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I am a 21 female who got my tonsils taken out May 11, 2009. I'll try to be as accurate as possible. I don't have too much to say that is different from others but I hope this helps someone. I've been feeling pretty rotten and reading through these posts helps a lot!
My ENT warned me that this surgery would be "booger bear" for up to five days, then I should start feeling better. It would be more accurate to say that it felt like complete hell. Immediately post surgery wasn't too bad because they gave me medication before i left. I was prescribed Zamicet which is a hydocodone-acteminophen mixture. I could take it every four to six hours but by the third hour I was almost in tears. Day 2, I guess I hadn't eaten enough and the pain meds caught up with me. I vomited four times that day. it didn't cause bleeding but it certainly made the inflammation worse. After that I was afraid to take pain medicine again and tried to toughen up and just take tylenol. That lasted about a day and I was in tears. I definitely wasn't drinking enough water (because obviously it hurt!) and that just made my situation worse. Now I'm on day 7 and I'm finally starting to drink more and I can say it really makes a difference.

The bad things they might not have warned you about...
1.) referred pain: the pain in my jaw, teeth, and ears was crazy. This came up about day three and has been there since. The only thing that helps is a heating pad that I wrap up and keep against my cheek.
2.) Horrible breath: I don't know if I have thrush, but I have this thick green stuff on my tongue and my breath is absolutely horrible no matter how any times i brush my teeth. It's so bad that sometimes it wakes me up!
3.) Mucus: I had this really thick mucus on days 1-3. It was so bad that I was afraid I would choke on it. I took home a spit tray from the hospital and use it all the time. I read on another post they were told to swallow it, but I felt I could barely breath if I did. Drinking more water also helps to thin these secretions. I also found sitting up in bed with 2-3 pillows helps
4.) My tongue hurts: Not very many people have posted about this but it feels like my tongue is bruised and swollen. I'm sure this is related to the procedure. I keep checking to see if there are cuts and there's not.
5.) Can't eat: Right now the only foods I can eat without severe pain are eggs, popsicles, and ice cream. I've tried eating other soft foods but it hurts pretty bad.
6.) Constipated: pain medicine plus lack of food is perfect for creating constipation. I haven't been in 7 days... so I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that yet, but it's not hurting so it's not really my top priority.
7.) no sleep! It seems I cannot sleep for more than 2 hours at a time. I feel like I haven't gotten any rest at all because im preoccupied with pain.

That being said, here are some tips!
1.) remember why you're having this surgery. The tonsillitis I used to get hurt way more than this! This is just with you all the time so it wears on your nerves more, but I am definitely happy I had the surgery!
2.) take it easy. I hear about people running errands and going to work. that's crazy. just relax because your body needs to heal!
3.) DRINK WATER..much easier said that done but if you can make yourself do it, you will feel much better in the long run
4.) this is random, but my brother gave me one of those pillows that you use on the airplanes. It goes around your neck and i have to say it's really comfortable.
5.) heating pad
6.) when you're feeling really bad (because there will be moments when you don't think the pain can get any worse) read through these posts. It really helps me because I know there are people who have experienced the exact same pain, and some who have had worse.

God Bless


Wow !!!

What an excellent post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share you experience. I just answered a post about tonsillectomy procedures. A member wanted to know what it was like. I am so glad to see this. There are many posts about this surgery. You were so detailed. This is the beauty of this site. People can really get answers, comfort and support here. I hope that you will continue to contribute to this site. Your kind of sharing and detail is so valuable. Thank you again.


Rest is the number one most important thing that you can do when recovering from any illness or surgery. I do not understand why people insist on trying to get back to normal before their bodies have had a chance to properly heal, and it's even worse on you because you do not recover as quickly, you feel worse longer, and you don't seem to ever get better. I'm glad to hear that you are not making that mistake because it's a big one. Thanks for all your helpful tips for recovering!


I am getting my tonsils out soon so this gives useful info.