My Adult Tonsillectomy Experience

This past December I had my tonsils and adenoids surgically removed and honestly it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I want to write about this topic because I was researching like crazy about getting my tonsils removed, the pros and the cons, and others’ experiences about it. Some said it was the worst decision they’ve ever made and there were a whole lot of negative comments about getting your tonsils removed, it got to the point where I was doubting what my Dr recommended and I was just super nervous and stressed out about it. I had a bunch of “what ifs” and didn’t know what to do..

So I’m going to talk about my experience from the beginning. For the past 4 years, I’d get horrible strep throats at least twice every winter time. It was painful swallowing but I feel like I have always been the kind of girl that toughens things out, especially when it comes to colds or the flu so I wouldn’t worry about it. I would literally go to work running a fever for two days hoping it would go away with Tylenol or Advil and I would take tea to help my throat and aching body feel better. Now, getting strep throat twice every winter time wasn’t enough to have to get them removed so that hadn’t even crossed my mind until September of 2016. That’s when I started getting sick ALL the time.

From September to November, I had recurring strep throat and I was constantly sick. I was given an antibiotic and it seemed to be working but as soon as I finished the last pill, my strep throat came back. I was prescribed a different antibiotic and again, it did not work. I was sent to a throat specialist and as soon as I opened my mouth and went “aah” he immediately said my tonsils had to go. They were huge and infected. My tonsils were so swollen that I had visible lumps on my neck. They were causing me problems in my sleep and I had difficulty breathing which caused me to snore louder than my dad. I did not feel like myself at all, my body just felt tired all the time no matter how much rest or sleep I was getting. Thankfully, my boyfriend convinced me and calmed my worries about getting my tonsils removed. He made me realize I had to stop thinking about what other people thought or said and do what was best for me and my body.

Now that I have experienced it, let me confirm the truths about all I’ve read on the internet about adult tonsillectomies:

  • An adult tonsillectomy is completely different than a tonsillectomy on a child or underage teen. You will not be back and ready to go after the next day.
  • You will be out of work or school for at least 2 weeks.
  • You’re going to lose your voice or have a very low voice for a couple days.
  • Your voice is going to slightly change.
  • Days 4-7 are absolute hell. You’re going to be in pain. I was a freaking soldier about it and I was on pain level 14 on a scale of 1-10.
  •  Your uvula, tongue, and throat are going to be huge from the swelling.
  • Don’t eat acidic, salty, or spicy foods. It’s going to burn like a mofo.
  • Resting an ice pack on your neck really does help.
  • Drink lots of water throughout the day and night.
  • Set an alarm clock to wake you up at night to drink water. If your throat dries at night you will suffer! It will feel like swallowing shards of glass in the morning when you wake up.
  • Stay on top of your medication. Don’t wait for the exact time to take your next dose, and if you are running low on pain medication, go get prescribed for more beforehand.
  • On days 6-8 there is risk of bleeding so be really careful about what you eat on those days, even if you feel like you can eat more solid foods. Eat soft foods and soups on those days and work your way up after that.
  • Popsicles, ice, gelato, and cool chicken broth are your best friends.
  • Your ears are going to hurt like no other thanks to your lingual nerve, its directly connected to your ears and throat.
  • You’re going to lose weight.
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