Hello everyone --
My name is Alexandra and I had my tonsils removed May 29 2013. I have suffered with Strep A & B at least three times a year since I was about 9 and in February of this year I had a horrible fever and body aches that sent me to the emergency room I was tested for everything but they could find no definitive diagnosis so they recommended that I visit my primary care manager who referred me to an ENT doctor who recommended I remove my tonsils. I have always wanted my tonsils removed because of how many problems they have caused me but I have military medical insurance and their conclusion was that it was cheaper to give me antibiotics every time I got sick then to remove them so that is what they did. I finally was able to get the recommendation because I am seeing civilian doctors because there is no MTF nearby. I am starting day 9 (if you count op day as day 1) so I will just start with the surgery and move on day by day.
Day 1 - May 29th - I was scheduled to arrive at the surgery center at 7:30 in the morning to prep for a 9:00 AM surgery slot. When I arrived they checked my vitals and changed me into a gown and once they set up my IV and started giving me vitamins they let my boyfriend/nurse come back and hang out with me. The surgery nurse, my anesthetist, and my surgeon came to talk to me about whether or not I had consumed food or drink in the last 8 hours and if I had smoked (I was a smoker) I said no and they asked me how I was doing and I told them that I was very nervous and I let them know that I had dental work and we removed my body piercings for the surgery. I was getting the electrocautery method so I had to take out my tongue ring or else the electricity would travel through it and burn my tongue. After this happened they gave me drugs to calm me down and wheeled me to the OR when I got there I remember getting off of one bed and getting in the other and then I was out. I woke up in the OR after the surgery and my jaw was dislocated. I have TMJ so this is not an abnormal occurrence for me but I had great difficulty putting it back in myself because the drugs disoriented me so I needed the surgeon's help. Then I went to the recovery room where they gave me 15 ml of Lortab and I slept for 2 hours before I went home. I was at the surgery center from 7:00 AM until 1:00 PM. Once I left I was still sleepy and disoriented but not in any real pain just achy in the throat and neck. I managed to eat soup and pudding the first day with a general pain level of 2/10.
Day 2 - May 30th - The pain was a little worse this day but still didn't feel bad. I just laid on my couch and watched tv and movies and hung out with my boyfriend and my mom. I stayed on top of my pain meds on their schedule even though I didn't feel much pain because I was told the pain would get bad the 2nd or3rd day so I should take it instead of neglecting to and then chasing the pain later. My pain med schedule was Clindamycin 10 ml at 9AM, 3PM, and 9PM, Lortab 15 ml at 3:30 AM, 7:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM, and 11:30 PM, and Ondansetron 1 sublingual tab at 9 AM and 9 PM. I experienced some bleeding on this day because I starting choking and I coughed it up but the bleeding stopped within a couple of minutes. My general pain level was 4/10.
Day 3 - May 31st - The pain was worse on this day about a 7/10. I had my follow up with the surgeon today and he said I was healing up nicely and I would be sleeping through the night and feeling great by Monday (Day 6). This day my ears started to ache and became very sensitive to sound. It felt like an immense amount of pressure which I found comes from the fact that their is a common nerve between the tonsils and the ears. I took all my medication on schedule and slept in short shifts in order to drink lots of Gatorade. I was still eating and I managed to include instant mash potatoes to my diet. This was the day my scabs started to form. I asked the surgeon if there was anything else I could do to make the pain more manageable and he said I could add motrin so I started taking about 10 ml of Children's Motrin every four hours or so.
Day 4 - June 1st - This was the first day I cried because of the pain. They had told me I was going to start feeling better today and I actually felt worse. My pain level was a 9/10 today and I realized that even though I am only allowed to take the Lortab every 4 hours it only works for 2.5-3 hours so staggering the Motrin helps but doesn't make the pain go away. I am still sleeping in shifts and I have now moved to sleeping on the couch instead of in my bed because it allows me to sit up while I sleep and doesn't let me sleep to long and forget to drink or take my meds.
Day 5 - June 2nd - I decided to take my mom to the swap meet today because it always cheers me up. I woke up and got dressed to go and then I passed out twice. The pain was so bad it was making me lightheaded. I still went to the swap meet but I was basically carried by my boyfriend and after about an hour I needed to come home because I was in too much pain. Today's pain level was a 9/10 and this is the first day my scabs started falling off. I realized today that when the scabs fall off it makes my spit very thick and I can't swallow it so I started spitting in an empty bottle. Also no matter what you eat or drink it will facilitate the scabs coming off. There is a lot of pain right when it falls off but then an overwhelming feeling of relief.
Day 6 - June 3rd - This is the day I am supposed to feel all better according to the surgeon. He is a liar. With the scabs falling off it makes the pain meds work much better but because there is alcohol in my meds and my throat is raw where the scabs are gone it burns really bad for the first few minutes after I take them. I am hoping that the scabs will fall of quickly so that I can start feeling better. Still lightheaded and I need someone to supervise me to walk anywhere or bathe. Pain level is a 9/10.
Day 7 - June 4th -- WORSE PAIN EVER! I woke up this morning in agony. Everything hurts and every time I do anything from breathing to drinking to swallowing I feel like I am choking and I can't breath. I started to increase the amount of Motrin I am taking to between 10 and 20 ml five times today. I seriously considered going to the ER multiple times today and I spent most of the day crying and having anxiety about the pain and the feeling of choking to death. I did not eat at all today but I did manage to drink enough to keep my mouth and throat moist.
Day 8 - June 5th -- The pain is lower today at about an 8/10 and I just finished my antibiotics which I am super excited about because they tasted horrible. I am still staggering my pain meds and I did manage to eat pudding and soft boiled eggs today. Soft boiled eggs will become your friend they are easy to make and take very little time and are soft enough to eat with the sore throat and jaw. The scabs are still falling off and my jaw and ears still ache but I am hopeful that it will keep getting better from here.
One thing I wanted to mention was I was a smoker until I had my tonsillectomy. I planned on quitting once I had the surgery and I have not had any interest in smoking since the surgery so it has been 8 days since I smoked a cigarette. In case you are interested I started smoking when I was 12 and smoked more than a pack a day so I was very much addicted to smoking.
Well I think I covered the first 8 days as well as possible but if you have any questions let me know and I will do my best to answer them. I will keep you updated until I am all healed.
Good luck and my prayers are with all of you that are going through this with me!