Age Forty Tonsillectomy Recovery Experience
I just had my tonsils finally removed at age 40. I am on day 6 of recovery, scabs completely off my left side and partially off on my right. I’m no longer taking Tylenol 3 for pain. Only taking 1 regular Tylenol 2-3 times a day now. Today I had the pleasure of enjoying a yummy hot dog with sauerkraut and mayo for lunch and picking ip my kids from school (with driving help). It feels like I am recovering from a nasty bout of stomach flu in terms of feeling weak. And in truth, my body has been through a lot over these last 6 days post surgery.
But I’m very pleased to be at this point! I’m not going to lie, this has been the most challenging recovery I have experienced, and I have experienced the pain of natural childbirth, a gum graft, and passing a kidney stone. Comparatively speaking the pain periods and waves that occur are up there with those, but more complicated because all in the throat which is also where food and drink have to pass. With that said, it is doable, you do get through and the pain does fade and get more manageable as you go. So even if you are at a point like I was, reading some scary sounding blog experiences and thinking you’re either crazy or a genius for getting it done, please do it. Don’t allow yourself to get scared out of getting it done. Before my tonsillectomy, they had gotten enormous. I’d lived for 20 years knowing they needed to come out. I got more frequent sinus infections, my last one was excruciating. The pain from that wasn’t far off from how I felt the first few days after surgery. As my Dr. said, they were “diseased and cryptic.” He even sent me for a CT scan with contrast to check for cancer, as I had a “mass” on one. Thank the Lord, it came back negative for cancer, but showed a very large stone permanently lodged in it. Now it all made sense. Now I understood why I seemed to have lost my singing voice, had frequent laryngitis and sore throats and sinus infections. They had to go! Greatest decision I ever made! I like the feeling that there is nothing stuck in my tonsil and no ear pain today on day 6! It has brought me relief already, and guess what? No runny nose with sore throat feeling or constant clearing of my throat! And I’m only day 6! I can’t wait to see how good I am going to continue to feel as I completely heal!
So here is the low down: I’m a pretty healthy person other than migraines and TMJ. I think my TMJ will improve moving forward as all the inflammation was in similar areas though! I experienced 1 migraine the day after surgery, probably due to after effects of anesthesia and caffeine withdrawal. So good news for those of you with TMJ going into this. Just let your Dr. know prior to. I feel he was a little gentler due to my history. First 2-3 days are the honeymoon phase. Rest, and hydrate, eat what you can to keep nourished.
My advice, blend protein shakes. I found pineapple and banana burned, so I avoided most fruit for a time. Blueberries blended in were tolerable as was tart cherry juice which is great for pain and inflammation. I am no doctor, but I did resume taking 50 bill. strain probiotics, quercetin/btomelain/vitamin C complex 2 X’s a day as directed on label, powdered mineral complex that also has zinc, powdered magnesium that I got through my naturopath.
I took pills whole the entire time, but blended powders into my shakes thoroughly. I also added Brazil nuts for selenium, pumpkin seeds and wheat grass powder to my shakes. Days 4 and 5 I added aloe to my shakes. I have a heavy duty blender to do this. I also drank bone broth as is very healing. After each time I ate, and during times of pain or irritation I ate 1/2 teaspoon raw local honey which is very healing for wounds and offered pain relief for me. I religiously ran a humidifier and essential oil diffuser and kept ice packs on my neck. During first 2 days I even tried a cold pounded cabbage leaf topically on either side of my neck. If it worked for mastasis, figured it should help reduce my swelling too. All I can say is I had no sign of swelling after day 2 of surgery. Day 3 into 4 became elevated pain. Take your pain meds more frequently. Take a stool softener each day. I began adding ground flax meal and phsyllum husks to my shakes for more fiber on those days plus added olive oil to 2 shakes a day in an effort to stay regular. My digestion was slow at that time, so used my diluted digize and peppermint essential oils on my vital reflex points for digestion issues. It helped reawaken things in there.
I also started using 2 essential oil blends for more rapid healing and pain relief around day 3 & 4. My pain relief blend is diluted lavender, peppermint and tea tree oils. I rubbed a little externally on my throat and jaw, behind ears during transferred ear pain phase. I used a diffused blend of helichrysum, geranium and lavendar on my vital flex points of the hands and feet that corresponded to my neck, throat and ears 1 X daily. I feel it’s prudent to use caution with these to avoid triggering unwanted bleeding. I never experienced any bleeding whatsoever. (Caution: Don’t go into anything willy nilly, especially if you have preexisting conditions. You need to know what you’re doing as even essential oils are a potent complimentary medicinal therapy.it’s why I myself sought the experience of my naturopath ahead of time.) Toothbrushing, I used Jason all natural toothpaste that has tea tree oil & cinnamon in it which is good for preventing thrush. I also rinsed with a neem, clove, & aloe formulation of mouthwash I found at whole foods. I watered down the dose and did not gargle, just held and gently squished and spat out and rinsed again.
Also, on day 3 I took an iron pill because I felt so weak and nearly fainted in the early morning hours that day. I took it with a shake and it helped propel me forward energy-wise. I ate soups made with mashed potatoes, whatever chicken or cooked hamburger meat was on hand and broth blended well together. By day 4 I added frozen spinach to the blend. I also fell in love with eating homemade potato salad. It was so delightful as my first real food attempt unblended. I eagerly gobbled it up. I used my mother’s recipe which calls for 6 eggs and 6-8 small-med potatoes, finely chopped onion and celery, mayo, salt, pepper and paprika on top. I used my hand mixer to make it smoother and creamier. It was cold, packed with some fat, protein and carbs, just heavenly to want to eat. Listen to your body, if you only get 2-3 bites at a time down and then pain sets in, immediately ice your neck, let it settle down again, then have another bite or 2 and keep going. It’s how you get your strength back and recover quicker. During the transferred ear pain, add heat on your ears and ice the neck. Oh, and I made ice packs ahead of time that were my favorites: use 2 double bagged Ziploc bags, 1 part rubbing alcohol and 3 parts water. Seal twice to prevent leaks and freeze. These things were awesome! Stayed cooler longer than my fancy ice packs! And 2 last points, positive outlook and prayer. Begin praying over your surgery and the medical professionals helping you ahead of surgery. And keep praying each day and give Him thanks. He carried me through this for sure and can look back and see how He answered many many of my prayers along the way which is awesome! God bless you if you read this and I pray in some way this helps and blesses you! Best wishes for your speedy recovery!