I’m sure you’ve heard that getting your tonsils out as an adult is way worse than doing it as a child. I’m not sure how it can be compared, since it’s a one-and-done procedure and each person handles pain differently. However, I thought I would chronicle my experience in real time so that if you find yourself in the position of facing this surgery in your adulthood, you will be able to get an understanding of what you may go through. I did a lot of research before my surgery this morning, and didn’t find a lot of post-op, step by step/day by day information. I hope this will be helpful (or at least interesting) for you.
*Disclaimer: I am on strong pain pills today. Hopefully you will be on Day 1, too. They do, however, affect my ability to think, slightly, so if this seems rambling, disorganized, or grammatically off, I apologize.
Let me start with a little background. I got strep 6 times in three years and was tested for it but got a negative result 3 more times (I believe — again, strong drugs). The majority of those times was just this school year (September through May).
Last month, I went to a specialist during the last week of school. He said my tonsils and, likely, adenoids had to go. Side note: he also gave me “magic mouthwash” to help with the 6 canker sores I developed in my mouth at once from having such a run-down immune system. That stuff is awesome.
Fast forward to today: surgery day. I followed all pre-op instructions to the letter, except drinking enough water (more on that later). I took a bath last night, removed all nail polish, stopped eating and drinking at midnight, and skipped my meds (I will be taking them in about an hour, as the anesthesiologist instructed). I left home with hubby and baby in tow at 5:45 a.m. and arrived at the hospital right on time at 7 a.m.
I got checked in and signed all the required forms, changed into my gown, and was given an I.V., which unfortunately took three attempts (so now I’m a little bruised on both hands). I’m sure the nurse felt terrible about it, but as I told her that was the LEAST of my worries today and I could not possibly have cared less that it happened. She was just trying to do her job, and I shouldn’t have had a half a bag of Dill Pickle potato chips the night before. I was likely dehydrated, which probably made the vein excursion more difficult. But it was totally worth it — Dill Pickle chips are the nectar of the gods.
By about 9, we were ready to roll. The surgery itself took less than an hour to remove my tonsils and adenoids, and as I was rolled into my room I was already waking up. The first thing I said was, “Is it too early for coffee?” The nurse chuckled and brought me some and now she’s my favorite nurse ever.
Josh and Niko had gone out for breakfast, not expecting me to be done and alert so soon (at the front desk, the nurse had said it might take as much as 6 hours for the whole process of check-in, surgery, wake-up, check-out. Mine took about 4 hours, because I think they underestimated the power of my insomnia!).
So, while I waited for him to get back (you must have a driver to be released), I answered the nurses’ and doctors’ questions, and found talking not as painful as I expected. The nurse reminded me to drink at least a quart and a half of water, or I could wind up in the emergency room (though for what, she ominously did not say, and I was too groggy to do anything but agree). She also told me to avoid dairy today, as that could interact with the anesthesia and make me sick, and was firm about not using straws for a few weeks. The doctor suggested liquids for the first 7 days, and nothing hard or crunchy for 2 to 3 weeks. I got some Jello, took a pain pill, drank some water and coffee, and was discharged at 11.
We picked up my prescriptions — a week’s worth of steroids, some pain pills, and numbing suckers — and drove immediately home. I slept for a bit on the way, came inside, and slept some more.
Continuously, my napping has been interrupted by the soreness and dryness in my throat, even though I have a humidifier directly beside the bed. I’ve been taking tiny (oh, so tiny) sips of water throughout the day, despite the pain.
I fully woke up about 2:30, right around the time to take my next pill, and did so after I ate another Jello and sucked my sucker (only 60 seconds at a time — no biting it!). My throat was sorer than before, which is what woke me up about a half hour earlier than the alarm, talking hurt more, and it felt (and still feels) painfully furry.
I woke up again around 5 (half an hour before the alarm for my next pill) and found it almost impossible to talk. It felt like there was fuzzy cotton clogging my throat. I had part of a blueberry slushie and more sucker, but even water was pretty painful.
I climbed back in bed and slept until 8 (again, about a half an hour before my next pill). I finished my slushie, sucked the sucker again, and am just about to destroy another Jello, but first I had to type this narrative while it was still pretty fresh in my head.
The alarms are set for every three hours, so I’ll be getting up all night long. Also, I don’t know how to take off the hospital bracelets and am too embarrassed to ask the hubby, so I’m still wearing them. Also, I’m starting to feel nauseous, so that’s a delightful little cap on the end of a fun day.
Peace and love.