Greg Tooke

Tonsillectomy Recovery - About Greg Tooke - La Crosse, WI
Tonsillectomy Recovery -About Greg Tooke - La Crosse, WI

Tonsillectomy and beyond…

In 2008, at the age of 44, I underwent tonsillectomy surgery. As I struggled to prepare for the surgery and recover from it, I was frustrated by the lack of quality content available on the internet for tonsillectomy patients. I was also frustrated by the general public’s assumptions about adult tonsillectomy surgery, and the lack of compassion from my health care providers. I was ill-prepared and struggled through recovery with minimal support. For this reason, I created a website to provide information to adults considering or recovering from tonsillectomy. It was called, “My Big Fat Tonsillectomy.” I later added a forum where other patients could share their experiences, questions, pain, and compassion.

Since then I’ve learned a great deal about tonsillectomy, and also about web design and search engine optimization. After reading thousands and thousands of posts to the forum, I have amassed a fortune in knowledge and insight into the experience of adult tonsillectomy. I’ve learned even more about the beauty and resilience of the human spirit.

This new site is intended to be a place where people considering or recovering from tonsillectomy can arm themselves with information and become their own best advocates. But it’s also a community. Every page allows comments and questions. The tonsillectomy forum is pure, free form venting, asking, crying, sharing, and mingling.

I read every single comment left on the site. (over 20,000 so far!) Responding to each one has become increasing difficult. My goal is to respond to EVERY comment on THIS page.

Keeping the site going is a labor of love to be sure. In addition to time, it does cost money. If you’d like to help keep the site going for others, please consider making a donation of any amount.

Thank you!

Greg Tooke
Author, advocate, webmaster


Tonsil Stones
Greg Tooke, Author

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  1. Hi Greg,
    Thank you for this site. It’s so helpful reading the range of experiences each day as one recovers.

    I’m wondering if anyone had drastic changes in taste. Day one and two everything tasted like metalic cardboard. After about day 4 I started to get a faint sense of taste, but its very faint…and less repulsive. I just woke up in the middle of the night bleeding (I’m on day 10) and had lots of blood and mucus and clots come out. Bleeding stopped within five minutes with ice. But after all that was over i realized that the blood didn’t taste like blood at all. Totally different. kind of rotten and metal. In addition I developed oral thrush, so that can’t help taste buds either. Do you think I’ll get my sense of taste back? I used to love food… thanks for your time

    1. Hi there, yes blood tasted really sweet and sickly , I went up to A&E, but after 21/2 hours I gave up , was too soar to hang around there, it was raining and onbway back to my car , I slipped and fell in mud !!!, I thought oh no , I could die here in the dark wet cold and bleeding , Survival took over , got to car picked mum up , got home , did meds drinks and tooth number , a couple of sleeping pills and hot water bottle, was so relieved just to get home .Food tastes of meta l but found. Mars milk drinks v soothing , &jelly & custard. , you will get taste back , I hope so cos mines gone , looking forward to a cadbury crunchie , and cheese on toast ,,, and sweet tea , take care , hope thrush goes , that’s one less problem , you , could do without right now ,,,,,,jMcL….🐦👍

  2. Hi Greg, I just found your site-God bless you! 🙂 I’m 43 and on day 7 post op and miserable. The first week was hell, (and after having multiple abdominal surgeries including a hysterectomy and two C-sections I thought I was ‘good’ with pain. Ha. This has knocked me to my knees. Went back to work yesterday and while I was careful probably talked more then I should have-my throat actually felt ‘good’ most of the day, but by the time I got home last night my throat was on FIRE and ever since I have felt like I’m downing a boulder every time I swallow, my body literally convulses in reaction to the pain as I swallow.. The pain meds are ‘helping’, but in a lot of ways this pain is worse then the first few days. I can hardly choke down pudding much less anything else and have stopped talking completely, (working from home today helps that). Is this the ‘gets wore before it gets better stage”? I actually thought I had passed that on day 4! Thank you!

    1. Hi Cate! Thanks for commenting.
      Day 7! That’s about THE WORST! it was for me. I cried, which makes it worse. I was writing notes instead of talking. Awful awful awful!
      GOOD NEWS! things will improve very soon and all of this will be a memory. It will almost seem like you dreamed it.
      Just keep taking meds on time, staying hydrated, swallowing what you can (it helps the healing) I really enjoyed oatmeal on day 8 or so.
      Try to plan little activities to take the focus off of how you’re feeling.
      Hang in there. I’m pulling for you!

    2. Hi Cate,

      I’m right there with you… 39 and day 7 and in excruciating pain that started last night. I, too, thought that with all my past surgeries, hysterectomy, c-section, back surgery, bilateral mastectomy and the craziest reconstruction ever, that this wold be no problem…boy was I wrong. I thought what chemo did to my mouth was bad, but this really is like swallowing shards of glass. Not to mention the ear pain…that alone could take you down. After finding this site late last night (thank you Greg!) I read how changing to warm water and warm foods was better. What a difference! I was able to eat oatmeal this morning, (after my morning pain med kicked in) and it was tolerable. I’m seeing my dr this afternoon instead of tomorrow and hopefully he’ll refill my liquid pain med. I really don’t want to have to choke down any pills. I know my dr. had told me that it would get worse around 7-10 days, but last night was crazy. I’m really praying that I don’t bleed, because some of the stories I’ve read here about people bleeding have been terrible. Anyways, sorry for rambling on.
      Cate, I hope and pray you’re doing well.
      Greg, God bless you for putting together this site and your commitment to it.


      1. Hey Melanie. Wow! You’ve been through so much. You have an amazing spirit. I can tell. Thanks for offering your support and thanks for the kind words about my little website. Take care and please stay in touch.

    3. Hi. I’m at day 14 , and what a difference a day makes .! Actually turned a good corner , till this point I thought it would go on for ever, went out today , helped a friend ,a bit , looking back it seems , keeping pain med going , like clockwork were the only things I felt herlped and the benzy diamine gargle , ….IV been in another world , so surreal , I can reveal it Does Def Get better , so don’t loose heart , it’s v easy to as the pain and misery , seems never ending , . I have apt to see consultant tomorrow , results of scan , last week , hoping that the ” little c growth found on my tonsil is the only one , !! I’m 61 , and have smoked , but won’t b doing any more , I packed it in on week of op , I’m so glad I did,…so I’m sure you will be fine ,, I’m still on soft food , scared of causing any bleeding, ..also , have drunk gallons of water , and mashed potatoes. For 2 weeks , v good fiber. As p k,s do get you bound up,, ..IL keep an eye on this site , good luck xxj mcl

  3. Greg,
    This website has helped a lot. My surgery is next week and the main thing I am nervous about is the bleeding. I have 2 kids, so I can assure the pain I will be able to tolerate. The bleeding on the other hand, is extremely scary and although rare, still stays on my mind. Any advice to make sure this doesn’t happen? I’ve heard that the scabs arent to fall off until roughly the 10th day, but that it may happen before then. I have done tons of research over the past month, but nothing can get me past the bleeding. (The tonsillectomy is due to an enlarged tonsil (thought to be filled with infection & possible cancerous) along with recurrent sore throats and tonsil stones)

    1. Hi Holly- I’m so glad the website has helped. Yes, the bleeding risk is scary. A little bleeding is common. Usually it can be stopped by gargling cold water. Avoiding sharp foods is also a good idea (No Doritos!) I really think that keeping the throat moist is also helpful.

      Bleeds do happen, and if one starts that can’t be stopped by cold water gargling, get into an urgent care facility. Many of my readers have relayed stories of such. The doctor simply re-cauterizes the area and they’re fine.

      Having said all of that, I encourage you to consult your doctor about the concern. I know a lot from my own experience, and from reading others’, but I am not a doctor and don’t give medical advice.

      Best of luck to you. Thanks for writing. Please stay in touch!

      1. Day 15, tomorrow , feeling so much better , was thinking of all the things that helped , and food was , mashed potatoes, and veg , scrambled eggs , custard , water, , stopped smoking , drinking , for good , and that really helped me , reading these posts r helped , I didn’t feel so ‘ alone , & scared ” ( cos it IS scarey ) , I’m 61 , I was told the older u get the worse it is ,,,I only had one tonsil outc, anybody reading this having 2 out , God bless you , but also be optimistic , as itvWILL get better , , and it will be a memory , ,,try not to isolate yourself , and pets are brill , my budgie was a constant support to me as was mum ,& her friend , ,also my daughter kept in texed with me through out , which was brilliant , also a change of scenery , and light exercise ,, take care & Good luck 🐦jmclx

        1. Great to hear this Jane- so glad you are on the mend. I appreciate your encouragement to the newbies! Hope you’ll continue to check in in the future! Take care

  4. Greg,

    First of all, thank you so much for this website!!! I have a question for you. I had a tonsillectomy 3 weeks ago. I never used to have trouble breathing, but since my tonsillectomy, whenever I lay on my back I have trouble breathing through my nose. Even though I’m awake, it sounds like I am loudly snoring. Have you ever run into this issue before?

    1. Hi Sarah- Welcome aboard! What you’re describing sounds vaguely familiar. I remember feeling like all the tissue back there was…soft- didn’t firm up for a few months. Still, you might bring it up to your doctor.

      Best of health to you!

  5. Greg,
    I just came across your site. I am really scared and now having second thoughts. I am supposed to get the surgery on April 5th. I have a chronic insomnia and they suspect apnia but can’t get a read. So they have suggested the removal of my big tonsils. I am a dad of two, the only breed winner, and I don’t do great being in bed. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    1. Hey Josh! Boy, my heart is with you. I was right where you are at one time.

      Let me get to a computer and I’ll type more. (I’m bad at typing on phone)…

    2. Just curious- is sleep apnea the only reason for removing your tonsils? That would be unusual, from what I’ve read. Normally CPAP is the first thing tried. Did you have a sleep study?

      I’m really glad I had my tonsils out but for me it was a combination of factors- chronic tonsillitis and strep as well as obstructive sleep apnea.

      With that said, if indeed a tonsillectomy is the right course, don’t worry too much. It’s the oldest surgery there is and pretty darned safe. You would be down for at least a week, probably 10 days, after. I have four children and needed help that first week.

      As mentioned, I answer everything on this page so feel free to reply.

      Take care!

    3. Josh my name is Felicia I am a 51 year old single woman. I had my tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy on Friday 3/18/2016. Yes you will experience some pain mostly when swallowing. The pain has not been as bad as I thought it would be. The first couple of days is was slight pain well now i’m experiencing the pain in my ears and it has gotten me down at times. I have that if I put an ice pack on the side of my face and on my throat this helps to the point were I can go to sleep.
      Stay ahead of your pain medicine and you’ll be ok.

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