I’m 30 years old have my tonsils remove on November 10 2017 due to constant respiratory infections (throat and bronchial) more than 5 episodes a year (and lots of antibiotics) and later cellulite infection as consequence of letting the infected tonsils. I was told at 18 to get them out but I don’t really put a thought in to it (bad decision as I was told the younger the less painful).
I’m writing this because this forum helps me through the worst. I know everyone has a different experience but I will tell mine and the things I did to cope with it, I think my recovery went average to a little worse than average (due to the infection being very bad). As everyone said the days you stay at the hospital (and the first one at home) are deceiving. To me the worst was days were 3 to 6. I have high pain tolerance to physic pain but low to annoying stuff like not being able to eat, and this one was one of the top 3 most painful annoying things of my life but in the end worth it as its only 10 days (of intense pain and discomfort). I have a blood clot that had to be removed at day 7 and reschedule an appointment with my ENT.
To me the swelling was so intense the first 4 days that I couldn’t sleep because as soon as I feel like I was falling asleep I wake up gasping for air. So I forgot about it. Tv is your friend as any other leisure activity (like reading or videogames) requires to focus and the pain will not let you think.
I put together priorities that help me a lot and some tips I read here and some I learn in my way.
Priorities in the recovery process
1.- Avoid hemorrhage and bleeding (do not eat anything that could open the wounds, the worst thing is go back to the operating table and begin everything all over again) don’t bend down or make any physical activities the very first days. VERY COLD WATER IS YOUR ALSO YOUR PRIORITY when you see or feel blood as it helps to close the wound. Don’t eat or drink anything hot; don’t eat anything sharp (as toast). My ENT sends me some pills to take one week before the surgery to prevent bleeding. Beware of coughing and specially as the scabs start to fall (day 5-8) drink lots of ice cold water immediately.
2. – Avoid infection. Keep the wound clean drinking plenty of water (harder than it seems, if swallowing wad bad I just put water in my mouth and then spit it) and cleaning your teeth 4 or 5 times a day, I wash my teeth’s and tongue facing forward to avoid getting any irritants in to my throat (at first I couldn’t open mi mouth so only went as far as it was comfortable), before surgery clean consciously the room and bath you are staying inn. Keep an eye for the signs of infection and follow your instinct and body signs (for example high fever or greenish color in the cabs) if things seem extremely bad advanced and appointment. Avoid crowded places for at least 10 days
3. – Heal. Eat as much as you can as often as you could; schedule your pain medicine to your eating so as soon as the pain killers kick you must be starting to eat. I eat cold baby food (Gerber) for the first week (excellent as this is sterile and mush). Try to sleep and rest as much as you can, try not to talk the first days.
4. – Pain control. Take your meds exactly as your prescription says, if you can make it to the next dose use some of these techniques https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/chronic-pain/11-chronic-pain-control-techniques they help me a lot, ask your ENT beforehand for some emergency stronger pain killers to use as one dose a day only in case the pain gets out of hand (for me it was a life saver at 4 am on the fourth day). Keep in mind that the pain killers only take off the edge of the pain, so you will still have to cope with it.
– Prepare the !@#$%^&* out of it in advances (mentally and practically with stuff you will need at home), this will give you some kind of control even though at times you really can’t do anything about the pain
– Take the meds on time
– Get 3 ice packs to froze, so you always have one cold enough with you and the other ones in the freeze. They help a lot to take the edge of the pain. Use them with a cloth (to avoid freeze burns) in the neck and ears
– Calculate 2 weeks out of anything and a week extra of light activity only.
– Try to be with someone that helps you the first 4 days at least.
– Ice cream is your best friend! But ONLY WATER base ones (avoid like plague the dairy ones) like gelato with low sugar (not the alcohol kind thou)
– IMPORTANT! The liquid that seems to flow the best trough the razor blades in the throat is half ginger ale soda half cold water (its seems counter intuitive but is by far the best one)
– Prepare everything by days before you went in to surgery. For example what I calculated and would bought and store in the refrigerator and freezer accordingly in advanced was ONE BIG FROZEN WATER BOOTLE PER DAY, (I get out the freezer in the morning and mix it with room temperature water as the day go by and when I feel bleeding I have very cold water to my disposal) PLENTY OF ROOM TEMPETURE WATER, ONE BIG GINGER ALE SODA, FOUR CUP OF WATER BASE ICE CREAM. TWO CUPS OF COLD ALOE VERA PULP (they sold them in a cup presentation just like jello) ONE BOTTLE OF COLD ALOE VERA JUICE (the low calorie KOF brand, I get them in Costco).
– I get a humidifier but as I couldn’t sleep I made very little use of it, but it helps a little
Finally I put together some list of things I ate and drank and some useful stuff as I mention before.
-Things to eat
Baby food (Gerber, there are sweat and salt ones)
Cold overcooked plain pasta
Chop ham sandwich
Aloe Vera pulp
-Things to drink
Ginger ale mix with cold water
Cold tea and juice
2-3 ICE PACKS (to apply with a cloth)
ALARM FOR MEDS
In the end it’s all worth it as I was almost all the time sick, now I breathe better as a secondary benefit. During my recovery sometimes I get paranoid and was a afraid of getting scar tissue, nerve damage or permanent yellow tongue (only last for a couple of months) or fluids coming to my nose as a I read in some comments. But I was perfectly fine after a couple of months. I actually improve my sense of smell.
Hold on for a week and you’ll be on the other side of health for a lifetime
From 11 to 15 day you should be almost back to normality
To ten of January I only have a small sensation now and then