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Terrified of tonsillectomy

(38 Posts)
SnookyWookyWooWoo Tue 15-Mar-16 15:06:53

I'm due to have an appointment after being referred for a tonsillectomy in a few weeks.

I've been suffering with chronic tonsillitis since I was a child and was first referred for this operation as a 5 year old. I never went through with it and was sent home as I was terrified and they couldn't operate.

Anyway I am now having tonsilitis from November until April every year. It's affecting my life awfully. When I catch it my throat swells up so much I can't speak, it leaks puss and the pain is unbearable not to mention fever and dizziness. I now have apnoea year round and am never particularly well. I have so far this year had 5 lots of antibiotics. I miss so many family activites/parties and other things.

Problem is im terrified to have a tonsillectomy. I'm scared of the anaesthesia as never had it before (am told to ask for anti sickness medication) but now even more terrified of the recovery. I have heard people describe it as horrendous and excruciating pain. I'm now starting to talk myself out of it again but I can't go another year like this!

How will I take care of my kids if I'm in agony? What will they give me for the pain? I can't even take tablets without choking so not sure what they can give me? Anyone had a positive ish experience? Please give me some reassurance sad

ArmfulOfRoses Tue 15-Mar-16 15:18:23

I had mine out as a young adult.

It was pretty painful for the first 2/3 days but eased every day after that.
I describe it as being the worst case of tonsillitis I ever had BUT I don't ever remember being as ill as you are saying you are.
If you can cope with tonsillitis as bad as that, then you will be fine flowers

Abraid2 Tue 15-Mar-16 15:20:59

My son had one 18 months ago. It didn't seem to be as bad as we feared. About five days in was the worst, when the scar tissue came off and he bled a bit. But he would do it again. The pain didn't seem to be worse than the tonsillitis.

He was 17.

SnookyWookyWooWoo Tue 15-Mar-16 15:21:42

Thanks armful...I've had some really awful cases of tonsilitis where I cant even turn my head because my glands in my neck swell up so much I look like a hamster. I've also had glandular fever so bad I ended up hospitalised on steroids and it's akin to that sometimes. Hoping it can't be much worse than any of that but I've heard people say they had to take tram tramadol...that scares the crap out of me.

SnookyWookyWooWoo Tue 15-Mar-16 15:23:14

Abraid how does he find it now? Any tonsilitis since? Apparently you can still get it but don't swell as much

Abraid2 Tue 15-Mar-16 15:25:50

He hasn't complained of sore throats. The specialist told him that tonsillitis might naturally go in due course as he got more mature, but we had reached the stage when we would have done anything to spare him the awful pain and flu-like pains in his joints and abdomen.

When I had mine in the seventies I did sometimes get tonsil bed infections. Can't remember them being that bad, though.

ArmfulOfRoses Tue 15-Mar-16 15:27:22

I'm 18 years post op and never had it since.
I had immunity issues and had it twice a month for about a year, so week of tonsillitis, week without, week of tonsillitis etc.

How old are your dc?
Microwave meals and too much tv won't hurt them for a few days, perhaps someone to do the school run for a few days , but you are suffering so badly atm that I would be surprised if you found recovering from the op worse tbh.

Twinkie1 Tue 15-Mar-16 15:28:03

I'm not going to lie to you it was fucking awful BUT I feel like a different person not having the monthly bouts of tonsillitis. I had to have mine out as became immune to the antibiotics and was literally knocked out for weeks on end.

It's like doing controlled crying, be brave, the pain is for a short time and is really only as bad as your worst bout.

Good luck, just look forward to being tonsillitis free forever!

ovenchips Tue 15-Mar-16 15:30:24

Ack Snooky the recurrent tonsilitis and all the associated stuff sounds horrendous. The surgery doesn't sound much pleasanter tbh. I would deffo research what pain relief forms you would have access to.

But I guess you have to make the choice about which is more bearable long term and focus on that? I think that really is the thing to get you through: no more tonsilitis ever. Which sounds like it's going to be life-changing.

Hope things go well for you. From the sounds of it things have already been so painful for you that the post-surgical experience is probably no worse than what you have been dealing

hellsbells99 Tue 15-Mar-16 15:35:49

Best thing I ever had done - no regrets at all.
You will need to rest for 2 weeks after whilst it heals. Get some soluble painkillers if you don't like tablets. Plenty of jelly and ice cream - although I do remember being told to eat cornflakes.

BareBearBum Tue 15-Mar-16 15:59:25

I'm 40 and had it a few years back after years and years of tonsillitis and then a bad case of strep throat.

I was so nervous going in, I turned around to leave, but my husband steered me back!! grin

The anaesthetic was fine, didn't feel sick afterwards, but was a bit weepy, and the op went well. My worst bit was a day later when I still felt groggy and hungry, but couldn't eat because it hurt, but for me, that one horrid day was more than worth the 6 weekly tonsillitis!

SnookyWookyWooWoo Tue 15-Mar-16 16:03:35

Ah thanks all. At the moment if I have pain I take soluble paracetamol and ibuprofen but not sure if they would be strong enough to cover the pain post surgery. Will have to ask consultant I guess.

I just keep telling myself operation is 20 mins long and it's done on a day case. If it were that serious they'd keep me in surely?

I have my husband who says he'll take a few days off work and my mum will probably book a week off to help me too. I know I'll need it.

Fil had his out as an adult and says best thing he ever did. I just don't know about my pain threshold hmm have had two cesarean sections and coped on paracetamol and nurofen for both of those?

Desperate not to talk myself out of this I know I need it for my kids sake. Oh armful forgot to say eldest is 3 and a half (at nursery) youngest is 5 months. And a handful grin

SnookyWookyWooWoo Tue 15-Mar-16 16:06:09

Bare that's same as me. I can't eat when I'm like this anyway...have to have smoothies because I can't get food down. The swelling and pain is unbearable at times I just sit and cry

Trouble is the doctors are now fighting with me over giving me antibiotics too....they are reluctant even if my throat is swollen and pus covered. It's a living hell for 4 months every year!

I think I need to just bite the bullet and be brave!

ArmfulOfRoses Tue 15-Mar-16 16:18:09

Then take the help as you won't get a block of respite while they're at school.
Spend the day before op batch cooking/washing/skiing to keep your mind off it.

SnookyWookyWooWoo Tue 15-Mar-16 16:36:25

Yep think I can get at least a week off of school runs and childcare. Sil is usually very helpful with ds too but it's dd (5 months) that worries me. She's used to having me 24/7, I've no idea how much I'll be able to do with her afterwards. Expecting it to be very little to begin with.

Saying that I will have to go on a waiting list which they reckon could be up to 3 months long so she'll be bigger then and it could be in school holidays so not sure if that's a help or hindrance.

blush so worried really but know it's worth it in the long run

Pantone363 Tue 15-Mar-16 16:39:39

Had mine done at 16. Was eating and smoking hmm the next day. Fine after three days

Other kids on the ward were up and running around within a few hours, one was eating a MCdonalds!

My mate had it done last year as an adult. Normal OTC pain relief and was up and running after 3 days.

SnookyWookyWooWoo Tue 15-Mar-16 16:46:21

Ha ha Pantone you sound like me at 16! Maybe a coincidence but I didn't get as many bouts of it when I smoked 30 fags a day! Still glad to have kicked that little habit though!
It's definitely easier to have them out as a child but I don't have that option anymore (wish I'd done it years ago). Your post gives me hope though that it might not be unbearable.

Pantone363 Tue 15-Mar-16 16:50:54

Honestly it's as painful as tonsillitis and not much more from what I can remember. And really only when swallowing. Such a relief not having them anymore, it was constant as a child.

tillyann2013 Tue 15-Mar-16 16:55:31

Hi snooky, I had mine done in October after having several episodes of tonsillitis and a quinsy as well. Best thing I've ever done, haven't had a sore throat at all since. Yes it's not nice, but totally worth it in the end. Having a nurse either side holding me down while the quinsy was lanced was a hell of a lot worse. Good luck!

SnookyWookyWooWoo Tue 15-Mar-16 17:03:43

OMG tilly shock I've heard those are awful! You were probably begging for a tonsillectomy then.

The worst time for me was a few months ago I went to the doctor with yet another lot of tonsillitis and he suggested I try to fend it off myself and it was the worst thing I could have done. I was in so much pain I went to the out of hours service at the hospital and at that point id have happily had them removed then and there. I actually thought I had a quincy so you must have been shockingly bad to have to have it lanced too. It just got out of control and I was so sick at that point I was bed ridden and couldn't move my head at all. How much bloody worse can it get? I am expecting it to really hurt when I swallow but surely it won't be able to swell up like it does now?

Have heard bleeding is a real issue with it too. Had some 'lovely' people tell me stories about how they hemorrhaged afterwards and swallowed so much blood they were vomiting and had to be operated on again. angry

SnookyWookyWooWoo Tue 15-Mar-16 17:05:10

Ps thanks everyone you are really putting this into perspective for me flowers

katienana Tue 15-Mar-16 17:11:57

I had mine done when I was 19. The first few days I could only lie in bed and it was like having a bad bout of tonsillitis in that respect. But the painkillers I was given were way stronger than you'd ever be prescribed for tonsillitis. You have to eat as normally as you can to get rid of the white stuff that builds up over the wound. I actually found water horrible as it dribbled straight onto the wound. Avoid anything acidic.
Its totally worth it, after a week you'll be feeling much better and fine after 2.

Badders123 Tue 15-Mar-16 17:18:36

My mum and brother said it was just like bad tonsillitis.
My ds2 had his out at 5 and was running around the ward the next morning.
No issues at all.
Just keep on top of pain relief - every 3 hours for first few days.
Get a humidifier for your room at night so your throat doesn't dry out.
Lots of box seats to watch and plan something nice to look forward to afterwards
It will be so worth it.

Whatdoidohelp Tue 15-Mar-16 17:25:47

I had it done. Best decision I ever made. Like you I had it severely multiple times every winter and was miserable.

No one likes hospitals or looks forward to operations. It's normal. But oh my god it is worth it. It was life changing for me. The recovery is like a really bad case of tonsillitis. Then at most a week later you will be a new woman! Ask for anti sickness drugs to ensure you don't Vomit. I did and it was v sore. Also ask for anti biotics to take as a precaution. I didn't and ended up with a nasty infection.

Honestly do it. It will change your life. thanksthanks

LittleBlackTrilby Tue 15-Mar-16 17:27:19

I had mine out at 23: it was totally fine!!

Day 3 and 4 sucked but only as much as actual tonsillitis.

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