Tonsillectomy Forum Archives 7

Tonsillectomy Forum Archive 7

Tonsillectomy Forum
Tonsillectomy Recovery Forum

This original tonsillectomy forum was started in late 2011. I subsequently closed it and started a new thread. However, in light of all the valuable information that readers shared, I have re-activated the thread. Feel free to read through this earlier conversation and pick up where folks left off. The information is just as valuable and timely as it was in 2011. Best of health to you. Thank you for participating in this tonsillectomy forum. -Greg

Kathryn says:
November 11, 2011 at 7:25 am

@ Courtney, I appreciate your advice. My mother suggested the same thing about paying cash, or bringing to another pharmacy. But I think it may cost me about $50, and I don’t really want to spend that kind of cash right now. I’ve been doing okay with rationing my medication. Before bed and in the morning I take only 5ml (2.5mg) with some liquid Tylenol. I did get my Rx back so I can fill it Saturday because I will be traveling to NJ to see my family. I don’t remember who mentioned the yawning as a side effect of withdrawing from hydrocodone…. but you were NOT kidding! I am constantly yawning and it hurts SO badly!

Well I’m on day 9 now. I actually went out to dinner last night because I was desperate to get out of the house. Had shimp and scallop linguine alfredo. It also had some broccoli and mushrooms in it. Before dinner arrived I had some bread with butter and some barley lentil soup. The bread was a little tough getting down, because it felt sticky, but I started dipping it in the broth to soften it and that helped a lot. The soup was easy to handle but I didn’t care for it. The dinner was excellent. The scallops were very soft so they were easy to swallow. The shrimp actually went down pretty well also. The noodles I had no problem with as long as I only ate a few at a time. I did have to go very slowly though, and sip water between bites. It took me about 20 minutes to have 5 or 6 bites and by that time I was full.

Also, Courtney, when you get the headaches… have you tried placing an ice pack on your head for a little bit? That really seemed to help me with the headaches from the pain medication.
Courtney C says:
November 11, 2011 at 7:05 am

Kathryn – I wish I had seen your last post sooner so maybe I could have helped. There are things you could have done to get your prescription filled early but at this point you can get it tomorrow so it probably doesn’t matter :-/ sorry. If you’re desperate right now to get it, you can ask the pharmacy if you can just pay cash for it. If they won’t, ask for the prescription back, take it somewhere else and don’t even tell the new pharmacy you have insurance, just say you don’t and have to pay cash. I hate what pharmacies do sometimes, I worked there for 3 years so I know what you can and can’t do and how things work. If you Dr was ok with you taking the medicine every 3 hours (I think that’s what you said you had been doing) then the pharmacy could have easily called him and asked him to verify a change in directions. If the Dr told them that the new prescription could be written for every 3 hours, the insurance would recalculate things based off the new directions. Not sure if that makes sense, a little hard to explain in a short space. But at this point that’s probably not helpful. Like I said, best thing if you need the medicine now is to do the whole paying cash thing. I had a similar situation when I had an abscessed tonsil right before my tonsillectomy. Script said I could take it every 4 to 6 hours. The pharmacy calculated the day supply wrong basing it off of me taking the medicine every 6 hours. According to them, just because the dr wrote I could take it ever 4-6 hours as needed didn’t mean i could take it every 4 hours if I needed. What??!! You can’t let them get away with screwing you over. I did wind up having to pay cash but I was at least able to get my medicine since they couldn’t argue with me because I was right. Man, pharmacies can really set me off lol. Good luck, I hope you didn’t have to go through too much pain waiting for your medicine.

Day 11
Well I ran out of my pain medicine on day 8 or 9 and my Dr didn’t want to give me more until he saw me because he didn’t think I should still be in that much pain. I’m a baby when it comes to pain and I know some people stop taking their pain medicine by this time but most people do say they have some pretty intense pain for 2 weeks. I figured that’s all it was and my dr just didn’t realize how long it really takes to feel better. So I went to the Dr on day 9 and he said everything looks ok, I don’t even have scabs (I never really noticed my scabs, when they were there or when they weren’t, I thought they were still there) but it looks like I might have thrush from the antibiotics or the prednisone and that could be why I’m having more pain then normal. I doubted it at first, my tongue hasn’t even bothered me at all which I think is what normally happens and at the time my mouth was really dry cause I hadn’t had water in awhile, but I guess it does make sense. So I finally finished my antibiotic and prednisone but now I have to take this new medicine four times a day for ten days! I’m so sick of trying to remember to take all these medicines. The Dr gave me more pain meds at least, this time he just gave me vicodin. I still have the Kadian (morphine) but it never seemed to help so I’m just not gonna take that anymore. I can’t wait till I can get off of it all and get rid of these horrible headaches. It feels like a catch 22 though. The headaches are from the pain meds, I’m pretty sure but having a horrible headache it’s hard not to take the pain medicine that does make it feel better for a short bit. Might just have to give the medicine to someone to hold onto till I get over this hump.

Oh and I forget the person’s name but to the woman that has a 5 year old. Definitely take advantage of any help you can get if there’s someone that will watch your daughter. I have a 2 year old and luckily she stays with her dad 10 days a month so I scheduled the surgery so I’d have as much recovery time as possible while she was gone. She came back on day 8 and even then it was way too soon. I keep having emotional breakdowns, crying hysterically cause I’m hurting and don’t feel good and then she’ll be difficult and I just loose it. So take as much time as you can to heal!
Sarah says:
November 11, 2011 at 1:51 am

Today was my surgery. I’ve been keeping my neck iced up as much as possible. I had some jello at the hospital and some very cold vanilla pudding at home, got them both down (pudding was a bit more difficult). My kids got me some Popsicles and I had a couple of those. The colder the better. The pain isn’t too bad (I was expecting the worst). If I had to rate it on a 1 – 10 scale I’d say it’s a 6 at the worst. I’m keeping up with my medicine (liquid hydrocodone) which between that and the ice and frequent sips of ice water are keeping the pain down. My only hope is that this will be the worst of it all. I’m glad I read this beforehand the tips helped a bunch.
pamela says:
November 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm

@Muphyns it depends on your Dr. & situation I’ve heard its an out-patient procedure, but due to my sleep apnea, & having asthma my Dr. Had me stay overnight for observation.

@Kathyrn you should try room temp water in very small sips, & ask your Dr. If its ok to gargle, I know mine said I could gargle with hydrogen peroxide, & it sure helped with the pain especially when the scabs started coming off.
Muphyns says:
November 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Hey Folks!
I’m so glad I found this forum. Getting my tonsils out on Tuesday, along with getting tubes in my ears for re-occuring fluid. Never thought I’d be so happy to have such a painful procedure, but I have really been suffering.
Dumb question, that I didn’t see anyone mention: Is this out-surgery or is there an overnight stay?
Kathryn says:
November 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Had a pretty crummy day so far, and last night was rough. After seeing my ENT for a followup, I went to pick my up refill for my lortab elixir. My pharmacy wouldn’t fill it for me, because they said based on the amount I was given I should still have some left. They won’t let me refill until Saturday the 12th. I explained to them that the doctor told me I could take more if I needed, but they couldn’t do anything about it, because the doctor should have written it that way. I asked if I could have my doctor call to authorize the prescription, and they said that wouldn’t change anything. I have about 30ml left, which is about 3 doses. so I’ve been forced to ween myself even though the pain is still horrible. My scabs have been coming off, and the extra strength liquid Tylenol just doesn’t cut it. I’ve noticed I’ve also cut back significantly on my water intake, because it is difficult to swallow with my throat this sore. Uhg :\
pamela says:
November 10, 2011 at 7:11 am

@KC yes scabs started coming off for me around day 5 & I couldn’t bear the pain, everything hurt going down I used the lil medicine cup to drink water to make sure I was well hydrated, because somehow smaller sips were easier to go down. Hang in there by day 10 I started feeling normal again.
KC says:
November 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm

PS: This is a great post on adult tonsillectomy recovery for your “caretakers” 🙂
KC says:
November 9, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Jen – I know what you mean about being reassured and scared all at once! I’ll say that the tips on here are fantastic, and really really help with recovery. Best for me so far have been: drink ice water constantly, keep a very detailed medicine log, include (prescribed) laxatives/etc if you’re on narcotic pain meds, wake up in the night to drink water and take your meds, and keep a positive attitude throughout. It really helps, as cliche as that sounds 🙂 Having recurrent strep and infections, you’ve got all the reason you need to do it – strep is very painful!

LH – thanks for the encouragement, it really helped make me feel better pre-op. I was so nervous. Explaining to my boyfriend today (via pictures on the internet) about tonsil stones was pretty validating – so gross!

Do most people experience their scabs coming off around day 6 or so? My pain spiked last night, and has been higher since – I’m guessing that’s the scabs starting to wear away?
LH says:
November 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm

KC- I’m very happy to hear that you went through with the tonsillectomy! I was worried you might back out. Just a warning, you will probably have a gross taste and gross breath for the first 2 weeks. I sure did. I was discouraged at first but I remember waking up one day (the 11th day, I believe) and not smelling anything. It was wonderful! Just hang in there. Sounds like you are healing great. Keep us posted.
I had my 6 week check up on Monday and my ent said I was totally healed and everything looked good. Sure enough he told me my tonsils were covered in holes and full of disgusting things. Made me feel that much more grateful for not having tonsils anymore. I told him that I could not thank him enough for removing them.
Pamela says:
November 9, 2011 at 7:04 pm

@Kathryn I’m a caregiver/CNA, and my Dr. wouldn’t let me go back to work til day 15; also after my follow up he said to ease back into my normal routine slowly to not cause a bleed out.

@recovering teacher they must have clamped down my tongue harder on the left side because that pain didn’t go away til day 16.

I am now on day 20 of recovery, not sure if my uvula is still swollen, but it sure feels like it. I have an annoying feeling in my throat when i yawn; not pain just weird annoyance. I have been interning as a phlebotomist this week and going from 2 wks at home doing NOTHING to working 7am-4pm is killing me I feel like a zombie right now. Other than that everything is going good.
Jen says:
November 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I have my surgery for a tonsillectomy scheduled for December 5th. No way was I going to miss Thanksgiving dinner and I should be (cross fingers) feeling OK by Christmas. I have to say, I’m really… really scared.

I’m 37 now, but I will be 38 when I have this done. I’ve had problems with my tonsils for longer than I can remember. I have very large tonsils that harbor stones in them every once in awhile. Strep, on average, 2 times per year since I was 6. Abscessed tonsil twice (nightmare) and sore throats at least 6 + times per year. Do you know, it was just 2 months ago that a nurse at an immediate care clinic suggested I get them removed. My doc would occasionally say things like, “Here again, huh? You know, maybe some day you should have those taken out.” But, kind of joking like. After the nurse said that to me, I went and saw an ENT. He took my history, listened to all the problems I’ve had, looked in my throat (which was in the process of recovery from ANOTHER bout of strep) and said, “You are a walking advert for this surgery. They need to come out. Like yesterday.” So my appointment was scheduled.

I got home and Googled “Adult Tonsillectomy” and it brought me here. Reading this forum has helped ease my mind and raise my fears all at the same time. How is that possible? 😛 At least now, I know what to expect and know it will get worse before it gets better. I’ve explained to my husband (I had him read this forum), explained to my mother (who will be taking care of my 5 year old for me), and my friends that this surgery really sucks. I’m going to be hurting for a while, and I’ll take all the love, sympathy and help gratefully.

I’ve already started to prepare. Getting all of our X-mas shopping done. Stocking up on the supplies people here have recommended and getting loose ends tied up.

I just wanted to thank everyone for their stories on recovery and experiences with this. I know you’ve probably heard this asked before, but wish me luck!
Kathryn says:
November 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm

@Amber- I went today for my follow up, and the surgeon doesn’t want me back to work until after Thanksgiving, which is a huge relief.

Day 7–My appointment went well, although it was super fast. The surgeon looked in my throat, said it was healing nicely. He gave me another prescription for 500ml of the Lortab elixir. He said in the next couple of days my pain will decrease significantly. I hope he’s right. He told me to start eating pasta, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and scrambled eggs, and next Wednesday I can start on a regular diet. Over the past few days I’ve tried the mashes potatoes and mac and cheese (earlier than the doc wanted–oops) and fared pretty well.

I just can’t wait until I wake up in the morning without excruciating throat and ear pain! I really dread going to sleep. And I hope in 2 weeks when Thanksgiving rolls around I’ll be able to eat all of my favorite foods with no problem!
Amber says:
November 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm

@ Kathryn – I would mention to your ENT that your job involves a lot of heavy lifting and that the shift is long with no break possible at times. He might write you out of work for a while longer. My Dr. advised me not to lift my 18 lb toddler for a solid 2 weeks. His words were, “Don’t even attempt it. It will cause you to bleed.” I will say that around day 10 I started to lift my little one a tiny bit, but not from the floor to my hip – maybe from the bed or changing table.
KC says:
November 9, 2011 at 10:53 am

Day 6! Whew.

No updates on day 4 or 5 – pain was okay, but the (sorry this may be TMI) constipation from the pain meds plus the laxatives I took to try and counteract it made for one of the most miserable nights of my life. Bad stuff. All I can say is, to avoid that, be sure to get on a regimen of stool softeners/mild laxatives right away if you are taking narcotic pain meds, rather than waiting 4 days and doing it. No bueno!

I’m now on a regimen of anti-nausea, laxative, and pain meds. I had my nurse sister put together a medicine schedule for all of it, and that plus my medicine log help SO much. Can’t recommend that enough!

Went about 30 hours with nothing but Tylenol, which was not fun, but bearable. Last night the bad pain hit for the first time – I heard it would around then – and it was pretty awful. Up side – it DOES go away. There’s not much you can do other than drink your liquids, ice-pack your neck, and take your meds, so it’s a good time to work on pain-management skills! I do a lot of “surrendering” to it, calming down and letting it wash over me, almost like it’s a comfort. Pain = healing, etc. I also keep saying to myself “I could totally take more”, which sounds ridiculous, but is true and really helps. Once you calm down and stop clenching, it really does get better, and you can rest. Pain tolerance after all this is definitely going to be better 🙂

Recovering Teacher: the mucous in my throat totally bothers me too, and I think causes a bit of sleep apnea in the night. I’ve started spitting it out sometimes, which helps.

Happy recovery all, and I’ll update soon 🙂
Amber says:
November 9, 2011 at 9:18 am

@ Recovering Teacher –
I think by day 6 or 7 I had switched from cold to warm (not HOT, but warm) because the cold seemed to cause more pain for me. My favorite thing was ramen noodles. The saltiness & the warmth felt great on my throat.

Try to keep pushing the liquids. It really does reduce your risk of a bleed (that risk does not diminish until day 14 according to my ENT). I kept a HUGE glass of water beside me with a straw and would sip on it all the time. If your throat gets dry it can cause your scabs (assuming you don’t have stitches) to break open and bleed. Sounds like no big deal, but those scabs are so close to some pretty major arteries.

You will be playing with your babies again in no time, and soon this will all be a distant memory IF you focus on healing now. My little one was 10 months old when I had my surgery and my older daughter was 6 1/2 yrs. At the time I felt like a crummy mommy because I couldn’t do much with them, but I can honestly say it has not had any negative effect on them 🙂
Amber says:
November 9, 2011 at 9:08 am

@ Annie – give it 3 more days and you will be amazed! For me it seemed like days 5-9 were the worst as far as pain (the pain coupled with the lack of food was sending me over the edge)!! On day 10 I woke up, and thought “Okay, I can deal with this.” Then everyday it seemed a little better.
Annie says:
November 9, 2011 at 8:39 am

Day 7 for me – never had pain as bad as this in my life. I am 47 and wondering if this pain will ever go away
Recovering Teacher says:
November 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Oh yeah….and my tongue is 1/2 numb from them clamping it so hard during surgery…when will that go away?!?
Recovering Teacher says:
November 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I have spent the last hour reading this site and the forum entries. It really is nice to hear from other folk experiencing the same thing. I had my surgery last Thursday…that puts me on Day 6. I have felt worse yesterday and today than I did in the first 3 days. At this rate I feel like I will never be normal again. I have been off my pain meds since Sunday night because they were causing headaches and making me vomit. Now I feel like cold stuff is harder to get down than warm stuff but I don’t know. Yesterday I was coughing and gaging on the amount of mucus (at least that is what I think it is) in my throat. I keep trying to drink but feel like there is so much wetness in my throat already why bother. I am not a small person by any means and have already lost 13 lbs since Thursday. My 8 month old and 2 1/2 yr old sleep less than I do and are wondering if I will ever get better so I can play with them again!
Kathryn says:
November 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Day 5– I am still experiencing incredible pain, which I really thought would have eased up just A LITTLE bit by now. I’m still taking my liquid Lortab every 3 hours (I’m only supposed to take it every 4 but I honestly can not last that long), still putting an ice pack to my neck frequently, and still drinking about 4+ liters of ice water daily. The ear pain is out of control when I wake up, and usually gets bad again throughout the night. I nap on and of throughout the day for about an hour at a time. At night I toss and turn and get about 2 hours at a time. I started setting my alarm for pain medication and to drink water as suggested, and that definitely helps with pain control, although I feel I am still not drinking enough water throughout the night.

My pain medication does not seem to last very long. Usually about an hour after I take it I can feel it creeping up, and about an hour before it’s due again I find myself counting down the minutes until I can take it. I’m almost out of medicine, but I go for a follow up with my ENT tomorrow. I am praying he gives me a refill and that he doesn’t think I’m abusing it, because I think I am going through it a heck of a lot fast than I am supposed to. I am also going to ask if he can prescribe me straight liquid hydrocodone elixir without tylenol in it, so perhaps then I can alternate the hydrocodone and the tylenol.

For food I have been sticking to jello, ice pops, and slim fast. I tried mac and cheese and that seemed to go down okay but it was still uncomfortable to eat so I’m not going to try again for a few days. I’ve attempted chicken noodle and chicken and stars but I am still having trouble with those as well. Slim fast also irritates my throat because of the dairy, but I suck it up because I know I need to nutrition for energy and healing. My biggest problem, I think, it my tongue. It’s very sore, and it almost feels like there are ulcerations where my tongue meets my throat. They sting and continue to hurt after I eat slim fast, the soup, and the mac and cheese. I’m going to try to salt water rinse the next time I have a slim fast and see if that helps relieve some of the pain.

My boss has me schedule to go back to work Mon, Tues, and Thurs. I work 12-hour nights at a hospital, and I don’t think I will be ready to go back by Monday. I do a lot of heavy lifting and most nights it’s so busy I don’t even get a proper lunch break. I had my surgery Nov 3, and she realizes she didn’t give me a full 2 weeks, so she said she could take me off Monday if needed. I honestly can’t see myself going back next week at all at the rate I’m going. I guess I will just have to see what my ENT says.

Is anyone taking more than 2 weeks off to recover?
Greg says:
November 8, 2011 at 11:18 am

Courtney and Rachel! It’s like old times! Great to hear from you guys! In case people haven’t already, be sure to check out the informational Site:

Take care all,

secondtimearound says:
November 7, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Here we go AGAIN for the second time in less than one year.

Yes, folks, that’s right. My SECOND tonsillectomy will be done 11-11-11 by a new, more intelligent, skilled, and even caring ENT (all qualities that my first one did not have).

Last February, I had the distinct pleasure of waking up in a recovery room thinking that my worst fears were over, I had lived through my very first surgery, and woke up to a tonsil free (or so I thought) life. I spent almost three weeks recovering and enduring more pain than I ever thought possible. By week three, I started to feel like a person again, and started to even drive my car and go to the grocery store. My blissful little life minus tonsils and tonsil stones was extremely short. One fine afternoon in May, I got in my car and took off for town, feeling pretty great, but noticed a little tightness in my right side tonsil area. I peeked in the rear view mirror of my car, and to my shock and awe, I saw a little yellowish fleck under the pink tonsil tissue. I was so shocked, I turned around and went back home to get a better look in the mirror. I had to be seeing things. Right? I HAD a tonsillectomy. There was no way I had another tonsil stone. I went to bed that night thinking I must be nuts, and felt like all would be fine by the next a.m. Oh, was I ever wrong. I woke up that next morning, ran to the mirror, took a look, and wham…there it was. In all it’s glory, was a tonsil stone poking it’s nasty, sickening, ugly head out of my tender, pink flesh in my throat. Little did I realize that I had part of a tonsil sitting in me that my idiot surgeon had LEFT in me.

I didn’t dare touch that first stone. No. Way. I left it alone, and it was gone by the next day.

I got lucky and I didn’t really see another one for a couple of weeks. Then another one came. I got up one morning, and looked in the mirror and there was stone, part II. I mashed up on my mini tonsil and the stone popped out like a monkey off a trampoline. I was impressed. Stones. And yet…I wasn’t supposed to have a tonsil.

I decided this had to be a fluke. It would miraculously go away on its own. Sure…that sounded like a good plan to me! It didn’t go away.

Instead, it got worse. Instead of one little hole, I ended up with the equivalent of a crack that ran from one end of that disgusting little piece of tonsil to the other. It was basically acting like a little fleshy pouch of nastiness that was just the absolute perfect place for a stone to form in, and hang out in till it became ready to emerge and cause me problems.

I started having pain too. This was a new one on me because prior to the first surgery, I never really had pain when I had a tonsil stone. I just knew they were there. In September, I noticed something odd feeling in the back of my throat, and when I looked, I saw a small stone. I thought it would come out on it’s own, like they had previously. Not this time. It sat there and grew and grew. it stayed from September, until last Sunday. It hurt off and on, even giving me ear pain. I could feel it on the back of my tongue, sticking me. My “tonsil” felt tight and swollen, and it just plain hurt.I am a high school golf coach and English I teacher, so this whole pain thing when I talked thing wasn’t my bag of bacon. I was pretty pissed to be honest.

I called my first surgeon back and told him that his surgical technique was a complete and utter failure. I’m sure he was impressed with my critique of his work. Then I started hunting a new ENT that was capable of removing a piece of tissue left over from my first surgery.

My research led me to a surgeon at Vanderbilt of whom I thought was way too young and inexperienced. I just didn’t like him. He talked more than he listened. I’m sure he could have probably removed this sucky little piece of tissue, but I just wasn’t feeling him. I went to see another ENT at Baptist. He’d operated on a friends husband, son, and her daughter. I was impressed at how much she loved this doctor, as she has to be the second most picky and peculiar person on the face of the earth (second only to me). She swore by this guy, and that made me think he might be worth a shot. So, off I went to see him. His name is John Witherspoon. At first, I didn’t know what to make of him. He was tall, older, very, very southern in his drawl, and yet at the same time…extraordinarily smart. While my husband and I waited on him, we could hear him on the phone speaking to someone about a CT scan he had sent them for previously. He was talking to a patient, explaining the results. Himself. I found that really interesting as no doctor I knew made personal calls to explain a result of a test to a patient. So, Dr. Witherspoon came in the room, took a look at my throat and said, “Oh, my God.” He wanted to know if my first surgeon got in a hurry. Obviously. He started writing on a piece of paper with drawings of a mouth and tonsils. He was very matter of fact in his writing and was making notes for himself. Then he said what I feared the most. “It needs to come out.”

I was scared. I asked questions. “What are the risks, how will you do it, how long will it take me to heal, how long will I be off work?” And my best question EVER. “The first surgeon couldn’t fix it, can you?” He smiled and said, “Most certainly.” And, I actually believe he can.

My husband and I came home and did our research online about this doctor. He was the chief of the ENT dept. at Baptist at one point, was a military surgeon who had been in charge of a field hospital in Desert Storm. His credentials are a mile long. And when he sent me for a CT scan, guess who called me to tell me the results proved that I did indeed have residual tonsil tissue? Yes, that’s right. He called himself. Again, impressed. His manner of speaking and tone are that of a very intellectual and precise person.

I think he knew without really saying it that the first surgeon was a complete doofus who screwed me up and hung me out to dry. I think he also knew he was capable of fixing me where the other guy could not.

So, Friday…here we go AGAIN. Of course, the only good news of the whole thing…it’s only one side we are re-doing. I know he will use the laser on me to remove this tissue. He seems to think it’s more precise, and that it is an overall better experience. I know that he used it on my friends husband and son when he took out their tonsils. I also know that they were all healed and over a full tonsillectomy in 2 weeks and were back at work and college and moving on with their lives. So, here’s to hoping that this second time is THE time that it gets fixed and I don’t have to have the nasty, painful, and horrible tonsil stones growing in my throat again. 🙁

I will let everyone know how this goes, but I don’t really plan on updating a lot until I’m pretty much feeling like I’m over the hump of the surgery. Last time, I read too much, thought of my healing too much, depressed myself, and then things went generally down hill. I remember I didn’t really heal like other people who posted to the board, and I honestly wondered then what was wrong with me. I was thinking maybe I was just plain old paranoid, but turns out, I was right all along, as I knew that something was amiss. Turned out yes, it was. I still had a tonsil.
Courtney C says:
November 7, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Emm try some refried beans in a can, they’re a little thick but work them around and they go down ok. And miso soup is another good, healthy option. I’m trying desperately to find some variety. How I was feeling earlier, I was choosing not to eat cause I was so sick of the same things. Hope that helps someone!
Sarah says:
November 7, 2011 at 11:33 am

Hi, I’m having a tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy 11-10. I’m glad I found this forum/website it has been very informative. I have made up a list of things that I think (from reading here) are must haves for the recovery process. Quite a few of them I wouldnt have thought to get until I saw it here. Im nervous but it’s something that should have been done years ago.
Rachel says:
November 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

wow, hard to believe it has been a year. I remember thinking “can there be anything worse than this inability to sleep?! I think I will lose my mind!!” Thankfully, the memory is distant. Now I am just happy not to have the awful stones/taste.

Was so glad to survive those first few weeks after surgery . Coming here helped so much. I hope those who are recovering can know there is a light at the end of the tunnel- hang in there!!!
Courtney C says:
November 7, 2011 at 7:56 am

Andrea – I’ve read a lot about people having a change in their taste. When I had an abscess removed in my one tonsil a few month ago, it even changed my taste then. I think it’s from altering your diet. Your tongue and taste buds are used to a wide variety of flavors and textures so when you don’t have that, your taste buds change. Kinda like they aren’t being worn down the same so they are able to grow which changes your taste. Don’t know if that’s right or if I even explained it well, hope it makes some sense though. And I heard it can take weeks and even up to months to get everything back to normal.
Courtney C says:
November 7, 2011 at 7:50 am

Day 7

Wow, somehow I got really behind in everyone’s postings, I kept checking and not seeing anything and now suddenly there are days worth!

I wish I could respond to everyone but trying to catch up in such a short time, I can barely remember who said what. For one, I feel so bad Laura B felt the need to leave, I don’t think anyone meant to be hurtful, in their eyes there were just trying to help. After reading how people in the UK usually are encouraged to eat toast etc, I remember thinking I wish I just had the guts to try it but was just way too scared.

I think I did push things with the foods I ate, my throat has felt so sore and stretched from all the chewing and hard to swallow things. So I’m not really sure If I’ve done myself more harm then good. I’ve probably had too much dairy and I was even crazy enough to eat most of a big mac and fries on day 5 or 6. I don’t think I’ve lost any weight throughout all of this but I do have to wonder what my recovery would have been like if I had taken it easier cause it sure hasn’t been fun so far. Some people mentioned feeling like they snore now at night, I do too and it seems like it’s cause there is mucous or something in the back of my throat. If I swallow just right and clear things away it goes away briefly. I don’t know if my dairy intake is making it worse but it seems like the swollen uvula is part of it too. It helps to sit upright as much as possible.

I’m so glad (in a sense) to finally see someone talk about having horrible headaches. I think it’s from the pain medicine too. I honestly think it’s been the worst part of recovery. I had planned to do so many things, like write to people and little craft projects but with my head hurting this bad all I’ve wanted to do it sleep, which gets old really fast.

Lastly, someone asked about a saline rinse. I’d read on here about other dr’s recommending to gargle with salt water but since mine didn’t say too, I was afraid it might irritate my throat more. Well after the pain I had this morning I figured I’d give it a shot. I was afraid that part of my pain might be because of left over food particles sitting in the tonsil cavities Well boy did it hurt at first, but i rinsed again with water and it actually took a lot of the pain away! Well i should end this as I have a feeling like I’ve written a lot but good luck to you all!

Oh ya just ONE more thing lol. I haven’t been able to notice much about my scabs. Everyone says they can feel them etc. But from day one, my throat has felt the same. I’m hoping maybe I’ve already lost all or most of mine and don’t have to worry about crossing that hurdle. And it’s too hard to see into the back of my throat, I need a flashlight or something. I’ve read such varying opinions, but does anyone know the average on when scabs start to come off?
Andrea H says:
November 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Day 16

Most pain is gone although food still feels like it doesn’t go down as smooth. I still have some scabs that I can feel that have not quite fallen off.
The worst problem right now, and a BIG problem it has become, is the horrible way things taste! Many of my favorite foods (pizza, popcorn, salty things in general) taste HORRIBLE!! Rather like clay or mud 🙁 🙁
I have read that taste changes are common and can either go away or be permanent. I am hoping for a temporary ailment.
I have lost 15 pds but I would gladly take all that weight back in order to taste food again 🙁 🙁
KC says:
November 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Tracy – I’m nervous about the bleeding too! That was really encouraging to read 🙂

Kathryn – it is home-made split pea soup, and suuuper easy to make. Basically we just toss a big bag of dried split peas, enough water/broth (I use half chicken broth, half water) to cover them, a ham hock and some salt/pepper/seasonings in a crockpot. I let it all simmer in the crockpot until the peas start to get soft, then add in some carrots/onions/celery, and let it simmer on low until everything is properly mushy and cooked. Pea soup from the can is often really good too though, and a lot easier 🙂 I’d go easy on the soups with cream though, since some folks think that dairy can create more mucous than is helpful when you’re healing.
Tracy says:
November 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Thanks KC for your comment. It is definitely a good attitude to have about pain as your friend said!

I started putting ice on the outside of my neck again and this really helps. I figure now I am able to cope with the medication I have. I will ask for something stronger if it gets worse. Hope you are doing well. You seem to getting some good nutrients in.

So I thought I would share that I did have some minor bleeding yesterday night. I noticed some small red spots where the scabs are loosening up and then about 10 minutes later I checked again to monitor and my right tonsil hole was full of blood. I drank tons and tons of ice water and the bleed seemed to clot on it’s own in about 5-10 minutes. Afterward I also see that half of the scab on this side is gone. I was so worried about bleeding when the scabs starting coming off, but this wasn’t so bad. The cold helped clot it up really quickly!

So far still just jello and icy vanilla boost today! I am taking no chances now on anything rough.

Hoping to feel a bit better eve day!
Kathryn says:
November 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Thanks for the tips KC! As far as the pea soup.. is it homemade or canned? I was tempted to buy Cambpell’s pea soup and a few of the cream soups yesterday. I think I will also start a log for my medication… I ended up taking a dose an hour earlier than I should have last night because I had had forgotten my last dose and only remembered when it was too late.


KC says:
November 6, 2011 at 11:21 am


Just posted and saw I missed your reply – I actually don’t go by my initials, so it looks like I accidentally stole your name! I think the medical community is kind of divided on the food/no food issue (some say it stresses the throat too much, some say it’s important). I’ve stuck with very soft, non-sticky, mushy foods, and it’s been working well so far – nausea is zero. The thinned-out mashed potatoes were Awesome for me last night, and the pea soup as well. I think this afternoon I’ll do some chicken broth too!

When I feel like stuff is stuck in my throat, it turns out it’s usually just my uvula/all the swelling. But just in case, I’ve gently gargled with some lukewarm salt water, or my ice water, and seems to do the trick!
KC says:
November 6, 2011 at 11:13 am

PS: Forgot to mention the best tips I’ve gotten so far!

1) Eat – the swallowing pain is temporary, and getting some (mushy) food in your stomach really helps avoid the pain-med nausea.

2) Tons of ice water. Seriously, it helps numb the pain in my throat better than anything, and hydration is super important.

3) Night-time pain meds/water sipping.

4) Medicine log – I made a little spreadsheet we fill in with all my meds, with the date/time/dosage/what med.

5) ice packs on the neck

Time for nap 🙂
Kathryn says:
November 6, 2011 at 11:13 am


I will definitely start setting my alarm to take the pain medicine and have some water. I wake up about every 4-5 hours or so- I’m probably letting myself go too long without medication. I also spoke too soon when I posted this morning– the pain came back worse than ever after my 0700 dose wore off. I was able to get some very soft mac and cheese down, even though it’s a no-no on my surgeon’s food list. It gave me a nice little pick-me-up to be able to eat some actually food, although I didn’t like the feeling that it was getting stuck in my throat, even after sips of water. I’m going to try some mashed potatoes tonight for dinner. I’m going to try to make them thinner than I usually do, so hopefully they won’t feel like they’re sticking to the back of my throat.

Also.. what does KC stand for? I actually go by KC, and was going to post under that name but I saw there was another KC on the board. I’ve been going by my initials (Kathryn Cosgrove) since I was a baby. It’s very rare that I find another KC who spells it the same way!
pamela says:
November 6, 2011 at 9:56 am

Day 17
I went to a bday party last night & was able to eat spicy nachos, & pozole (mexican dish like a spicy soup); ended up paying for it soon after with a funny nose & coughing fit. I didn’t bleed out but it feels like everything is swollen up again. Also 2 kids are starting with sniffles & sore throats so loading them up on vitamin C now. As I type I sneezed for the first time since surgery, & my sneeze is SO different usually I’m compared to a mouse, now its I guess normal, but not overly exaggerated.
KC says:
November 6, 2011 at 9:45 am


Yikes! It looks like you’re taking the same pain med concoction I am (the generic for Lortab, really commonly prescribed, hydroco+tylenol 7.5/500mg). My dosage is 2-4 tsp every 4 hours, as needed. Thus far I haven’t used 4 (saving that for when the pain gets worse in a few days, as everyone says it will)!

Are you setting alarms to wake up throughout the night and take your meds/drink ice water? This was on the recommendation of folks from the forum as well as my ENT, and has helped me SO much in managing the night-time pain. I get up every 4 hours to sip some water, get some rice milk in me (to coat the stomach – dairy irritates), take my pain meds, and then go back to bed with an ice-gel pack on my throat. It’s been working fabulously – and I’m sure the humidifier is helping too with the nighttime throat dryness.

Eating has helped me a lot – I’ve been getting lukewarm split-pea soup, applesauce, mashed potatoes, etc down. Avoiding dairy, since it produces a lot of mucous and irritates my tummy anyway.

Awesome idea with the breathe-right strip – I’m totally going to try it tonight. The sleep-apnea thing is happening to me too, along with some snoring, which I’m not used to – I keep waking up hearing myself going “SNOORRTTT!”. 🙂
Kathryn says:
November 6, 2011 at 7:20 am

I had a pretty decent sleep last night! I was woken up twice, 4 hours apart, by my bladder/pain, but the pain was not as excruciating as it has been after awakening. I also used a Breathe-Right strip on my nose, and I think that may have helped a bit with the apnea I’ve been experiencing. My throat still looks the same- white/yellow/gray/scabby and very swollen. I’m going to attempt to cut back on my pain medication and take the original Rx of 10mg every 4 hours.

I was able to look through the forum last night and find some answers to my questions. I saw that one person did post her uvula was also white. I felt a huge relief knowing I wasn’t the only one experiencing this problem.

I’ve been getting really terrible headaches, I’m assuming from the pain medication, and I find that an ice pack to my head or back of my neck really helps to ease the pain.

As far as my diet… I am going to attempt pudding, baby food, and slim fast shakes again today. I tried yesterday, after having pain medication, but it felt as if the thickness or the dairy was irritating my throat. Perhaps today I will have better luck.

I’ve seen that some people use a saline rinse. Was this instructed by the surgeon? How do you mix it, or did you purchase it somewhere? This sounds like something that may help me after eating thicker foods.

Kathryn says:
November 5, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Hi everyone… glad I stumbled upon this page! I had my tonsillectomy on Thursday November 3rd. I have been suffering with tonsil stones and tonsillitis since high school (I am 25 now), and finally I saw an ENT who decided it would be best for me to have my tonsils removed.

When I came out of surgery Thursday, I felt okay. I received a dose of IV fentanyl in the PACU, and once I was transferred to the recovery room where my fiance was waiting I received a shot of demerol to my hip. My throat felt sore, but on a scale of 1-10 I was rating it about a 6. I was encouraged to drink lots of ice water, had several ice pops, and had an ice pack around my neck. I was told by two different nurses and then my surgeon that my tonsils were so infected he had to use the argon laser on my throat two times. He told me I would experience more pain than normal, but he sent me home with Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen 7.5mg/500mg Elixir. The rx instructed me to take 2tsp (which would equal 5mg hydrocodone) every 4 hours, but the surgeon told me to take more if I needed. He didn’t specify how much “more” meant, but I am an RN so I am familiar with the appropriate dosing of hydrocodone within a 24 hour period.

I felt pretty good after I was discharged from the hospital. My fiance and I went to Walmart to pick up my prescriptions and also some Slimfast shakes at the suggestion of a nurse, and then we headed back home. I woke up several times that night with excruciating pain. Even with the humidifier on full blast, my mouth gets extremely dry from sleeping with my mouth hanging wide open. I often wake up feeling as though I have stopped breathing, so I’m assuming I’m experiencing some sleep apnea. Fiance ended up staying home Friday with me when he saw the condition I was in when I woke up.

Friday was definitely a horrible day. I bumped up my pain medicine. Continuously drank ice water. I attempted juice and ice cream, but it feels like they irritate my throat further. Friday I stuck with jell-o, pudding, and some baby food here and there. Cool broth is tolerable, but for me not as appetizing or effective as cold jell-o.

Today I am not feeling much better. I have been taking pictures of my throat every day. My entire throat, including my uvula, is covered in that nasty yellow/gray film with scabbing. I am wondering… is anyone else experiencing the film on their uvula as well? I have not yet looked through all of the postings, but I plan on doing that tonight.

Also… any other tips for relieving pain besides the medication and ice packs/ice water? My ENT is very strict about diet and medications, and cloraseptic spray is forbidden. My diet is also very limited for the 1st week. Only clear liquids, pudding, ice pops, blended apple sauce and baby foods… no mashed potatoes/noodles/scrambled eggs or things of that nature until after my follow-up appointment.
KC says:
November 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm


I’m sorry you’ve hit a bad day 🙁 Could you call your ENT surgeon and ask for something stronger/different?

I got some good pain-management tips from friends, but one of my favorites was when it’s horrible, get competitive with it. I know that sounds ridiculous, but thinking “is that all you got? Psh, I could take more!” somehow helps me. That, or a warm bath 🙂

I’ve heard the pain breaks between days 8 and 10, so there’s definitely some relief coming your way! Hang tight 🙂
Tracy says:
November 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Day 7 tomorrow. I have now gone back to eating just jello and drinking boost and ice water as today was really painful.

I’m quite certain that the painkillers (t3′s) are useless.

Anyway, on the up side at day 7 hopefully I am nearing some kind of light at the end of the tunnel.

Positive over here : )
Laura B says:
November 5, 2011 at 5:42 pm

I came here thinking it would be a supportive atmosphere.
Instead I’ve been qesstioned and spoken down to by all you, obvious, experts in the tonsillectomy field.

I shall not visit here again.

Maybe you should all man up – take ibuprofen and eat toast. Then you wouldn’t be moaning you still feel crap weeks after surgery. I’m on Day 8 and would say I’m almost fully recovered!

Good luck. You’re not ALL douchebags.
sandra says:
November 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I’m from the US. The thought process with my MD’s is that NSAIDS will increase the propensity to bleed, if a scab comes off….NOT that it causes bleeding. I did not take it but I did use celebrex after my emergency surgery 5 days after my tonsillectomy to stop a massive bleed and it was heavenly. It is an off label use and there is controversy as to whether or not it causes bleeding.
For all of you taking narcotics, if you can get pills down, they work better. If you are stomach sick from Narcotics and you are not allergic, break the dose in half and take it twice as frequent. I was taking half a dose every 2 hours instead of a full dose every four hours and I was fine. No puking.
I had my surgery in the end of September and an emerg surg Oct 2nd. I still hace a scab on the lower right, I have taste distortion from damage to the hypoglossal nerve, I have liquids go up my nose if I swallow to much and textures in my mouth feel odd. My ears itch sometimes like CRAZY!!! I am eating everything now. I am down about 5 lbs and am back to work, running, yoga…etc.
There have been some questions about cost… here in Chicago the original surg cost was about $15,000. My emergency surgery was $18,000. I have insurance, so my cost is about $300. Thank God.
KC says:
November 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Day 2!

Still feeling fine today, and although swelling and pain has increased, I still haven’t needed to take the max dose of the pain meds. Saving that for when it gets more painful later on (particularly since tolerance to pain meds can build up a very quickly).

I’ve finally given up on talking – although it doesn’t hurt badly, I don’t want to overdo it.

Staying positive, and though I know it’ll get worse, I’m really grateful for these first easy two days! I know some people have a horrible time right from the start.

Laura – I’m glad your recovery has gone so well! Ibuprofen (like all NSAIDs) does increase your risk of general bleeding, not just from the stomach. There are, however, dissenting opinions between healthcare providers about what treatments are best. Ie: in some countries, tonsillectomy patients stay in the hospital for several days afterwards – in others, it is an outpatient procedure. There’s the antibiotics/no antibiotics debate, the soft foods/rough foods debate, etc. It sounds like the care you’ve been given has worked well for you, which is great!

Rich – I totally feel ya – I’m already super bored. Must find something to do to make the days go a little quicker! I’m thinking of starting some sort of computer or sewing project…dunno.

Only tip I have so far is the most common one: wake up often during the night (I couldn’t help it anyway) and drink lots of fluid. Ice water seems to work even better than the pain meds for me, thus far. I’m getting lots of fresh air and sunshine as well, which does wonders for the mood.

Good luck everyone! I’ll update tomorrow 🙂
Rich says:
November 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm

DAY – 3

Surgery was on Thursday. Could not take the roxicet as it may me sick. By that night I had vomited, so needless to say no more pain meds for me. I take a couple tylenol every 4-6 hours and it seems to be fine. Eating nicely but still sticking to the soft, cold and mushy thing. I am also on a steady diet of cold water, ice pops and iced coffee!

I am 41 and have the attention span of a six year old. I will start to work from home on Monday!
Glad I had the surgery…no more tonsil stones!!!
Laura B says:
November 5, 2011 at 10:41 am

I am from England.
Ibuprofen can cause bleeding in the stomach, not the tonsils. I was prescribed it by the doctor at the hospital and told how regularly to take it. My mother has over 30 years medical experience and has been telling me to take it. The ones I have are coated, as to protect the stomach lining.

Besides, I’m on day 8 – have barely taken any painkillers since day 6.

I was also told by the hospital and Mum to eat toast and continue with a normal diet -meats, breads, fruit whatever. So I have.

My scabs are coming off, I’ve had no bleeding and I feel better and better daily.

Chewing gum has helped enormously with the ear pain!

So if what I’m doing is wrong, I’m going to continue being wrong, because I feel I am recovering pretty well 🙂
Laura B says:
November 5, 2011 at 10:34 am

Day 8
Slept straight through for about 9 hours. Slight throat pain when I woke up and right earache.
Have drunk continuously all morning and feel pretty good now.
Had ham, turkey and salad on a crusty bread roll for lunch…
As long as I continue improving over the day, I am going out tonight to watch fireworks!
Can’t wait to see my friends and get out of the house!!!!
Tracy says:
November 4, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Okay, update. Now going onto day 6 post surgery. Days 2 and three were very painful, but 4 and 5 were even more excruciating!

I have been able to eat some mashed potatoes (not hot), some luke warm chicken broth and my usual jello.

Still just taking my t3′s every 4 hours. I’ve gotta say, they don’t make much of a difference. They just take the sharp egde off the pain and only really last for about 2 1/2 – max 3 hours. I have still been chugging away t my ice water and having a boost here and there when I notice any weakness from lack of food.

The scabs at the back of my throat are really puffy and thick..has anyone else had scabs like this…like I could scoop them out (not that I ever would, just to clarify the disgustiness of them). I wonder how and when these will go away?

Looks like at least some more days off of work next week, still not able to talk normally form fear of causing bleeding.

Does anyone know if kraft dinner is okay to eat..are hot things okay to eat. Will they promote bleeding?
Jason says:
November 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm

KC fair warning. For me, and for a lot of others the 3rd day is by far the worst. If something is uncomfortable when you eat it, then move on and try something else. Big gulps are less painful than little sips even though you’d think it’s the other way. I hope your pain continues to be manageable. It can get to be painful enough to stir emotional reactions in the majority of people who I’ve seen get them out. Also keep busy with the slacking. Work that neflix to the bone. Set an alarm for your naps to make sure they aren’t too long. If your tongue starts to swell you might start drooling while you sleep, and that can cause some serious dryness. You’ve got all day to sleep, but you want to do it in small doses.

To Courtney: That sequel to Tron is on there. If you take enough pain killers, even the dumbest crap on netflix is either entertaining enough, or boring enough for you to go ahead and catch some sleep.

To Laura: What country are you from? Seems like there’s a lot of split opinions on toast/no toast and ibuprofen. Not saying one is right over the other. I was told to take children’s liquid tylenol as a secondary measure to reduce minimal pain. Just remember that some painkillers already have acetaminophen so you don’t want to overdo it and turn your liver into Spongebob Squarepants.

Biggest advice I can give to the new people: Don’t be shy about taking your pain meds. Even if you’re an hour early every once in a blue moon with your max, and you’re taking the maximum dosage odds are you’ll still have 1/3 of the bottle left over by the time you turn the corner. There’s no reason to try to be tough about it. Just stay hydrated, and keep that pain numb.
KC says:
November 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Day 1!

My tonsillectomy was today at 8am (for tonsil stones). Pre-surgery, I had a case of buyer’s remorse, wondering if I was making too drastic a choice for tonsils that rarely get infected. Afterwards, my surgeon said that my tonsils were gnarly (FULL of stones, grossss). So that’s validating 🙂

8 hours post-op, and I’m 0 on a scale of 10 for pain. I know it’s just the surgery meds not having worn off yet, but it’s a nice surprise! I ate as much split pea soup (YUM) as I could, drinking lots of water (with a splash of gatorade, also yum), and getting as much done as I can as far as answering emails, etc. The swelling has definitely started (can’t hardly open my mouth now, uvula is quite big, but no tongue swelling thankfully). There are two big ol’ craters where my tonsils were, which makes me pretty happy – no more tonsils!

I’ll update tomorrow and throughout – thanks everyone with the great advice! I’ve got a warm-air humidifier, ice packs, heat packs for the ears, and lots of mushy food.

Courtney – 30 Rock is great for some light comedy on TV 🙂 Modern Family is another one that doesn’t require a lot of attention/investment, and is ridiculously happy-go-lucky.

Laura – I’d check with your ENT about the ibuprofen. Ibuprofen can increase your risk of bleeding, and can cause stomach upset, so you should definitely play it safe with that. Did they give you any other pain meds?
Courtney C says:
November 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Laura B, I hope you’re turning the corner too, it would give me a glimmer of hope. I’m sick of laying here all day, falling in and out of sleep with this horrible headache. Looks like I’m gonna have to go all weekend without one of my pain medicines cause my insurance is fighting it. I’m so scared for what this weekend will be like it.

Melissa, I loved someone’s recent suggestion of mixing oatmeal with an ensure, cup of coffee and a banana, it’s really good!
Laura B says:
November 4, 2011 at 11:40 am

Day 7.
I’ve just eaten ham sandwiches on seeded bread, with chocolate roll for pudding. Washed down with a cup of tea and pint of water.
Minimal throat pain today and only occasional pain in right ear.
Fingers crossed I have turned a corner!!!! 😀
pamela says:
November 4, 2011 at 9:17 am

Day 15 I’m off to lab practice @ school I FINALLY go to my internship as phlebotomist on Mon. Only annoyance I have still is my uvula is still swollen & slight ear pain on the left side. I have been eating almost everything now tried chips yesterday with guacomole, & dinner of bacon wrapped turkey breast with mashed potatoes, but due to the swollen uvula its work to swallow.
Melissa says:
November 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Day 6: Oatmeal has been my best friend. I’ve been eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My brain is finally starting to get out of the fog that it had been in. The first few days I was so drugged that I had no idea what day it was. Ear pain has started, and ice packs help a lot. I wonder how long the scabs will take to come off. It just looks so gross in my mouth. This has been a miserable week, but I’m looking forward to not having to deal with tonsillitis all winter. And I’m very much enjoying being a bum and watching Netflix and Hulu. Hang in there, everyone!
Laura B says:
November 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Ha Courtney! I had rice tonight for the first time…. Gulp of water between mouthfuls because it proper got stuck!
It will be a week tomorrow since I had surgery. My throat gets better daily. Ears are still a pain, but have noticed its not quite so severe today!

What do the scabs look like if I cough them up? Typical brown scab colour? Mum keeps asking if I’ve got any of the grey crap out yet, but I can’t tell?!?
Courtney C says:
November 3, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Well as planned, I had my tonsils out Oct. 31st. Overall the pain hasn’t been nearly as bad as I thought it would be but it still hasn’t been a picnic. The first two days were manageable with the pain medicine but I am starting to have to take doses closer together. When my Dr told me what he was prescribing for pain I felt so relieved, I thought there was no way I was gonna be in too much pain with oxycontin 20mg every 12 hours and oxycodone 5mg 1-3 every four hours but even with medicine that strong I still have plenty of uncomfortable times. Has anyone else heard of being prescribed that strong of medicine for getting your tonsils taken out? I wish it didn’t make me itch so bad, I’m practically making myself bleed with all the scratching I’ve been doing.

I’ve basically been living off my recliner I got off of specifically for this surgery lol. It’s deff helped. My tongue wasn’t swollen at all but my uvula is so I’m glad I don’t have to lay all the way down with it like that. I tried looking into my mouth when I could open it more but everything just seemed dark and now I can’t open my mouth all that much. The Dr told my mom that I should start feeling better today and to let them know if I wasn’t. I didn’t bother calling because I’ve read so many others stories to know this is normal and that there’s not much else he could give me pain medicine wise.

Someone on here recently said when they swallow it kinda feels like it goes up their nose and that’s what it feels like for me, it sucks cause it makes me nervous. I so afraid to swallow too hard and rip off a scab or not be able to swallow and wind up choking on the water.

I wish I had some great advice to give to help ya’ll who are struggling but I’m just trying to get through each day like all of you. A couple foods that I haven’t seen people write about eating are rice and pierogies. They are really good and go down pretty easy. I worry about the rice getting stuck but I just drink water in between bites and it seems to take care of that problem.

Anyone have any good suggestions for shows or movies to watch on Netflix? Seems like all the new one you have to get through the mail. I can’t stay awake for most things anyway though. I have narcolepsy so I’m just not taking my stimulant medications so I can just sleep all day. I hope I’m doing better by day 8 or so, that’s when my daughter’s coming back. She’s almost 3 and visits with her dad 10 days a month so I scheduled things so I would have the most recovery time alone as possible. She’s more then a handful for me so I’m really thankful for this quiet, rest.
Lee says:
November 3, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Had my tonsils and adenoids out on Aug. 9 and had a pretty uneventful recovery with no bleeding. I’m with Laura B in that the Dr. told my wife I could start taking ibuprofen right after surgery. He is also the one who would not allow ibuprofen or aspirin for two weeks PRIOR to surgery. Wonder why the differences between docs. I think it helped me alot being able to rotate between it and my other pain pill which I never needed more than 1/2 a pill at one time. That being said, if YOUR doctor says don’t, I wouldn’t!
Pamela says:
November 3, 2011 at 10:06 am

Laura B. I agree with Adam my Dr. told me the same, and sometimes the hospitals don’t know any better, cuz they sent me home on a clear diet only; my husband called the Dr. cuz the papers he gave me said soft foods and sure enough the Dr. was right. Call your Dr. to double check on what you can and can NOT do, because I know my Dr. said ibuprofen would increase my risk of bleeding out. Also I did see somebody else talk about warm compress I was told to avoid hot showers for the same reason, so warm compress would most likely do the same (it opens up blood vessels which can lead to a bleed out). Just be careful, and stay hydrated
Jason says:
November 3, 2011 at 9:51 am

Another day, and another setback. Last night I went out to my brother’s house to eat dinner, and hang out. I went to the bathroom, and as I turned a corner I fainted, and hit my head on one of those gates used to keep dogs and babies out along the doorway. I was pretty weak for a few minutes, and my brother called 911. I ended up getting hauled into an ambulance, and was pumped with 3 liters of fluid through an IV. So one lesson learned is it’s not enough to drink a lot at one specific time. The idea of keeping a steady flow of hydration is much more important than just drinking a whole lot. I just found the whole thing really strange and uncomfortable. I hope I can stay out of the ER because it’s starting to get expensive, and I’m already unemployed.
Laura B says:
November 3, 2011 at 7:40 am

Adam – the hospital prescribed the ibuprofen and sent me home with it!
Tracy says:
November 3, 2011 at 1:28 am

Hi everyone! It’s so nice to find this current forum. I had my to tonsillectomy on October 31st so I am going into day 4.For me days 1 and 2 were very painful, but today ( day three) is the worst by far. Although I woke up for some of my t3′s which is why I am writing so late and notice that I am feeling quite alright. Not alright as in I can go eat or drink whatever I want but if I am not swallowing, my tongue is not sore and nothing really feels sore which definitely wasn’t the case during the day. I was in pain no matter what I did.

I looked at my throat for the first time today as I could actually open it enough. It is just really really white, my uvula too!

I am a bit scared about the white coming off eventually and how that will play out. Hopefully smooth sailing.

One of the best things that I have been having is vanilla boost really cold with bait of ice. It’s really soothing and tastes good too.

Gonna try to get some sleep. Likely will update tomorrow.

G’Night all.
adam says:
November 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm

my doctor warned me about a week of horrific pain too. WHAT AN UNDERSTATEMENT !!!
More like 10 days of horrific pain. im on day 20 now and still have mild pain. after day 11 it was all down hill. ive been eating pretty much anything i want now and i dont need meds at all but i still have a sore throat. ya might want to take that extra week off of work though. if ya read through all the posts for the last month youll see that most people took 21 – 28 days to get to 100%. i was told no heavy lifting or strenuous work for 3 weeks. sneezing and yawning hurt really bad until today. it seemed to be a little better today. my throat still seems to swell up if i eat too fast or gulp down large chunks of meat.
adam says:
November 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm

laura b, you are not supposed to take ibuprofin or aspirin at all for 3 weeks after. get some liquid vicodin from your doctor. no wonder you cried 3 times today. take it easy on the hard food. ice down your whole neck.

yogurt, ice cream, pudding, protien shakes or slim fast are good.
make thin oatmeal and throw it in the blender with a banana. cambells chicken noodle went down great because it seems to have the softest noodles. mac n cheese overcooked was good too. make sure you have a humidifyer going at all times. after about a week the cold/frozen stuff irritated my throat and then i started with warm drinks. the first week i used two frozen water bottles to ice my neck. the ear and jaw pain hit pretty hard after about 5 days. the first week i ate literally one noodle at a time.
Laura B says:
November 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Lorenzo! You are not alone!
I’m day 5… I cried 3 times today.
I’ve been eating toast, bread, chicken, potatoes etc since Day 2 ( my Mum’s a nurse and is a firm believer I need to keep the throat in action!)..
My boyfriend is staying away though because my breath is rancid 🙂
I’ve been gargling with salt water (not too much salt to start with) and a medicated mouthwash.
Ice lollies and ibuprofen are the two other things keeping the pain at bay.
Chin up, it hurts, it’s frustrating but soon we will feel better and never have tonsillitis again!!
🙂 x
lorenzo says:
November 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm

i am 47 years old and i had my tonsils removed October 26th at 1:30 p.m. Today is day 7. i still am unable to talk. only eating soups, very soft noodle soup, applesauce, scrambled eggs very scrambled..but it takes me forever like an hour to eat…im supposed to go back to work monday november 7th. but i dont think i will be able to…it still hurts to i ever gonna get thru this….i have bouts of crying and finding myself getting depressed…i want my old life back……can someone help me like what more can i eat….ive read everyones responses and they make me feel so mubh better…you feel as you are the only one going thru this….the only thing my surgeon said before surgery was get ready for 1 week of horrific pain…i laughed and believed him but i was looking for words that wud make me feel better but it probably wouldve made me cry…..well this has been my experience and by far the worst…well its up there when i had 4 wisdom teeth removed….

any help or suggestions would be VERY MUCH APPRECIATED…

thank you

Sleepless in Phoenix Arizona
Jason says:
November 2, 2011 at 11:42 am

Coming back in here to take back something I said. I’ve officially found a new limit for food. Despite the fact I can eat chips, and even moderately spicy food I’ve found a weakness. Jamaican beef patties. I don’t know if you guys are too familiar with jamaican food or any other type of carribean/island food but it’s a lot spicier, and it’s a very dry heat. Things like tabasco sauce, salsa, and stuff like that I had no problem with. This stuff however the burn seems to get into the remaining scabs, and it just stays there. I’ve already just chugged three glasses of milk to try and get it out, but it’s still lingering. I feel like I just took pepper spray to the throat. What a dumb mistake on my part.

Doesn’t give me a whole lot of confidence that yawning still hurts after 20 days for you Adam, but I hope that stops for you real soon.

For the TL;DR version of this post: Don’t eat things that have a dry spiciness to them until every last scab is gone. That means jerk chicken, indian food, and stuff like that.
adam says:
November 2, 2011 at 10:55 am

Day 20.
throat still hurts. sneezing and yawning especially.
no need for pain meds.
eating everything normally.
i just wish the pain would stop.
the jaw pain persists but ear pain is gone.
throat is just feeling raw and sensitive.
Jason says:
November 2, 2011 at 7:37 am

It’s officially been a full 2 weeks now since I’ve had the surgery, and almost everything is perfectly good again. Still get food stuck in my throat a little bit, and yawning still hurts. Otherwise I’m eating everything I want including chips, I’ve been getting out of the house, not even taking tylenol, and I’ve gotten to eat just about everything I want. The days before I was mostly eating what I wanted but it felt like I was poking at a bruise. I guess I was so hungry, and so accustomed to pain that I was able to just deal with it, and eat what I wanted anyhow.

As much as it probably sucks, I think the more you move those throat muscles without causing any serious damage, the quicker you’re going to get better. Chewing gum really helps a lot. I find chewing gum is the best when you first wake up right after you take your first dose of pain meds. Ten minutes of chewing it right after will clear the medicine taste right out, and then you’ll be able to gulp fluids like a boss. Getting plenty of protein when you can really helps too. If your doctor advises you against dairy, then I suggest almond milk, soy milk, or those odwalla protein drinks. If you like chocolate based stuff then a little cocoa powder and honey works great and feels really good on the throat with almond milk.
Andrea H says:
November 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Day 12

Yawning makes me feel like the bottom half of my throat is going to split open.
Everything tastes funny which makes eating even less appealing. Definitely less pain now and I have been off the narcotics since i went back to work Monday (yesterday). Ugh. Definitely could have used another week off work/school.

Dreaming of days of being able to eat food without pain (or pieces getting stuck-ugh) and things tasting normally (who would’ve thought salty things could taste SO HORRIBLE!!!).
Pamela says:
November 1, 2011 at 11:49 am

Day 12
I tried eating a turkey club sandwich yesterday, and couldn’t finish it had to take 1/3 of my pain med cuz the bread kept getting stuck. Excited I go to my follow up tomorrow, I feel well enough to get back to work and what not. I hope he gives me the go ahead I need out of this house.

On a different note to everyone on their first wk of recovery I have to say chewing gum really does help with the ear pain, it hurts like hell to do it, but the more you chew the better it gets; also ask your ENT if its ok to do the hydrogen peroxide gargle I know it has helped me a lot with the scabs.
Laura B says:
November 1, 2011 at 4:42 am

Day 4.

Feel like s**t.

That is all.
Peggy says:
October 31, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Hey Everybody! It’s been a year and a half since I had my tonsils out. Never have I experienced such pain and agony. Would I do it over again. Probably. I had mine out because they were so large after a bout of strop that they were blocking my airway and effecting my breathing even when i was awake. I was one of the 2 % that lose their sense of taste. Fortunalty I had a wonderful ENT and he worked with me for the whole time and even offered to send me to Dartmouth Hitchcock or Boston for more indepth evaluations and treatment. But he never even charged me anything and billed it all as post-op! I have finally gotten my sense of taste back–a couple of things taste different, but it’s all fine. The throat is still a little sensative in spots- somtimes if I swallow just right it cuases a coughing spasm– real sensative gag reflex. I thought the pain would never end, but it did. I thought I’d never taste anything again, but I do. So to all of you that are inthe midst of suffering, or about to go there . . . . it really does get better and it really does end. Read all the suggesstions and advice on here, gather all your supplies ahead of time and remember that it will get better. Good luck to all of you. hang in there and comehere often!
sandra says:
October 31, 2011 at 3:08 pm

5 weeks of recovery. Still feel a scab. Spicy hurts. Taste is still off. Feels like water goes up my nose when I swallow. Eating everything. Still get dry. Im 34 and had emerg surgery after 5 days. Fair warning to all, bleeding can happen to anyone. Regardless of following all rules. Occasional ear discomfort and itch in ear. Good luck to all. Happy to be done.
adam says:
October 31, 2011 at 11:35 am

day 18.
had a few coctails on saturday night at a party. needed a good time !!
i ate alot all day saturday as it was an all day and all nighter of a party.
throat really hurt yesterday (sun) it may have been the steak or the chips and guacamole.
my throat was better friday than it is now but this will be shortlived im sure.
the juicy grilled steak was worth it after 2 weeks of starving and suffering.
i didnt run my vaporizer saturday night either and woke up dry as can be. that hurt too.
all in all still recovering and getting better. i did not realize this would be 3+ weeks to get 100%.
yawning and sneezing suck. hurts like hell.
also, i get alot of food stuck in the craters where my tonsills once were.
Laura B says:
October 31, 2011 at 9:21 am

Thanks for the tips. I had 9 hours sleep last night and feel great for it. I have already eaten the toast – but it was prepared for me by a nurse with 35 years experience so I trust her judgement. It went down ok!

I think everyone’s experiences are going to differ slightly! 🙂
Jason says:
October 31, 2011 at 7:31 am

Day 13:

I’ve got minimal ear pain, no more swirls of blood, and so far I’ve been able to eat just about anything I want. I’m not quite daring enough to try eating potato chips, but I had a steak and eggs breakfast with homefries, and a bagel yesterday, and I ate all of it in one sitting. It still hurts to swallow, but nothing like it used to. Now it feels more like I’m poking at a bruise that’s going away and not at all like I’m drinking vials of burning acid. I’ve been going to the bathroom normally, and I’ve been totally off all painkillers for 3 days now without any withdrawl symptoms. I’ve also been able to hold conversations longer before my voice gets tired, and I’ve been able to go out. I even went to a halloween party last night. The loud music only bothered my ears a little bit once, and that was easily remedied by just stepping out for 15 minutes, then it didn’t bother me again. I still see some white scabs here and there in my throat in the really deep corners, but most of it is gone. I’m pretty sure it all got scraped off by food, or I hacked it up by coughing.

It really is like Natalie had said. You feel like total crap for a really long time, and then one day things just kinda start clicking together, and you go from being in your own private hell to feeling really good, and then better and better after that.

There are some things that still hurt. Yawning is still painful, coughing is a little bit more painful than normal, sneezing still hurts, and taking tiny sips instead of big gulps still makes the throat muscles kind of sore. At this point though, my throat feels way tougher than it did. Exercising your throat muscles by trying to keep up with eating (even if you’re just doing chicken noodle with really soft noodles), and pushing yourself to talk more and more every day really helps the pain go away a lot faster. I’m not a doctor or anything, but I also think that dramatically increasing my protein intake really helped too. Odwalla makes these great chocolate and vanilla super protein drinks that are like 25 grams of protein a bottle. They’re mostly soy, and the milk I think is just like a milk solid separation so it doesn’t give you that throat slime that dairy does. Whatever you decide to do, just remember your body needs protein to repair itself.

Laura B:

You don’t wanna eat toast on day 3. I know people on the internet say it’s a good idea, but it’s not. You’ll risk tearing the scab off early, and bleeding out. If it starts bleeding out really badly, you’ll have to get it closed up and that means starting back at square one. I’m sure you probably already ate the toast, but you probably really really don’t want to do that again. If you’re craving more carbohydrates, then make toast, but soak it in broth from a bowl of soup.

To all the people still in the “Life kinda sucks right now” phase:

Drink fluids, and when you think you’ve had enough, drink more. The average human body needs a tablespoon of water every 20 minutes in order to stay hydrated. You want to try to triple that, or do better. The more you have to pee, the better a job you’re doing
Don’t be afraid to take your pain meds. It doesn’t make you a drug addict, it’s there for pain management.
Keep and eat a healthy stock of canned soup. Condensed soup like Campbells Chicken Noodle is probably the most comfortable.
Try to get your protien in. You might want to try to get it with as little dairy as possible the first few days, otherwise you’ll get a throat slime that makes you want to cough up.
If your antibiotic starts giving you the runs, then tell your doctor right away. Ignoring symptoms too long will only dehydrate you, and land you in the hospital.
Remember to breathe regularly, and to be mindful of your breathing. This will help you avoid yawning which is incredibly painful even long after the scabs are gone.
Don’t get too happy about your weight loss. It’s going to come back. Especially when you eat whatever you’ve been thinking about the the past however many days you’ve been suffering. And lets face it, when you eat it, it’s worth the weight gain.
Sleep often, but do not sleep for too long. Anything over 5 hours of sleep and you’re going to get dried out fast. Keep a humidifier running while you sleep, and if necessary while you’re awake too.
Keep yourself in good spirits. When you’re so miserable that you just want to scream, remember that when you’re back to normal things are going to feel much better. Not only will you have a better outlook on life than you did before the surgery, your first real meal is going to taste better than ever. You’ll have a new found appreciation for so many things in life, which in it’s own right is worth the pain.
Laura B says:
October 31, 2011 at 4:42 am

Ooo, defo going to get some heat packs for my ears – they are my biggest bother at the moment!! I took my tablets right before bedtime last night and slept for 9 hours straight – I feel so much better today!
I’m on day 3 now…. And I’m going to try…. Some toast! Eek!
Natalie says:
October 30, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Hi everyone
I’m day 29 post op and if feel 100% back to normal. On day 2 I was sick from the medications and an empty stomach so I stopped taking my pain medication. No vomiting but an extreme amount of pain! Day 12 I had a big bleed and went to hospital. I wasn’t so much scared for the blood, more so that i would have to have the operation re-done and start over again. However they only do this is the wound does not clot itself and after 30 mins mine did! For me day 13 was the turning point. I had little to no pain, I was more in fear of bleeding again but by day 19 I began to realise that I wasnt going to bleed again and I felt pretty much normal.
Some tips:
1. DRINK. I know everyone stresses this but have at least 6L a day! Feel like you’re swimming in water!
2. Cold custard
3. Heat packs for the ear pain
4. Ice packs for the throat, jaw and tongue pain.
5. Chicken soup. A nice creamy one is amazing! Just don’t drink it too hot!
6. humidifyer (If you’re not from Australia where it is far too humid this will be your life saver!)
7. Finally rest up! I had 3 weeks of work and university and I needed everyday of it off!

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The first week will go extremely slow and you will feel like it will never end. However week two, you’ll hit that day when everything just feels perfect again and the remaining healing will fly by. Best of luck everyone! If I can do it (Biggest wimp in the world) with no pain meds I’m sure you can! Positivity!!! 🙂
pamela says:
October 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Day 10 & so happy to report I only took pain med 1st thing when I woke & rt before bed. I also was able to eat fried zucchini with a LOT of ranch dressing. I woke up this morning with far less pain than usual, also my Dr. said it was ok to gargle with hydrogen peroxide ( equal parts 1 capfull of that mixed with 1 capfull of water) I’ve done that for 3 days now after brushing in the morning & it does alleviate some pain due to dryness. So far I haven’t taken any pain med today I’m excited that I feel so much better today.
Melissa says:
October 30, 2011 at 11:07 am

I’m not on my second day of recovery. I keep forcing water down, even though it feels like I am swallowing knives. I’ve found that PediaSure Vanilla protein shakes taste really good. My meds keep me knocked out for a good part of the day, which is just as well, as I’m hurting when I’m awake. Already dreaming of the day when I can swallow without pain.
Laura B says:
October 30, 2011 at 4:37 am

I had mine taken out on Friday 28th, so I’m on day 2. I’m in England, not sure if anyone else is!
I am kinda able to cope with the sore throat, but my ears are making my life a misery! I think I got about an hours sleep last night if that 🙁
On a plus note, have lost 5lbs already. Every cloud and all that!
Margaret says:
October 29, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Day 16…my ear pain is still pretty bad. Not all of the scabs have fallen off yet. I thought they would be gone by now. My throat is still extremely sore and yawning is still out of the question. Damn, it hurts even with a half of a yawn! Noodles are my best friend; they go down really easy. Wish I had some relief from this ear pain.
Pamela says:
October 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Day 9

I hate getting these emotional downs, I did try the grilled cheese with soup, but I have noticed that I can tolerate 1/3 of the meal at a time. I guess this is due to the scabs falling off. Anxiously awaiting for Wed. I hope I can get the green light to go back to Zumba so I can burn off this frustration of STILL being on pain med. Which reminds me Andrea don’t feel bad about being on the Meds and I know it still hurts for me to talk for long periods of time; the way I explain the pain to my friends and family is have em think of tonsillitis, ear infection, strep throat, and wisdom tooth pain ALL in one all at the same time.
Andrea H says:
October 29, 2011 at 12:58 am

Hello all,

As many have reiterated this website has been such a wonderful source of information
And comfort.
I had my tonsils and adenoids removed on Friday October 21 and a finger tendon
Repair surgery 8 days earlier: great timing I know!!
I had mentally prepared myself for the pain and arranged care for my two year
Old daughter so I hoped all was in order. I have been existing on a diet of pudding
,yogurt, popsicles, and mashed potatoes and I am really ready to chow down
On a stuffed crust pizza from Pizza Hut at this point.
I think the hardest part for me has been peoples’ reactions to how ‘long’
it has taken me to recover: “wow you are still on codeine? Wow Why aren’t you talking yet?
adam says:
October 28, 2011 at 8:16 pm

sneazing and yawning hurt like hell
adam says:
October 28, 2011 at 8:15 pm

day 15.
still moderate pain when i pay attention to it.
ate 2 corn dogs, went down easy.
considerably better than 2 days ago.
havin withdrawls from the liquid vicodin. not severe but noticeable.
the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.
probably be able to eat regular food tommorrow.
the corndogs were fantastic !!
Jason says:
October 28, 2011 at 9:11 am

I’m on day 10 right now. I’m feeling much better than I did last friday, or at any time of the week. Last night I was able to drink some ginger ale with fizz. Apple juice no longer stings either. I was also able to move up from campbell’s chicken noodle to the progresso stuff. I also had an english muffin with it again. The trick is to let it go soft in the chicken broth. Overall I’ve noticed my throat has been able to handle much rougher stuff than it used to. I’ve begun to start hacking up those white scabs from the back of my throat. When you guys start doing that, don’t freak out about the little swirls of blood, that’s perfectly normal. You should however worry if it’s a consistent bleed.

Ear pain and throat pain feels a lot less worse than it did before. On the painkiller it just feels like little bits of throat scab hanging off my throat harmlessly. When I wake up in the morning without any painkiller in my system it just feels more like a highly medicated day 3.

That grilled venison sounds pretty damned good.

I had my wisdom teeth out in January, and the emotional impact of that is pretty similar to the tonsil removal. The mouth pain is totally different though. You can really go either way as far as continuing with another surgery, or giving it a few months to buffer out the space in between feeling miserable. It just depends what kind of person you are. Me personally, I’d probably wait a few months in between unless it was like an emergency situation.

To everyone suffering, just remember that this is a transient state, and it will pass. You will not be in pain forever, and at the end of this tunnel there’s a club sandwich, a mcrib, a slab of venison, or whatever you’re thinking about just waiting for you to eat. Remember to keep your fluids up, try to keep your attitudes positive, and don’t let any physical set backs put you down. After about day 10 or so the pain does get dramatically better every single day.

Also to anyone just coming in, if you have children and you’re planning on getting this surgery you might want to get somebody else to do the parenting for a while. The best way to go is bed rest with plenty of fluids, and keep a good collection of movies or something to entertain you. Also quiet time is golden, especially when your ears are in pain.
Erin says:
October 28, 2011 at 12:51 am

Sorry about the spelling mistakes..I’m on my iPod touch
Erin says:
October 28, 2011 at 12:26 am

Courtney- thanksbfir the reply anyways hahaha

on another note- I am on day 14 and i’m doing fabulously, because I am 16 years old my ENT said my healing could go either way (adult or child recovery) unfourtunately I had more of an adult recovery. When I got picked up from the hospital the day after surgery I was in tears from pain. And the pain lasted about 10 days, although it did decrease throughout those days.

But today is day 14 and i can eat every single food (except chips). I went out for sushi tonite and it slid down my throat with no problem. So for all you people in the first steps of recovery: yes there is a light at the end of the tunnel
adam says:
October 27, 2011 at 9:29 pm

1. humidifyer
2. chloraseptic
3. protien shakes/ slimfast
4. ice packs
5. ice cream, pudding, cambells chicken noodle
6. no matter how bad it hurts DRINK ALOT
Melissa says:
October 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I’m 27 years old and I’m going to have my tonsillectomy tomorrow morning (Oct 28.) I stumbled upon this website while looking for info on how recovery is for an adult. The pamphlet I got from the ENT was for children. I’m glad to know I’m not alone. And I had a McRib yesterday; I had to make sure I got that in before they were gone. My husband thinks I’m a weirdo for that. My mother-in-law is coming to help take care of my 3-year-old for the next few days. So I hope I’m ready. I got my wisdom teeth out last spring and that was a nightmare.
KC says:
October 27, 2011 at 11:41 am

Thanks everyone for the responses! My pre-op appointment to officially decide whether to go ahead with the tonsillectomy is Monday, and I’m feeling a bit less “back-outy” than I did before. I’m terrified of the pain, and especially about the possible risks after hearing all the extremely negative experiences posted here. Has anyone had a non-horrific pain experience?

LH – it was really reassuring to hear you say you had them out for stones only,and don’t regret it!

Has anyone else had their tonsils out just for tonsil stones (no tonsillitis, etc)?

I’ll be updating soon! 🙂
pamela says:
October 27, 2011 at 9:38 am

First off I want to say thank you Adam & Jason for all the info. Now I have a new issue that apparently is unrelated to surgery, my wisdom teeth have been hurting, but I went to a dentist 1wk before surgery & they said they came in fine did to 4 teeth being taken out when I was a kid. I really want to get off my pain med the sooner the better, but I keep getting more pain. I think just being unable to eat what I’m craving & being cooled up in this house is what REALLY depresses me; because before surgery I was working part time as a caregiver, & on my days off I’d be @ Zumba class. So this has brought me to a halt.
Courtney C says:
October 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Erin – I won’t be of much help but I feel bad no one has answered. I’m in the US and mine will be free but that’s because I’m on medicaid, the insurance for people with really low income and probably other situations too.

Five more days till my surgery….. I’m terrified!
adam says:
October 26, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I love the McRib !!
Shamrock shakes too !!
adam says:
October 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm

yawning hurts like hell !! i dont think i yawned at all for a week or more after the removal. but damn, it does hurt.
adam says:
October 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Day 13.
still have pain in ears, throat, jaw. no meds today though.
still eating soft stuff. had lo mein noodles last night. they were awesome !! also had a bowl of frosted flakes but had to wait about 10 min for them to get soggy. still good though.
definately gettin better every day. i havent had any bleeding at all and all my scabs are off but damn is my throat tender. and sore. it wont be long and i will be havin a big porterhouse grilled on my weber grill. alot of people on here seem to have been given antibiotics from the beginning but ive been told that infection is pretty rare and i was not given any. no infections either. im actually going bow hunting tomorrow. although the pain is still there im not too worried about gettin back to normal activity. some fresh venison will be a nice treat once i can eat again too. also grilled on the weber.
Pamela says:
October 26, 2011 at 10:19 am

this forum has been a godsend for me, it gives me so much info, and to know I am not the only one in excruciating pain makes me feel like I don’t have to put on a show for my family, and I can go ahead and lie in bed all day hopped up on pain meds, cuz it is completely normal to be in so much pain.
Jason says:
October 26, 2011 at 9:11 am

Back again guys! First thing I want to do is warn everybody about something that happened with me. The anti-biotics I was taking ended up giving me c diff which explains why I was getting the runs. That’s being treated now, and I’ve been doing better with it. If you find yourself in the same situation where you’re going to the bathroom more than you’re keeping fluids let your doctor know right away.

I’ve had a breakthrough as far as food goes. I got a few ensures here and there which have really helped me feel a lot stronger. As far as soups go, I’ve been eating Campbell’s chicken soup with the double noodle. The noodles are way softer than ramen, or something like that. I think it’s got a little more nutrition too although not that much more. Also another important breakthrough. If you’re on day six or so, and you really miss grilled cheese, as long as you’ve got soup to dunk it in, it’s still ok. Just let that bread really sop up the broth until it’s really soft, and take your time with it. I did that yesterday, and it was probably the most heavenly thing I’ve done all week. I’ve also been weening myself off the roxicet by using children’s tylenol throughout most of the day. The only time I tend to use the roxicet now is when I wake up, and when I go to bed. The pain seems to be at it’s worst when I wake up from sleeping.

Hydration is no longer a problem either. I’ve been drinking tons of gatorade, and vitamin water like a champ. I feel stronger, and more self reliant now too which is a big boost. The best thing anyone can do is to stay positive, and any progress you make remember to elate yourself over it. If you should end up taking a step back, remember that it’s not your fault, and that you’re going to beat it.


If you’ve got ear pain, and you find yourself getting frustrated/depressed the best thing to do is to put moist heat on your ears. You can do that by soaking some paper towels in a microwave, and heating it up. Also it’s perfectly ok to not want to see anyone, and to just want to sit in a quiet dark room where you can just kind of blank things out. Remember to keep up with your fluids no matter how much it hurts, because if you don’t that ear pain is going to get worse. Also it’s perfectly ok to take as much pain med as the bottle prescribes , and sometimes to cheat it a little by an hour or so. It’s perfectly normal to be depressed while you have these episodes of pain. I even had a panic attack one day because my ear pain was really bad, and my deaf mother whose been helping me out wouldn’t control her voice. I’ve also read about people being more depressed as they ween themselves off their pain medication too.


Huge thanks on the food tips. Not only made my stomach feel good, but made me feel better all around. Being able to eat a little closer to normal is a huge morale boost, and I need all the morale boost I can get.

Couldn’t have gone through this stuff as easy as I have without you guys so huge thanks. Also anyone else hoping they get better before the McRib goes away? Maybe I’m just a little disgusting but, I love those things.
Kellie says:
October 26, 2011 at 12:34 am

Hi all. I had my tonsils out on Friday, October 21st. So that makes today day 5. I am living on jello, pudding and cottage cheese.

I have to say this has been painful, but not nearly as bad as everyone had me prepared for. My biggest complaint is my ears. I have horrible earaches. Thank god for the Roxicet (liquid percocet). Its the only thing that relieves my pain. My throat isnt really bothering me any more than a bout of strep throat used to. I have been using chloraseptic and that helps a lot.

I had to have mine removed due to extremely enlarged tonsils, sleep apnea and chronic strep infections. My tonsils were so huge that they were harboring strep behind them.

I think the absolute worst part for me is the nasty pink liquid amoxicillan antibiotic I have to take. It tastes so gross. I have no idea how I used to take that as a kid, it gags me!

Margaret says:
October 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I am on day 12. I thought if I made it through the first week, things would get better, but day 6-11 were horrific because the scabs started to peel away. It was during these days that I had to sitch to tepid water; ice cold water on the peeling scabs was excruciating.Denise, yes, I have no taste buds left, or so it seems. Food has no appeal because of the pain. Along with the throat pain, i have experienced intense ear pain as well as extremely bad jaw pain. Even my molars were killing me. Finally on Day 12 I feel like i can manage the all the pain with Tylenol. The food that I found best is Ramen noodles. They have some substance (though no nutrition) and slide down with little to no effort of swallowing. It’s best if they are luke warm: too much heat on the throat could be dangerous and increase blood flow to the area. They have been a godsend. I tried SlimFast and Boost (nutrition drinks) but they were too thick and felt like they were ripping my throat out. In fact, anything with milk/dairy in it was hell on my throat. I spent the first 10 days crying, literally. I thought there was no end to the sleepless nights and unstappable pain. I could not see any light at the end of the tunnel. But closing in on day 13, I know its going to end. The scabs are still coming off, which shoots pain, but its less severe and lasts for a shorter period of time. I can actually envision the healing for the first time in 12 days. If you’re in the midst of your first week, hang in there. It won’t last forever even though it seems like it!
adam says:
October 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm

pam, im on day 12 and i still have pain. no more meds though. the extreme pain was steady for me for about 8 days. mornings are still the worst but its manageable. i still couldnt eat a steak or a porkchop if i tried. dont be afraid to demand more and stronger meds. theyll only give em if you ask. the chloraseptic was my best friend. i just had my follow up visit with my doc about an hour ago and he said everything looks perfect and that im on the road to recovery. no need for another follow up for me. so based on everything i read here i should be back to normal soon. thursday will be 2 weeks for me and most people on here seemed to be best by about 21 days but most say theyre pain was pretty much gone by day 14. its been rough but oh well it had to be done.
Pamela says:
October 25, 2011 at 9:45 am

@Adam thank you for your info, I’m gonna call the office as soon as they open and hopefully they can give me something stronger because I’m almost out of my pain med already; I can’t even sleep for more than 4 hrs at a time because I wake up coughing which makes pain then I get up to drink med and wait til it kicks in. From the looks of everyone’s comments I should be around my last day of extreme pain.
Denise Kabonic says:
October 24, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I’m on day 6 of tonsillectomy recovery. For me days 3, 4, and 5 were the worst. The pain and swelling was so intense (especially first thing in the morning), I thought I might pass out. I know I’ve lost a few pounds, and I feel dehydrated. I’m trying to force as much liquid down as I can, but it hurts so bad, even with the painkillers. I’m sipping on children’s Pedialite to get some added nutrients without the sugar. No solid foods appeal to me yet, so I’ve been living on popsicles. Sometimes I feel hungry, but it hurts too much to even eat soft foods. Thank goodness the painkillers and antibiotic are liquid! Also, when I do try to eat, food tastes funny, or hardly has a taste at all. I feel like I’ve lost my taste buds. Has anyone else experienced this? I also found that putting an ice pack on my neck, and having an air humidifier by my bed helps a bit.
adam says:
October 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm

pam, my doctor said chloraseptic spray was ok. its just a numbing agent. id call your dr. right away because it helped so much. i took pain meds right up until day 10. maybe have him switch you to something else. liquid vicodin worked good for me. my ear pain was bad too. my jawbone was sore also. sore neck too. im day 11 and still have pain but its not anywhere near as bad as days 3 – 9. i only take a very little pain med now and only when it starts hurting like after eating.
Pamela says:
October 24, 2011 at 11:51 am

@Adam I’m scared to use anything OTC without asking the DR. but have been using ice packs nonstop since I came hm (i should’ve brought hm the special pack the hospital used on me). this morning i put the ice packs directly on my ears it hurt so bad, and now feeling dizzy; im due for more pain meds, but don’t want to become so dependent on it because I had episodes of depression over the weekend 🙁 I feel better emotionally now though.
adam says:
October 24, 2011 at 11:41 am

i had ear pain too. it lasted almost a week but has subsided in the last few days. chloraseptic spray numbed my throat nicely and i used it every couple hours. ice packs on the throat helped the ear pain alittle.
Pamela says:
October 24, 2011 at 11:36 am

@Chris I’m on day 4 today and woke up feeling like my ears exploded, and the only pain med I got was tylenol with codeine every 4 hrs 🙁 I agree with you on the ice cream part it leaves a nasty sticky feeling in my mouth; I’ve been drinking the protein shakes when tolerable and water. The easiest food for me rt now is jello, but getting sick of it already.

@Carmen I once had tonsillitis 3 times in 1 yr and also wanted them out, but I had mine removed due to sleep apnea. In my opinion I’d rather put up with tonsillitis a few times a yr cuz this pain feels much worse.
adam says:
October 24, 2011 at 11:19 am

JASON, try some slim fast, theres a meal in every can and its got a good balance of protien and carbs plus vitamins and minerals you really need. goes down easy too. also there is some really high protien shakes at the gas station like muscle milk which is very high protien but minimal carbs. pudding, yogurt, cambells chicken noodle soup went down great for me. just take small mouthfulls. keep that humidifyer going at all times. i have two hot steam vaporizers going 24/7 one in my room and the other in the living room. i live in WI so the furnace has been running quite a bit and it really dries it out in here. im on day 11 and eating is still tough but manageable. you are in for 8 – 10 days of hell before you get any relief. i also used two frozen water bottles on my neck live a V on both sides from my ears to my adams apple and that helped alot. after about 4 or 5 days i couldnt do ice or popcicles either and now warm stuff helps alot. butter bread dunked in soup went down pretty easy all along. pumpkin pie with whip cream goes down smooth too. otherwise dont rush the eating or you will pay the price. if it hurts going down itll cause more pain and swelling after the fact.
carmen says:
October 24, 2011 at 4:19 am

I am lying in bed with a bad case of tonsillitis … I was really scared to have them out but now I’m seriously considering it. This is the worst its ever been … I’ve had it now for over two weeks. My biggest problem is that I’m not on medical aid and might have to wait up to a year to have them removed when first going on a med aid. I seriously cannot wait that long. Bring on the pain coz i cannot take being sick like this again.
Chris says:
October 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm

I had my op on Tuesday and for me the first 2 days were easy for me, I just stayed in bed with a lot of pain killers; No throwing up, no bleeding or coughing up stuff. But Days 4 and 5 have been hell. My painkillers; Paracetamol, Codine and Diclofenac, seem to of stopped working, I cant eat or drink and I just feel like curling up in a ball and dying. Having not really known what to expect and not really knowing how to prepare I got lots of bottles of water, lots of ice cream, chocolate and soup. But I found that rice and some sort or sauce, like Korma mixed in, slips down the throat perfectly. No Chocolate I have found, even though melting it in your mouth and swalloing it just rips your throat for some reason. Ice cream hasn`t really helped either if anything it made it worse. Has anyone else found that days 4 and 5 are the worst????
Pamela says:
October 23, 2011 at 11:17 am

I should start by saying I’m 29 mother of 5 ranging in ages of 6-13, and was not happy about the down time involved. I just had my tonsils removed Thurs. (10/20/11) had to stay in the hospital overnight for observation which was horrible. I had gone into the OR at 2PM, woke up in recovery at 3PM, and they couldn’t find me a rm til 5PM; meanwhile all this time I was not offered any water until 7:30PM. I was able to talk in recovery, the main thing that hurt at the time was the left underside of my tongue, which they gave me diaxol? in the IV. I was not offered or checked on til midnight for pain when they finally gave me Tylenol w/ codeine. I tried tuffing it out the rest of the night since I was told I could leave at 6AM, at 5AM I asked for more pain med, & was told shift change was in progress and would take a while. I waited til 7:15AM for my med, cuz my assigned pharmacy doesn’t open til 9AM.
Once I got home I just went straight to bed to try and sleep to no avail. My husband went to get my prescription filled, and I have been taking it as close to every 4 hrs as possible, but sometimes the pain is too much and I take it every 3 instead. Friday wasn’t too bad just stayed home resting all day. Yesterday however, my 13 y/o twins agreed to babysit for my husband’s friend 3 kids ages 2-11; OMG I knew the lil one was a screamer. Well Hubby saw my distress and took ALL the kids walking to the mall,and to eat. Even though I probably shouldn’t I wanted to go out. They got back around 5PM and went to his friend’s house for swimming; I was so upset I couldn’t go I actually was crying on and off til 8PM which made the pain worse. Which led me to the good ole internet to see if having depressive episodes after tonsillectomy is normal, which I still don’t queit know. Either way I’m gonna blame it on the pain med, because I know my family just wanted to give me peace and quiet.
Courtney says:
October 23, 2011 at 8:52 am

Jason… I ate cream of wheat about day 5. You might be able to eat some mashed potatoes as long as you make them thin enough. I used the instant kind and I even put stuff in the blinder to make it more soup like.

I had mine out last Feb. Oh, well, I had almost both out, my stupid doctor left half one in me and I have to get it taken out Nov 11 th because it grew it some crypts back and started giving me tonsil stones again.
Jason says:
October 23, 2011 at 7:11 am

Fair warning, some of the stuff in my experience is a little gross. If you get grossed out easy, just don’t read my post.

I had my surgery on Wednesday, and when I woke up I felt like I had some semi loose stuff stuck on my throat. Immediately I wanted some ice to see if I could kinda grind it off. The first drop of liquid to hit those fresh wounds was a real shock to the system. The nurse let me know that sensation in my throat was normal, and I shouldn’t try to edge it off. Looking back I don’t know what I was thinking, but I was probably a little bit dumb from the anesthesia/morphine/ and god knows what else. I had my deaf mother with me, and the hospital provided an interpreter for her. As it turned out the interpreter was more useful for me than for her. I didn’t have to speak a word to anybody. I was given Roxicet because I’m allergic to codiene, and some antibiotic that wasn’t penicillin based because I’m allergic to that too. The first day I mostly stuck to just room temperature water, and more water flavored with MiO. I tried some apple juice but that was too intense for my throat. Later that night I had tried popsicles, and as it turned out I wasn’t tolerating that either. In fact despite recommendations anything too cold didn’t feel therapeutic at all.

Second day was pretty awful I ended up sleeping for 10 hours, and woke up a groggy dry mess. My tongue had been so swollen that I had drooled all over myself. It had taken up so much space in my mouth that I was only able to do like an awkward sipping thing which was pretty painful. I had tried my best to keep fluids down, but I was dehydrating at a rapid rate. I decided it might be a good idea to try something relatively solid so I tried to keep down some jello. It took me about six hours to eat about 3/4 of the cup and then I had just given up out of frustration. After my 3rd dose of the day I had gotten very drowsy and sleepy. I ended up sleeping for too long.

The third day I woke up dazed, angry, and dehydrated. I told my mother how I was feeling, and she said I should go to the ER. Being in the mood I was in, I was stubborn and had said no, until my ear/nose/throat doctor had said the same thing. It’s a good thing I went because I didn’t know just how dehydrated I was. As it turned out, it wasn’t totally my fault that I wasn’t keeping fluids down well enough. The tongue swelling was worse than normal, and I was also developing a secondary infection that I probably had before the surgery. They pumped me with some morphine, a high dose of antibiotics through the IV, and two litres of saline solution. After I had gotten out of the ER I went to wal mart to go pick up some grape flavored gatorade (I purposefully avoided lemon/lime and orange) a humidifier, some trident chewing gum, and one of those measuring spoons because I got sick of spilling medicine all over myself. If you have any sort of claustrophobia I’ll warn you ahead of time that morphine makes it worse. Especially when you’re kind of stumbling around. Then I got home, and tried to keep the fluids going. My tongue had also gone down significantly in size, so that helped me a lot as far as drinking.

The fourth day wasn’t too bad. I managed to drink about four and a half 20 oz bottles of gatorade which was way more than I was able to do before. Still probably not as much as I should have been doing. Then I started developing a case of diarrhea. It was infrequent enough to where I didn’t think I’d be losing fluids at an awfully rapid rate, but it was certainly a concern. On the plus side I felt like I had way more energy than before, I felt more positive, and not nearly as tired as I felt previously. I had also finally devised a system of comfort that works for that extra crappy feeling that happens when you just wake up. I’ll explain that later.

Now I’m on day five. Coughing up some grey and yellow looking crap in little bits, but there’s no bleeding so I’m not too concerned about it. Still got a case of the runs but it seems to be slowing down which is good. And I’m on my third bottle of gatorade and it’s still only 8:00 in the morning. I decided to be a little bit bold and try something a little more solid than fluid. Remembering my scalding experience with jello, I decided to try pudding this time. I expected a lot of pain, but I was pleasantly surprised how easily it went down. In fact it almost seemed as if the pudding was kind of lubricating the throat muscles to allow for a much easier swallow than even the liquids. There was no sting at all, and almost no strain on the throat muscles. It was so pleasant I had a second cup an hour after the first. Now at this point I’m trying to think of what I should eat. I’d like to find something that will bind my stomach to hopefully slow down my diarrhea, and to be honest I’ve been fantasizing about food for quite a while now. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to eat, but I know if it’s too painful I’m not going to force myself into it. I’m kind of thinking overcooked mac and cheese might be good, but I’m kind of worried about the dairy coating up my throat with phlegm and crap. I was also thinking maybe rice might work but I also dread the idea of it getting caught up in the scabs. When I still had tonsils I used to always get rice stuck in the tonsil crypts, and that was a nightmare in itself. So maybe I’m just basing it too much on that. Anyhow it’s still a work in progress as far as my healing goes, but I’m much better than I had been before.

Here’s some tips I’ve figured out so far from my own personal experience.

1) Listen to your body. If something hurts too much it’s probably too acidic, you probably need more pain med, or something is wrong
2) Don’t take little sips, take large gulps. The little sips hurt a lot more than the larger gulps. Don’t gulp too fast otherwise you’ll hurt your ears.
3) when you wake up the best thing to do is to take your pain meds first, then chew some gum for 10-15 minutes. The gum will clear that crappy medicine taste out of your mouth, and it’ll loosen/moisten your throat up. Then you can drink a lot easier than you normally would and recover from that dehydrating slumber.
4) Be patient. It’s very easy to lose your temper, or to become frustrated with yourself and others. Your body is already under a lot of stress, and letting yourself become angry will only add to the physical stress.
5) Stay positive, and keep a good sense of humor about the situation. It’s not going to be forever.
6) Keep a reward for yourself in mind at the end of it. It can be the simplest thing. For me I can’t wait to be able to eat a cheeseburger, and then when I can really get crispy I can’t wait to get some chicken fried steak with country gravy, biscuits, hash brown casserole, mac and cheese, and all kinds of other artery clogging good fun all on one plate.

Anyhow, I could use some suggestions. What do you think I can eat on a kind of rough day 5 that would be satisfying, binding to the stomach, and not too painful?

I’ll probably come back in a couple of days to update my progress but I’ll keep reading because I have nothing better to do with my time.
Valerie says:
October 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm

That’s awesome, Natalie! It’s always good to hear that there is hope and we will make it to the other side! lol

After an ER visit and a prescription for percoset I finally feel half way human and am swallowing for the first time in 3 days! The ER staff said my surgeon is an idiot with pain management and known to be thus, but this level I can handle!

So glad this won’t last forever and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now! 🙂
Natalie says:
October 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Hey guys, this will probably be my last check in
Day 20 for me today and I feel about 95% back to normal
I’m eating normal foods and my throat feels so spacious and clean! I stopped taking my pain medication on day 9 and only had one panadol with codeine once for ear pain. Looking back on it, it was absolute hell with the vomiting the bleeding ect. But it was just two weeks of my life and i’ll never ever have to do it again! Saw my specialist yesterday and he said all the scabs are gone, my throat isn’t 100% healed but it will over time. Ice packs and ice chips will be your best friend. Aim to drink 6L of water a day. Heat packs for the ear pain works best. Always gargle with the stuff the doctor gave you. Mine gave me hydrogen peroxide, gross but it helps with fighting infection! I lived off cold custard. It didn’t create mucous in my throat either! I had toast the first 3 days to make the scabs thinner and remove any food scraps. And try and keep positive.
Good luck everyone! I wish you the best with this horrible recovery! 🙂
mel says:
October 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

oops-sorry for posting that 2xs!
mel says:
October 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm

KC- hi, I’m new to this site. I had been researching getting my tonsils out for quite some time. i was really pretty scared about getting the out after reading all of the horror stories online! I have tonsil stone too and and a 34 year old woman and just came to the point where I was sick of worrying about it all the time! I had the surgery yesterday at 4pm. I have to say at least for NOW it’s really not too terrible. At all. My dr. said he used some relatively new, innovative “glue” that coats the wound and is supposed to simulate almost a week of healing. i had never even heard of that before, but apparently it works! I also asked in addition to the codine liquid to get some percocet pills. So maybe that is also why the pain is relatively low and very managable. I never really had bad sore throats at all going up so I suppose this is the worst one but FAR less worse than what i anticipated after reading all of the stories on line. just wanted to share this…because it really does depend on the person I think. It’s not going to be so terrible for everyone. I think the benefits long term will be worth it. I also have my humidifier going, eating ice chips and drinking water and coconut water (think it has like 15x the electrolyes that gatorade does and is all natural) non stop!! That’s helping too. My Dr also said I would be find to return to work by Wed (also a surprise) so looking forward to a quick recovery. I hope 🙂
msr says:
October 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm

KC- hi, I’m new to this site. I had been researching getting my tonsils out for quite some time. i was really pretty scared about getting the out after reading all of the horror stories online! I have tonsil stone too and and a 34 year old woman and just came to the point where I was sick of worrying about it all the time! I had the surgery yesterday at 4pm. I have to say at least for NOW it’s really not too terrible. At all. My dr. said he used some relatively new, innovative “glue” that coats the wound and is supposed to simulate almost a week of healing. i had never even heard of that before, but apparently it works! I also asked in addition to the codine liquid to get some percocet pills. So maybe that is also why the pain is relatively low and very managable. I never really had bad sore throats at all going up so I suppose this is the worst one but FAR less worse than what i anticipated after reading all of the stories on line. just wanted to share this…because it really does depend on the person I think. It’s not going to be so terrible for everyone. I think the benefits long term will be worth it. I also have my humidifier going, eating ice chips and drinking water and coconut water (think it has like 15x the electrolyes that gatorade does and is all natural) non stop!! That’s helping too. My Dr also said I would be find to return to work by Wed (also a surprise) so looking forward to a quick recovery. I hope 🙂
LH says:
October 21, 2011 at 10:16 am

KC, I had mine out strictly for tonsil stones. Like you I was also reconsidering but I’m sooo glad I went through with it. It has had such a positive impact on my life and I feel 100% better about my self. My ENT made sure that I knew all the risks and let me decide for myself. Like I said, I would do it again if I had to. I wouldn’t wish 15 years of gross breath and constant bad after taste upon anyone. It’s obviously up to you and if you think the improvement will be worth it. For me the choice was easy.
adam says:
October 21, 2011 at 9:14 am

day 9. woke up in pain again today but after a little chloraseptic and warm coffee it does feel better. i can feel the huge scabs and cant wait til they fall off. i havent had a drop of blood yet but it sounds like i will when the scabs come off. cant wait. MARGARET, how are you doing today ? we had ours out the same day so i am very curious as to how your recovery is going. we can be tonsil bff’s for a few days. lol. the constant liquid vicodin has to be wreaking havoc on my body but ive needed it every 4 hours. i am trying to spread out the doses a little.
Valerie says:
October 21, 2011 at 8:57 am

I had my tonsils out this past Wednesday morning and I have been in hell ever since. They were bad enough to come out but when the surgeon got in there, he said it was an ‘iceberg effect’ and they were actually bigger, deeper and nastier than he anticipated and had to use twice the stitches and said it was going to take longer to recover and more painfully than it should.

He’s also not a believer in many drugs, so the low dose of vicodin was only making me feel sick, even when taken with baby food or applesauce, so it wasn’t on an empty stomach. It finally made me throw up last night, which was horrible. This experience has been one that I would never do again if given the choice. I’d gladly take the constant tonsillitis and strep over this, at this point. 🙁
sandra says:
October 21, 2011 at 8:18 am

I wouldnt do it. I had a bleeder and it was bad and became serious fast. Thankfully, I live near an ER. My ent will not remove for stones. Im healing. Its been theee weeks, but the stress of it all made me sick.
Courtney says:
October 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Erin…I had one side that hurt like crazy and then one side that didn’t really bother me.

I didn’t really see the problem with that until awhile later when I realized that my bone head surgeon left part of my tonsil in my on the side that never hurt during recovery. It has been just shy of 8 months since my surgery, and on November 11th, I get to do it again…to take out what he left. Of course, this time, a different doctor will be doing the surgery for me.
Natalie says:
October 20, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Margaret you will definitely know when you’re bleeding. The red tinge could be from a tiny bleed but they are nothing to worry about. My bleed woke me up at midnight as my throat had filled with blood. I stood over the sink and it poured out.
be careful with hot things though. My ENT thinks it was the hot food I had that started the bleed. As a paramedic you think I would have done the logic. Heat promotes healing by swelling the site and increases blood flow. Something you do not want to do after a tonsillectomy considering the blood vessels are so close to the surface of the wound.
Adam the doctors advised me two weeks before strenuous activity but with my experience It was too soon. I’d say 3 weeks tops, especially if you plan on going in higher altitudes. At two weeks light activity should be fine.
KC, I never had tonsillitis either, just a large painless tonsil. When they removed it they found that the back of it was extremely infected and I was diagnosed with chronic tonsillitis. Crazy! My recovery was hell to be honest and felt so slow, but when I look back on it now it seems like it did go fast. Although I’m still in a tiny but of pain (I’m on day 19) it does seem worth it. Don’t reconsider just yet. It’s just two weeks of your life for a lifetime of benefits. 🙂 You may need to keep telling yourself that through the recovery though!
Erin, I had that sharp pain too on just my right side and no pain in my left side. It actually feels like pulling a scab off your leg very slowly, bit by bit. It’s the scabs coming off. When that pain subsided from my right side, the left side went through it. Now on day 19 the majority of my scabs are gone and I’m almost pain free 🙂
Good luck everyone!
adam says:
October 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm

KC, it does suck. consult with your doctor, if he thinks they should come out, get em out. ask about future problems, breathing, sleeping, etc. mine were swelled up huge and had bumps on the back and i have sleep apnia so getting mine out was a no brainer. i needed them out for two completely different reasons.
Erin says:
October 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm

its been a week since i had the surgery and day 5 was like a dream for me, i could almost eat anything. now when i eat the left side of my throat gets a sharp pain and when i have a sip of water the pain subsides. has this happened to anyone?
and also i feel like the right side of my throat is almost healed or somethings, cuz thers barely any pain when i swallow food on that side.

has anyone else had one side hurt more than the other?
KC says:
October 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

I’m scheduled to have a tonsillectomy in a few weeks, for tonsil stones. I’m 29. Unlike a lot of you however, I’m not constantly sick (although I am prone to sore throats), and don’t get recurrent tonsillitis. After reading all the horror stories (yikes!), I’m reconsidering having them taken out, since the problems I have with mine aren’t as serious. Constant cat-breath isn’t great, but maybe I should just live with it. What do you think? I’d love some opinions from those going through the surgery, and those who have had it done?

Thanks 🙂
Margaret says:
October 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Day 7 for me, as well, Adam. Yes, this is pure hell. I might try your breakfast concoction. It actually sounds pretty good. I read on here that Ramen noodles were easy, so I did try those and they slid down with little effort. Not very nutritious, but at least its something solid. I was wondering about exercise as well….i heard 2 weeks.
adam says:
October 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

the doctor and his staff warned me that this would be the most painful thing ever. i did believe them but it was even worse than i imagined. i havent had any bleeding that i can think of and hopefully i wont. does anybody know how long after this i should wait to do anything physical like strenuous work or hiking ?
adam says:
October 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm

margaret, today is day 7 for me. exactly one week ago i got em taken out. try slimfast, it is creamy and goes down pretty easy. the protien and carbs and vitamins may help the healing. the last few days have been hell for me but i do feel a little better today. mornings have been the worst pain of the day and today it wasnt quite so bad. i havent been able to eat popcicles or anything that cold for a couple days. try switching to warm liquids like broth etc. today i made oatmeal and then put it in the blender with a banana, a slim fast, and a cup of hot coffee. tasted good. i found that if i drink continuesly without stopping its a little easier too. also i hope you have a humidifyer or hot steam vaporizer. chloraseptic spray numbs everything nicely too.
Margaret says:
October 20, 2011 at 7:43 am

Thank you for that good advice and info, natalie. I needed to hear that. i have a red tinge on my tongue this morning…I assume this is the first sign of the scabs moving. I guess I will know if the bleeding is bad, right? I am not panicking yet. I hope this is a good sign, though the pain remains horrible.
Natalie says:
October 19, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Day 6 was bad for me too! But then I felt significantly better on day 7. It’s day 18 for me and I’m still in a little bit of pain when I swallow. I have some scabs coming off in the very corners of my throat so that is what causes the pain. The rest of my scabs are all gone, my throat is just covered in scar tissue so it’s very colourful. 🙂
Day 6 – 10 (or 12 as it was for me) is when the scabs start coming off, that’s why it hurts so much.

Try not to worry Margaret (wish I could have taken my own advice) as there is only a 3-4% chance of bleeding. I unfortunately was one of those and was taken to hospital, but I didn’t need to have it re-cauterised which was the biggest relief. I guess they only re-cauterise it in extreme circumstances.
The weakness will fade as soon as your diet becomes more normal. At day 6 everyone is eating liquid foods or food with little to no nutrition so it is expected. Just rest up, no chores and drink plenty of water.

At day 6 I too felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel at the whole process is so slow. But at day 18 I feel almost normal. Sick of going to the toilet every 10 minutes cause of all this water though! Day 10 is supposed to be the turning point for most people so just take it easy, and keep yourself occupied with tv, a book or a movie.

Good luck with everything! Seeing my ENT tomorrow for a progress check.
LH says:
October 19, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I am now exactly one month post op and this will probably be my last post. I just had to share my success story. For the first time in 15 years I don’t have a bad taste in the back of my throat, I actually forgot what that is like! No more spending 20 minutes everyday trying to dig out tonsil stones and brushing my teeth constantly. I had a very easy recovery. I started getting better and better by the 4th day. I am 100% healed now and wish I would have done this years ago. If you are worried about the surgery I would recommend asking for something to help calm you down once you get to the hospital (Worked wonders for me) I would do the surgery again tomorrow morning if I had to, no question. Good riddance tonsils!
Margaret says:
October 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Day 6 for me and probably the worst day so far. I can’t eat or swallow anything except popsicles and water. I am terrified about the scabs falling off and causing bleeding. I feel like I am getting worse, not better. I can barely swallow my own saliva. I am dizzy from pain meds and lack of any nutrition. Please tell me there is light at the end of this tunnel!
Courtney says:
October 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Sandra…send me contact info! I did let the former know and guess what he said? Quit looking at it it’s all in your head. Then he told me to see a counselor! What a horses ass!

So please do send me contact info. It is so hard trying to teach like this.
Courtney says:
October 19, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Hey fellow Nashvillian! LoL Amanda…I am glad you liked your doctor at St Thomas. They are so nice there. My husband had a heart stent put in a few years ago there and we really like that place. My doctor goes to St Thomas too, but mostly he is at Baptist or Williamson Medical Center. I saw a doctor at the Bill Wilkerson Clinic at Vanderbilt, but he was young and I just did not feel comfortable with him. My doctor at Baptist is a former military surgeon, so I for sire think he knows what he is doing. LOL He is like the John Wayne of ENTs.

We picked Nov 11th for my do-over. 🙁

But, like I said, this doc has to be better than my first surgeon. He was too cocky to do the job right.
adam says:
October 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm

chloraseptic spray is a god send too.
sandra says:
October 19, 2011 at 11:56 am

Adam,, do not take advil. If you were to bleed it could be a problem. Dont mesa with fire.
adam says:
October 19, 2011 at 11:16 am

i cant wait to eat a big ol greasy cheesburger and fries. i needed to lose weight and i think i have lost a bunch. eating one macaroni noodle at a time sucks. my stomach has to be shrinking so when i can eat again i just have to stick with the smaller portions which should be no problem. best diet there is
adam says:
October 19, 2011 at 11:12 am

i had mine out on thursday the 13th, today is the 19th. everytime i feel a little bit less pain i get a reminder. mornings are the worst by far. i did buy a hot steam vaporizer which seems to help alot as long as it doesnt run out of water. i wake up at least once during the night for some liquid vicodin and to refill the vaporizer. without this vaporizer id really be in bad shape. i live in wisconsin and its been really cold outside so my furnace has been running and drying out the air. the doctors told me not to take any advil or aspirin since the liquid they gave me has aspirin in it but ill tell ya this, advil inbetween doses helps a hell of alot. i just take one advil twice a day and it cuts the swelling nicely. i cant believe how bad this whole thing has been. the doctors warned me that it would be bad and i expected it to be bad but bot this fricken bad. the pain is nuts. on a brighter note though my snoring has been reduced by about 90%. my tonsils were not takin out for sleep apnia but it was discussed that there was about a 70% chance that it would be cured by this procedure too. thirteen weeks after the tonsilectomy i will be havin a sleep study to confirm. so i did have two separate reasons for getting the tonsils out but this pain is just so damn bad. probably worth it in the long run though.
Amanda says:
October 19, 2011 at 10:00 am

I am in Nashville too! I had mine done at St. Thomas. My doctor really seemed to know what he was doing so hopefully this will be the end of my tonsil ordeal.

Day 10- I am hoping this will be the great turnaround day that everyone has seemed to experience. My throat pain is that of a medium sore throat. My biggest issue is still eating and nausea. They gave me Avalox to contend with the bronchitis and it makes me puke. The weight loss is nice, haha, but I am worried about repairing my body when I am no longer in pain.
Erin says:
October 19, 2011 at 12:53 am

Wow… I can’t imagine going through this twice. I hope all goes well and it’s not as painful the second time.

I was also curious about the cost of a tonsillectomy in the U.S as I am from Canada and we have free healthcare.
It’s fine if no one wants to answer but I just thought I would ask out of curiosity.
Natalie says:
October 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I can’t believe you’ve got to do it again, and I can’t believe they still do it the old fashioned way?!
A lot of people who had it done that way have had problems.
I had mine cauterised, but I’ve heard that laser is a much quicker recovery with less chance of bleeding.
Good luck this time!
sandra says:
October 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Did you let your last ent know what happened? I am friends with one of Chicagos finest malpractice attys if u need to chat with someone. I had a similar situattion buy because there was no perm damage, there was no case.
Courtney says:
October 18, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Sorry for the misspellings! This iPad is a little hard to type on! Ugh!
Courtney says:
October 18, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Sandra…I am seeing a new doctor at Baptist in Nashville (not the one that botched my surgery the first time), and he says in about a week I will be ok. Hard to believe I know! He aid that I will heal faster due to the area he us removing is quite small. I asked would I be cured from tonsil stones after he does it, and he looked at me with a cocky grin and said definitely. I think this guy knows what he is doing whereas the first one I saw was an idiot. I am lucky that I only gave tissue on one side, not both! Geesh what an ordeal!
sandra says:
October 18, 2011 at 7:59 pm

This is crazy. I could never go through this again. Im so sorry you have to do this. Will the recovery be any easier?
Courtney says:
October 18, 2011 at 7:11 pm

My second tonsillectomy is set for Nov 11th. Second because I have a remnant tonsil in me that is catching debris md creating tonsil stones. I am in a lot of pain from it and so my doctor decided it’s time to get this out of me and stop enduring it. I know he is right, but I really dread this being done to me. Again.

This time, it will be performed using a laser under general anesthesia. The first time, it was done the old fashioned way which obviously didn’t work too well.
Natalie says:
October 18, 2011 at 7:23 am

Hey Erin, I’m not too sure if the worst is over for you with you being young, for me day 6 was the worst. Very very painful! Either way, a tonsillectomy will probably be the most painful thing that will happen to you so of course, I wish you the best of luck for a speedy recovery!

Holly I was told over 3 tablespoons was too much. When I bled on day 13, I bled about 5 times, the 5th time being a lot (Probably about 1 pint) not including what I swallowed. However it’s not so much about the amount, more if it doesn’t stop. I bled for about 15 minutes before going to the ER however i stopped when I got there. About 30 minutes into the bleed. Because it stopped I didn’t need to get it re cauterised and despite losing a lot of blood I didn’t need a transfusion. They only re-cauterise it if the bleed doesnt stop. Gargling with ice water stops the bleed. I also heard salt water works too but it didn’t for me. The scabs coming off usually takes about 3 days, but the bleeding usually occurs from a large scab coming off, or a scab coming off prematurely so hopefully you won’t bleed again. As everyone says keep very hydrated, it helps when the scabs come off. Good luck with everything!

Day 16 for me and just about to head off to sleep. I felt a lot better today. Finally the pain is hardly present and I haven’t bled since my big bleed on day 13. Hoping that I am over the very worst. Best of luck everyone. Goodnight


  1. i had my tonsils, adenoids and uvula trimmed on March 22. 2017. I am a 52 year old male. For years doctors have told me I have big tonsils, they ask if I want them taken out? I ask do they have to come out? For years there response has been “no”. Well, I have sleep apnea and snore, very bad. So I finally got a doctor that said that my large tonsils may be the reason for my snoring and sleep apnea. Beings that the large tonsils have restricted my airway.
    Procedure day comes, Doc says that I may have been one of the most surgeries she has had to perform, due to my small airway. Spend 2 nights in the hospital, get sent home on a Saturday, late afternoon. It hurts to swallow, neck is sore. I do fine at home, just dealing with pain. Get a drink around 230 Sunday morning and start bleeding. Head to the ER, they don’t see any more bleeding, send home with instructions to see my doctor on Monday. Doctor does not see any issues. Wednesday morning, 230ish in the AM, Start bleeding again, it stops after about 5 or 10 minutes, I do not go to the ER. Friday, 9ish in the morning, start bleeding again. I call the Doctor, as I am bleeding, they recommend that I get to their office asap, Doctor notices a big clot, does not feel comfortable doing the procedure at the office, so they readmit me. Surgery performed that afternoon. Doctor removes clot and notices a blood vessel leaking, he does his thing and stops the bleeding. I am released the next day. We are going on a month since the surgery. Taste buds are shot and I have a feeling of something in the back of my throat. Doctor says be patient and I am going for a follow up in a month or two. Never again, If i could do it all over, I would have had them removed when I was young.

  2. DAY 14

    I was feeling better a few days ago but I’ve regressed. My throat feels like it’s on fire and hot, cold or even water don’t seem to help. I’m hoping this is temporary but it’s been going for about the last 20 hours or so and making me miserable. Feels like a scrape that’s opened back up inside my throat. Oh well, will wait and see.

  3. Is this still an active forum? I am 33 and have a tonsilloadenoidectomy scheduled in 3weeks. I am trying not to be completely flipped out, while also trying to balance expectations with reality. I have 4 kids (7 and under), and my littlest is still nursing, so my demands are great physically, including throughout the night. We also homeschool, so my children are around the house a lot of the day, and I’m not sure how that will impact recovery. I have a ton of family near by, and my husband obviously, but we haven’t set up anything specific, as far as help (and children staying away nights is not an option for several reasons). I have gone back and forth trying to figure out if this is really the best option, and it has to be. I have had a non-stop throat pain and referred ear-pain for more than 4months, sometimes the pain bringing me to tears. My tonsils are always swollen, though the degree varies. I have also had soft palette pain, which led to the discovery that I still have adenoids, which will also be removed. I am quite clear that this will be painful, but I’m thinking that 2 weeks of pain will be better than months of non-stop pain. Any suggestions, especially for help with kids, would be appreciated.

  4. The pain was so bad on night 3 that I crawled to the bottom of the bed and was sleeping with my dog when I woke up. Sitting straight up on pillows for this past week is so uncomfortable. Will be happy to get off of these pain meds, sleep like a normal person and get a pizza.

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