Amy’s Tonsillectomy Tips

I’m 23, and I’m now on day 12 after my surgery. I have always had “oh my god those are HUGE! tonsils” which I am sure has made my recovery harder. I had strep a lot, tonsil stones, and was hospitalized for mono for a week two years ago. It was time for them to go. I consider myself a resilient person with a high pain tolerance. I was prepared for the worst after reading online. But I gotta tell you people, this has pretty much been the worst physical experience of my life.

Day 1-2: Not so bad. Very swollen. Heavy pain meds. Ice pops for food.

Day 3-4: Still pretty easy. Actually felt good these days. I was active around the house. Very swollen. Smoothies and jello for food.

Day 5-6: Started getting horrible headaches, pounding migraine type, I think from pain radiating from my jaw. Pain meds up until now kept me relatively out of throat pain.

Day 7: Scabs started peeling off. By nighttime I felt downright bad. Still could eat though. All in all, week 1 was not that bad. I would compare it to having mono. Your throat is really swollen and it’s hard to eat, but take your pain meds and stay hydrated and you’ll be okay.

Day 8-11: The worst four days of my life. Some of the scabs slowly ripped off, which was pain like I cannot describe, exposing sometimes raw areas underneath. I could not eat or drink anything without burning, horrible pain shooting through my jaw on one side (one of my tonsils was much bigger than the other, the left healed with almost no problem. I imagine if both your tonsils are small this could be much easier). I ate nothing for four days, the pain was unbearable. I drank tepid water. I almost checked myself into the hospital on Day 11 for IV fluids. Mostly during this period I lied around my house wondering if there was any end to this. Pain meds no longer helped so I stopped taking them.

Day 12 (today): Woke up the same. However, by nightfall I could eat pasta, shrimp, and some bread with butter. It was like a miracle. I drank like ten glasses of water. I couldn’t believe I was eating food.

After day 12, it is still too painful to eat anything cold or hot or creamy, since it coats the wound and causes terrible shooting burning pain. I think it’s because the wounds are still healing. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. I am flying out of the country for work this Friday (Day 17 I guess) and was worried about having to change my flight, but now I think I’ll be okay.

– do everything they tell you to do on this site. Ice chips, humidifer, ice packs were a life saver. HAVE A NURSE.
– be religious about caring for yourself. Even when you feel like death, you need to take your meds on time (set alarms), stay hydrated, and stay vigilant about the important things.
– other than the pain, the hardest part of this is mental. If you have a bad recovery, you are going to crack. Whenever anyone told me “this isn’t forever” or “you’ll feel better soon” or “eat some ice cream” I wanted to punch them because they did not understand. Try to get out of your house once a day, stay calm. Go to the hospital for an IV if you have to.

I think when this is over I’ll be glad my tonsils will never hurt me again, but I’m not ready to say it was worth it yet. This was a terrible experience. Most of the horror in this post pertains only to one side of my throat, so I imagine if you don’t have a monster tonsil like me, you might have an easier time.

Good luck all!

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