Recovering from tonsillectomy

Okay, please forgive me for the next rant-y posts that will follow, but oh my gosh, tonsillectomy is the worst surgery I’ve ever had! Not that I felt a thing during the operation, it’s just that the recovery is one of the most difficult and most painful processes I’ve ever encountered! Disclaimer: I am no wuss. I have experienced a lot of surgeries in my life, including a permanent pacemaker implantation when I was 15… but the pain of all of those things combined is nothing compared to what I experienced during the first few days of my recovery. Let me tell you why.

I had my tonsillectomy last Friday (June 27th). My ENT doctor recommended this operation for me because I have very frequent episodes of tonsillitis, occurring every 4 months. I agreed because it would be bad if I always missed work because of tonsillitis. One of the most recent cases I’ve had was when I was in Florida last April; what a way to spend my vacation in a beautiful place! Everything was so expensive since I did not have insurance and I could not buy antibiotics without a trip to the doctor’s clinic, whereas here in the Philippines my brother’s written prescription would suffice (he’s an internist). Well, after recovering from that I thought I wouldn’t have to face another bout of tonsillitis till much later, but damn, I got back home in June and bam! I caught it again. Both my ENT doctor and cardiologist were convinced that I needed to have my tonsils removed because very frequent tonsillitis does increase my chances of contracting rheumatic heart disease, which is dangerous because I already have an existing heart disease! But they told me not to worry because it is a simple procedure and that I could go home the next day and start work a week after. Oh, and I was told I could eat all the ice cream I want during my recovery!

Too bad I believed what they said.

Yes, it is a simple procedure, but when I woke up after the operation I was just in too much pain that I wish I was drugged again. Whenever I swallowed I felt like I was swallowing shards of glass that were cutting through my throat. People were telling me to eat ice cream and that I was lucky I get to have unlimited amounts of it during my recovery… Really? Ice cream made my throat so sticky that I choked a lot because of the sensation. I did not eat anything on the next day; all I could handle was ice cold water, and even that was too much for my throat. I could not sleep for more than an hour too because my mouth gets dehydrated and, you guessed it, it causes more pain. I also can’t take meds because it was so hard to swallow; I was begging my parents to let me stay just one more night in the hospital (through text messaging, of course, since I had no voice) so I can have my meds through IV.

On the third day, the pain has subsided just a little bit but I still couldn’t speak nor eat anything that’s not soup. I was constipated too, and that made it really hard for me to do anything. What’s worse, I was coughing a lot and it really hurt my throat. I asked my doctor though, and he said that coughing is normal because of the irritation from the operation. Still, it really hurts a lot.

I’m on day 4 now and I’m a lot better, though still not fully recovered. I still can’t speak and my throat still hurts. I feel so weak that I just want to stay in bed the whole day!¬†But the good thing (I think) is that I’m regaining my appetite, though it means that I’m starting to crave for food that I still can’t eat at this point. I hope this gets better though since I’ll be starting work soon!


  1. I don’t know from personal experience when it comes to tonsils, but I know my poor little brother had the surgery and was in bed for days. He couldn’t eat anything. I, on the other hand hate other people trying to make me feel better and/or say I’m lucky because I get to eat ice cream etc;. I say this, because I had my wisdom teeth extracted and that HURT more than anything I had. I think any surgery done in that area of the mouth and throat hurts the most. I fractured my ankle/leg a few years ago, but that didn’t hurt more than not being able to eat and the pain of a thousand needles in my mouth. I cried for hours because I couldn’t eat, and only gulped up painful spoonful of milkshakes.

    Regardless, they did give me some strong pain medication, and sometimes it either worked or not. I’m better now, but still, I understand how it feels to be in somewhat horrible pain.

    Glad, you’re doing a little bit better. It’s a vast improvement instead of feeling like you’re shallowing shards. That sounds more than painful. I stay away from milkshakes now. I’m tired of them, for FOREVER. Lol


  2. Aw, that sucks a lot! I never really had any surgeries (and I hope to God that I won’t have to go through any lol) and thinking about your experience makes me cringe. I mean, really, if I were you I wouldn’t have lasted for days without being so grumpy and weak.

    I hope you’re feeling much better now!

  3. I never had any surgery yet but I can tell what you’re going through sucks and hurts a lot. Seriously, I think you’re so brave and strong because to undergo several surgeries at a very young age is no joke. My grandmother had a few surgeries already and I can’t bare to look at her and how it has dragged her body down — well of course there’s an age difference between you and my grandmother.

    I know this might sound clich√©, but I hope for your speedy recovery. I hope you’d feel better really soon and take care.

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