It’s been just over a year since I went through a tonsillectomy recovery. Before the day I read a lot online about it, watched YouTube videos with testimonials and asked a few questions to the doctors and nurses to prepare myself for what was coming. Even though I was well-informed I was super scared leading up to the day.
Because you might be going through a tonsillectomy recovery or have to go through it soon I thought I would share my experience with you.
Day 0 – When things got real
Woke up early to be able to have a slice of toast and a soft-boiled egg. Back to bed to rest for another hour, obviously wasn’t able to get any extra sleep. Off to shower and shave to look decent when wearing the hospital gown. Got my gym bag ready with leggings and a t-shirt to wear on the way home. My friend came to pick me and my boyfriend up at 9am to head to the hospital. Was given a bed and a welcome pack with a few basics and some leaflets. Even got to choose what I wanted to eat afterwards from the hospital menu!
Met the surgeon who gave me the impression that he wanted to talk me out of it as he told me how horrible the recovery was going to be. Met the anaesthetic technician too who laughed at my request of no needles. He said it was not an option unless I was going to start running and screaming.
At 2pm I was taken away by a nurse. I walked into a tiny room where we made small talk and was given the anaesthetic. The needle on my hand was not half as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Waking up in the recovery room was fine and felt no pain at all. I was just cold and shaking but was able to chat with the nurses and even talked in Spanish with one of them! The surgery took 45 minutes and I was “waking up” for about an hour.
I felt just fine. Drank loads of water, tea and ate biscuits. Even had lasagna for dinner! The drugs at the hospital were really good. My mood was great. The ride home was nice too and I remember enjoying the music on the radio.
Day 1 to Day 3 – I was ready for the worst
Sleeping was OK and an extra pillow is a must as your head should be in a higher position. It is also more comfortable that way. My throat was sore but it was manageable with the regular painkillers that I was taking as per instructed. A glass of water was my best friend those days, I had it next to me at all times! I drank water very regularly as I read that one of the worst things you can do is to let your throat get dry.
I watched a lot of Netflix and YouTube and slept throughout the day.
Even though eating was a bit painful I was eating almost as I would do normally.
Day 4 to day 6 – The worst was here
The pain got real and I gave in to taking codeine. It did help. I continued eating well and drinking a lot of water.
I spat a little blood and panicked a bit. Thankfully it was nothing to worry about as there was barely any blood. I had a little temperature but it also went away. Tried to get advice from my doctor but it was worthless and ended up chatting to a relative that is a doctor in Portugal to ease my worries.
At the end of day 6 I started feeling a little better and even had steak for dinner!
Day 7 – Over the Worst bit now
No nap was required and I managed to reduce the painkillers I was taking. Meal times were not even that painful anymore. I had carbonara for lunch and roast chicken for dinner.
Day 8 – Pizza day
Yes, I had pizza for lunch. Domino’s. And it was amazing. It did scratch my throat a little bit but it was totally worth it! Besides I was told that it was good to eat bread to get rid of the dead tissue hanging in my throat.
Day 9 to day 11 – Stressed out
Got a little stressed out to be going back to work soon. I was feeling better but was far from being 100%. Left the house for a coffee break with my friend to catch up and it felt really good even though talking a lot really dried my throat.
Day 12 – Went to see the doctor
Just to make sure it was all looking good I went to see the GP and got the OK to go back to work.
Day 13 – Back to work
It was so nice to be welcomed back but by 4pm I was struggling with the dry air. I was feeling so bad I had to leave early and almost cried. When I got home I had tea waiting for me and felt better quickly after drinking it.
The following weeks
The dry air at work was still hard to breathe but it slowly got easier. I had a humidifier next to me on my desk which helped a little as well.
Recovery wasn’t easy but it was far from the nightmarish stories you can find online. Not saying you won’t go through one of those (I honestly hope not) but keep positive! Drink a lot of water, eat well and rest! Very important as well is to get someone to “babysit” you for at least a week. I was lucky enough to have my boyfriend cook for me, bring me water, make me tea and give me a lot of love.
Final notes: Check online how your throat is likely to look during the recovery period and don’t be horrified when you look at it yourself. It gets a little disgusting when it starts to come off but you’ll get through it. It’s part of the healing process as you don’t really get stitches there so your body heals in a different way. Don’t forget to check with your doctor about eating. In the UK you are advised to eat as normal and I personally found that it helped me a lot recovering from the operation but other countries have a different approach. I guess that is also why I lost no weight at all during this time! Feel free to ask me any questions on this subject if you want to.
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