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adult tonsillectomy pain healing
June 26, 2005 7:17 PM   Subscribe

An adult neighbor/friend had his tonsils out, and he's in hella pain, despite ingesting many Lortab. It's been a week.

If you've had your tonsils out as an adult, did anything help with the post-surgery recovery? I've read about *why* it hurts--cauterization of sensitive tissue, bacterial infection, etc. It's been over a week and this guy is miserable. I'm wondering what he can do beyond the standard ice cream drill. Is there anything ho-listic he could be doing?
posted by craniac to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I've never had my tonsils out, but pineapple is a natural anti-inflammatory. If swelling and pain related to that is part of his problem, eating or sucking on some pineapple (preferrably fresh) or even drinking pineapple juice can help. It worked for me when I got my wisdom teeth out.
posted by autojack at 7:47 PM on June 26, 2005


That might not be a good idea:

Instructions for a Tonsillectomy and/or Adenoidectomy: "Eat soft foods, avoid acid-type fluids such as orange juice, pineapple juice, etc., as these things will irritate your throat.It is important to drink plenty of fluids during your recovery
period."
posted by craniac at 7:52 PM on June 26, 2005


I was 20 when I had mine out. It was horrendous, the pain was very bad, and my pain medication was Tylenol with Codeine, which really didn't begin to touch it.

Extreme cold (ie. ice cream) made the pain worse for me. The only thing that was tolerable were lukewarm liquids and lying absolutely still.

It took me several weeks to get to the point that I could eat even soft foods.

And, anything with acid? Oh, hell no. The first time I tried to drink orange juice, I thought I would die.

So, really the only thing that helped was time and rest. And, knowing that the pain couldn't last forever.
posted by SuzySmith at 8:10 PM on June 26, 2005


ooh, that doesn't sound promising, but thanks.
posted by craniac at 8:39 PM on June 26, 2005


Ice cream isn't a good idea right after surgery.
posted by 4easypayments at 8:58 PM on June 26, 2005


I had my tonsils out at 21 (I didn't have a lot of fun).
I was out for a month.
After my wisdom teeth, I was out for a day and a half. I usually recover quickly.
Some do's: Do follow the doctor's advice. Do take as many painkillers as you can stand. Do watch crappy daytime tv. Do sleep as much as possible. Do eat miso soup (non-acidic, unlike tomato based soups). Do whine to everyone within earshot (it really DOES SUCK).
Some don'ts: Don't try walking around or talking for a good bit. DON'T HAVE SEX, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOUR GIRLFRIEND MIGHT ALLEVIATE YOUR PAIN (oral sex might be OK). Don't rupture the stictches in your throat through physical activity. (If you do, a trick to getting moved up in line at the emergency room is to suddenly spew blood across the waiting area. Otherwise, they'll have you sitting and spitting your semi-clotted blood into a little cup). Don't smoke, even though pot might help you relax. Don't think that you can get over it quickly. Don't think that just because you feel about 80% good, or that because it only twinges a little when you're eating, that you can go and do all that shit you enjoyed before the surgery. Don't get active until the doctor says so. Don't dwell on the fact that now that you think of it, your ongoing tonsil infection only kinda hurt all the time, as opposed to your recovery, which really hurts a lot almost all of the time.

What can you do for your friend? Make sure that they listen to the doctors, and take them out for a bigass meal or something once the doctors say that they're better. Or have sex with them, or whatever. Just something nice. You can always have yours out if you want to commiserate.
posted by klangklangston at 10:41 PM on June 26, 2005


Also, drink tonnes of fluids (I also found lukewarm helped). My main problem was that I stopped swallowing because it hurt and essentially had to *retrain* myself to do it. Crazy and inconvenient. Having a bottle of water near by and constantly sipping at it helped.

Plus, instant noodles. I ate so many of those I actually can't face them now.

But in general, it'll be a few weeks of hell, I'm afraid.
posted by szechuan at 10:48 PM on June 26, 2005


The best is to get in touch with your doctor and let him know about the severe persisting pain. He might help you best, by detecting some other problem, or a stronger pain killer.
posted by webmeta at 1:32 AM on June 27, 2005


I did what Webmeta suggested when Lortab did nothing for my pain after having my wisdom teeth out... I called the oral surgeon's office and had them call in something else to the pharmacy. No appointment necessary. Your doctor may do the same or may want to see you instead.

And I survived for about 3 weeks (ended up with 2 dry sockets) on soup, spaghettios, yogurt, applesauce, and anything else I could suck down without chewing. Go for the soft foods. And remember that it will be better soon!!
posted by IndigoRain at 2:53 AM on June 27, 2005


I had mine out at 33 and it was 4 days of drug-addlement and about 2 more weeks past that before I was completely without pain, although I was "functional" again after about 7-8 days. There's really little to do about it beyond a stiff upper lip. Avoid things with heavy creams - if ice cream is your prefered salve you should use the -worst- stuff that has the lowest proper dairy content.
posted by phearlez at 6:02 AM on June 27, 2005


My wife had her tonsils out at 33. Not fun. To expand on the soft food theme, she ate so much creamed spinach she can no longer look at the stuff. Sorbet was easier on her than ice cream and baby food was a godsend when it came to searching out flavors other than creamed spinach.
posted by Atom12 at 7:11 AM on June 27, 2005


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