Im a 24yr old male from Ireland just had a tonsillectomy (coblation method) and am currently day 8 post operation.
First of all, I just have to say Thank God I didn’t come across this site before I had the tonsillectomy because there is no way I would have gone through with it! Fair play to everyone who did go through with it knowing what was in store for them. I honestly thought, “hey you'll be sore for a couple of days and then you'll be grand”, and wasn’t nervous at all about the operation, actually quite the opposite and more eager to get it over and done with so I could go back to work!! Well F%&k me was I in for a shock! I like to think that I’m a guy with a high pain threshold, but seriously...this whole situation has reduced me to someone who must get hugs from every family member in range if they're passing by!
Had to fast from the night before, even water! Arrived at the hospital early Wednesday morning. Sat in my room waiting to be called for the operation! dressed in my lovely gown thing and slippers and also had to wear some sort of tights(apparently stops blood clots) so was feeling a bit like the main act in a circus. I signed a load of forms, basically stating that “yes” I am giving you permission to leave two big holes in my throat!! The nurse arrived and I was brought down to the anesthesisists ward (i dunno how you spell that, but you know what I mean) was basically put on a drip and then lights out!! Like as if I was teleported through time! Only now I was less two tonsils!!
Woke up, in no pain what so ever but disillusioned, a nurse was sitting beside me asking me out of 10 describe your pain, confused and dazed I thought of the only no. I could think of at the time ...6, when I didn’t actually feel pain at all, I could hear her saying more morphine and then I nodded off, Woke up to being wheeled to my room, had to stay there for the night (which is my ent doctors method) where I was seen to every hour or so by the nurses and my blood pressure was checked and I was given painkillers. Wasn't in any pain at all and actually managed to eat chips and an omelet for dinner and topped it off with some apple crumble! I was thinking to myself 'holy sh*t I must have a pretty high tolerance to pain!’ morphine is awesome!
Day 2.The next day I was driven home by my mother and on the way we stopped off at a chemists to get my painkillers (Difene tabs) and antibiotics. and again in no pain at all, slept that night for a whole eight hours with no problems!
Days 3-7.The Horror!! Oh The Horror!! I don’t want to go into too much detail about these days because i actually want to blank them from my memory!! Basically very sharp pain in throat, ears, jaw and almost passing out every time that I tried to swallow! Couldn’t eat, drink or sleep! Lot of spitting up disgusting stuff every 20mins or so, horrible taste in mouth! Actually spat up blood on 5th morning, but just small bits, wasn’t flowing blood!! Unable to talk and if I attempted to, it felt like my head was going to explode and also sounded like a duck! Made the mistake of watching a comedy one night, had to put my hand up to my mouth to stop laughing as laughing nearly brought me to tears! Also yawning has the same effect!! Those 4 days honestly felt like a month and it was hard to see an end to the pain! All in all, a very horrible time!
Actually looking down the back of your throat with a flashlight and you’ll see this white webby maze that looks like a mini spiderman had been flying around in for the last month! This is what they call the scabbing process. The beauty here is that yes the cuts turn in to scabs and the scabs at some stage have to do what scabs do and fall off and do you know what that means? Yes new nerves that have never experienced the light of day arrive at the scene and there arrival is well noted because they like to bring the roman army equivalent of pain along with them!
Day 8- not too bad this morning, not near as bad as the last few mornings. Keeping on top of my meds which I actually had to upgrade my difene to tramadol on day 5 after ringing my ent doctor explaining excruciating pain!!
Anyway some tips for those just after operation!
1) Drink lots and lots of ice cold water! even when your not able to, just force it down! it'll get easier to drink if you keep drinking!!
2) Keep on top of your painkillers!! Take them even if you’re not in pain at all! if your still in unreal pain ring your ent doctor and get him to give you a prescription for something stronger!( you shouldn’t have to go through unreal pain)
3) I also put manuka honey in warm(not Hot)water like a tea and I thought it was very soothing!
4) Nights are the worst...I think because I sleep with my mouth open so my throat was getting dried out. Try not to sleep with the window open, do not use a fan, and try to use a humidifier. That way, your throat can stay moist
5) When you’re heading to bed set your alarm for every hour and a half and then drink lots of water! Especially during nights 3-7!! This will stop you from waking up in absolute agony!!
6) Eat if you can, although i was unable to during days 3-7(just too painful) Made an attempt on mashed potato’s on day 5 that only a mouse would have been proud of!
7) Take a multivitamin every day and drink PowerAde; this will help speed the healing process.
8) Also get an ice pack, or if you don’t have one, a frozen vegetable bag from freezer and put it around your neck at night, helps with the swelling!
9) Complain as much as you want to whoever you want. You really deserve to.
10) Try to chew chewing gum. Gets you producing more saliva hence more swallowing!
11) Gargle warm water with salt, speeds healing process.
12) Get some good dvds or books, your gonna have a lot of me time! Plus takes your mind off the pain for a while.
One thing that bothers me about some of these posts, is the people saying that they breezed through the recovery and had no pain at all, unless these people are 6 years old or they have the same pain tolerance as superman, there is absolutely no way anyone can go through this without feeling some pain! And that is a Fact!
Don't judge your experience based on other people. One of the worst things I did was say to myself, "Well, *this person* felt better in 7 days -- why do I feel so bad on day 7?!" You'll heal in your own time. All you need to remember is the severe pain will end! You'll be back to normal soon!
Currently on post op day 8, I can see that there is hope, had chicken chow mien for dinner today, it hurt! But still managed to eat most of it! Can’t wait to get back to normal!! Come on 100%! I’m Ready!!
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, although it’s not like a train coming!
Sorry for the real long post but if you’re recovering from having this operation you've nothing better to be doing anyway!
The way I see it is that I will be grateful for getting this operation done, but I cant seem to justify it at the moment, maybe next week!.
Good luck everyone! And DRINK YOUR WATER!
The one thing you forgot to mention was waking during the night convinced something was going horrible wrong. Infection, pulled stiches, terrorist organizations torturing you, etc. The internet was my savior. Search it on a search engine and read what other people did. Calm down. Your ENT does not answer the phone at 3:00AM, anyway.
Oh did you get the constipation. I think I produced a weapon. I knew the minute it travelled, only 16 hours after starting to try, that it was going to clog something. They think the pain killers might have caused it because it is not a larger amount of food.
i can't eat, i can't drink i can't even swallow saliva!!
My ent said i would be out of any pain by day 7 or 8 and back to work by day 10. Well let me just say that is far from the truth!! the first days as everyone here has posted before me are cake, but from day 5 on OH MY GOD AM I IN PAIN!!! it is horrible, i would tell everyone thinking about getting this procedure to just deal with your tonsils!!
I am on day 8 (almost day 9) of getting my tonsillectomy. My throat is not in so much throbbing pain as it was in the past (actually day 6 through 8 has been pretty bearable for me) but I cant speak a word! this is actually the thing that is bothering me the most! Like you, my throat kills when I laugh and whenever I even try to speak its in so much pain. I guess my main question is why cant I talk?!?? Is it because of the scabs that havent fallen off yet? or is it because my uvula might be so swollen? or some other reason? Anyone who has any idea please reply because i am going nuts and im starting to think that my surgeon messed something up..
My experience has been similar to yours. Right after the operation I had no pain. In fact I refused pain meds for the first 4 days.... And then Day 5 came.... The pain I experienced was like a red hot coal was stuck in my throat. My ears hurt, my jaw hurt.... I was so afraid to swallow that I even contemplated just walking around with drool dripping out from my mouth... which I did for a while but it didn't really help. Anyways, it's day 7 and I am starving but at least the pain is barely tolerable. I can't laugh, I can't talk, I can't eat, I can barely swallow, I'm hungry, but at least it doesn't hurt like day 6.
Reading your post made me laugh.
im 31 and going in for tonsillectomy surgery on the 6th of April, but now i feel like hiding under my bed instead. So i gather i WILL be in lots of pain, i will hate life and should lock all top floor windows in case i feel like jumping out of them. Am i right in saying the best way to have the least amount of pain is live on pain killers even if i feel no pain, force feed myself and lots of ice cold drinks.
Should i eat toast ?? ice cream ???ive been told it helps a speedy recovery. I thought i would be back at work by the following Monday but that sounds like it will be dooms day for me and my poor throat.
i dont like the sound of having pain in my ears, what sort of pain ?? there must be a way of having no pain !!! . i don't know if im having tonsillectomy coblation procedure or the standard way. which is better i still might have time to make a change ?
i better get my mum on speed dial, actuallly i will probably text her. oh well hopefully should have my new ipad 2 next week and can play on that. if anyone has had quick recovery let me know.
hi I had my tonsils out on last Thursday and pretty much my experience was the same as yours. I am 42 so did expect it to be bad plus I have the weakest threshold of pain ever I thought I was dying during childbirth but I must say I am sure I am dead now after this op lol! I f I had known or really thought about this level of pain I would never have had it done so I agree hats of medals for anyone who has had this op it is very painful. I must say though one things that does help is reading everyone elses experiences it gives you an insight into working out a recovery plan and wot to eat and drink and wot is normal too. I would like to say although long which is no prob cos as you rightly said lots of spare time on hands lol I found it very entertaining and comical and relieving so thankyou for witty intrepartation on a horrific experience I wish you well . Amanda.
and I would just like to say I am sure when better every one agrees it was right thing to do, jus keep on top of pain relief find one that agrees with you its not the same for all! try not to take drugs on a empty stomach though but once on top of pain it will be a bit easier it has taken me 6 days to get the dose right well enough to survive anyway! eat soft diet until you feel u can take the next step it really it each day as it comes and what suits you carry a spit pot with you for excess sputum and sleep upright and you deserve all the sympathy and love an hugs you can get so its quite ok to feel sorry for yourself and get others to run round after you! well good luck all hug love and kissesxxxx
Hi, I need to have a tonsillectomy soon and I'm hoping to find a reputable ENT surgery who does coblation? Could you give me the name of the person you used?? I understand not many use this new method yet!
Thanks for the great post FIveO! I'm a 34 year old male also from Ireland. I had my tonsils out about 3 weeks ago and your story reads much like my own. Pretty hellish from day 3-10 i would say. Thought it was going to be a lovely relaxing two weeks off work but it was far from it. I had the added complication of getting really constipated around day 7 due to the meds apparently. So i would really make sure you try and stay regular post op. I'm not 100 % after the op but slowly getting there.
@TheFiveO - Great post, thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts down. Our son is 4, he had his tonsils and adenoids out 4 days ago. When we spoke to the doctors we thought that there would be some "soreness" and that he should not participate in activities for 2 weeks but had no idea what we were in for. We also naively assumed that he was feeling OK after the first two days given he was in a great mood and showed signs of being thirsty and hungry. Boy, were we in for a surprise.
Thanks for your post we have an idea of what's going on for him. He's stopped talking, started drooling and become generally reclusive [which is completely unlike him]. You post gave us insight to what he's experiencing and feeling and we have a better idea of what's going on for him. I wish our doctor was a bit more transparent about exactly what days after the surgery would look like. It's no walk in the park and easy to assume that it's not so bad especially given the first day or two aren't so bad because after surgery you still have pretty heavy meds "on board". But know we know, days 4-7/8 are the worst and what to expect and we can question ourselves less as our son exhibits behaviors we're not accustomed to.
Thanks again FiveO, hope you're well. Best. JJ&T
Telling it like the truth! I just had the surgery yesterday and I've been drooling and in emmense pain. I got this surgery to get rid of sleep apnea. When they say me down they told me how it was invasive, how short it took, how recovery time was speedy. Then I went for my surgery yesterday and they started to tell me the truth. First 3 days are gonna suck like a b***h 2nd 3 days will be fine then the next 3 days will be hell. They told me every patient experiences moderate-severe pain. And now I can't swallow the gallon of spit in my mouth. And my throat is in so much pain. And my breath is disgusting.