Friday, May 16, 2008

Note to Primary Support Providers

It's been about two years since my tonsillectomy and I want to share a few thoughts that my wife has shared with me about taking care of me while I was recovering. Every time I mention receiving another comment from this blog she reminds me of a few things.


First, be prepared for all the whining and complaining you're going to get from your patient.  All I wanted to do was sleep and when I wasn't asleep I wasn't that much fun to be around.  I didn't want to talk and playing on the computer in bed, or on the couch, only made it worse since I wasn't any help around the house or with our four year old son, at the time.


Second, I complained about everything I ate, drank, or couldn't have but wanted.  So my suggestion is to keep it simple.  Don't try to find a lot of different things unless asked to and just offer whatever the patient finds to be acceptable first.


Lastly, don't take anything personally.  It sucks to be in pain but I never meant anything personally and it's hard to think about how you say something when it even hurts to talk.  I think my wife remembers the whole recovery better than I do and makes it sound a lot worse too.


If you're a support provider, please share your experiences here so others can be better prepared.




  1. My 37 yr old husband is on Day 6, scab fell off on Day 3 and had to be cauterized in the ER. So his recovery wasn't typical, unfortunately. He gets upset over very little things (what the children are and are not doing). When I was driving him he was very impatient with sitting in the car. It also seems like his normal distractions (movies or books) aren't working or they only work for about 5 minutes. He showers 10 times a day, maybe just to have something to do. He's afraid to sleep for fear snoring will cause bleeding. He really wants to eat badly but knows it will hurt. He's living on snow cones and flav-or-ice. Generally he's miserable and crabby, so I will definitely NEVER have my tonsils removed.

  2. Hey! I'm glad I found your site. I had my tonsillectomy 3 weeks ago. Till now, I still can't eat any solid food yet. Drinking water is the worst, it goes to my nose. Swallowing food is hard to as it hurt my lower throat. I'm so frustrating and I hope all these can end fast. Im in slight depression now.

  3. Hey! I had my tonsils out 6 days ago. At 35 they were reluctant to do this but I didn't have a choice in the matter - chronic infection.
    I'm so glad I found your blog. I was seriously starting to get worried because, after an improvement on day 4, things have started going downhill again in the pain department.
    Liquid diets aren't an option in the U.K.; they won't let you out of the hospital until you've had a bowl of cornflakes and a round of toast. I'll skip describing the agony of that, and the agony of forcing down digestive biscuits for my breakfast as I type this. I'm having difficulty swallowing - I can swallow (painfully) but it doesn't always feel like the food has gone, so I find alternating hard food with sips of thick milkshake to be soothing and clearing.
    I haven't been able to look at my throat yet - they tore the corners of my lips during the procedure and they are only just healing up now, and my jaw and tongue are so painful I haven't forced the issue. My doctor did have a brief look two days ago and said things are looking good and healthy in there. He gave me a mouthwash for the white gunk and some different painkillers - the ones the hospital gave me made me sick.
    I really have pity for those who are going through this painful procedure. But it is very comforting to know that my recovery is following a normal path of pain and discomfort. Thank you so much. It's nice to know that, despite how things feel now, there will be a pain free end to this.

  4. Not sure if you're still checking this blog. I hope so. It was very informative. I am 21 and having the surgery in a couple months. I am wondering about your voice. How long until you were able to talk again? Did your voice change? If so, did it ever revert to normal?

    I ask this because I sing -- not professionally, but I sing in choirs and the like and it is a true passion of mine. I would hate to lose that ability. The idea really deflates me.

  5. Omg.... Im on day 8 and to me the pain has gotten worse! I feel like my ears have nails in them n my throat has spikes in it. I gargle with salt water once a day but it doesnt seem to do much. I want to eat so bad! I now hat popcicles soups and milkshakes! Lol. Im jus ready for this to be over. I was told i still have a long journey ahead of me though. I just try to keep positive n i talk to my body. Tell it its healed in the name of Jesus n He will take the pain away. Keep positive folks, better days are sure to come.

  6. It is just over two weeks since i had the surgery, i eneded up getting an infection in my throat anf the pain was like nothing i have ever experienced in my life and i have had children. I am still having difficulty swallowing and i am still in a considerable amount of pain, when i drink water in to my nose and even comes out my nose. At time i actually thought my head and ears would burst the pressure was incredabile.

  7. I am on day 6, and i am 16 years old. Today, when i woke up i had the most pain ever, and my pain killer only last for about 2 hours and then its so painful until my next dose. I dislike sleeping because when i wake up, i wake up with my throat throbbing and i do wake up every four hours to take my medicine. I really hope it gets better. Thanks for this blog and information everyone. It helps me

  8. Robert,
    As to support providers, do you think it’s extremely necessary to have someone around to assist you?
    As I commented earlier, I’ll be having a tonsillectomy next Monday (Jan 3), and the one person who could take care of me after I get home is my mom, who exaggerates everything related to my health… Till now just my boyfriend knows I’ll have this surgery and he has to work so he won’t be able to assist me. We don’t live together so I’ll spend the nights on my own. What do you think, should I tell my mom to move in with me for this days?
    Thanks a lot

  9. I'd just like to say to ^anonymous up there that i hope she did get his mum to move in for at least a week, i've never needed my husband so much! :) My husband is 23 and he has taken on my baby of 8mths, plus my other 2 children (6 and 8). I must admit, he works hard, but is generally pretty useless apart from that. He has done his best, bless him, and with help from my ex and mother. He just wants me to stay in bed and get better because (quote) ''I need you to look after all of us again!'' Sweet sweet karma. Poor him!

    btw, i am on day 6 and am finally starting to slowly feel better. So so bored! Thanks for this blog-it has really helped me through. Here is mine: