Hi everyone, I am a 20 year old female and am on day 11 of my recovery.
I want to start by saying that everyones bodies differ and both the healing process and pain threshold are not the same for everyone. For example, my best friend had this same surgery about 2 years ago and felt almost completely back to normal by day 6. Unfortunately, that was not the same case for me, and after talking with her it seemed as though her healing process was not nearly as painful as mine.
Days 1-3 were definitely rough – prepare yourself for total misery. This should be the same result across the board, no one feels great the first few days after any surgery. Taking your medication is very important! Along with other pain killers (because you will need them). I recommend logging the times of your medication and food intake as it becomes difficult to keep track over time, but it is important to know you are taking the proper dosage at the correct times. I will also advise popsicles, smoothies (but not through a straw, spoon fed) and dairy-free ice cream during this time. Sip on water constantly throughout all the days of your recovery, hydration is key.
Days 4-5 were strangely good, still in significant pain but felt much better than before. My food intake was a little better over this time, but it still hurt a lot to swallow anything.
Day 6 was the day I actually thought I was dying. Not to scare anyone, as everyones experiences are different, but this day was absolute torture. There is a nerve that connects from your inner ear to your throat, unfortunately for me that nerve was completely compromised in my healing process. Anything I swallowed, it felt as though my throat and ears were on fire. It was an indescribable, sharp, piercing, hot burn that would take forever to go away. Even if I inhaled heavily my ears would hurt.
Days 7-9 sadly were very similar to day 6. I was unable to get out of bed, unable to eat anything, and did a lot of crying (but be careful, as crying can build up mucus in your nose and throat which is very painful to discharge while you are crying). I made an appointment with my ENT surgeon on day 7 for a check-up and to get new medications, as I was originally prescribed a liquid morphine but it continually was making me nauseous to the point of me puking a lot. He said my throat was healing perfectly and that unfortunately, there was nothing he could do about the excruciating pain in my ears except advise me to take more Advil in between taking my new medication, which he prescribed oxycodone (still made me slightly nauseous, but I began taking Gravol 15 minutes before I would take the oxygen and it helped significantly).
Day 10-11 have been extremely more tolerable. I have started to eat, mainly pudding cups and chocolate chip pancakes. I had oatmeal for supper which wasn’t so hard to swallow either and my appetite has definitely gotten better. The only pain I have now is centralized on the right side of my throat connecting to my inner ear. I am continuing with the pain medications as they still help and am confident that I will be able to return to a fully regular routine in about 3-4 days from now.
I had meant to keep this so much shorter but there is too much information I wanted to share. There are some general tips and warnings I would also like to give:
– ice packs are your best friend, the muscles under your chin and on your neck become very tight and sore so it is handy to have an ice pack available; I have one constantly at my side
– no straws
– you will wake up at least once or twice in the night (I didn’t set alarms, however I wish I had) and your throat will be dry and in a lot of pain, so always make sure there is water on your nightstand
– I literally did not eat anything for about 3 days which is scary as I almost fainted in the shower the one day. I suggest meal replacement drinks to replenish your body with nutrients that are being lost, and constant hydration
– I regret not buying a humidifier for my room as my throat always became very dry in the night
– you must have a support system – do not undergo this surgery if you live alone or do not have someone checking in on you regularly
– the best thing you can do is force yourself to sleep as much as you can, but only in hour increments as you need to wet your throat
Overall, this surgery was the most difficult thing I have ever been through and I currently regret it. That being said, I know it will be worth it in the long run. However, I do suggest on not having this surgery unless completely necessary.
Best of luck to all!