Tonsillectomy Recovery in the UK Day by Day
I have no idea how to start this off, but I’ll introduce myself. I’m Vincent, 21 and from the UK. I has my tonsillectomy on the 9th of June 2016. I decided to get a tonsillectomy due to having tonsillitis/throat infections/strep throat every month for the last 5/6 years. For the last three years, I started getting terrible tonsil stones which was actually really hard to deal with because I could barely talk to anyone without them making really nasty comments about my breath & also waking up in the morning with this slick nasty smelling spit was the bane of it all.
Day 1 – Operation.
The operation went smoothly, I think? I was told there was no complications. I was great when I woke up, the anesthesia didn’t have a bad effect and when i woke up, I started speaking really loudly and asking for water while shaking really badly due to the oxygen, but I didn’t cry or having any vomiting which was good. Due to being in the UK (im not sure if the US is different) I was made to eat two sandwiches and yogurt an hour/two hours after leaving surgery, which was actually easy (which I’m now hating because it gave me false hope.) i had slight bleeding for a minute or two but it cleared away and then I was released to go home.
Day two wasn’t bad either, it was painful to eat, my jaw/ears hurt and i kept burning up, but I was pretty good, I managed to eat some soup and rich tea biscuits with tea, but that was all. Day 2 was the only day I took medication to stop the pain.
Day 3-5 –
I don’t want to seem cliche, but I literally wanted to die. The pain was so…unbearable, and well, painkillers weren’t going down, so i decided to just stop taking them. I didn’t eat at all, i could barely drink or swallow and I kept crying because I was so miserable and couldn’t do anything. I wasn’t sleeping, i got around…10 hour in those two days, which was on and off. (Warning here, if you are mentally ill, not on medication and have more bad days than good, please speak to your doctor/surgeon before getting the operation because my mental health is very poorly and it made it even more hard to cope with everything due to this.)
On day 6 my father came to see me and I was doing…alright? Still very sore and could barely speak, but I tried my best to handle it. About an hour after my dad left me, my throat got worse and we phoned NHS 24 (health line) and they said that we need to go to out of hours in case there’s an infection. We go to the A&E and as I’m about to speak to the doctor, I just start spewing out bright red blood, which, I actually started laughing at because it was such a surprise. The doctor looked quite scared and ended up having to get transported to a different hospital, where I had to wait in the A&E waiting room again, where, yet again, I started spewing up blood (this time, it was around 200ml.) I got to see a doctor where they put an IV in, took blood and then said they were keeping me incase i bleed again. Mind you, this was at 2am. I couldn’t sleep, so I sat up and just preoccupied myself which was hard because I was on nil by mouth, which meant I wasn’t allowed water/food, and well, my throat was on fire and i was in agony and it was just horrible because it was so dry. When it turned 7am, I bled again, the nurse had to get like four doctors to come look at me, but I managed myself, to stop the bleeding and was told that I was allowed to drink water, but no food. I didn’t bleed all day and was allowed to having some dinner, which i managed down. I got discharged the next day because I hadn’t bled in 24 hours, and well, I’m beginning to get a little better now. No cauterisation, which I’m very happy about.
I’m on day 10 right now, and well, the pain is still there, my jaw is still very tight and i have ear ache, but compared to say 3-6, it’s no where near the pain. My scabs are beginning to slough off and I’m able to eat easier (although I kinda have to regurgitate it.) Im still sleeping with my head elevated, I still haven’t eaten “hard” foods (ect, chicken, beef, pizza), I’m still only drinking water, but i think it’s because i can’t stomach the taste of soda. I have no idea how much weight ive lost because I’ve only started eating, days 2-7 I had barely eaten more than two items, but now, when i wake up, im having toast with tea, and im gonna try noodles and egg soon. The pain started getting easier on day 8. I know many people are on strict diets of pain killers, so that does help with pain, but if you’re like me and can’t handle pain killers/dont take them, the pain will be worse for you, but it will ease off.
Just a little heads up for people about to go through this and are on the early stages of recovering.
1. Don’t smoke.
2. SWALLOW YOUR SPIT. No matter what, try your best to swallow your spit. It helps heal and will help your throat get used to the feeling. (I didn’t swallow for ages, maybe until day 6/7, and well, it was a very bad mistake that I did that.)
3. Don’t set timers for when you’re sleeping to wake up and moisten your throat, it’s very unhealthy and will make you worse. If you do wake up, then yes, drink, but if you’re setting alarms because you’re scared of pain, don’t because it may make you worse, and the pain will be the same if you wake up three hours later to 8 hours later.
4. For the first three days, stick to liquids, but after day three, try work in toast/soup/bread, the quicker you do this, the quicker your throat will heal and you’ll recover.
5. DONT EAT MASHED POTATO. Everywhere says to eat it, and to be honest, it’s been one of the hardest foods I’ve eaten, and im eating toast and such. It’s too thick and sticks to the back of your throat. If you do eat it, take small, small, little nibbles.
6. Chew Gum. Sugar free.
7. Limit your talking.
8. Brush your teeth and gargle your throat/mouth with salt water.
9. If you bleed, do not panic straight away. Gargle iced water, if it keeps bleeding 15 minutes later, then yes, go to the hospital.
I know at first, my post seems quite…harsh, but I promise you, a few days after the surgery, if you stick to what I’ve been saying, you should feel better and I hope anyone reading this will have a speedy recovery.