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Tonsillectomy: The Necessary Evil, Pain & The Future

by Behrad
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If you have been following the blog for a while, you know that I faced some health issues which started in 2022…

Back in November when I wrote this post called “My Health Journey: Chasing Answers…” I was in the midst of searching for a cause of all of the health issues. At that moment there were several tests which needed to be conducted. At the end of 2023, the doctors were convinced that the issue might be rooting from my tonsils and that a tonsillectomy was worth the shot.

What is Tonsillectomy?

Truth to be told, this was quite surprising for me, considering that prior to all of my health issues. Unlike others who have been known with a lot of infection on their tonsils, I hadn’t experienced that many sore throats or infections at all. Everything started when I was diagnosed with viral meningitis, pneumonia, and liver inflammation back in 2022. My tonsils seemed like an unlikely suspect and more like a wild guess!

So the surgical procedure in which the tonsils, which are two small masses of lymphoid tissue located at the back of the throat, are removed is called a Tonsillectomy. Usually tonsillectomy is done to treat breathing-related sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or to

reduce the risk of infection in people with frequent or chronic tonsillitis. Tonsillectomies are generally considered a safe procedure and are mostly performed on children but adults can also benefit from the procedure.

As with any surgery, a tonsillectomy carries certain risks, especially for adults. As they may have a higher risk of complications compared to children undergoing the same procedure. These risks include but are not limited to bleeding during or after surgery, infection, reaction to anesthesia, and potential damage to surrounding structures as well as a change in the way you talk. Additionally, adults typically experience more discomfort during the recovery period compared to children.

Weighting the Risks / Benefits:

As you can imagine, I couldn’t say “YES, Let’s do it!” immediately. There are some serious risks involved. So the hospital provided me with enough reading materials to weigh the risks and benefits. I still had difficulties accepting that my tonsils were the source of all of my issues, but the more I learned about their role in the immune system and potential for causing problems when infected, and mine were infected, the more sense it made. Also, tonsils could be related to my sleep apnea. Knowing that I’ll be in a hell of pain, I started to believe the doctors as well and accepted to perform the surgery in Q2 2024.

Surgery…

So back in March I got a letter confirming that the surgery is planned on the 2nd of April + a night stay in the hospital for the observation. The following weeks were filled with a whirlwind of thoughts about the procedure itself, doubt and a touch of anxiety about the recovery process. As the day of the surgery approached I found myself feeling surprisingly calm. I obviously had full confidence in the medical team, and I knew that I was taking a positive step towards reclaiming my health and well-being. The surgery itself went just fine and I didn’t experienced any post-surgery bleeding so I could leave the hospital the day after. However the Pain….

Pain, Recovery & Outlook

Ow man…. I had read stories about the pain, but this was NEXT LEVEL! Seriously, this was something which I hadn’t/couldn’t anticipate on prior to the surgery and is/was extremely painful! At this moment, the surgery is 10 days ago but the pain seems never-ending through my throat and makes swallowing water feel like swallowing glass shards! I do have painkillers but they only take the edge off. Sleeping? Forget it, every shift in position brings a fresh wave of agony!

Although the surgery was necessary, the road to recovery is far from easy, but on average, most people reach full recovery in about two weeks. So realizing this, makes things SLIGHTLY better.

As for the outlook; According to the doctors, people who have a tonsillectomy experience an improved immune response. So I’m having my hopes on this as well!

Anyway. It’s time for my painkillers as I start to feel the pain again!

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