Tonsillectomy Survival Kit & Advice...

By Lucy Harbron - 16:32

Two weeks ago I finallllyyyy had my tonsils out and after having tonsillitis pretty much constantly since December 2015 and enduring about 8 courses of antibiotics, I feel like I'm pretty qualified to give some tips and advice for recovery. One thing I've found this past couple weeks is that its very very hard to find advice on recovering from the surgery as it seems like the American and British health care systems give very different suggestions as American sites suggest not eating solid food for a week, whereas here in Britain we seem to take a salt-in-the-wound, battle-on-through approach. So you can take your pick which way you wanna go. I personally took a definite battle-on-through approach and I think it really worked as within a week I was feeling so much better already.

I won't kid you, having a tonsillectomy is super painful, and doctors will tell you it's "just like having bad tonsillitis"...its definitely not. But there's many many things you can do to make it bearable, so here's my survival kit and tips from first-hand experience.

Survival Kit
  • A good book- this may seem really silly, but I found the only thing that really allowed me to zone out from the pain was reading. Watching TV or films is good, but, for me, it was too passive so I was still focused on my throat. So having a new book or a book you really enjoy will help make recovery go a lot quicker. Also, you'll definitely want to take a book or a magazine to the hospital with you as there's a lot of waiting around as I had to stay for 5 hours after my operation to ensure I wasn't bleeding. So get yourself a book!
  • Tiger Balm White Ointment- One thing the doctors won't tell you is how much your face will ache after surgery. For me this was possibly the most painful part as I felt like I'd been punched in the jaw a million times. You might get an aching jaw so I'd recommend getting yourself some tiger balm to rub into your jaw and neck. This is so soothing and really eased the pain to help with eating. But make sure you get the white balm so it's gentle enough to use on your face. 
  • Herbal Teas- After surgery I'd suggest avoiding dairy or strong drinks for a couple days as your throat will be super sensitive and the last thing you want is to drink a milky coffee and clog up your sore throat. So I basically lived on fruit teas as I personally found hot drinks a lot more soothing than icy ones, but see which you find best. 
  • Probiotics- Chances are you've probably endured several rounds of antibiotics and you'll be on quite a lot of medication after the surgery, so my doctor suggested taking pro-biotics to help your body and boost your immune system. Anti-biotics kill all the bacteria in your body so it's important to boost the production of good bacteria that's essential to your strength and thus your recovery. I love these chocballs as they're packed with millions of live bacteria but taste so so good, like really good quality chocolate. You can find them HERE. But otherwise there's loads of food you can eat to help promote healthy bacteria!
  • Painkillers- One thing my doctors kept saying to me is to not torture yourself. For the first week, take painkillers whenever you can to avoid the pain getting on top of you. You'll find that if you miss a dose it will be really hard to get the pain under control so it's best to just take whatever you can. 
  • Throat Sweets- A really good tip is to suck a throat sweet to numb your throat before you eat. If you don't eat you'll only feel worse so doing something to relieve the pain and give you time to chow down is so worth it. I use Tyrozets as they really, totally numb your throat but also have mild anti-biotics in them to avoid infection, find them HERE.
  • Chewing Gum- The best way to stop your jaw from aching is to exercise it, so chewing some gum will stop your jaw from getting all tight and sore. It also stops your throat from getting dry which you want to avoid at all costs!

Another thing I'd recommend getting is a humidifier for your room at night. This honestly has been a lifesaver and it stops your throat from getting dry overnight so you're not hit with a whole load of pain when you wake up. I'm using a Vicks cool mist humidifier but there's some smaller, cheaper ones that you can get for like £10. They're not essential but I think mines been worth every penny!

Tips & Advice
  • Obviously it's pretty painful to eat so your appetite will take a hit. The best thing to do is to eat whatever you're craving, you want McDonald's? eat it. You want chips? eat them. I personally ate a lot of sushi and halloumi. Eating what you're craving will 100% make the pain worth while and you'll be too distracted enjoying the tasty food to care. Also you need to eat or you'll feel way way worse!
  • One of the best things you can do is just push through the pain. Force feeding yourself things like toast, chips, cereal etc will hurt, but it will be so so beneficial as it will stop huge scabs (ew) developing and prevent infection. So get yourself some nice bread and jam!
  • This might not be relevant to everyone, but if, like me, you have a phobia of being sick, get some anti-sickness tablets! taking these just helped calm me down as for the first couple days the medicine can make you feel a little gross. Also, make sure to let the people at the hospital know as they'll give you a higher dose of anti-sickness and just be more considerate of the situations they put you in.
That's all I can think of right now, but if you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll answer them!

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  1. Got my tonsillectomy tomorrow and this is so helpful! Dreading it...

    1. hope all goes well! feel free to tweet me if you have any questions xx


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