Tonsillectomy and beyond…

In 2008, at the age of 44, I underwent tonsillectomy surgery. As I struggled to prepare for the surgery and recover from it, I was frustrated by the lack of quality content available on the internet for tonsillectomy patients. I was also frustrated by the general public’s assumptions about adult tonsillectomy surgery, and the lack of compassion from my health care providers. I was ill-prepared and struggled through recovery with minimal support. For this reason, I created a website to provide information to adults considering or recovering from tonsillectomy. It was called, “My Big Fat Tonsillectomy.” I later added a forum where other patients could share their experiences, questions, pain, and compassion.

Since then I’ve learned a great deal about tonsillectomy, and also about web design and search engine optimization. After reading thousands and thousands of posts to the forum, I have amassed a fortune in knowledge and insight into the experience of adult tonsillectomy. I’ve learned even more about the beauty and resilience of the human spirit.

This new site is intended to be a place where people considering or recovering from tonsillectomy can arm themselves with information and become their own best advocates. But it’s also a community. Every page allows comments and questions. The tonsillectomy forum is pure, free form venting, asking, crying, sharing, and mingling.

I read every single comment left on the site. (over 20,000 so far!) Responding to each one has become increasing difficult. My goal is to respond to EVERY comment on THIS page.

Keeping the site going is a labor of love to be sure. In addition to time, it does cost money. If you’d like to help keep the site going for others, please consider making a donation of any amount.

Thank you!

Greg Tooke
Author, advocate, webmaster


Tonsil Stones
Greg Tooke, Author

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89 thoughts on “Greg Tooke

  1. I’m almost to day 3 of recovery just a tonsillectomy after fighting tonsils off and on for almost a decade. When my tonsils went insane this year and I stayed sick almost nonstop – they had to go.

    It looks like I’m the only person in history to refuse pain meds. The side effects werent worth the minimal amount of relief everyone claims. Ice packs have been my best friends. Humidifiers are a must.

    Pain has been totally doable except for swallowing. For me the biggest issue has been the buckets and buckets of mucus. I have alarms set for every couple hours to drink water. I am not eating to reduce chances of something getting stuck, infected, irritating scabs, etc. Hoping recovery is super fast.

  2. I had a tonsillectomy January 19th…I’m 36 years old. I truly feel like I went to hell and haven’t completely come back yet. I knew going in it was going to be rough but never in a million years did I think it was going to be like this. Surgery went fine and the first few days were okay…I knew my body would still be pumped from all the meds I received at the hospital. My son had his tonsils out when he was 6 and the first 2 days were okay and then he had several rough days. So that’s how it went for me as well…the week after surgery is a complete blur to me now which is good…I don’t want to remember. My husband took the week off work and was amazing…unfortunately my son got what they think was strep throat. Kind of ironic immediately after I get my tonsils out my son gets a horrible throat infection…?!?! I took Percocet every 4-6hrs for 7 days…let me tell you for me it was the devil. I swear I hallucinated…I couldn’t sleep…my body was fighting this internal warfare from head to toe….honestly it didn’t really help with the pain either, so I stopped taking it and went to Tylenol every 6hrs. I tend to have almost every bad side effect you can have with strong drugs. The worst for me and I hate even talking about it, but If it will help someone else here goes. Being on Percocet and side effects of anesthesia and just not eating a normal diet I didn’t go to the bathroom for 7 days…I took colace everyday per advice from the dr, but it wasn’t enough. Thankfully we had miralax in the cabinet and my husband bought suppositories. When it finally happened my body was going in to shock and i was shaking so bad…felt like i was giving birth again. I wish I would’ve taken the miralax or something else a lot earlier in the week so it wouldn’t of been so bad.
    On to the second week of recovery and after I finally had my BM…I started running a low grade fever 99.5-100 for several days. Finally on day 14 I called my ENT to see if this was normal. They did not think so and thought because of pockets in the back of my throat still I had some kind of infection, so I was prescribed antibiotics for 10 days to take 3 times a day. By the 3rd week I’m starting to feel somewhat better I can eat more normally and I think antibiotics are working….then my daughter gets the flu and it was horrible she’s never been that sick…I’m the primary caretaker and with everything my body has been through and a weakened immune system guess what…I got the flu. Not as bad as recovery from tonsillectomy but very close. It has been so extremely rough. I’m just past my 4th week of recovery and I’ve been to work 2 days and done very small things getting out and about…I have a low grade fever again and just feel puny so might be calling the dr again!! This has been the worst 4 weeks of my life and i would go through childbirth 10 times over before having another tonsillectomy. That being said my ENT told me my tonsils were completely covered in tonsil stones and i never would never ever get over all the infections I had been having until I had them out. That was reassuring to me because i doubted so many times if it was the right thing having this surgery…you will doubt too…i think it’s the minds way of trying to cope. Now I just have to be patient to get my energy back and start living a normal life again. I have missed out on so many functions and doing things with my family. I feel for anyone who has to have their tonsils out but especially adults…I appreciate this site because I agree you can’t find information you are looking for very easily and people don’t really understand the misery and torture that comes from having this surgery.
    I wish I had some great advice to help take away that misery…there isn’t any you just have to make it through and try not to look back. I’m waiting and longing for warmer healthier days to be outside with my kids. In 4 weeks I’ve only been out of the house for dr appts and to work a little…went to the store once. I feel like a hermit! Better days are ahead!! Trying to stay positive is very hard, but you can do it! Remember why you had the surgery…to feel better in the long run. For some of us it takes a lot longer than others and there might be many bumps in the road!!

  3. Regarding “Here is a collection of items that I’ve hand selected for tonsillectomy patients to consider buying…” I am unable to view the list of items. (Saw something about web site not available.) Is the list available some other way?
    Facing tonsillectomy at age 67

    1. Sorry JR. It was an Amazon Store and Amazon discontinued that option.

      1. Thanks for letting me know. Surgery set for 3/7. Think good thoughts!

        1. I will! Best of luck to you!

  4. This is the apnea problem I seem to be dealing with now on day 8. I hope it’s only due to swelling…

  5. Greg THANK YOU. I am 45 and on day 8 of recovery. I have an extremely high unusual pain threshold. I too have been very let down by a lack of clear and organized help for recovery. I got warning and predictions and suggestions, but I didn’t get what I needed still. Here I am researching it when I should be able to rest. My doctor did nasal surgery on my husband the same day so he KNEW we didn’t have caregivers at home.

    Here’s my thoughts:

    There should be discharge packs including

    1) A 12 page recovery packet broken down by “Day one of recovery”. This would have helped keep focus on the progression of healing rather than just pain. Each page should have had a medication log. I’ve been so doped, pained and sleep deprived that getting confused would have been likely.
    2) A small styrofoam cooler to keep next ice packs to the bed at night (getting up was almost impossible and dangerous because I was shaking from pain and too distracted to balance and every single second I woke and had to wait for ice was an eternity)
    3) A ice pack that could be wrapped around the entire lower face- my ears were on fire and my tmj muscles were worse because the pain made me clench worse.
    4) A smaller ice pack that could be slipped inside a turtleneck.
    5) Chloraseptic
    6) A Humidifier (or 3. This should never be a mere suggestion. It’s a must for safety concerns)
    7) Prescription pain killer
    8) Stool softeners to go with those pain pills

    My doctor / nurses heard from me 3 times this week about my allergies to other pain killers than hydrocodone. They knew of my unusual pain threshold (I was at work days 4-8)and that my “caregiver” was in his own recovery. They knew I was a teeth grinder and had nasal surgery at the same time, which made recovey even more painful. They knew I wasn’t able to sleep at all due to steroids and pain ALL WEEK and that I cried on the phone at one point asking for more help with pain.

    The pharmacist even mistakenly told me to try more acetomenophine, which is a major bad idea as top loads of it are already included in the hydrocodone she just filled for me.

    Get this- maybe only you can understand my rage at this: After a simple f*ing Google search and a call to my pharmacist, I asked the doctor’s office today if they could write me a prescription for a higher ratio of hydrocodone to acetomenophine. They said yes and it was that simple.

    Apparently I’m the doctor of the year or a pain management expert. Seriously. 8 days for me to get my needs met, figured out by googling in a moment of sleep deprived desperation. Zero medical training.

    1. Hi Jennifer! Sorry you’ve had to go through all that. I’m glad the site has helped you. I really like your ideas. Would you mind if I shared your comments as a post?

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