21 Year Old Male – Tonsillectomy Recovery

Hi everyone. I am a 21 year old male. I don’t smoke and I don’t drink any alcohol (lifestyle choice). In April of 2018, my doctor referred me to an ENT specialist for reoccurring sore throats. During the ENT appointment, it was discovered that I had a lump on my right tonsil, so we scheduled the surgery for July 16. It is now July 24 (Day 8, 9 post-op), and I believe that I had one of the smoothest recoveries. I have read horror stories about this recovery process so I was ready for the worst. I have a very low pain tolerance, so I was more worried about going through the recovery than finding out what the lump actually was. I didn’t take any narcotic pain medicine. I took 1 single dose of Percocet right after surgery and I threw up 5 times so I switched to just the OTC extra strength Tylenol. I drank about 10 bottles of water a day for the first few days and I slept a lot. It did really hurt to swallow and it felt like I was swallowing razor blades, but it was doable. Right after surgery I had a piece of toast, and all of the nurses were just mildly concerned. They were all in a corner and I can hear them say, “How is he doing this?” Days 2 and 3 were the worst days, I hated it and I cried a lot. I didn’t eat much because it just hurt to swallow and to talk too much. Days 4-7 were also hell I just slept a lot and drank a lot of water. Day 4 was the hardest day mentally. The pain was terrible and I didn’t think I would ever see the light at the end of the tunnel. At this point, I was thinking of the worst. Every thought imaginable was going through my head, like “what if this is cancer? How am I going to go to school?” These were thoughts that no 21 year old in college should ever have to think about. I was just very depressed. On day 5, I was able to go out and about which helped out emotionally. I went for a walk outside. I was able to drive since I was not taking any narcotic pain medicine. On Day 6, I was able to go back to my normal diet with some restrictions. Days 7-present, the pain had decreased dramatically everyday. It still hurts to swallow a little bit and the muscles in my throat get fatigued quickly, but it just feels like a regular sore throat and I know that it will go away with time. I was able to go into the city today and I felt fantastic, not quite 100%, but I’ll say like the 90%. I definitely do not want to be the poster child for going through such a smooth and quick recovery without taking pain killers. I mean, yes it was hell, but it’s really not that bad. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. If you are going through this and you think you’ve had enough water, drink more. If you’re not peeing every 2-3 hours, you’re not drinking enough. I am also happy to say that the lump that was discovered ended up being benign. It was the best news to hear. If you’re getting your tonsils out or already got them out, it does get better. Try to eat something, eat toast. I know its hurts, but eat scratchy things. It helps build up your throat again. And water, Stay hydrated. If it hurts, drink more water. Tomorrow is day 10 and I am going to go see Panic at the disco. Many people who I have spoke to are shocked that I’m out and about and keeping busy. To close this out, tonsillectomy is to not be taken lightly. For any circumstance, it is a very serious surgery to have as an adult. In the long run, it is for the better. Best, -Corey 🙂

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