Chronic Tonsillitis and Tonsil Stones Problems

I’m a 24-year old female. Mostly healthy before surgery, except for Crohn’s Disease (IBD). I Had the tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy done for chronic tonsillitis/tonsil stones and problems sleeping (I wake every hour and a half or so throughout the night). I’m headed to medical school in the fall and wanted it all taken care of beforehand.

Day 1 (day of surgery): Nausea was bad. I threw up on the way home. Throat was sore, but manageable. I got some Zofran sent to the pharmacy from the doctor and it really helped. Thanks to this website, I drank lots of fluids and ate Jello and popsicles. Did pretty well, but couldn’t sleep.

Days 2-4: While I had some pain, the narcotic pain meds in combination with Zofran kept it to a minimal. I was very optimistic that my recovery would be quicker than the average 10 days. Had a friend visit on Day 4. We watched some movies. It really boosted my morale.

Tonsillectomy Recovery Advice

Tonsillectomy Recovery Advice

Day 5-8: worst days of my life. Pain was bad. I ran out of pain medication early (even after cutting to 1/2 the dose) because the doctor’s office didn’t calculate the correct amount or the right number of days before I’d need the next ones. The pain started migrating up to the ears and they started popping. I tried to drink plenty of fluids, but it hurt to even swallow water. Adding insult to injury, when I laid down, I would choke on mucus and the scabs sloughing off.

On Day 5, my family went to the pharmacy as soon as it opened and filled my new script. We had to buy a few more tabs of Zofran out of pocket because the insurance company wouldn’t pay for more, even with refills on the script. Slowly, the pain subsided, after the stinging from the scabs falling off. Then the pressure started in my face and ears. Day 9-10: Right now, I have less pain and more pressure.

On Day 9, I woke with lots of pressure in my nose and ears. Starting coughing and spitting up more scabs and gross green-grey snot. The pressure in my ears and sinuses made me dizzy. The room or couch seems to be spinning, even when I’m perfectly still with my eyes closed. I ran out of Zofran and have been trying Dramamine, but it doesn’t seem to help much. This dizziness caused me to have a very upset stomach. I’ve thrown-up twice these past two days. Chewing gum helps. And even though I feel terrible, I’ve finally been able to get a couple hours of sleep at a time. As my ears pop and the pressure releases in my sinuses, I start to feel better. But a few hours later, it comes back. I’m going to try to stop the narcotics soon to see if it helps.

I’m back down to 1/2 dose and weaning off. Greatest lessons learned so far. Drink lots of fluids! Ice packs on throat help a lot. A cool, wet rag on the back of the neck helps with the nausea. Don’t try to read on the first few days, if nauseated; it only makes it worse. Movies that don’t require a lot of concentration and don’t have too much movement are the easiest to watch. And always try to eat something with the pain meds- pudding, jello, a popsicle, etc. Anti-nausea meds about 30 minutes before the pain meds helped alleviate the effect. Finally, count your wins each day- an oatmeal bath or shower to feel refreshed, catching up on some emails, etc. Even if it seems little, every accomplishment completed while down is worth a small celebration.

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