19 year Old Tonsillectomy and Recovery

I’m a 19 year old female and I had my tonsils removed on Dec 12th, I’m on day 13 post tonsillectomy. Yes, it is the most awful surgery I have ever gone through. Absolute downright miserable agony. But, if you had the surgery done, there was a reason your doctor outweighed the pain under the benefits you’ll receive so just like everyone else, I’ll hold on for those benefits. I had an awful surgery, awful recovery, and spent 5 days in the hospital from an infection. Day one I woke up from surgery in agony, talking was barely a thing and forget about swallowing. Since I was under general anesthetic sleeping, my doctor didn’t feel the need to numb my throat locally like some doctors do, so I definitely felt all the pain when I woke. My doctors gave me fentanyl when I woke up bawling my eyes out begging for the pain to stop and I fell asleep for about 30 minutes. Awoke again, and the pain was back full bore. I was released within another hour and went home.
My boyfriend went and picked up all of my medications (zofran for nausea, amoxicillin pills for infection, and Percocet pills- armed with a second prescription for 80 pills.) make sure your doctor writes you two separate pain med scripts rather than one larger one. If you have one large one, say for 160-180 pills, a lot of the pharmacies will claim they don’t have the full amount and will only give you half the script amount and then your script is useless and you have to fight your doctor and pharmacy to give you another one. Get two scripts, fill one, wait a couple days, and fill the other. I promise it’s the best way. I got home, and my ears were in so much pain like a double ear infection and my throat felt like I had swallowed a sword wrapped in sand paper that was also on fire. I couldn’t swallow whatsoever. I tried and I had to hype myself up for the pain for about 15 seconds before I could force myself to swallow one sip of water which was absolute misery.
I was in the hospital by the end of the night. I have a bladder disease and if I don’t drink about 8-10 bottles of water a day, my bladder feels like it’s on fire and within a day of it being inflamed I get a UTI and within another day it’s in my kidneys. So I went to the hospital and was given IV fluids, and sent home with liquid hydrocet (hydrocodone-acetaminophen), liquid amoxicillin, and magic mouthwash (a mouthwash you gargle and swallow which numbs anything it touches). The mouthwash worked a little but barely touched the pain of swallowing. And the pain med, not CVS, Publix, Winn dixie, or Walgreens would fill. They said they didn’t have it. Only Walmart filled the script so hopefully that saves other people from driving everywhere like my boyfriend did. I was able to sip small amounts of my pain med but still no water or antibiotics because it was so thick I just choked and it wouldn’t go down my throat. Day 2 I still couldn’t swallow so I went back to the hospital. My ER doc didn’t seem to understand or believe the pain of a tonsillectomy and I was back on my bladder pain from lack of water. He gave me an IV for fluids, then sprayed my throat with something called “hurricaine spray”. Do not do this. Refuse this. Imagine taking NyQuil, putting it in a high pressure jet spray can, and spraying it onto a freshly burned surgical site. I left the ER in more pain than when I got there. Got home, still couldn’t swallow, went back to the ER that same night and was admitted by a doc that understood how bad the pain was. I refuse opioid pain meds whenever I can and only take them when my pain is 10/10. But, my doctor gave me fentanyl when she admitted me because she knew once I got upstairs the pain meds wouldn’t work nearly as well. This was the first sleep I got in the two days since surgery. I spent 5 days in the hospital on iv fluids, iv morphine, an iv steroid (which worked AMAZING) and iv antibiotics. Since I didn’t get the antibiotics down for two days I developed an infection so I had to deal with that on top of pain. Around day 3 in the hospital I was able to stop the morphine and drink the liquid hydrocet.
They wanted to keep me longer but by the time Sunday came around I wanted to leave so they said I could. I went home able to swallow water and my pain med, so recovery after this point was much easier. I went back to work on day 7, which was my one regret. Do not force yourself to go back to work until you’re ready. I can’t stress this enough. I work in a restaurant so I’m constantly talking loudly over other people. Taking orders and cashiering requires a lot of talking and my recovery definitely hiccuped once I had to work again. After about 3 hours my voice was strained and Painful and I worked a 7 hour shift. I went home and sat in the shower for an hour recovering. The next day was better at work and I slowly got stronger. Now I’m on day 13 and yes I’m still in about 6/10 pain when I’m between my pain med doses. Yes it still hurts. My scabs are almost gone and I still have a little white in my throat but mostly pink with the two gaping holes on each side. Here’s my tips: get two separate pain scripts, buy a humidifier because that keeps your throat moist at night (they’re $15 at Walmart), buy ice pops (I bought the pedialyte ones for electrolytes but they made my throat mucusy so I stuck with the normal ones), wake up throughout the night to take your pain med or you’ll be in agony when you wake up, put a heating pad on your ears for pain-they will hurt badly, put an ice pack on your neck/throat, buy the small crushed ice- sonic sells 5# bags for $2- because it’s easy to chew or suck on, and force yourself to eat as soon as you can. I didn’t eat until day 9 and I lost 10 pounds. Yes eating hurts. The best foods I found were spaghetti O’s, chicken and stars, and mashed potatoes with no skins and mix chicken broth in to make them thin and runnier to swallow. Constantly sip cold water, don’t wait until you’re thirsty. This recovery absolutely sucks. I didn’t believe anyone when I read all these things where women said they’d rather have a second c section. It is 10/10 pain the first week+, and I’ve had an appendectomy, reconstructive knee surgery, and exploratory abdominal surgery. This pain tops everything. But you will get through it even when it feels like it’ll never end.

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