Tonsillectomy: my experience – Part I

As some of you know, I has surgery a week ago, to get my tonsils removed. Since many of you sent me messages asking how it went, I decided to write a post on it today – instead of the normal Inspirational Monday post. I divided the post into 3, to be able to talk about everything. In this post I’ll tackle all what happened before and how we decided to get this procedure done.

Unlike many people, I did not have all that many problems with my tonsils growing up. I did have a few infections, but nothing over the top. As time went by, I started having more and more problems with my throat and tonsils. I’d have trouble sleeping sometimes and had a constant cough and would get a raspy voice very quickly.

Fast forward to March of 2015 and I start coming down with what I thought was the flu. I start having high fevers, but was afraid to miss work, since my boss had threatened to fire me if I got sick (yes, he did it and worse, I believed it. Today I know better). So I kept going to work, much to Markus’ disapproval, as he would tell me every day. A few days after I started getting sick, the call center manager actually told me to go home. So I went to my GP in Vienna, who told me to go to bed and drink lots of fluids.

Tonsillitis and Tonsillectomy Post Operative Care Plan

The next day I woke up (after a night of very poor sleep), still with a fever and with my throat and tonsils full of pus. I was sitting on the floor at my tiny apartment in Vienna, crying my eyes out, not knowing what to do. I still had a horrible fever and the only think I could think was that it was too early to call my parents (in Portugal!) and that Markus was already on his way to work. Eventually, I decided to google for a doctor. I found one 100 meters from my apartment and I went there as soon as they opened. Within 10 minutes I was being checked by a doctor, who said I had a tonsillitis, gave me some antibiotic and sent me home. In the afternoon Markus told me to get the next train to Linz, which I did.

I spent the weekend at his apartment, where he was the best caretaker there ever was. He made me soup, he made sure I would take my meds in time and we spent the weekend sleeping and watching movies on the couch. I got better and went back to Vienna on Monday. The doctor however, told me I would have to stay home for 2 weeks. For reasons that I can explain in another post, if you want me to, I ended up not staying at that job and moved to Linz in April.

The move to Linz was on a Saturday and Monday happened to be a holiday. On Sunday evening I realized my throat was getting more pus. I had a total meltdown and didn’t know what was happening. Luckily my boyfriend is very good in this type of situations and found me a doctor, also in our street, whom I visited first thing on Tuesday. Since this was the second time within less than a month, the doctor decided to make a swab of my throat (horrible exam!) and the next day he told me it wasn’t bacterial and there was nothing we could do, except for me to rest and wait for the virus to pass.

In August, after being officially diagnosed with M.E., I went to my GP for the first time. She took almost 2h and went through all of my medical history, including what had happened earlier that year. She took a look at my tonsils and immediately told me they needed to be removed. She said they were extremely swollen and when I said that’s how they’ve always been, she was outraged that no one had thought of removing them and called the chief of the HNO department at the hospital I had surgery last week. I had to go to the hospital right away and the doctor took a look at my tonsils and agreed that they needed to be removed and we would set a date.

My GP thinks that whichever virus I had when I was a kid (which she thinks was a form of the Epstein Barr Virus – because it shows in my blood-work) was coming back out through my tonsils. She also thinks this was why I was relapsing, basically the tonsillitis wasn’t the cause, but the effect of my M.E., which we didn’t know was the root of all of my weird symptoms until last year.

She also thinks that a lot of my breathing and allergy problems were due to my swollen tonsils. I can tell you, after having been shown “normal” sized tonsils, mine were two or three times as big. The doctor in the hospital actually joked that I had two ping-pong balls in my throat.

The next post about this issue will be all around the surgery itself. If you have any questions, please let me know!

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* Please bear in mind this is solely my experience. This is what happened to me and it should be taken into account that every person is different and reacts to any surgery differently. Also, a healthy person will most likely not have the issues I had with it – since I have a chronic illness and my body reacts differently to things. 

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