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Hey everyone.

I'm 26 years old, and just had a Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy on November 9th to hopefully correct an issue of moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea. I have never had a surgery, or been put under General Anesthesia, so I was worried about just making it through the surgery.

I'd like to share my experience, along with a couple of things that I've learned in the hopes of helping others, and at the same time, have a couple questions of my own.

Nov. 9th - Day 1 - Surgery - I considered the day of my Surgery the first day of my Recovery technically. I went in early in the morning, went under and woke up around 1pm I think? I was very relieved to have woken up, I had been scared of the process of Anesthesia (after reading full length about what's in it and what everything does) and a bit scared of a couple of risks that could have happened with the surgery itself (because I read all that too, and I'm a huge worrywart about things I have no control over -.-) I did great of course, they kept me overnight in the hospital just to monitor my breathing and make sure there were no bleeding issues. Of course there was some pain, my throat, tongue and uvula were very swollen, but the IV meds made the pain manageable, but was difficult to swallow much just from the swelling, not so much the pain.

Nov. 10th - Day 2 - Homecoming - Got to go home and I felt just great. I was prescribed Amoxicillin as the antibiotic (which tasted delicious, by the way. Yes, that little tidbit of information IS important.) and Tylenol/Codiene and pill form of Vicodin for the pain. As long as I stayed ahead and took the Tylenol/Codiene every four hours, pain was not an issue. I had soup all the time. Tongue, throat and uvula remained swollen.

Nov. 11th - Day 3 - Still Going Good - Day 3 was pretty much the same as the previous day. Tongue, throat and uvula still swollen, continued to eat soup and take the Tylenol/Codiene cocktail, so no pain issues.

Nov. 12th - Day 4 - Uh Oh - Started to develop an....interesting taste to say the least. Had run out of Tylenol/Codiene, so until the hubby returned, I crushed up a Vicodin and ate with mashed potatoes. Went back to Tylenol/Codiene when my next dose was due. Throat, tongue and uvula are still swollen.

Nov. 13th - Day 5 - YUCK - Taste got progressively worse. Checked back of my throat and surely enough, white scabbing. This was the bad taste I had been reading about. I knew it would be bad.....but....somehow I still underestimated it. Throat, tongue, uvula were still swollen.

Nov. 14th - Day 6 - Couldn't Stomach It - Getting referred pain in the ears. Tongue, throat and uvula still swollen, and now taking Tylenol/Codiene every three and a half hours, the pain wasn't the absolute worst. The taste however was doing damage. I wound up throwing up that night. Since my diet consisted mostly of soup or popsicles, I got a lot of stomach acid that came up. There was only minimal bleeding from the mouth, which rinsing with cold water fixed.

Nov. 15th - Day 7 - Make it Stop - Taste still unbearable, throat, tongue and uvula still swollen. I didn't want to throw up again. I started trading my hydration for sleep to avoid becoming sick again. I slept as much as possible, and drank what I could when I woke up. The pain no longer mattered. The taste was going to ultimately be my destruction.

Nov. 16th - Day 8 - Still no Release - Still sleeping, still swollen, still tasting absolutely disgusting. Mucus buildup, large gunks in my throat that seemed to have a tough time going down when swallowed. I did notice that some of the white scabs were disappearing in places? Was it going away? Would it be gone soon?

Nov. 17th - Day 9 - The Straw that Broke the Camel's Back - Woke up from a nap, went to the bathroom for my usual mouth rinse, and spit out a LOT of blood. Panicked, and husband drove me to the hospital, where the ENT is. I had an appointment there in an hour anyway. Called them ahead of time, they knew we were coming. ENT checked my throat, said there was a clot that had formed. He needed to get it off to see how much of a bleeder it was. Used an aerosol can with a plug in straw to try to spray numb my throat. Every time he sprayed, straw shot into my throat. I gagged, I bled more. After getting it numb, he had me rinse with water mixed with peroxide to get the area clean. Then he tried multiple times to suction the clot off. Kept gagging and bleeding. Then, finally getting the clot off, he tried re-cauterizing. Kept gagging and bleeding. Eventually, he said that while I was doing my best, he needed to get me in the OR where I could be out so he could get it recauterized. In 30 minutes, I was under anesthesia again. Apparently, by the time I was wheeled into the OR, the bleeding had stopped, making the process for him all the much easier. He didn't have to do a whole lot. Waking, I was a bit sore in the throat, which they gave me IV meds for, and then I felt fine. Only had that one dose of pain meds.

Stayed overnight in the hospital again, but was scared to sleep because of what had happened previously. Room also had no TV, so my night was filled with reading multiple magazines and having popsicle slushies. Blood was drawn at 6 in the morning to check my hemoglobin count. I finally fell asleep a couple of times, but I had an oxygen mask to make sure my throat remained moist. Had my first bowel movement (which was not very pleasant) that night. Painful because nobody had given me stool softeners.

ENT came to see me, said my hemoglobins were fine. I didn't lose a significant amount of blood. He examined my throat and said that all looked good. Also said I may be able to still have Thanksgiving Dinner. He did, however, say that the bad taste was from an infection, not scabs. He could smell bacteria on my breath. No more good tasting Amoxicillin. He prescribed me a new antibiotic: Clindamycin. It claims to be cherry flavored. Yeah...tastes like ass cherry. Also prescribed anti-inflammatory meds for the throat. Husband picked me up and we went back home. Spent the rest of the day NOT sleeping at all and drinking as much as possible. Did not take anymore pain meds.

November 18th - Day 10 - Much Better - Still trying not to sleep too long too often, I continued to drink water and take my meds on time. After the second go in the OR, the swelling of the tongue, throat and uvula were gone. The awful bad taste has also disappeared. Guessing that the new (but absolutely disgusting) antibiotics are now working. Didn't take pain meds at all today.

Nov. 19th - Day 11 - Still Going - Still going good. No swelling, no pain, no bad taste. Only annoyances are small tickles in my throat, which if they get bad enough, will make me feel like I'm choking. Water sometimes helps. Also feel like I'm getting a bit of heartburn, possibly because of the flavor of the mashed potatoes. Checked my throat, white scabbing still there, and the side where the issue occurred seems a little red (not blood red) perhaps from irritation? Still no taking of pain meds.

Nov. 20th - Day 12 - Hmm - This day is still going, in fact, it's 1:33am, so it's pretty much just started. Still have little tickles in my throat, and I'll allow myself some little *ahems* to keep it under control, but that's about it. With food, I rely on soup for when I'm hungry, mashed potatoes when I need to get food in my stomach for the meds, and jello/pudding for snacking. Popsicles I reserve for if my throat is a little sore, or to help the awful taste from the antibiotic. I drink water, and continuously have a humidifier running. I finally started yawning for the first time, which can be quite painful if I end up opening my mouth wide enough. I let them come and let my mouth open as much as the pain will allow me. Don't want to block it which can just strain my throat more. Have had a couple of bowel movements since returning home from the hospital for the second time, however the latest was a bit bloody. The movements can still be a little bit painful. I tend to burp a little bit and still some small bouts of heartburn, but nothing serious.

Hope this helps everyone, as I learned something important from this experience. Sometimes, the absolute AWFUL taste from the scabbing, may not be the scabbing at all. Turns out for me, it was an infection. Amoxicillin wasn't doing anything, possibly because I always had it for infections as a kid and likely built up an immunity. True shame, because it tastes like a royal feast compared to Clindamycin.

Other important lessons:

- NEVER trade in water for sleep, no matter how crappy you feel. If you have this awful bad taste, if it makes you nauseous and if every part of your throat is swollen to kingdom come, I'd suggest calling the ENT and asking to see him. You might have an infection, especially if you took Amoxicillin for everything as a kid like I did. Unfortunately, you as the patient won't be able to tell whether the taste is the scabs or an infection, but your doctor will. My surgeon knew it was infection the minute he smelled my breath. A doctor's smell will sometimes save you. After the second round in the hospital, I came out MUCH better than I did last time. Haven't had any swelling or major pain since before I even went back in.

- Drink drink drink. Set alarms, have someone wake you up but do NOT stop drinking. I read that a good timetable is to constantly drink every 20 minutes. Sure, you'll lose out on sleep, but water is even more important at this point. Dry out your throat and you put yourself at risk.

- Chew gum. Keeps the salivating process active, which in turn helps your throat.

- Humidifier. Especially if you sleep. Something I started doing when I got home from the second round at the hospital was to drench a washcloth and hang it over my mouth for the moisture while I slept. I seriously wish I had an oxygen mask like I did at the hospital. It kept my throat moist.

- Eat for the meds. I didn't have a huge problem with this through any of my recovery as far as pain. The trouble with swallowing in the first half of recovery was not from pain, it was from the major swelling and also mucus buildup. There just didn't seem to be enough ROOM to swallow anything. Try your best to have some food in your stomach if the meds require it. Throwing up isn't good for your throat.

- At the beginning, try not to have anything hot, or really lukewarm, foodwise. If you have broth, try to have it relatively cool or even cold. Warm and hot can trigger some bleeding.

- Something I started doing regarding heat, however, was taking warm showers. The steam and everything made breathing a bit easier and it was easy to relax while standing under warm water.

- No sneezing or coughing? Doc told me, if you have to absolutely sneeze, don't block it. That'll just add more stress to your throat. If you have to sneeze and it comes suddenly, let it fly out the mouth. What happens if you have something in your windpipe and you're ultimately going to cough? What I did is allowed myself LITTLE coughs. What happens if you try to block a cough, but your lungs decide to do it anyway? All it's going to do is strain your throat. Allow yourself LITTLE things. Don't 100% block something that's going to affect your throat. If you think you're going to cough, but have enough time to prevent it, try and do so, but if it comes right away, don't close off your throat and stop it. It'll be the same as if you tried to block a sneeze. You will hurt yourself.

- Try to keep your mind off it. Easier said than done, but you still have to try. Instead of keeping my mind off of it, I slept as much as I possibly could. I'd wake up, take meds, drink some water, and immediately go back to sleep, and sleep for hours. I ended up paying a price (and thankfully it wasn't a serious one) for it. I don't want to go through it again. Over the past couple of days, my husband has started not feeling so great, so there have been a couple of times where I have slept a little longer than I wanted to, but as soon as I am up, I am getting water down in huge quantities.


My Questions

- The Bloody Stool on day 12. My bowel movements have been a bit painful since the first one, and the first one was 8 or 9 days AFTER my last one, so I can understand it being painful. However, it is technically Saturday, and my next appointment with the ENT isn't until Monday. Is this a problem that I should head to the ER for? It's the first time it's been relatively bloody, and as I continue to have BMs, I will monitor how they look. I figured it would be something I would discuss with the ENT on Monday.

- Foods. I'm still on a diet of liquid or soft foods. However, my appetite is continuously unsatisifed unfortunately. I'd like a little more variety and had a question on one food that I would particularly like to have. Canned ravioli. It's not hard enough to scratch my back with, it's fairly soft and can be smushed up. But is it still potentially acidic or spicy enough to cause a problem? I'm just craving it right now, just like I'm craving every one of those new chicken enchiladas from Taco Bell. I see food commercials all the time and my mouth ends up watering. I'm not the biggest fan of oatmeal. I'm hoping the ENT gives me the go ahead to still have Thanksgiving Dinner. Would be nice to have some turkey (I don't see why I couldn't have turkey. Not acidic, spicy or sharp.) or some stuffing (little bit more questionable on that). I'm not into cranberries or much else. I usually just go for the turkey, stuffing, potatoes and rolls (bread would be a bit nice to have, but kinda doubtful)

- Recovery? When did you feel well enough to finally have a nice piece of solid food? When could you finally swallow (and not food, just swallow for swallowing, swallowing spit purposes) with ease and without wincing a little?

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I'm 25 and just had my tonsillectomy yesterday. I actually some solids today (mashed up periogies and peas, soup) because my Doc said after the first 24 hours it's really up to you, as long as things look like they're healing.

Thanks for your posts! It's really helpful to see someone's daily progress. My post-op appointment is the day before Thanksgiving, so hopefully I can enjoy the holidays by then.
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