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Ear, Nose & Throat Message Board


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i'm only 14 so my experience probably isnt as bad as yours, (srry to say that :() but everyone tells you to drink drink drink, well thats alot easier said than done. Prepare for it to hurt to drink, and to eat too. Just to be honest.
I lost 15 pounds in the week that i was recovering... the only things you should eat are things like pudding, cream of chicken soup, things like that. (My surgery was oer 2 years ago and i am only just now able to eat that stuff again, lol, you lose an appetite for the foods that people are practically trying to force down your throat that hurt to eat.)
People talk about eating ice cream but its not smart to do that until a few days after- it's thick and can coat the area in the throat and that is not good.
About 4 days after i was able to eat chicken noodle soup, barely. I literally had to learn to eat again after so many days of no solids!
But anyway prepare to have a very difficult time eating and drinking. It helps if u take the pain meds they give you about 20 minutes before you eat (if it doesnt upset your stomach) and it makes your throat pain a little better so you can manage to swallow.
I was a rebel and didnt eat and drink like i should so i was dehydrated but refused to go to the hospital :O
So youve probably heard this like 03710578739486135976413471 times, but try your best with eating and drinking, it makes a world of difference! :)
You are in my prayers and i wish you the best of luck.
On my Day 10, I was back in church and eating out with friends afterwards. (Potato soup with big chunks of soft potatoes. Yum!) If you count your day of surgery as Day 1, Christmas Day will be your Day 13. At that time, I was still eating pretty slowly...taking little bites and doing a lot of chewing...but I was eating a wider variety of foods. The sore throat wasn't entirely gone yet, but I was completely off of any pain medication by then.

I agree that it's a good idea to do your Christmas shopping before your surgery. I got tired pretty fast if I did much walking. But you should be able to address cards and wrap presents during your recovery. It would give you something to do that can be enjoyable and won't tire you out.

Unless you have complications, or end up with one of the horror story recoveries (heaven forbid), I can't think of any reason why you can't have an enjoyable Christmas Day. I'll be rootin' for ya!
[QUOTE=Mom2SJnDA;4653276]Hi Cathlabgirl!

Childbirth has NOTHING on tonsillectomy recovery! Ugh! I'm not sure how much you have read of the posts but my soft palate has dropped considerably on the left side, so that has been making it hard for me to swallow and breathe sometimes. I'm hoping it goes back to normal, because otherwise I think I would end up with the same issue you have, regarding vomiting out the nose. And that just doesn't sound pleasant at all. I'm hoping at my follow-up on Wednesday my ENT tells me not to worry, this is normal and will correct itself in time.

Here's hoping you don't have to have another surgery to correct it!![/QUOTE]

:wave:
I had problems with the right side of my tongue being swollen for quite sometime. That went away. If its just swelling of your soft palate I think you should be ok!! :) It took a good 2 months for everything to start to look as though it was healed. The pockets in the back of my throat were huge because of the Tonsils being so deep. All in all I am happy to of had the surgery done!! My adenoids were huge making it hard for me to breathe out my nose and sleep at night. Plus my tonsils were huge.. always had a sore throat and those stinky white things.. eewww!! I LOVE the fact that they are gone and I can breathe out my nose!!! I also sleep the whole night without waking up every hour snoring!! So as long as things are ok and my throat will expand on its own without another surgery then I am very happy!

Good luck on your check up tomorrow!!
[QUOTE=Cathlabgirl;4655555]HI Mom2sjnDA,

Do you have a Humidifier??? That was my savior!! As for the pain. Hmmm.. let me see.. I was out of work for 28 days. The first week back to work I was still in a lot of pain. Just started to eat some real food... PASTA!!! YUMMY!! I had to tell people not to talk to me which was hard because everyone wanted to hear about my surgery. I think probably 5 weeks. I ended up with thrush too which I hear lots of people get. That made my tongue burn really bad! I also had a really hard time speaking! I sounded like a deaf person. I couldn't pronounce E's, D's.. anything that required me to strain my throat. It wouldn't really hurt that much, my throat just wouldnt get in the position to make the right sounds. Haha.. so I got teased really bad! I still have problems when I wake up in the morning. I sleep with a humidifier which helps greatly because if I don't my throat will really hurt. Just gets dry and I still have problems speaking but I think that is due to the scar tissue making my throat not be able to move.

How did you have your surgery done?? I never had the problems with the scabs.[/QUOTE]

Hi Cathlabgirl! Today is day 24 for me and my pain is at the lowest it has been yet. I am hoping by the weekend it will be gone. I had my follow up with my ENT last night and he said, for my age, I am healing normally. I should be completely back to normal in another week or so. I am beginning to eat better. I was FINALLY able to have my cheeseburger I have been craving!! It was delish! My soft palate is still low on the left side, so it is difficult swallowing, but I am dealing with it. Me ENT said it could go back or it could stay that way. I will be glad when I am to the point where I can say I am happy I had the surgery. Right now the verdit is still out... ;)

Hope everyone is having a Happy New Year! Good luck to Ange who is up tomorrow and Kelly next week!!! Keep us posted if you can!!

Yes, I've been faithful with using a humidifier. It does make a difference for sure!
I did not post to this forum during the intense moments of my recovery but I wanted to THANK all the members who shared useful tips and encouragement to others - which ended up being integral to me making it through this ordeal.

I found this forum BEFORE my surgery which was helpful for me to plan for the weeks following my operation. The most useful posting was the well thought-out document that LisaMP wrote from the perspective of a caregiver of a tonsillectomy patient. Following that outline, Iíll share some experiences from my recovery diary in hopes that it will help and provide comfort to others who are suffering during the recovery from their surgery.

On 1/11/11 I had a tonsillectomy, septoplasty (septum straightening) and turbinate reduction in my nose. Iím a 42 year old male. The pre-op, surgery, and post-op went as I visualized before the procedure and the next thing you know it, Iím at home with a friend who agreed to watch over me for 24 hours following the surgery. From that point on, I was on my own.

Overall, here are my top recommendations for recovery:
--The patient should plan to be relatively upright in a reclinable cushy chair for the first two weeks. If you donít have a recliner, buy one. Keeping the throat above the heart, avoiding ear pain, and using gravity to aide in hydration and nutrition is important.
--Cold vs. Warm. Have a thermal cup of ice water AND a thermal cup of warm water at your side at all times. I know everyone mentions this but it is EXTREMELY important to stay hydrated at all times. Drink, drink, drink. Sipping from a straw can be helpful. Ice-cold vs warm becomes a big deal as you move between the recovery stages.
--Have a compact mirror and flashlight on the table next to the chair. I know things look pretty darn scary in the throat but it is important to view and monitor changes often throughout the day and night and you donít want to have to jump up and run to the bathroom each time you feel changes in your throat.
--KEEP A DIARY! Keep track of the time and medications that you are taking, the food/drink that is tolerable, the food/drink to avoid, how you are feeling and any concerns that you have.
Schedule and stick to taking all medications as prescribed. You never want to get fall behind in pain management, but also be careful not to take too much. I also found it helpful to stagger the use of Motrin/Advil in between my doses of Hydrocodone.
--PAIN MEDS cause constipation. Even though I planned for this side-effect, it wasnít enough for me to avoid getting bound like a saint bernard. When you feel like crap already, being bloated and crampy is not fun. Take stool softeners starting on day one, and plan to take laxatives as well. AVOID Milk of Magnesia liquid as it will coat your throat with what feels like battery acid. Also have on hand suppositories and an enema, both of which I never used before in my life and had to use more than once during my recovery. Also remember to stager the use of laxatives 1-2 hours away from taking your pain meds.
--SLEEP is your ENEMY. I know this sounds ridiculous, but my most intense pain came the first few minutes after waking up from any sleep. At some points, I found it better to set an alarm to wake myself up every 20-30 minutes to hydrate. As soon as you sleep you stop drinking and often breathe through your mouth. A dry tongue will become swollen and painful and your biggest pain will come from the scabs drying out on the back of your throat. Keep these scabs wet at all times!
--Gum is your friend. Avoid super minty gums that will make water feel cold. I liked juicy fruit gum. Gum keeps you producing saliva (naturally healing for the scabs) and also keeps your throat tissues gently moving which is good so that you donít feel like you will rip open your throat with a yawn or cough.

STAGE ONE: Moderate pain (for me, days 1-4)
As mentioned in other posts most patients experience moderate pain on the days following surgery. Keep in mind for me that I also had surgery on my nose so I had additional points of concern including bloody noses and drainage. However, even with all that, I did not experience that much pain. In fact, I thought to myself that most of the people on this forum must be a bunch of woosies who canít tolerate pain. Well, what I should have done was just ďconsidered myself blessedĒ that my pain was not too bad, because what you experience in STAGE TWO is altogether a new kind of pain.
Stage One pointers:
Drink water constantly - have ice water and warm water readily available
Favorite foods for me: banana flavored popsicles (avoid some real-fruit juice pops as they may feel acidic on your throat), apple sauce with protein powder (cold or warm), chicken stock!, mashed potatoes, gravy, and mac-n-cheese both of which can be watered down with chicken stock, oatmeal, and ritz crackers.
DONíT LISTEN to the people who say to eat any type of food that will help scrape the scabs off the throat (like potato chips, etc). If a scab comes off prematurely, you can bleed uncontrollably and/or cause an infection. Stick to soft foods.
Avoid all dairy or anything that causes coating on the throat.
Get a cool-mist humidifier and run it all day/night.
I didnít feel much like reading or doing any work so having access to TV, internet radio, and lotís of movies was good for my recovery.

STAGE TWO: Moderate to mind-blowing pain (for me, days 5-11)
This is the stage when the scabs start to come off. This was the most painful and depressing time for me. I wished I would have figured out that ice-cold anything at this stage was not helpful. I was forcing myself to sip ice-water and it hurt so bad! Later, I figured out that warm water and warm broth was the easiest to tolerate. Your throat will have dark-red scabs covered with white layers. As the throat heals, these scabs will start to come off and be replaced with more scabs and layers of white. This is a continuous process and itís important to monitor this progression. If bleeding occurs, you should first calm down (donít panic) and gargle with ice water and diluted hydrogen peroxide until the blood starts to clot. This happened to me twice...both times at night. If you are spitting out thick amounts of blood get to an ER right away. All I can say is hang in there during this awful stage. It will get better but it takes time. Be smart here and constantly stay hydrated. Plan to eat after taking your pain meds so that you get some nutrition -- youíll feel better if you are not too weak.
Stage Two pointers:
stay hydrated with warm water, warm broth or tea
my prescribed liquid Lortab felt like BATTERY ACID at this stage. Call your ENT and get the prescriptions changed to tablets if you need to!
keep ice water in the fridge and be ready with peroxide in case bleeding occurs
sleep in very short time periods so that you can hydrate and monitor your throat with a flashlight and mirror. Each time you wake up, slowly sip warm water and then gently gargle with warm water (if not bleeding) to saturate the scabs and layers in the healing throat.
one surprise for me was warm coffee. I thought it would feel acidic, but it wasnít. It DID improve my mood and helped me poop. :)
Donít be afraid to call your ENT and explain your pain and concerns. Going in for an early check-up and a few shots in the ass of a steroid and heavy-duty pain med could be just what you need to get through this stage. I DID NOT see my ENT until the scheduled 10-day appointment and the staff basically said ďwhy the hell didnít you call us and come in earlier?Ē Anyway...even on Day-10 my ENT had to re-cauterize a small bleeding vessel that started the night before. He gave me shots that made me feel awesome for over 8 hours. I was able to catch up a little on food and sleep during that time of bliss.

STAGE THREE Moderate to minor pain. (Iím still in this stage starting at Day 11 to 16)
Each day gets to be a little better. Remember to take it easy. Itís okay to go for a walk, but donít overdo it. Remember to take small bites and chew all your food before swallowing.
Stage Three pointers:
continue drinking water and/or any liquids that you can now tolerate like gatorade, etc.
introduce new foods slowly
gradually you can extend the time between taking meds and the dosage amount.
continue to monitor your throat as it heals

I hope youíll find some of these tips helpful.

God Bless all of you and I hope your recovery is safe and swift.
I have 2 1/2 more weeks until my surgery (2/11/11). I was wondering how much time I should plan off from work. I work in a call center enviroment so I spend 8 1/2 hours a day on the phone talking. My ENT says I need to plan for about 7 days away from work but my GP says it will prob be at least 2 weeks before I am able to talk all day like that without being in pain. I was just wondering what some of you that have been through this think.
[QUOTE=tontay;4670304]I have 2 1/2 more weeks until my surgery (2/11/11). I was wondering how much time I should plan off from work. I work in a call center enviroment so I spend 8 1/2 hours a day on the phone talking. My ENT says I need to plan for about 7 days away from work but my GP says it will prob be at least 2 weeks before I am able to talk all day like that without being in pain. I was just wondering what some of you that have been through this think.[/QUOTE]

My ENT also told me 7 days. I think it depends on individual circumstances. Personally, I would take the two weeks at least. Would your employer let you take the two weeks and then come back earlier if you feel up to it? Maybe that's an option. When it's your time, let us know how you're doing, and know we understand! :)
I'm on my 5th day if we count surgery day and the swelling has gone down enough that I can see the scabs on the back of my throat now. They are itchy but I have been keeping things under control with children's tylonal and ice. For those still suffering I wanted to pass along that my doctor said everything you eat for the first 7 or so days should be ice cold. I have been drinking frozen ginger ale and Apple juice along with Popcicles sorbet and frosty's and have been doing well. I had read a lot of people saying soup and broth but my doctor said nothing warmer than refridgerated. It has served me well so far so I thought I'd pass it along.

I wish you all good luck.
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking for a while - in fact, when I need to distract myself from the pain, ironically I come and read everyone else's experiences in the hope of finding that this will be over soon.

I am a 32 year old female and I had my surgery Feb 10th with the coblation method. I guess I am technically in Day 7, although it's only 2 in the morning here right now. I just woke up with the most painful throat from sleeping and I remember waking up at 1:00 am but can't remember if I took my medicine then. So I'm waiting it out to take more assuming I did take it 1:00, but boy is it painful at the moment.

My experience has been somewhat normal so far, I think. Day 1 was easy-breezy, and like others, I thought that if that was the worst of the pain, that I'd do great. Of course, the anesthesia & morphine from the hospital eventually wore off and on came the pain. For me, Days 2-the current, the pain gradually increased each day. I didn't really get a reprieve on days 2-4 or so like some say they do, but thankfully my pain seems to dissipate quite a bit during the midday and afternoon and then comes on strong around 6 or so in the evening and lasts until a few hours after I get up in the morning. I had lots of problems getting anything, including water, down for about days 2-4 and basically lived on popcycles to try and stay as hydrated as possible.

Evenings 5 & 6 were the worst so far with a major stinging fit on evening 5 that lasted for a couple of hours. Otherwise, I guess it has been manageable. I finally tried my first "foods" which were jell-o and pudding on day 4, but have mostly spent my entire day swallowing chewed ice (from Sonic) which seems to be much easier for me than drinking water, and despite that fact that others say it burns once the scabs start coming off - it has still been soothing for me. I just try to do it constantly while awake and it has started to help me get better hydrated. I managed to eat a few bites of mac & cheese last night for the first time.

I think my scabs must have started coming off a little the 5th evening when I had the major pain for a few hours. It seems each side of my throat is healing at a different rate. The left side of my throat hurt A LOT while the right side barely hurt at all the first few days. Now that has switched and the right hurts but the left feels as if it has started to heal up pretty well. And while both sides had large white scabs with specks of green in them, the left side has a much thinner layer of white with no green showing now and a little pink underneath - that is the side that feels better now. The right side is still white with lots of green specks. I'm guessing that I am healing up slower on the right side? That tonsil appeared to be about twice the size of the other when I looked in the mirror prior to the tonsillectomy, so I guess it's no surprise.

My biggest issues other than the pain so far have been a slightly mucousy throat and a numb tongue. I deal with the mucous by pushing air up against my throat when it gets thick enough and I seem to be able to blow it right out of my mouth (sorry if that's disgusting, but I figure it could help some people?). It's much less painful than coughing to do it that way. I'm a bit concerned about my tongue because the entire left side is quite numb still, and while I can still taste every thing pretty well in general, I can' taste or feel anything on that side. Everything tasted very bitter for me for a few days, but I seem to be better for the most part now.

Whew! That's a lot of details, but I know reading what everyone else is going through or has gone through in the past has helped me a lot, so I wanted to share everything, too. I'm hoping to hear that I am nearing the end of this. My hope is that I will feel great by day 10 - which will be Saturday for me. Is that reasonable to hope for?

BTW - the pain medication my doctor gave me is a new med called Nucynta. I'm wondering if anyone else has been on this and what their experience was with it. I can't decide if it's helping much or not, and I'm also wondering if I can take Tylenol with it. Because unlike other medications such as Lortab, I don't think it has Tylenol in it.

Oh, and I have to share one other thing before I go. I'm a little concerned because my period is late. I'm on BC, but I was taking antibiotics right up until the day before surgery (I had a sinus infection just prior to my tonsillectomy) and am wondering if that could have messed with it. I'm a little nervous about if I am pregnant and if I should be taking pain medication if I am. What to do? We'll see if my period starts today (probably should have started Sat or Sun) and if not, I may have to think about getting a pg test and figuring out what to do. What will I do about pain if I am??? Hopefully I'm worried over nothing and my period is just delayed because my body is stressed. Anyone else have a similar issue?
Thanks so much Mom2! I appreciate having a place to come vent and really appreciate the encouragement.

We'll here's my update so far for today - Day 11.

Well, I had emotional breakdown number 3 this morning. I think the longer this goes on, the more likely I am to get emotional at any given moment. I stopped taking my pain meds since they were making me sick - I'm guessing that's not helping my outlook any. Most of the time, I still have no desire whatsoever to eat anything. I usually eat around once a day and this usually occurs around the point in the day that I feel best.

The positive thing is that despite having no pain meds, I slept the longest yet in quite some time - 7 hours last night. I did, however, wake up to a relatively large area of blood-stained sheets. I must have bled a bit last night. Many times when I spit up mucous, it is also blood-tinged. But the doctor said 2 TBS and I never have all that much blood at once. Needless to say, I'm still very worried about bleeding.

And my biggest concern right now - when I spit up mucous, a lot of it contains yellow and some if it when I first wake up is even darker. I'm a little concerned about an infection. Should I be calling the doctor? I really don't want this to last any longer than it already has because of infection. I thought I would be so much better by now.

And I think my husband's company even left early because of me. At least the kids have school tomorrow, but my husband is off work. I just wish we could go somewhere. I think one of the hardest things right now is watching food commercials and wondering when I might ever be able to eat something "real" again.
Yup 2 weeks tomorrow I had my post op appointment yesterday and they say everything is looking good. They said my main thing it not to gulp drinks since I don't have my uvula any longer. I have found it hard eating somethings like noodles. My tongue is still swollen and they said that it will for a little. So I go back in 3 months unless I have complications.

Adpace- Glad to hear that you are doing better and eating. Things should be getting better and back to normal.
Day 20

I just wanted to give what will hopefully be one of my final updates. My post-op appt was today and I had several things I wanted to find out about. I took a peek at the back of my throat before going in and noticed there is still what appears to be quite a bit of scabbing on the right side (BTW, I was getting the right & left sides mixed up in some of my earlier posts - blame it on the surgery LOL). I also still have a numb/tasteless tongue on one side.

The doctor said the tongue should really be healed by now. He said he thinks it will get better each day over the next few months. I am hoping he's right, but I do know there was a risk of this mentioned prior to surgery. It was just so minimal, I didn't think I would end up in that category!

Also, he says there's still a lot of inflammation back there. That's comforting to know, in a way, because I always thought I had a high pain tolerance, but this recovery has taken so long. . . So it's good to know that it's not just in my head (not that I thought it was, but still nice to have the confirmation). So it looks like I still have a ways to go despite the fact I'm nearly 3 weeks post-op, but it's looking lots better every day.

I meant to ask him about the lab reports, but the appt went so fast, I didn't think of it. I have to go to another follow-up in about 6 weeks because of the tongue issue, so maybe I can ask him then.

Hopefully I will be able to talk soon without sounding funny and be able to wake up without a sore throat or any discomfort throughout the day, but I'm just so happy to be beyond the worst of it!





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