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At the request of another poster, I will post some of what has worked for me over the past two weeks. Disclaimer: This is based entirely on my own experience, I have had a relatively uneventful and uncomplicated recovery, your mileage may vary.

A bit of background: I am a 41 year old woman in general good health, except for the tonsils that I no longer have. I have had a history of recurrent strep throat and recurrent upper respiratory infections, all of which led to the decision to yank my tonsils. My tonsillectomy was on October 25. It was just a tonsillectomy, I still have my adenoids.

As of this writing, it has been two weeks since my tonsillectomy. I should point out that I have not had significant problems with taste loss, and although my tongue was swollen and rather numb the first few days, it has returned to normal. My uvula was likewise swollen for awhile, but has also returned to normal.

Day of surgery and the first few days thereafter: Ice cold Gatorade was my best friend. It helped numb and soothe my sore throat. I drank lots and lots of iced Gatorade those first few days so as to avoid dehydration. Ensure was good around day 3 and 4, but not so much after the scabs started to come off.

When the scabs started to fall off (starting day 5 for me, YMMV) and several days thereafter, until about day 11 or so: Ice cold liquids, indeed ice cold anything, suddenly became anathema. They would hit the exposed new skin and make my nerves scream! Warm liquids - particularly tea (not too hot) and chicken noodle soup - were very soothing. I found that if I drank a cup of tea before taking my pain meds, my throat would feel good enough that I could take the meds. The tea also helped keep me hydrated.

Oh yeah. Spicy food and acidic foods also made my nerves scream. Sorry, no chicken tortilla soup, and no citrus anything.

I didn't want to eat very much through about day 10. Again, chicken noodle soup really helped, although now I don't even want to look at a bowl of chicken noodle soup :-D.

Day 7 was the worst as far as the pain. I would really tense up which made the pain worse. Hot baths helped me relax. Also a nice massage really helped...

Around day 10 or day 11 was when I really started to feel better and was able to start eating more. I am eating pretty much normally now.

Other things:

I had a bleeder on day 3, and ice water helped stop the bleeder.

For the first several days, I found it very helpful to set an alarm to take my meds. Even at night. That way I would get up at regular intervals and take the pain meds before the pain could set back in with a vengeance.

I found that, for several days, I needed to take the pain meds more frequently than every 4 hours. 3 1/2 hours seemed to work for me. I would have some breakthrough pain at about the 3:40 mark. You may find that 4 hours isn't frequent enough for you, or 4 hours may work just fine for you.

If you can have someone babysit you for several days and help you take care of housework, meal preparation, kids, etc. that will really help you immensely.

Stock up on movies and on those TV shows you never had time to watch! I found Netflix's "watch instantly" feature to be wonderful. I watched the entire season 1 of "Heroes" on Netflix.

Don't try to over do it as far as doing housework, yard work, stuff like that. I mowed the lawn and cleaned up leaves Tuesday (day 12) and was whacked the rest of the day.

And yes, you will need to plan on two weeks off of work. You will probably be on some pretty heavy duty narcotics (Percocet for me), and you will be fatigued and in pain, and work will be pretty much impossible for several days. I'm back at work today for the first time since my tonsillectomy, but I'm only going to work a half day today and probably tomorrow as well as I still get fatigued fairly easily.

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Shaktidurga, thank you very much for taking the time to provide SteadyHealth readers with such excellent post-tonsillectomy recovery tips! I'm going to print them, just in case the post "disappears" in the future. Please continue to add new posts to this thread when you think of other things that were helpful.
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Thanks for the tips! I'm going in tomorrow morning for my tonsillectomy, hoping for a decent experience. Glad to hear you are feeling much better now and the pain will end with time.
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Today is my 3 week checkup. I'm noticing that I do have some mild taste distortion. Cheesecake and beer don't taste right.

Also I'm still kind of tired and sluggish.

However I am feeling fine otherwise. Getting back to exercising.

EDIT to add: Doc says I'm healing fine. He did say that it can take up to 6 weeks for the scabs to completely fall off and healing to complete. Mostly I just have sort of a scratchy throat (not really sore) and food kind of "sticks" when I swallow.
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This isn't something I tried, but I'm stealing it from another thread :D as some of you may find it useful:

Heat helped on my ear and jaw pain. If you're having ear pain and don't have one of those heatable bags that are filled with corn or beans, try wrapping a damp cloth in plastic wrap microwaving it for about 2 minutes, then wrap that in another dry cloth (I used a dishtowel) hold that just below your ears on your throat, until the heat goes out of the cloth, then you can microwave it again if you need to. I found that it eased the pain in the mornings.
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I'm now on day 4 and have found your tips to be very helpful, thank you! Did you take your pain meds at the 3:40 mark or did you wait for the 4 hour mark? Did you ever split up the meds? I've split up the lortab to 1 1/2 tsp every 2 hours instead of 3 tsp every 4 hours. This has helped some, but now I'm going to try 2 tsp followed by 1 tsp 3 hours later in hopes that it might work even better. I'm looking forward to being done with this.

By day 10 or 11 were you able to resume "normal activity?" I have help between my husband and my mom with my kids for 10 days but then it's back to usual for me after that point. Should I try to figure something out for a few more days? They are young -- 4 1/2, 2 1/2 and 10 months. My doctor said no lifting for 10 days.

Thanks Shatkiridge for the helpful info! Abbey
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I took the meds at 3:40. I didn't split them up - I had pills instead of liquid for some reason.

By day 10-11 I was somewhat able to resume normal activities, but I got tired pretty easily. Around day 12 I mowed the lawn and cleaned up leaves and ended up whacked for the rest of the day. :-( You might benefit from having someone come in and help with the kids for a few days after your husband goes back to work.
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My daughter recently had a tonsillectomy, Nov. 27,2007, she's 17. I found many of these tips "very helpful" in trying to help her through this most terrible experience the best I can, I sometimes feel "totally helpless" and it is heartbreaking at times. Just need to remember, everyone is different and will go through the recovery differently, my daughter has experienced all that is listed here but not on the same schedule/time line. She also experienced a bleeder, but on day 7, we couldn't get it stopped and had to make the trip to ER, it required more IV and cauterizing of the bleeder vessel(s). It is now going on day 10 (including the surgery date), in early a.m. she's having the earache and the gut wrenching tense pain that gets worse if she lets it get the best of her (tenses up more), I've been rubbing her back and shoulders to get her to relax as well as telling her to think of the most relaxing thing(s) possible & it helps greatly. She's totally exhausted and more than ready for this to be overwith, it has taken a lot of encouragement, love, and care that will continue-forever. It's very hard on both of us, but we are hanging in there, the end of this coming-soon we hope.
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I had my tonsillectomy yesterday morning. I am 21, smoker.. no nicotine! It sucks. I have had gigantic tonsils my whole life, my surgeon was even impressed. I have found that non-stop ice water helps soothe the pain, as well as a humidifier in your room, and mainly just having something to do (video games and movies for me). Lots of pain, but not unbearable... from what I've heard, I'm not looking forward to my scabs coming off.
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I'm 21, male. I had my tonsils out ten days ago. The worst pain was on day three, from then one I kept getting less and less pain. I had no bleeding, or complications. By day 7 I stopped taking pain meds. It's day ten now, and I'm back to my normal self. Other than my throat feeling wierd when I talk, I have no pain at all. I also never experienced my scabs falling off. I guess they must have come off when I was sleeping or something. My throat still looks a bit nasty with the white stuff where the tonsils used to be, but all the swelling went down. My uvula was HUUUUGE after my surgery.

I am a bodybuilder (don't compete or anything, not like that, more as a hobby), so I follow a semi strict diet and workout regularly. Today was my first workout. Felt pretty good. I hated not lifting during recovery, thank god I didn't loose any strenght, but I did loose about 8 pounds.

I think I have had a very fast recovery compared to most adults. I have read about people still being in pain after two weeks and needing pain meds for a long time. I think the biggest factor is that I live a very healthy lifestyle, and also possibly that the surgeon did an extra careful job;afterall he lives three houses down from my parents. He came over to my house to check on me and gave me some stronger pain meds on day 3.

I think what helped is I ate normally from day 1 of my surgery. As much as it hurt, I made myself eat solid foods. Lots of brown rice and chicken, as well as protien shakes. I didn't drink cold things, they didn't sooth my throat. I heard cold is also bad for healing, drinking hot fluids promotes blood flow to the area. I drank literally 20 cups of hot tea a day.

but, I'm pretty much 100 percent now. Going on a 4 day hunting trip to Iowa with my buddy tommorow.
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Hi I am a 30 year old female, I had my tonsils removed yesterday so I am close to 24 hours. I woke up today and my face (lower chin) is extremely swollen, it hurts terrible when I swallow. My Dr told me yesterday he has never seen such big tonsils, he called them Icebergs small on the surface huge underneath.... Even though I read several blogs before my surgery noting really prepares you for this pain, I guess I am wondering if my pain to decrease every day because based on some of these readings it seems it gets worse.
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Hi there:)
I'm a 25 y/o and I'm on my 8th day Post-op from my tonsillectomy. The day of my surgery was pretty bad. I didn't deal well with the anesthesia so I ended up having to stay in the hospital over night. I was released the following morning, came right home, took my pain meds and went to bed (big mistake). I was given Tylenol with Codeine to take and it really threw me for a loop. 20 mins after taking it I would pass out for about 3 hours, which was nice because I got to sleep, but not good because I wasn't drinking.

The biggest key to recovery with this procedure is to drink, drink, drink! The more hydrated you are, the better you will feel, plus you won't end up back in the hospital due to dehydration:)

Up until yesterday I had felt horrible. My throat was killing me, my stomach was hurting and I have lost a total of 26 Lbs (Yes, i'm overweight, so i'm sure that had something to do with such a drastic weightloss). Yesterday I finally ate some Mac and cheese and also some tuna noodle casserole, not a lot, but enough to make my stomach aches go away. Taking medicine on an empty stomach can make anyone sick! :-(

For everyone going through your first week recovery, I promise you things go get better:) I had a checkup Monday (my 6th day Post-Op) and he said everything was healing wonderfully. I quit taking my pain meds on Saturday because they were making me sick and honestly, I felt better after not taking them.
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Some people have asked for different things to eat while going through this recovery and here are a few of my suggestions:

Sherbert (Do not eat Ice Cream because Dairy increases Phlem and you already have enough of that)

Yogurt (I actually was drinking those squeezable ones for little kids)

Cottage Cheese

Chicken Noodle Soup

Jello/Pudding

LOT'S AND LOT'S OF WATER!! ( I even drank some Life Water too, but couldn't taste much because my mouth was so outta whack)

Now, I got the idea to make smoothies as a way to shake things up a bit, but I'll tell you, it was a mistake. The acid from the fruit absolutely burned my throat.

The possibilities are endless as to what you can eat, I was even thinking about getting some baby food a few days ago, they have some really awesome "dessert" ones that honestly taste good, but I never got around to it.

As important as eating is, I think keeping hydrated is the most important factor here.
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That's pretty much what my diet has consisted of up until yesterday. I could probably eat more than I have in the last week, but My throat still does hurt a bit.

My Doctor also told me to Gargle with peroxide water 4 times a day which i've been doing. It keep everything clean and also reduce the phlem and mucus in your throat. I just took my medicine cup from my antibiotic filled it 1/2 with water and 1/2 with peroxide. It doesn't taste as bad as it sounds:)

I hope you all have great recoveries! I know how bad this can be, but just think, you'll never have to get it done again ;-)
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hi im a 15 yr old male and i had my tonsillectomy on 01/27/08 and today is my 6th day and i am still haveing unbeliveable pain. im taking a tyleno 3 mixed with codeen as a pain med and it doesnt really help me. i often find that i can not eat any foods and tht i cant swallow liquids. also in the morning wen i wakeup i have very unbelivable amounts of pain almost as if i were swallowing shards af glass. i was wondering if there is any advice that would help me through this and i also was wonderin how much longer would this be for?
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Hi -
I am having my tonsillectomy in 2 weeks and I am a smoker. I am wandering if any of you were smokers and could give me tips on this....
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I am a 20 year old female and am on day five of recovery from a tonsilectomy.

When I woke up from surgery I had a lot of trouble breathing and even though I was taking in air, it felt like I wasn't getting any. I kept gasping and when i did this, my throat would flap and the pain was intense. Finally they figured out that I was in so much pain my abdominal muscles were clenched to the point where I couldn't really breathe. When they gave me a proper dose of morphine I was able to sleep and did not have any more breathing problems.

I stayed overnight at the hospital because I have sleep apnea (and the huge tonsils did not help). I was in a lot of pain, and they kept me pretty heavily medicated that night. I cried the first time I tried eating but did it anyway because I knew it would help. Not only my throat was sore, but my tongue, roof of the mouth, and everything was swollen and painful. It hurt to eat, but it was also hard to eat because my tongue had trouble manipulating the food.

I found pudding to be the best thing immediately after recovery. It is thick enough it "cushions" the throat and keeps it from closing on itself when you swallow. Otherwise, cold thick fluids, like slurpees from 7-11 were my best friend.

Pain steadily decreased until last night when it suddenly got much worse. Apparently this is the scabbing stage where stitches begin to dissolve and your throat has to go through a second healing process.

I called my surgeon and got more pain medicine today because I plowed through my 24 percoset in the first five days.

In response to the smoking question, I have not asked my surgeon but when I got my tongue pierced (and my piercer is my best friend) he told me that for two weeks I should not smoke, kiss, have oral sex, drink beer or wine. I would guess that the time frame is similar for the tonsillectomy. If you smoke cigarettes, stock up on nicotine patches and bring them with you to the hospital. Remember that if you are a very heavy smoker (my boyfriend is a chain smoker, so we've done this) you may need more than one patch to satisfy your nicotine craving. If you absolutely cannot wait two weeks, do your best to wait at least a week. If possible, do not go back to your original amount of smoking all at once, but start a little slower to allow for more healing time and acclimation.

Also, SaraLiz, you say you ate sherbert not ice cream because dairy increases phlegm, but then the next two items you list are yogurt and cottage cheese, which are obviously both dairy products. So, maybe you should have eaten the ice cream too. You may be interested to know that the research into dairy and mucous does show that it increases mucous, but to such a minor degree that it basically makes no difference.
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