Today is day 5, and my experience hasn't been as bad as many of those I've read about - granted I am not in the clear yet.
For starters, I got my tonsils removed due to both tonsil stones, as well as a high frequency of throat ailments/infections each year. I'm very glad I did it.
My procedure was early in the morning on 12/18 - I picked the holidays since I'd be off work and will be back at my parents place. It's VERY nice having people here to look after me. The surgery went very smoothly. I didn't talk to my doctor afterwards - but she told my mom that they looked very bad and were filled with bloody mucus - so again - glad I got rid of them.
The pain is bad once you wake up, but is bearable. I took hydrocodone (basically a liquid vicodin) once I could sit up, and had water and ice chips for about an hour as they made sure I was OK to go home.
The pain the first day was bad - I had just signed up for netflix so had 3 DVDs waiting for me at home...a good way to get through everything. It was very difficult to take my medicine, as well as swallowing water. In addition to the liquid vicodin (every 4 hours) they also prescribed lidocaine viscous (every 2 hours to numb the throat) and amoxicillin (3x/day for 1 week). I started the amoxicillin on day 2. One tip for the numbing liquid - the bottle said to swish and spit - but per the advice of the nurse, I swallowed most of it...as it helps to numb the throat - not just the mouth.
From my experience and the advice of other blogs - I will say that it's EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to take your medicine on time, and to drink as much water as possible. I found ice chips were a big help when it was too tough to swallow water. I also set several alarms on my phone to make sure I didn't miss a dosage. At night - I would wake up every 4 hours (instead of every 2) so I could get some sleep. I noticed my mouth was dry when waking up so again, important to drink even in the middle of the night. I recommend pounding water starting about 30 minutes after vicodin - as that 90 minute stretch when the medicine is most effective is good to hydrate all you can - as you won't want to when the pain is higher and the meds are wearing off. It's hard to blow your nose - and I did have a lot of dry, browning looking blood that I would either have come out of my nose or mouth. Not too bad though - just be careful not to cough too hard so you don't disrupt your throat.
Day 2 - I had a few popsicles and a little bit of jell-o. both were good. I avoided orange popsicles due to the citrus (per people's recommendations). I had a little bit of gatorade (glacier freeze and fruit punch were the best) - but it wasn't until day 3 and beyond that gatorade started tasting good. I also mixed in a little lemon lime Gat with the vicodin to even out the taste. I also showered and brushed my teeth for the first time today.
Day 3 - again, jello and popsicles. wasn't too adventurous as again - my main goal was rest and hydration. Another tip for sleeping - make sure you are sitting up - I had 3 pillows under my head. I slept on the couch every night as I don't have a TV in my bedroom here at my parents' place. I also had sherbert which tasted amazing. At every moment during the recovery I've had ice chips and a glass of water sitting by my side. Another thing to note - I had an ice pack under my chin about 8 hours a day - every day - the surgery center gave me an ice sling which has been great. I highly recommend icing down your throat (rest it just under your chin) as much as possible. I coughed up a big black glob of dry blood.
Day 4 - very similar. ear pain was bad on days 3-5 but again - if you take your meds on time and drink TONS of water it isn't horrible. I had strained chicken noodle soup for dinner, and also had ice creme for the first time (vanilla). I waited on the ice creme based on people's warnings about dairy - I will say that I'm glad I waited until day 4 - and that I had no issues with eating it.
day 5 - added pudding to the mix - along with the usual things I've been doing. food cravings really started to increase - and I started getting excited about mashed potatoes or mac n cheese. I sent my mom out to pick up mashed potatoes for dinner. sadly there is no KFC near them - so she went to Popeyes instead. I've never been to Popeyes before - but their potatoes are awful. very lumpy - which hurt to eat. needless to say it didn't go well - and it caused a lot of pain for only a few bites. I'd say that when you do try to eat new things - take your time between bites and go slow. lesson learned.
anyways - I'll be sure to update a few more times. Hopefully this information helps.
Day 6 - Ear pain was still bad - but the pain was definitely lesser today than any other day. biggest issue is with swallowing - I usually have to press my ears together anytime I swallow. it I started reducing the amount of the numbing drug I was taking - mostly due to the taste making me sick to my stomach. I was a little worried about eating - after the bad mashed potatoes experience the night before - so reverted to items like popsicles, jello, and chicken noodle soup. for dinner though - I had velveeta mac and cheese. it went pretty well. again - be sure to eat slow as it does get stuck in your throat and mouth at times - not to the point where you're choking - but to the point of discomfort. I tried to drink water between every bite. it took awhile to get through it - but the hours after eating I felt really good. First sign of being on the road to recovery. I noticed my ear pain was starting to clear up a bit - it felt more like the pressure when you are flying versus constant ear aches. In fact - before bed I was even able to pop my ears for a brief moment of no pain. it was tough to talk today so I really conserved my voice as much as possible.
Day 7 (today) started poorly. the mornings tend to be the worst part of each day. I was late taking my pain meds during the night - and I didn't have hardly any water during sleeping hours. I have usually been up early every morning (4am the first few nights - 6am the next couple) but today I slept until around 8. things got a little scary shortly thereafter - I had very bright red blood coming out of my mouth - and the feeling like something was stuck in my throat. I tried to be gentle - but ended up coughing up a bright red clot of blood - in addition to having blood in my saliva. After a minute or 2 of spitting - I noticed it was turning clear so I went back to the ice sling and also would suck on and spit up ice chips. my parents looked at the throat and said it was a little bloody - but not actively bleeding - so I opted against going to the ER. if it wasn't Christmas Eve - I probably would have gone to the ENT to be safe. thankfully - it stopped bleeding - I still had a taste of blood and eventually coughed up some more (dryer looking) blood - but that was more relief than anything else.
this delayed my day in terms of drinking / eating / medicating. however - within 2 hours I was back on track and back to normal. Soup and jello were my only food items. Pain has been a lot less today - and is very minimal when not swallowing. I am planning to have risotto for dinner - so hopefully that goes smoothly (literally). I had more energy today than any other point - I'm actually wearing jeans for the first time after a week of mesh shorts and a t-shirt. swallowing still hurts - and the bleeding was a nice reminder of the risks involved with recovery - but all in all this has been the best day yet...and hoping I can say the same in subsequent days. More updates to follow!
Day 8 was similar to days 6-7...highlight was a scrambled egg for lunch. Went down rather easily. Again - pain was present but staying on regular meds helped control most of it. This was the last day of my antibiotics.
Day 9: First time leaving the house - went to the mall for a few hours. Was a little tired from being out - and I recommend bringing a bottle of water along too - as my mouth was getting dry towards the end. Can't recall mentioning this in an earlier post - but I highly recommend a humidifier to help with recovery. The worst part of every day is the morning...and my mouth is extremely dry whenever I wake up. Otherwise - day 9 had the least pain so far. I started drinking Ensure shakes (protein variety) to start getting more nutrients. Those kind of burned my throat at first - but the more I drank it the less it hurt. Ears felt really clogged - particularly on the right side. I had ramen noodles for dinner which actually tasted great...had probably been 10 years since I had them. very easy on the throat too.
Day 10: other than the morning - was a pretty easy day. Another shopping trip which was pretty painless. mac n cheese for dinner - but even tried a scallop which went down pretty smoothly. I've been really worried the past few days about the whole losing of the scab process. Read a few horror stories about dangling scabs and all that gross stuff. For me - I will say it was (thankfully) a rather anticlimactic experience. The past few nights it kind of felt like they were loosening a bit - but it's not painful - just an erie feeling. It pretty much went away on its own - and that was that. At one point in the morning - I did cough up a little bit of something that felt as though it was stuck in my throat - not nearly as bad as it sounds though - it was white so I'm sure it was a small piece of the scab. The good news is - once they start to go away - the pain seems to follow suit.
Day 11: Best morning so far - at this point - I am starting to spread out the frequency of pain meds. Rather than taking them religiously every 4 hours - I am phasing them down to every 6-8. I didn't even set the middle of the night alarm - so went from 11pm to 6am in terms of night time dosages. The pain is really declining. I tried to eat a brownie though and it was definitely premature. I guess the lesson being that even if you feel well - don't be too aggressive with the solid foods. No reason to trigger any setbacks. Scrambled egg, ramen, mac n cheese. Also the 3rd day in a row where I had 2 Ensure shakes.
One thing I will (embarrassingly) share - I still haven't had a bowel movement since the operation. Hopefully that changes soon.
Overall though - a very good day and can tell that full recovery is not too far away. Left the house for a 3rd consecutive day. Didn't even need vicodin when I got home...they only gave 3 refills so I'm almost out anyways...day 12 will be my last day with any left.
That's all for now - my follow-up exam is on day 16 so still a little ways before the doctor takes a look at how they are healing.
Still no exercise - hoping to start rebuilding strength soon. Guessing I only lost about 5 lbs, but am definitely weak. My post-op consult is on day 16...if there's anything noteworthy I'll be sure to post it. But otherwise, all in all I'd say the first 10 days really suck - but overall well worth getting it done...glad I didn't put it off longer. Netflix, lots of ice (both in a sling and crushed to suck on), and water were critical - as well as taking meds on time. hope it goes well for any others going through it - or about to go through it.
I am 36 years old. I had my tonsils out on Dec 13th. On Dec 21st I woke up choking on a large scab. The scabs on one side fell off all at the same time. I spit out the scab and bleeding started. I was able to stop it with cold water but only for a little bit. Then, it started again and got worse. By the time I got to the E.R. I had filled a 32oz cup with blood. They stopped the blood in the E.R. with Afrin, but that only lasted about 15 minutes and the bleeding started again. I was at a small town hospital and they did not have the capability to cauterize the bleeding. I would get huge blood clots that would get so big they would run into my uvula and gag me causing me to heave and then spit out a blood clot about the size of two golf balls. After a few hours of trying to stop the bleeding I was transported by ambulance to a larger hospital. By that time I had swallowed so much blood that I kept throwing up and had the worst nausea. I was put under and cauterized to stop the bleeding. After surgery I was given a blood transfusion because I had lost too much blood. It is now Dec 31st. I quit taking the pain medication yesterday and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. 3 weeks of hell and almost dying of blood loss. The pain after the second cauterization was way worse than the first time. The swollen uvula and pain was such that I could not swallow. If I tried to swallow the water would come out my nose. If I plugged my nose to swallow the water would go into my ears. I had to put ear plugs in my ears and plug my nose in order to swallow anything. So I set an alarm for every 30 minutes, day and night and I would take one swallow of water with ear plugs and plugged nose. That way I was able to keep from getting dehydrated. For 4 days after the second cauterization I did not have any food except a cup of jello with each pain medication. So every 4 hours. This is definitely a miserable experience, but, it’s looking almost over now and at least I will never have to do it again