I am a 27 year old man and had my tonsils removed 8 days ago. It has been an unpleasant experience to say the least. One of the most important things, other than staying hydrated and only eating soft foods/liquids/protein shakes, is to understand that every step of the healing process will bring a new and torturous pain that you will have to deal with. This can be extremely taxing on one's psyche, so do not let yourself get discouraged. I started this process weighing 185 lbs.
Here is a chronology of my experience:
Day of surgery- Immediately after the surgery I was hooked up to a morphine clicker and that certainly helped with the pain. However, I will caution to only use Morphine sparingly because it can halt the movement of your gastrointestinal system (which happened to me). I drank a ton of cold water as it was something that really soothed my throat. I highly recommend bringing your own beverages/protein shakes with you because the hospital food was gross and hurt to eat (try Orgain organic protein drinks, creamy chocolate fudge is tasty). By that night, my uvula had swelled to an unbelievable size and it began to choke me if I tried to sleep. I was given some medication but it did not have a significant effect, so I suffered through.
Day 2- I continued the morphine and this caused me to have extreme bloating and nausea. On the way home from the hospital, the car had to be pulled over to the side of the road 3 times so that I could vomit. This was extremely unpleasant as it hurt from the throat contractions, increased pressure, and stomach acid on the wound. Also, every time I puked, my uvula would flop up onto my tongue causing me to gag more. Luckily I had drank so much water that I had something to bring up with relative ease and I did not strain to the point of bleeding. I took anti-nausea medication that night and fell asleep in agony, waking up every few hours from pain or choking on my uvula. I continued to drink water through the night and I also began using the liquid Lortab I was prescribed.
Day 3- Uvula still swollen and still in pain, I lounged for most of the day. My diet consisted solely of Orgain shakes and Naked/Odwalla juice. The nutrients these provided were a great boost. I remained completely sedentary that day, taking my narcotic pain medication every 4 hours. Because of this, I was never in an excruciating amount of pain, but it still hurt. Still had problems sleeping because of the swollen uvula and drying of my throat.
Day 4- The few days of constant narcotics use began to take its toll. I began to profusely sweat which was accompanied by extreme swings in body temperature occurring every 15 mins or so. I continued to force down the water, and I continued the pain medication, as the pain was still significant. I ate eggs in the morning and that seemed to do alright, as long as I took micro-bites and sipped water throughout. My uvula swelling subsided a bit, but it was still very large and annoying. I continued drinking my Orgain shakes and organic juices. I craved fresh squeezed organic orange juice because it was a staple of my regular breakfast routine, bad idea. Being highly acidic, it burned like hell fire in my throat. Suffered through all these problems the rest of the day and night. That night I feel like I sweat enough to fill an olympic size pool.
Day 5- I could notice that the healing process was really beginning to start, but this did not provide any relief. I was still sweating like crazy from the pain medication and I was miserable. I was dragged out of the house by my girlfriend who was getting cabin fever staying at my parents house (my father is a physician so I chose to do my recovery at home, rather than at my house). While out, the sweating continued and I was not a happy camper. I did get some frozen yogurt while I was out and this was quite nice. Upon returning home, my condition did not improve, obviously, and I was frustrated that I had been dragged out of the house. My advice here is to ignore what other people say about what they think your timeframe for recovery should be and just stay put and rest! Only you know how your body feels, and trust those feelings. On the way home, my girlfriend did stop to buy me a humidifier which I used that night. It provided some relief from throat drying
Day 6- After another miserable night of sweating I decided to deal with more pain, by reducing my pain medication intake. I just couldn't take the sweating anymore. Although this provided some relief, I continued to sweat and have temperature swings during the detoxification. My pain levels weren't horrible but there was still some significant discomfort. I could feel the scabs starting to really form and this brought a new uncomfortable sensation to deal with. Every time I moved my neck or swallowed anything I could feel the scabs pulling away from the throat tissue. The exposed wound burned with any type of liquids I drank. I ate eggs again for breakfast, had soup for lunch, and an Orgain for dinner. Still having temperature issue, I decided to forgo narcotic pain medication completely. To lift my spirits, I decided to watch a funny movie which may not have been the best decision. Laughing was painful (oh the irony).
Day 7- Stopping the narcotics was one of the best decisions I could have made. The sweating and temperature swings subsided and that really lifted my spirits. My parents had purchased some croissants and I craved one badly. I ate it slowly and tried to keep drinking throughout. However, doing this loosened the scabs and I began to bleed. I was able to control the bleeding by gently (and I mean gently) moving ice cold water back and forth over the wound and then spitting it out. I avoided any nausea from swallowing blood by doing this, and if you bleed I highly recommend this technique. After the bleeding incident, I decided to stay as still and calm as possible for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, as the scabs began to reform, I had to deal with the new torturous scratching sensation in my throat. This made me want to cough badly and I had to fight to keep that at bay in fear of re-opening the wounds. To alleviate this I constantly sipped cold water. With this new pain, I needed something to help, so I started taking Ibuprofen. This provided some swelling relief and also worked as an analgesic. Sleeping that night was not happening for any extended period of time. The scratchiness only worsened as my throat dried out sleeping, I can't imagine how bad it would have been without the humidifier.
Day 8 (Today)- It's about 10:30 AM and I was able to rehydrate and moisten my throat. The scabs have seemingly cemented themselves quite well and the scratchiness has lessened. I feel like I may finally be over the hump and may begin to start improving now. However, I am prepared for whatever new painful experiences that may be awaiting me.
I hope that this may help some of you who are out there suffering now. I didn't know of anyone my age who has had a tonsillectomy so I did not have any guidance or idea about the timeframes and sensations I would experience. Good luck and stay strong.
I forgot to say that I now weight 175lbs.
Im in day 4 and lost 8lbs.