breath gets really stinky after a tonsillectomy but I can’t smell anything bad (although I bet it is!). When I was drinking some water today I felt it was different as it went down my throat. It felt as if it was collecting in the holes where my tonsils were before going down – hard to explain – not painful, just very weird.

It’s just before 8pm and mom is back! She heard that I was not doing so well on the phone today and offered to come over and stay for a few more days. She made me macaroni and cheese tonight which got me really excited. Unfortunately I couldn’t eat much as it was just too painful. I feel a bit bad about that, poor mom. I also got very angry with her  after she arrived today, totally out of character. I told her that I was feeling much worse than in the beginning and she said that I was probably not taking my medication properly or something. Obviously I have, but I got really angry with her and shouted and cried. I know she is doing her best to help, I think it’s the medication and pain which caused me to react like that.

Its 23:30 and I just managed to eat some more macaroni and cheese. I took my codeine about 45 minutes ago which I am assuming is the reason why I can eat now. It’s far from comfortable, but at least I got something in my tummy.

Day 9

When I woke up this morning I noticed that the scabs looks different, or are not there, I don’t know, but they are definitely smaller. I’m still in pain but mom forced me to go into the garden for half an hour and sit in the sun which seemed to take my mind off things for a bit. I’m beginning to realize that it’s all about distracting yourself and taking as much medication as I am allowed to. And drinking water, let’s not forget!

Mom just made some tea and made me a cup of lukewarm chamomile tea. It was sore, but sooo soothing, I cried. I asked mom to make me some peanut butter on bread, but that didn’t work out well at all. The peanut butter stuck in my throat and I couldn’t get it down. I drank lots of water until it was gone but it was a horrible feeling.

Its dinner time and mom made me some nice Italian minestrone. I finally managed to eat a full meal, albeit a bowl of soup! Tonight we are going to watch one of our favorite DVD’s, I still feel bad about my temper yesterday.

Day 10

Last night was ok. I set my alarm to wake up every 2 hours and have some water. My throat is still really dry. I feel like I have got over the worst. I feel totally exhausted, both physically and mentally. I want to go for a nice long walk today and get some fresh air into my lungs. I’m going to fill up a big bottle of water and take my iPod with me.

It’s about 9pm and mom just left. The walk was lovely and I’m feeling better. I really wish the pain would completely go, even though its much less, it’s still frustrating to me. I plan on calling some friends tonight and updating them on my progress. I actually look forward to returning back to work!

Day 11

Well, I think I can certainly say that I am over the worst. It looks like my scabs are gone and the pain now is very manageable. I’m going to continue taking the medication when necessary and drink a lot of water. I read a magazine this morning which is something I have not been able to do for a long time. The codeine just made me feel too drowsy to do anything but watch TV or sleep. I’m still eating soft foods, so I’m looking very forward to something a little closer to normal! Perhaps pizza!

Day 12

I went to my doctor today for a follow up. He said that everything looked good and I had nothing to worry about. He said I could try eating my normal diet and getting some very light exercise. I know exactly what I am doing tonight. I am going to call up my local pizzeria and order a delivery of pizza and if I’m feeling up to it, maybe even half a glass of red wine!

Day 21 – 9 days later

I just wanted to post one final entry in this diary. I’m totally recovered and am feeling great. In retrospect, the recovery was awful, but when I started feeling better, I got better so quickly. I don’t regret having the operation for one second; it’s totally worth it knowing that I won’t ever have tonsillitis again! I think I could have drunk a bit more water around the peak pain period (days 7-8), but overall I’m thankful that I didn’t have any real complications like hemorrhaging. I’ve got back into my daily gym routine and am back at work and feel great. Every now and then I drink something or eat something and I feel it get stuck in the tonsil bed when my tonsils would have been and it feels strange – but other than that all is great!

94 Responses to “My tonsillectomy diary”

  • Mandy:

    wow, that was quite an ordeal! I’m about to start week 2 and hope I dont get any worse. Thanks for an honest insight Nina!

  • Sandy:

    Well, I’m on day 5 after my surgery and I thought my recovery would be much better than yours but the pain just hit me today! I was doing great, even taking my 4 kids out every morning since day one after surgery but now I can’t thinking about anything else but this anoying mouth and ear pain. It feels like the meds are not working at all and I have been taking them every 4 hours! I guess the recoveries are all alike :( good luck to us!

    • Garinan:

      The first thing that my old onco told me when my mets were confirmed was I nedeed a positive attitude & breast cancer is a chronic disease now. (but Stage IV TNBC isn’t chronic) My new onco was the only person who was straight with me that tx is giving me more time and not making me just live with the cancer.

  • Sara:

    Reading this as I’m going through my own tonsillectomy recovery made me chuckle a little at the familiarity of all the things you went through – even the anger (I feel like throwing things across the room and screaming)! It’s just so reassuring to know others have gone through the same thing. I’m in the UK and I had to eat toast before the hospital would even discharge me, but I can’t say my recovery is happening any quicker – I’m on day 7 now and the pain is still getting worse, I can’t wait til I’m on the other side of all this!

    • Zanoba:

      The goal of many ‘reformers’ is to extinguish pritave practice medicine. All physicians would in essence be employed with their compensation directly tied to various quality metrics (read: hoops to jump through and tunnels to crawl through). Specialists like me will be paid a lot less and primary care physicians will be paid a little more. With such a future, and the health care system in turmoil, what caliber of students will aim to be doctors? I heard and read a lot about access and cost, but nothing about quality.

  • Vanessa:

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I am about to have my tonsil surgery and reading this helped me to see what I can honestly expect. I feel so much more prepared! Thank you!

    • Prasant:

      Erica,It is my first time I leave my message here and I hope you will noctie. I understand a person as busy as you is really esay to get sick. I think the most important think is to get enought sleep no matter how busy you are. Eat healthy and keep exercise. Just that simlpe but not esay to put it in action. Don’t worry, I will pray for you since I am a christian.

  • Angie:

    Thanx for sharing ur experience, Im going for my tonsillectomy on thursday, im nervous but reading ur diary realy helped

    • DeAnn:

      I’m also going in this thursday for my tonsillectomy (adenoids too)…i’ve never had surgery and this one seems pretty routine so i’m not as worried…posts like these are the ones that help me feel that most everyone goes through the same pain from this surgery and then it gets worse before it gets better…i wrote some notes from different websites to help me through this…i just know rest, keeping your mind busy, and drink lots of water (humidifier for your room to keep your throat from drying out–the most painful, chewing sugar free mint gum to help with ear pain and nausea from meds)…good luck with your surgery.

  • Angie:

    Did my surgery yesterday, and i was bleeding. But the doctor made me sleep @ the hospital. Im okay now and at home

  • Lisa:

    Omg!!! I was never told about the unbelievable ear pain….. I’ve never felt so sore!! I had my tonsils out last Tuesday and I’m still in so much pain although when I woke up from surgery I managed to eat two ham and cheese sandwiches. My caring bf thought he’d do the right thing and come visit me that night after the op….. He brought mcdonalds and ate it in front of me. I layer in bed staring at him with so much jealousy….. Hopefully next week when the pain finally decreases I’m going to invite him over and proceed to eat 3 big macs in front of him : ) he can have noodle soup for dinner and see how it feels!!!!

    • Lisa:

      Oh and I also found drinking warm tea or coffee with manuka honey helps, it has weird healing properties and is only sold at some chemists….. Hope this helps!

  • Neela:

    I am going in for my tonsillectomy tomorrow and I am feeling kinda nervous. Hope it goes well. Seriously worried about the recovery!

  • Ann:

    All I can say is that after reading all of the above, I’m absolutely terrified and feel like canceling my tonsillectomy scheduled for Sept. 9, 2011! Since I’m 57, does that mean it’s going to be even worse that the worst comments that I read here? I can’t tell you how much I’m dreading the recovery. 2 weeks of hell??? WOW!!!

  • Kim:

    I had my tonsillectomy on 9/22/11. So far I’ve been great. The ear pain doesn’t bother me at all, so far it’s no where near as bad as it was when I had tonsillitis. The excessive saliva is bothering me, however. I have to about every couple of minutes. The postnasal drip isn’t helping either. I vomited twice the night I had the surgery. The nurse told me it was normal, because you swallow blood during the surgery. My tongue hurts from the retractors, they also bruised my lip during the procedure. I still can’t eat much. I was trying popsicles, but they make all the excessive saliva sticky and hard to swallow. I had a bite of applesauce, but it felt like it was getting stuck. Also tried a few bites of mint pudding. That also made the excess saliva sticky, and caused more mucus. I haven’t needed the pain meds, but I’m taking them to help me sleep. Jaw pain was bad yesterday, but pretty good today. Coughing up phlegm is irritating, but hasn’t made me bleed. Using ice packs on my.throat had helped with the swelling. I can only do very small sips of water, but still feel like it gets stuck. Thanks so much for this blog. It was an amazing help. Lets me know what to expect in the couple days.

    • Kim:

      Ice packs on my neck and ice chips to suck on have been a great help. I tried chewing gum, but that just made me choke. I brushed my teeth this morning. no tooth paste, but i had to get the sticky feeling on my back teeth to go away. So far I’m still doing good. My episodes of tonsillitis were worse. although this morning my throat was a bit itchy. I had a low grade fever yesterday, it comes and goes. If it continues tomorrow or goes up I’ll be calling my dr.

    • Tirey:

      My daughter was dsoinaged several years ago as iGA deficient. She had constant sinus infections the first three years of her life and it took forever to diagnose cause she never fevered. She doesn’t have allergies but she is seven now and missed 25 days of school last year. I am taking her to the ent in a week or so. Nice to hear from someone going through it even if their battles aren’t the same, the process is.

      • Leila:

        Wow!!!! Hope you are feeling much betetr pretty friend!!!! I bet the liquid diet made you super skinny (not that you needed that!) So give me the real scoop How much did you lose? XO Sent from my iPhone

  • Stacey:

    I am 29 years old. In a couple of weeks I go back to the ENT doctor to see if they are going to give me a tonsillectomy. I am getting it because I am concerned about strep. I have been getting it at least 2-3 times a year since I was 5 yrs. I am getting it the tonsillectomy because when I get strep there are no syptoms. There are times when I don’t even get a sore throat. I have probably had strep more than the 3 times they have caught it this year. I am afraid, not of the procedure but of getting strep and not knowing it. When I get strep there are lots of white patches on my tonsils. One time I had strep and it was so bad I couldn’t eat or drink. When I went to the ER they had to give me and IV and a shot of penicillin. When I was discharged they even had to give me additional antibiotics. I go to see about getting my tonsils removed on Oct. 17. Wish me luck hope everything goes well or maybe I won’t get strep again and never have to get the tonsillectomy.

    • Brittney:

      Im 23 and I just had my surgery.
      My experience was a little different and all of the doctors think Im a freak of nature.
      Day one: I was talking after my surgery and only had pain when swallowing fluids.I chalked it up to anesthesia.
      Day two: Still talking, pain was bad but I was taking percocet every 4 hours so I just took it and slept all day with an ice pack on my throat to reduce swelling. Nothing the percocet couldn’t handle!
      Day3,4,5: all the same still talking no problem,but the pain was A LOT worse during these days and the pain meds seemed to wear off within an hour or so after taking them. It was harder to drink, but I did manage to eat some warm pasta with marinara(bland and warm, not hot) with water in between bites. I called the doctor and he told me Im doing great! and I sounded great! News to me!
      Im on day 6 and its easy as pie! feeling better today and just drinking tons of gatorade to stay hydrated. I still have pain trying to swallow fluids and food but its not as bad as the last few days.

      In the hospital I met someone getting the same surgery as me- weve been corresponding through email about our symptoms and how we are feeling. Shes the exact opposite of me. Its incredibly painful for her to speak, she hast eaten anything solid yet and is having trouble trying to drink fluids because it hurts. Were on the same pain medications but theres been a big difference between our reactions from day 1 which the doctor told her is completely normal.
      I think I might have a higher pain threshold than most so I am faring a little better.
      They tried to get me to pee in a bedpan post surgery(like as soon as i was awake)
      …I told them to eat dirt and made a nurse walk me to a bathroom! =] She was more than happy to not have to clean a pee pot and surprised i was ok walking! lol I hope everyone has as easy a time as Im having with it!! All the best! Just drink a lot it definitely helps and youll feel better! Try eating ice chips, popsicles, and very cooked pastas with a little butter for flavor. Substantial enough to feel full without killing your throat!
      My email is if your going in for surgery and have any questions I would be more than happy to answer what I can from my experience!

  • Mitch’s Mom:

    Day 6 of 17 yr. old Mitch’s tonsillectomy. He woke this a.m. with severe ear pain. He has been on Hydrocodone/ Tylenol this whole recovery. I am decreasing how often he takes it. He was taking it continually around the clock every 4-6 hours .up until today. He only had it in the am and now at bedtime.Icy Fluids continually & ice pack on head and massages to neck. He had homemade chicken broth 1/2 c for dinner. He ate the most today. He wanted hungry jack flakey biscuits with sausage. I ground up the sausage very finely after cooking. He hasn’t had flakey biscuits since he was about 6, as I learned how to make homemade biscuits around that time. He ate two biscuits with mustard and minimumn amount of sausage. He had a small pancake yesterday and broccoli soup maybe 2T. Rough, so today’s intake was awesome. However upon gargling tonight I asked to look in his throat. What I saw is white tongue and of course as expected white on the tonsil area. I am afraid he may have thrush and will call Dr. in the a.m. I hope to get him out and about tomorrow. I also hope he gets to his homework. He had his surgery done due to severe sleep apnea.
    So far I think he is handling it great and hope all who have it do likewise. One of the worst is his breath. His poor girlfriend tried to stay with him on the 3rd day. She survived. Poor kid it is terrible. He has tried gum, continually gargling with salt water.

  • Jason:

    I’m 39 yrs old and on my 5th going on my 6th(if I ever get some sleep tonight) day post op. The only complain I have besides the excruciating pain in my throat and ears is the coughing every time I go to sleep at night, in addition to the mucus factory that seems to open up during this time of the day. That keeps me awake all night and it sometimes worries me that I might bleed due to constant coughing like what happened this morning. It’s good I’m not a bleeder and was able to stop it with the help of lollies-yes, that was my breakfast today. I’m glad I found this blog site, it’s like band of brothers and sisters, we all went through he’ll and back! (well halfway back).

  • shan:

    Hiya all,

    Thanks for the detailed blog and individual experiences. My sufferings have been no different to you all but found solace in your accounts which helped me through this ordeal. Not been speaking to my partner for over a week post the surgery and have been very depressed. I’ve been up all night tonight but feel slightly better. Its day 9 and I feel that I have finally come through the worst. Many thanks to you all for posting your agonising experiences, this most certainly helped me and I’m sure will help others! Take care 🙂

  • michelle hirst:

    i female age 41 had tonsil removed on the 12/12/2011 must say the pain wasnt half has bad as i expected may be after 5 day get bit earache which soon went of within 10 min of taking dissolve paracetamol and codine i also bought a heat wrap that warm up in the microwave which is a must and have and really help me that prob why i i didnt get half much pain, the not so good was prob first thing in amorning for first 5 min try to drink trying to drink but once you had the first drink keep drinking and prod cuppa soap the more you drink and eat the quicky and easie it is to swallow must admit i was expecting the pain to be about a 10 as in very bad but must say mine was about 3 if i had to have it done again i would

    • Dssokol:

      I have never had an operation breofe and I have to say that I would be scared spit-less to be put under. The one thing that does come to mind is the movie Cheaper by the Dozen (the old one with Clifton Webb). His children have to have their tonsils removed and he decides to have his done as well. I’ll stop there Anyway, I wish him all the best and I believe you still get all the ice cream you can eat: something he can look forward to. Unless, of course, he doesn’t like ice cream, then well

  • Courtney:

    Thanks for posting this blog, was quite a good read as i could relate to it a lot. I’m on day 6 and think the pain peaked yesterday. Reading this i’ve definitely not drank enough water so that is my target for the next few days but done my best to eat a normal diet. My dad and girlfriend probably think i’ve been ignorant or boring but if a question can be answered with one word or a grunt thats all they’ll get off me its not worth the pain. Another thing i found was a bad taste in my throat the only way i can compare it is like when you have a hangover and have been throwing up. I bought a bottle of anti-bacterial mouthwash, some nicer tasting mouth wash and a lot of chewing gum, which helped. Good luck to anyone else that is having a tonsilectomy and don’t under-estimate it!

  • Lucie:

    Hi all! It is true that it helps reading others experiences! I am on Day 5 and was expecting this hard pain to come and it showed up yesterday evening. I am on paracetamol and codeine every 4 hours and ibuprofene every 8 hours. I did not get much sleep last night either, but I guess I should start to feel a lot better by day 7. So not too long to go! I am in the UK and yes here they say to eat normal food which I have and it went down ok as long as i chewed it well! Brushing my teeth everytime i had something to eat also helped me to feel clean and in the healing stage. Now I am staying in bed, armed with patience until this pain goes.. We all need to hang on, it will be worth it!!! But ouch 🙂

  • Teresa:

    I can’t believe I let the doctor talk me into having a tonsillectomy. It is the 5 days later and it hurts sooooo bad! I know it is probably the best for me, but right now I think it is the worse thing that ever happen to me. Pray and listen to GOD!

  • Garry:

    Wow! You had it pretty bad. Mine was nothing compared to that, I stopped taking painkillers on day 6. I ate a meal everyday too. Mornings were the worst for me because I didn’t take any painkillers during the night or drink water but that was pretty much it. It’s a really strange feeling when you swallow it’s like a numb pain or something, but from day 5-7 I had a lot of discomfort with drinks and spices and lost my appetite but other that I was pretty great. My birthday was 8 days after the op so I was determined to get better haha! I’m on day 12 now and I’m feeling great. I have been singing my heart out all day and even went for a long cycle. I can still feel a little discomfort in my throat but you get so used to that numb pain it becomes bare able quickly, and you think it’s there when it’s gone. I wish everyone the best of luck with their experiences and that they will be ok 🙂

  • Simone:

    I’m on day 4 following my tonsillectomy last Thursday. I’m so glad to have to found this site! I have been eating pretty normally since my first meal following my operation (ham and cheese sandwiches) as herein Australia they encourage you to eat as per normal following a tonsillectomy. It hurts to swallow both solid foods and liquids, But it’s bare able. I am assuming it will get worse in the coming days, but will wait and see. The first couple of days I have felt groggy etc but today is the first day I just feel discomfort in my throat and ears and nothing else. I took painkillers this morning and nothing since but will do again before bed. I have been able to drink somewhat normally today, not just sips but proper swigs of water! However I am finding it goes up my nose quite easily for some reason? I find my breathing so much better from the moment the tonsils were removed, and from what I’ve been told I’m not snoring either, yay! I had my tonsils removed due to snoring but moreso frequent tonsillitis.

    • Ognjen:

      BEWARE!! BEWARE!!!My brother and siestr and I all had our T A’s together. My brother I came out fine but the surgeon slipped and sliced a hole thru her throat and neck. To this day, she leaks when she drinks. My 7 yr old daughter had the A w/o the T two summers ago. To this day, she still has no interest in reading War Peace.

  • Trevor:

    Well I’m a 30 yr old male and had heard adult tonsillectomy recovery was brutal, but kinda figured I would be fine as I have a fairly high pain tolerance. Yeah, not so much. I’m currently on recovery day 8 and am hoping the end is near soon. Surgery day and recovery days 1-2 were easy, just a mild sore throat. I ate soup, push-ups, etc. Sat outside and read a book and thought to myself how nice a week off work doing this would be. HA! Day 3 hit and the pain ramped up a bit. Bad but bearable for 1-2 hour increments with the Lortab. Day 4 was equally bad and I thought it couldn’t get much worse. Little did I know what was in store for me! Days 5-6 were almost unbearable. The Lortab didn’t touch the pain. Every time I swallowed it was like shards of glass. Worse, I couldn’t even “force” myself to swallow due to the swelling in my throat. Ice packs helped a little, but not much. I called my doctor and begged for higher pain meds. They gave me a script, but I had to wait until Day 7 to pick it up. Oh, and nights were by far the worst part for every day. Every night I would wake up every two hours in excruciating pain, even with the humidifier. I would wake up, get ice packs on my neck, and watch the clock until i could take more pain meds. AWFUL. Back to Day 7, I woke up dehydrated and could barely drive to the doctor’s office to pick up my Percocet prescription. I picked up some unflavored pedialyte while filling the prescription and forced myself to drink two liters that evening. Bad night still, but Day 8 I woke up feeling a little better. Took a Percocet at 8:45 AM, but got away with only taking 2 normal Tyelnol pills at 2:30. Felt good enough to get out of the house with my wife and 2 year old for a bit in the evening. Thought I was finally on the upswing. “Sigh”. Then at about 8 pm my pain hit again, hard, with swelling. No idea why. Took a Lortab and applied the ice packs but the swelling is still there, which limits the water I can drink. I drank all day today when I felt better so I don’t get that at all. Anyway, here I am again, ice packs on, watching the clock until I can take a Percocet again and start the clock on a tortuous night. I know they say this will get better, but it better quickly. I am mentally drained and can’t take much more. Tomorrow is recovery Day 9 and I’m praying for relief. Good luck to everyone. My wife keeps telling me that I’m almost there, but when you are in the middle of it time moves so slowly. Hopefully in a week I can look back on this and smile (pain free) that it is finally over and work on making it a distant memory. 

  • Tonia:

    I’m 26 and on day 5 of the post-op. I would have to say that this is the most painful day that I have had and I’m hoping this is the worst. I think I’m on the above writers 7th day. I have it all, extreme throat pain, ear pain, tongue pain, muscus. At this point in time, I have seriously regreted getting this surgery. This is horrible! I hope that this is the worst day and I pray that this is only going to get easier!

    • Tonia:

      I take it back..this is the most painful day and I feel like I’m going crazy. I have stopped eating and can’t even swallow. This is torture….

  • Darko:

    Im 30yo and had my t&a done 5 days ago… This is the worst pain I have ever felt…EVER! Surgeons said my tonsils were Huge and during surgery I heamoraged and lost 1.2lts blood.
    Post op I’ve been put on paracetamol oxycodone oxycodone hydrochloride and antibiotics. With all this analgesia I am still in solo much pain. Just swallowing saliva make me squirm and want to cry. I never thought water could be so hard to swallow but it’s really the only thing I can handle along with chamomile tea.
    I wonder when this is going to end and cannot wait until it does, one thing that does make me feel that little better is the fact that others can relate to my pain through this site…

  • Ali G:

    I’m a 33 year old Aussie chick currently on day four post-op. Yesterday was definately worse than today. Woke up yesterday morning with lots of ear pain and swelling, so grabbed the peas out of the freezer, wrapped them up in a tea towel and kept them on my neck for about five minutes each side. This worked quite well as it contours to your face (unlike a frozen icepack).

    I’ve only been taking panadol during the day along with the antibiotics, and then taking half an oxicodone at night. I think the main thing that’s helped me is drinking until my eyeballs float 🙂  in the mornings I’ve been holding water in the back of my throat just to lubricate it a bit before having a proper drink. This seems to help quite a bit, as well as luke warm cups of tea.

    I haven’t had to have the humidifier on at night as I’ve been wrapping a blanket or my dressing gown across my mouth whilst I sleep (sitting upright on the lounge mind you!).

    Will see how I go over the next few days…

  • Kelsey:

    I’m 20 years old and i’m on day 8 and I can honestly say at this point I regret having the surgery. I think i’m finally on the mend. My throat is still extremely sore and it’s very hard to swallow. The pain’s the worst right after I try to eat something remotely solid (oatmeal, pasta, etc). It feels like i’ve run a marathon! My jaw hurts and my throat stings from all the force. The worst days were definitely 5 and 6. Here’s a little chart of what i’ve dealt with so far.

    day 1: not terrible, dozed most of the day, drank TONS, was in some pain, everything stung to eat, could only get down jello, took hydrocodone, woke up every hour to drink which helped (GET A HUMIDIFIER. it’s a lifesaver)

    day 2: terrible. the hydrocodone & the antibiotics made me get sick three separate times which made my throat SO raw. switched to liquid tylenol and ditched the antibiotics completely (i have a REALLY sensitive stomach so many of you probably won’t have the same problem) thank god i have a wonderful doctor who’s been calling 3 times a day to check on me and give tips / etc

    day 3-4: moderate pain, ears ached a little, tylenol helps a little, nights are the worst because you wake up and your throat’s dry. moved on to apple sauce.

    days 5-6: THE WORST. so painful. oh my goodness i wanted to die, my ears ached and it felt like i was swallowing glass. i’m not sure if this was due to the scabs forming or falling off but it was so sharp and everything stung. tylenol wasn’t doing any good, but i was in so much pain i couldn’t bear risking getting sick under those circumstances. ice pack on my neck at all times. attempted to eat frozen yogurt, broke down crying because it hurt so bad, the crying caused more pain which caused more crying- vicious cycle. suck it up, no tears!

    day 7-8: SO much better than day 5-6 but still really painful. went for my post op appointment and my doctor and he said everything looked good as far as healing. he also prescribed a new antibiotic (because my throat looked a little red which meant a possible infection) and this anti-naseau medicine that’s apparently been around for 50 years or so. I was wondering why he hadn’t prescribed it earlier but i went to CVS and it was $260 with insurance! but it’s literally saved my life. it knocks you out so you can get a full nights sleep and i’ve felt no nausea and can use the hydrocodone and the antibiotics again. Day 7 i think i see light at the end of the tunnel. throat still hurts but i was able to eat some egg salad and only took some tylenol this morning and have felt okay minus swallowing. trying some tortellini in chicken broth for dinner, fingers crossed.

    Can anyone confirm that this means i’m healing? my throat isn’t nearly as white as it was on day 6, but it still is farther back in my throat. i’m hoping that means the scabs are subsiding. i’m just worried that there’s no rhyme or reason to the pain and i might wake up feeling awful. some reassurance would be appreciated. my doctor said between 7 to 10 days swallowing / the pain in general should become far more manageable.

    Here are some tips that have helped me immensely through all of this and my friend of the same age who got them out a year prior.

    -jell-o, apple sauce are your friend, CREAM OF WHEAT (way easier to eat than oatmeal- add some cinnamon and honey) milk causes gross phlegm
    -TROPICAL FRUITS, it sounds random but cut into little bits kiwi or papayas are great. they’re cold and slippery and easy to get down and not rough like apples or acidic like grapefruit.
    -drink KEFIR!!! it’s difficult to get down because it’s thick. but it realllly helps the healing and has a lot of nutrients you aren’t getting from the limited foods you can eat
    -Vico coconut water is GREAT. it’s one of the most hydrating things you can drink and it comes in so many flavors (original, chocolate, mango, pineapple)
    -use a humidifier at night so your throat stays moist and you don’t have to wake up every 20 minutes to take a sip of water
    -If you’re nauseous, don’t drink water. it’ll just come right back up. try gatorade or something with electrolytes
    -switch up food / drinks as much as possible. it can be as little as changing vitamin water or gatorade flavors. you get so sick of constantly having the same thing that it makes an already long recovery seem even longer
    -invest in one of those neck bandage things that you can put an ice pack in (they gave me one at the hospital) keep it on your neck, and put plastic ice cubes on your ears if they start to ache
    -when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed watch a movie or TV, otherwise you’ll psyche yourself out and make yourself even more upset. get your mind off of it.
    -ask your doctor about anti nausea medicine if you’re afraid of getting sick. because it’s WAY more painful dealing with tonsillectomy when your throat is already raw from getting sick.

    hope this helped!

    • Cristina:

      Thank you so much for your post. I will take all the helpful hints and apply them. I am scheduled for my surgery on Oct 30, 2012. And currently haveing swellling in my throat, ear aches and migraines. So i am hopeing by Thanksgiving I will 30 lbs lighter from surgery and no sore throat or anything.

  • Kelsey:

    a little update: just attempted to eat some tortellini in chicken broth (to keep it soft). after about 5 minutes my jaw was exhausted, my throat throbbing, and my ears pulsing. when is this going to end 🙁

  • vicky:

    Hi , i am 37 from,Australia. I am now on day 6….so glad i have read these posts the pain and symptoms are all the same as what i am going through.. now omg this morning was the worse… my facebook updates are my saviour lol .. i am just having panadole and nurophen .. what ever you do if you are having the surgery dont take endone … a very dangerous drug … i had a bad reaction i felt like a druggo … vomitting , shortness breath , yuk stay clear… i had to go back to dr 2 days ago as i was ill. I was given more antibiotic and stronger nausea tablets . I have had really bad reflux it was yuk, i didnt even have reflux when i had my children . Its been great reading these post and to know that your not alone … thanks . Vicky

  • Sam:

    I am 19 years old, currently on day 8 of my recovery and the scabs coming out + mucus from my nose is causing me to spit excessively, I can’t sleep because I’m can’t stop spitting, if I stop I feel like I’m going to choke, because the can’t swallow the spit. 🙁

    Does anyone know if this just from the scabs coming off because its tiresome and I can’t sleep, not for a minute.

    Thanks for this blog, its been really helpful.

  • Caroline UK:

    Thank you for this tonsillectomy diary! It made me laugh in places because of how similar it is to my recovery. I’m on day 6 and I can honestly say that today has been the worst. Every morning has been awful but the pain has subsided as the day goes on. But today there has been no let up whatsoever. I’ve cried, I’ve sulked, I’ve taken as many painkillers as guidelines tell me to and still I’m in agony. I hope that this is the worst of it. I’ve definitely found comfort in reading the blog and can finally see light at the end of the tunnel!

  • svet:

    Thank you for sharing, reading this made me feel hopeful again. I’m on day 5 and today has definitely been the most painful- the pain has spread to my ears and is sharper in my throat. However the pain is not what bothers me the most, constant pain + pain killers is manageable. Coughing, phlegm, chocking, swollen uvula and horrible horrible breath is what is making me frustrated. It’s only day 5 but it seems like a lifetime and when I think there’s another 5+ days to go…. But then I think about how wonderful it is going to be to wake up one day and notice that instead of feeling worse I am starting to feel better (because that day is going to come sooner or later) and the thought of no more tonsillitis every other week, no more feeling weak, being unable to exercise or having any motivation at all… Now I have given in and even if tomorrow is going to be more painful than today at least I know that I am one day closer to feeling good and healthy again!!! Wishing you all a fast and painless recovery!!

  • Katherine:

    i can definitely relate to a lot of this.. I’m on day 6, and this morning awoke with the most painful sore throat! Only thing I could say that i’m experiencing, which you didn’t seem to, is my swollen mouth. I can barely speak my whole mouth is so fat and swollen! So frustrating! Since my mouth is so swollen it is difficult for me to swallow, and at times i choke on my drink, or it just runs down my throat uncontrollably, causing me to cough… although i can’t actually cough, so i just have to wash down the choking with more drink!

    Cannot wait until all of this is over…

  • lynda:

    56 year old female and had tonsils removed on 22nd July. I’m not surgery naive but this is at times beyond belief. Pain and difficulty swallowing continues to increase (could eat some toast until yesterday) – driving me mad now. Nearly drowning myself with liquids, so heavens knows what it would be like if the pain increases when you’re dehydrated. Just made a smoothie of banana, almond milk and ice cubes and it has been about the only foodstuff that has not stung or burnt so badly it’s made me cry. I’ve completely had enough of this recovery nonsense – a 3000 yr old surgery that can’t be medically managed better than this? What is that all about? Sorry just had to vent. Good luck to all on here. I think we are all pretty great.

  • Nicole:

    I am 19 years old and I am on day 10 of my recovery. I was just wondering after day 15 are you officially over the bleeding thing and can’t bleed anymore or is it when the scabs are gone? I wanna get out of my house and do stuff but I am afraid that will cause bleeding especially since my scabs are coming off. I have little spots of scabs and not just one big spot, is that werid?

    • Katelyn:

      Thank you for sharing! I’m 16 years old and I am on day 9. Your site gives me hope because right now I’m feeling very depressed and I feel like this is never going to end. I haven’t ate a bite of anything in 3 days, I’ve lost 10 pounds (which I’m secretly happy about) HAHA! I am just so uncomfortable and I am so ready for all this to be over. Everyone, says day 11 is when they start really feeling better… I’m almost there. I hope I can make it!

      • Ayushi:

        Sylvie, I have to ask, it says you are on no meds. My goal is to get off of thyroid meiatdcion. I live primal since Dec. I was 194lb, I’m now 147. My doctor seemed to laugh when I asked about not taking it, since she also has a thyroid problem. So I’m hoping you are telling me there is hope and eating right is gonna heal my thyroid. I haven’t been able to find to much information on healing my thyroid enough to get off of medicine so any info you have would be great. Thanks and you guys story is a great one!

  • Paul:

    Im 37, from Aberdeen Scotland, and had my tonsils out on Friday 23rd August, so technically Im on day 5…for me so far, the pain was at its worst on days 2 and 3 although reading your diary above makes me worried for the coming days as things have really eased for me so far… Dont get me wrong, still a lot of pain and keeping well dosed with painkillers, was prescribed paracetemol, ibuprofen and tramadol. The tramadol totally knocks you for six but boy does it ever work, just have to be carefull with it as its an opiate and can be addictive!
    Im sure all will be fine in the end though, im glad i have had it done as my tonsils have been giving me nothing but pain for the last couple of years, indeed when the surgeon came to see me after the op he said they were in a really nasty state and it was 100% the right thing to have done!
    Will let you all know if the pain increases again…

  • ruby:

    I’m on day 4. My pain is tolerable. The sore throat and swelling is much worse at night. I had to switch to gatorade because I was gagging on water, it restored much needed electrolytes. I’m eating ok but have lost at least five pounds. I switched betweenTylenol to Motrin every four hours and take the codone at night to help withthe ccoughing and throat tickles. Now brushing my teeth is horrible. I feel like there is coating on my tongue and roof of my mouth. I’m glad these blogs exist as they have prepared me immensely. One thing that most didn’t mention was the thick slimy phlegm. .. gross and constant. ..I will update you guys in a few days.

  • soph:

    hello, female, Australian, aged 25, im on day 8 post op at the moment and im one of those people who read sooo much pre and post op! i just want to say thanku thanku for putting some stuff in about your moods! pain i can deal with! but my moods were 10times as bad and i couldnt even scream or use any energy to show i was having them really! i felt really bad when i took it out on ppl caring for me. probs jst combo of pain, meds, lack of nutrients, broken sleep, etc but also anxiety, stress and feeling general hopelessness and loneliness (i certainly didnt want to see anyone but was soo bored) that comes with any operation recovery. It really helped to get up, out of bed, take a shower, brush my teeth, change my clothes, go outside for little…just to feel normal! even when i was feeling my shittest and thought i just wanted to sleep that actually didnt make me feel any better than getting up for a bit. ALSO really having like a billion cravings even though worst taste in my mouth is making lose my appetite! gahhh gimme chocolate and junk food and dairy!

  • Olivia:

    I’m 12 days post op. I must say, the whole recovery process was really not as bad! I never bled, I slept a full night every single night with no pain waking up, and my sore throat was not extremely painful (although at times I was in a lot of pain.) The only problem I have had and AM STILL having is eating. I am only 13, and so obviously it isn’t as painful for me as it is for adults, but I still cannot eat regular food, let alone soft food. Chewing causes an excruciating pain in my ears and jaw. My throat also flares up and starts to hurt a bit more. It is very hard to swallow and I usually have to down a couple mouthfuls of water to get the food all the way down my throat (it always gets stuck!) I’m sick and tired of eating like this!! I’ve even cried a couple times just because of the pain and sadness of not being able to eat what I want.

  • Jordan:

    I’m on the second day from having my tonsils removed the first day was a breeze and made me feel like I just had a high pain tolerance, but I was wrong. I have been in pain today and don’t think the pain meds are really helping me too much. I have vomitted twice today and my body temp. Feels very high and is kinda scarying me to where I need to go back to the hospital. It seems like I can’t hold anything down but water and after a while water starts getting old but hopefully everything will work out and I want have to go through to much more pain which I think I will since I am 23!

  • Traci:

    I just wanted to tell you how much your website helped me through my surgery. Your day by day logs were dead on how I felt and what I looked ahead to expect. Thank you so much for your help through a very tough time. I am on day 14 and still waiting to be back to normal…pain free and not have to take ibprofin on a daily basis.

  • Lianne:

    Thank you for sharing. I am on day 1 just had my tonsillectomy and tubes put in my ears yesterday. It hasn’t been too bad but I know the worst is yet to come.

  • Alex:

    The key to tonsillectomy is eating as much as possible. I was eating pretty much normal foods straight away and despite the intense pain it is beneficial in the long run. I wasn’t feeling much pain after day 6 and was in great spirits. It was definitely worth eating and drinking as it kept the scabs moist and undry. I didn’t get any bleeding at all.

  • Belinda:

    I am on day 5 post-op from surgery oN 9/15/2015. I found that for the first 2 days I was only able to do liquids like Gatorade halved with water and lots of ice chips. I was given Tylenol and oxycodone, both in liquid form every 4 hours but the oxy made me a bit nauseous and itchy all over so I quit that. Now just Tylenol.

    I have had the tongue pain and bad throat pain. I bought those gel eye pads you can freeze and they work great under the neck when turned upside down. Popsicles, jello and pudding were good to soothe but ice water in between small portions helped with the mucus.

    I found that sleeping propped up helped with pain and a warm, moist compress on the jaw and near the ears helped with the ear pain but not under the neck.

    I can feel the ragged bits in my throat, which I can only assume are the sscabs forming. Gross, but necessary.

    It seems like slow, painful progress. I went out and sat in the sun today and I take showers daily to keep the blood circulating.

    Mainly, I’ve been sleeping in 4 hour periods, drink, take meds, eat if possible to get something in my stomach and try to distract myself with social media and movies.

    Day 4 I had a slight temp of 99 but it didn’t go higher. I keep an eye on that daily.

    Today I managed soup and mashed potatoes but they were barely warm. If it’s too w as rm, I found it hurt more.

    I keep checking my throat with a pen light and I can see it getting better. At first it looked all white. Now I can see dark areas under the white, which were probably where the tonsils were, and pink starting to show through in some places.

    I’m mostly looking forward to no pain and eating normal food again.

    I did find around day 5 I was upset and teary and maybe a bit depressed. I tried not to cry because it can tear the scabs and make you bleed.

    Hopefully, by the end of this week I will be closer to normal.

    Hope this helps others.

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