Three weeks ago I got my tonsils out. I’d been contemplating getting them out for a while, so when I got sick in November I thought it was a good time to look into it. I wanted to get them out because I frequently got tonsils stones, which are caused when food gets stuck in the crevices of your tonsils, then calcifies into a hard stone that smells (because it’s rotted food), and then eventually falls out. Yes, it’s quite gross. When I was 16 I got mono and my tonsils were covered in tonsil stones. My mom can attest to how disgusting my breath smelt, probably from feet away. I think getting all those tonsils stone while I had mono created large crevices in my tonsils because I’ve gotten them ever since. In the past year or so I’ve gotten them more frequently and I was sick of it. Chris and I concluded that I usually got them after eating ice cream. So basically I got my tonsils out so I could freely eat ice cream without getting tonsil stones and so I wouldn’t repulse Chris with my bad breath.

Once the doctor said he would take them out we scheduled an appointment. Two weeks before I had all my pretesting. When I was getting my blood drawn the nurse confirmed that I could never give blood because my veins were too small to give a full pint of blood. I finally felt relief after 10 years of feeling bad about the one time I tried to give blood in high school and couldn’t. They wouldn’t even poke me because they couldn’t find my veins.

On Tuesday, February 3rd we got to the hospital at 7am for my 9am surgery. After checking in they got me into a room to get dressed, hooked me up to an IV (in the hand because the elbow didn’t work), and then we waited for over an hour before they took me into the OR. I remember being rolled in, they had me switch beds, and then they were going to give me anesthesia, but I don’t even remember how they did it.

Adult Tonsillectomy

Trying to stay warm as I waited to go to the OR.

At 10:30am I woke up in the recovery room and boy was that hard. It was so difficult to open my eyes and try to start looking around. The grogginess was real. My throat hurt, but not terribly, probably due to all the drugs I was on. I had a mask on to keep my airways from getting dry. I talked to the nurse a little and it was fine, but I noticed I couldn’t do it for too long because then I would need to swallow, which took me a couple seconds to do without hurting myself.

At 11:30am they rolled me into a room in the pediatrics wing and Chris was there waiting for me. I think we were both surprised how awake I was and that I was talking fine, though I think Chris was disappointed that I wasn’t delirious and saying weird things. The rest of the day was filled with watching movies, starting to eat and drink, and attempts to fall sleep. Chris also left to get my meds and some magazines/books because we learned that I would be there until at least 7pm when the doctor would follow up with his patients.

Adult Tonsillectomy

Watching tv with my water in hand, ice packet around my neck, and my moisture mask, which kept leaking water all over me.

When I was in recovery the nurse gave me a morphine button that was hooked up to my IV (the gray cord in the picture above). She said if I was in pain I could press the button up to every 6 minutes. Some how I got in my head that I was supposed to press the button every 6 minutes to “prevent” the pain. So when my nurse came in at 4:30pm she said, “whoa you’ve taken a lot of morphine!” So apparently I’m a drug addict. I didn’t even feel like I was in pain and needed to press the button, but I did because I thought I was supposed to.

So after that comment I cut myself off. While my pain didn’t increase, I soon started feeling dizzy and nauseous. Chris got me some ginger ale which helped my nausea and the dizziness only affected me when I had to get up to use the bathroom. Eating also helped.

The doctor told me I might have to stay over night, but I was determined to go home. I was told that the more I ate and drank the better because the more you use your throat, the faster it will heal. I was also told that the anesthesia would halt my appetite, however I was very hungry after, so I happily drank lots of water and ate several jellos and Italian ices.

My favorite part of the hospital was my leg massagers, which tightened around every other leg every few seconds. They are to keep your blood circulating so you don’t form clots. Several of the nurses told me that most patients don’t like them, but I liked mine so much I kept them on the whole time. I couldn’t pass up a free leg massage.

Adult Tonsillectomy

At 8:30pm my doctor came in and gave me the ok to go home, so I got dress and we checked out around 9. Due to my drug addiction dizziness, I was taken out in a wheelchair to the car. And while it was nice for the most part, the nurse took those turns pretty quickly, which didn’t help my nausea/dizziness, but I didn’t puke so it all worked out.

So overall my procedure went really well. Next I will post about my recovery process and any tips for those who might get an adult tonsillectomy in the future.