Tonsillectomy Diaries: Recovery Day 8

Pain. Constant pain. It’s not the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, but the constancy of it is really starting to get to me. I don’t know how people with chronic pain do this every day, knowing there may never be an end to it. I’ve been lucky with my endometriosis, which causes me extreme pain for just one or two days a month, and mild-moderate pain for another 5-6. I know many women who suffer with severe pain almost every day.

This pain I know will end. Knowing that is the only thing keeping me from losing my mind. Sometimes I think the pain is getting better, but other times I’m not so sure. Sometimes it seems like the worst pain is in my jaw joints and the back of my tongue, rather than the throat itself. Other times, the pain in my throat is searing, as if I swallowed hot shards of glass. All this, even though I thought I was doing a good job of staying on top of the pain, taking my Lortab elixir faithfully every 4 hours.

Unfortunately, my appetite seems to be coming back. I say unfortunate, because it hurts like hell when I swallow, no matter how cold or soothing the substance. My stomach growls, but filling it up means more pain. I try to eat when I have the least amount of pain, but swallowing only makes things worse, makes the wait until my next dose seem even longer. Forget about enjoying food, not even ice cream. My goal is maximum staying power, minimal pain. My taste buds are on vacation, thankfully. Of course, that doesn’t prevent me from daydreaming about all-you-can eat sushi.

Tonsillectomy Diaries: Recovery Day 1

Tonsillectomy Diaries: Recovery Day 3

Tonsillectomy Diaries: Recovery Day 11

DOs & DON’Ts of Recovering from an Adult Tonsillectomy



31 thoughts on “Tonsillectomy Diaries: Recovery Day 8

  1. Hi there! Thank you for your post, I’m so glad that I’m not the only one… Actually from reading a lot on tonsillectomy for the last couple of weeks it’s comforting to know that the things that you go through, most people do… Today will be day 8 post op for me (not including the day of surgery) Not been in a great deal of pain really most of the time, only when I eat, until yesterday and today. woke up at 1am, so about an hour ago with the worst searing, burning pain. Got up and took 2 codeine and used some difflam (benzydamine hydrochloride) spray to try ease the area, which for the first time ever BURNED, had a couple of ice pops, and the pain is bearable-ish. It’s constant for the first time, and my tongue is swollen and my jaw feels like I’ve been beaten severely – worst of all I have this nasty food stuck in the back of my mouth feeling which I think comes for both scabs (vile) and my swollen uvula, (which is much better now than when I woke up after the op to it choking me – prompting a shot of steroids to shrink it, and antibiotics for the week to help heal the damage done by the breathing tube during surgery). I am so miserable. I think I might have over -done it yesterday. I had an interview for a new job. I took a taxi there, and back. But talking for 45 minutes hurt so much. No choice though thanks to my unaccommodating current employer for telling me right before I went off for surgery that she would be terminating my employment when I start University in September, because she can’t accommodate another part time student… she did last year… that’s another rant though. So if I want to have a house to live in and to be able to eat – I need another job. Hoping that going in my current state, with my gruff voice might sway them on the dedication front… Had to be done.

    The UK seem to have a different take on tonsillectomy recovery. Here we are made to eat a regular, normal diet right from day one. Within 2 hours of surgery I had to eat a turkey salad with boiled potatoes and egg, soup and rice pudding. Before they discharged me the following morning I had to finish 2 slices of toast and cornflakes. Fairly easy when you still have morphine and anaesthetic in your system. Continuing to eat normally is another matter. Taking me an average of 1 hour 30 minutes to eat something like 3 potato waffles, 2 eggs and a slice of bread, and 30 minutes for toast… and there are a lot of tears during this time! *sigh* To be honest, afterwards – I do feel much better, and considering that codeine and ibuprofen are both harsh on the tummy, food is a god-send. From what I’ve read, and from friends, UK recovery seems to be a lot less harsh with regards to nausea and clearing the surgical site of debris. I don’t know though. I still have all that scabby yellow stuff, and a few blood clots that I can see, that I know are going to burst at some point. Urgh. My tonsils where so big and stuck that the result of surgery is that I have huge holes where they used to be, so I’m not sure that eating is aiding with getting rid of the post of debris…

    Part of me is worrying that after 8 days if I feel like this, worse than ever, that I won’t be ready to go back to work next Friday, it’s not like they can sack me if I don’t go back, but they can refuse to pay me which I could do without. I hope this ends soon, it’s just exhausting. I really wanted to catch up on stuff, and read and do some pre-uni study, and make stuff and launch my new blog, yeah… Netflix and sleeping. That’s been it. I think I’m mainly miserable because I’m ridiculously bored, simply because I can’t concentrate.

    Anyway, thank you again for the post. I just wanted to rant and vent some frustration. Hope the rest of your recovery went well, and you are feeling much better.
    Love and best wishes.

    TB13 xx

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. Toast and cornflakes?! That’s torture! It really is different here, because I was told to avoid those things for at least a week to prevent bleeding. I also had the scabby stuff which made it feel like there was food back there the entire time. That didn’t disappear entirely until about a month after surgery. That’s also how long my uvula stayed swollen. No steroids for me. Day 8 was probably the worst for me. It got a lot better after that. I was out of the office for 2 full work weeks, but I probably could have gone back mid-way through week 2. I’d bet that your interview outing was a bit much, which may be why you feel so bad now. Take it easy for the rest of your time off, and I’m sure you’ll feel okay by the time you go back to work on Friday. Hope you start feeling better soon!

    • Oh my gosh last night I thought I was gonna have to go to a&e cause the pain was so bad! I’m so pleased reading ur post that this is normal

      I can’t hear or see straight for the pain

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  7. Came across your blog and read it regularly during my recovery. I am currently on day 10. I agree. This sucks! It is the constant unrelenting part that gets to you. You hope it’s the worst and then it isn’t and then you feel like it’s never going to end. I loved reading it daily to see what to expect for following days and it;s nice to know you aren’t going completely crazy in the recovery! Your blog has seriously encouraged me to write my own about my own experiences Check it out 🙂

    • I’m glad my blog helped you! I also had bad tonsil stones, but I don’t think I mentioned that as one of the reasons for my tonsils removal. I sure don’t miss them! It sounds like you had an exceptionally rough time of it. I hope things have gotten better for you!

      • Terrible! I mean I’ve heard some people have to use a Q-tip and go back there and remove the tonsil stones from the crevices. I never did because…Going back there kinda freaks me out and partially because I thought forever that the Uvula was the tonsils. OOPS! Mine I would just end up spitting up out of no where and it became really annoying after awhile. I am going to have to write an update on my blog because…I’m still in recovery. I ended up going to the ER this past weekend for hemorrhaging. I ended up taking ibuprofen. They figured I would be okay since I was 11 days post op…yeah…I wasn’t a scab came off and I just started gushing out blood and spitting it out. VERY scary experience. I am that “rare” chance they talk about that it will happen to. Lucky me

  8. Just found comfort reading your post, I am currently on Day 7 post op from my own tonsillectomy and have not been having a good recovery so far.
    On day 5 I picked up a nasty vomiting bug that left me heaving up what little I could digest along with my newly formed scabs and a fair amount of blood.
    As if this wasn’t enough to drag my spirits into the dirt, that night my bug decided to team up with the flu and a rather angry chest infection that left me coughing (still now) and has made the healing process very difficult. Between all the swelling, ear pain, jaw stiffness it all became to much today and the inability to eat, talk, sleep and have basic energy was frustrating as all hell.
    I was hoping to be ready to go back to work in 2 days, 4 at the most and am starting to lose hope that I’ll be returning on time… I think today I literally said, “Okay so I’ll take my tonsils back now, thanks”, even after having suffered with consistent attacks ongoing for over 3 years.
    My tonsils were categorised by my surgeon as Grade 3 out of 4 with no active infection which meant they took up 75% of my throat and were chronic, I was hoping with that information that I would instantly have relief from the daily discomfort with all the extra room, but I forgot that bigger tonsils meant that my throat would be largely burnt from all the tissue lasered during the procedure. This has meant from day 1 my post op photos have shown no sign of any throat space..I guess until swelling *eventually* subsides and everything is healed (Could not come fast enough).
    I have been a crazy googler tonight trying to find any further tips to give me some relief and shut eye and am about to settle into sleeping upright with a vaporiser. *fingers crossed* it helps.
    Sorry for my huge whinge but It feels nice to be able to vent about my own journey so far with someone who understands the struggle themselves.
    PS Congratulations on your new bundle of Joy (If they come on the 27th it’ll be my birthday too)
    Good Luck and best wishes
    Jess from Aus

    • I’m sorry you’re having such a tough recovery. It’s hard enough without illness on top of it. A few times, I was wishing for my tonsils back, too! But a year later, without so much as a scratchy throat in all that time, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done! You WILL feel better. I promise. I hope it’s soon!

  9. Hope you are feeling much better!
    I’m 22 F and currently day 8 tonsillectomy!
    I’m still in quite Abit of pain (mainly in my ears and jawline) but my main annoyance is swallowing. It constantly feels like there is something stuck in my throat! I think I’ve lost most of my scabs so I’m hoping that when they all fall off this will be gone! It’s so irritating!
    Sleep isn’t too bad, I sometimes wake up with ear ache but just have to kick my partner and he is up to get me a heat pad haha and then I can sleep well again.
    Eating is one of my main issues.. It doesn’t necessarily hurt to eat, it just feels like it gets stuck in my throat! Like my throat muscles aren’t strong enough to swallow it? I’ve been reading round and not really heard anyone else say this so im Abit worried. Even if j eat the smallest amount of soft bread with a gallon of water it feels like it gets stuck?
    Anyway I’m hoping when I get into double figures I’ll be alot better!


    • I remember having that sensation of something stuck in my throat all the time. I can’t recall when it went away. The back of my tongue hurt terribly and made it hard to swallow. I hope you feel better soon!

  10. So glad to find your blog. I am on my Day 4 of Tonsillectomy. I am glad to read that pretty much everybody was feeling the same as I do now. Swallowing has been the hardest for me. I am fine sleeping…. Like Kristy, I do feel like my throat muscles are not co-operating when I swallow. It takes me an hour to have a bowl of chicken noodle soup and 30 mins to have some yogurt. I do feel like food is stuck in my throat. I tried to get off my hydrocodone today and just read that it is not a good idea. However, the meds just make me drowsy all the time. So I guess I should lay low and sleep my day away (which I am not used to). I also think that I speak too soon (Day 1). So I am trying to preserve my energy and not speak at all. Thank you for your posts and suggestions. Hopefully, i will feel better soon!

  11. I feel a lot better that many people have gone through what I’m going through after tonsillectomy. I am on day 7 of recovery and all I have been able to do today is cry. My throat is so sore, I feel hungry and the custard and ice cream don’t seem to help any longer. What makes matters worse is that I’m epileptic, so I’m very cautious when taking any other medication. Yesterday I had such an excruciating pain in my ears that I ended putting cotton wool balls inside them. I struggle to sleep at night and end up walking up and down in the house. I really wonder when will I see myself out of this misery.

    Hoping to hear from you.

    • I’m so sorry. It does get better, though I know it’s hard to imagine how that’s possible at this point in your recovery.

  12. Hi I need some advise! I am 18 and I got my tonsils taken out last Sunday on the 27th of March. The day I got them taken out I ended up staying at the hospital till 9:30 in the evening due to how severe my pain was and I was feeling very faint and sick due to the anaesthetic. They asked me to stay over night but I just wanted to get home, so I did and went straight to sleep. The next day I just drank water but managed to eat French bread with soup that after noon, it was so painful but I forced myself to do it. Ever since I have been forcing myself to eat every single day, mainly soft foods, but nevertheless I have been pushing it through severe pain. After reading many diaries of other people’s experiences I am now worried I have pushed myself to far which will only cause more pain and damage. I have also tried to get out the house on 4 occasions now thinking it will do me some good so I can get some fresh air. I am on day 6 now and I think I may be pushing myself, is this normal/ okay to do after a tonsillectomy? Also I have been in severe pain reaching 9/10 if I am not on medication, they gave me paracetamol and ibuprofen to take but it wasn’t enough so I am now taking a soluble paracetamol mixed with codeine which seems to be working however all these drugs wear off so quickly and I don’t want to exceed my dosage however it’s causing me so much pain; are there any ways around this?

    • I’m sorry I didn’t see this sooner. Hopefully, by now you’re healed. If anyone else is reading with similar experience, my best advice is to keep taking the medication on a schedule to stay ahead of the pain. Don’t wait until you’re in pain, because by then it’s too late. There are mixed opinions on getting back to eating and drinking normally right away versus taking it easy, so all I can say is follow your doctor’s advice and your own instincts.

  13. Day 6 and I’m smiling after finding your blog?… I’m a foodie and I love food day 8 was my fave because of your last sentence I’ve been dreaming of the day I can have my all you can eat sushi and how much I miss food thanks for brightening my day

  14. it’s my day 3 since i got operated. My throat right now is swollen and i feel like crying everytime i cough out a phlegm. it’s really painful and feels like my throat will explode in some point… i took my meds and still waiting for a fast recovery since i really need to go back to work before they will fire me.

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