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Recovering from a Tonsillectomy

tonsillectomy, surgery, throat, menu, sore

Recovering from Tonsillectomy-Your Guide to Menu Planning
If you did not have the fortune of having your tonsils removed at a young age, it’s likely having the surgery done is a bit more difficult as an adult. The pain can be quite harsh. Doctors usually say that it feels like you have a sore throat for a while. It can actually feel like you are swallowing knives for a period of about a month. Watching what you eat can help keep boredom and pain at a minimum. Keep in mind this is not licensed medical advice, only personal experience that helped me derive some suggestions.

Menu Planning- Week 1
For the first week or so it will be so difficult to swallow but it will be insisted upon that you eat and drink. In this early stage your best bet is to eat items like popsicles and cottage cheese. Stay hydrated with lots of water or apple juice. Stay away from citrus juices because they tend to irritate the raw spot on your throat. The newest addition to the market at Sonic Drive Inn is the apple juice slush. If there is one in your area, it definitely helps to grab one because plain old juice can get pretty boring. If there is not a Sonic near you, there’s always the homemade method, blending apple juice with lots of ice in a blender. Applesauce is also very convenient and easy to eat.

Menu Planning- Week 2
After the first week of your surgery the soreness may subside a little, but the pain can return, being triggered by tasting something tempting. For example, anything with seasoning or spices should be avoided at all costs. At this point Cream of Wheat cereal made with water will go down well. The coolness of things like yogurt or cottage cheese will also improve the feeling on that raw spot. If you are feeling bold, the inside of biscuits and poached eggs cut into tiny pieces will go down smoothly. Again, resist the temptation to eat anything salty or with seasoning or spice. Something noodle based, like Mac and Cheese or Spaghetti-O’s might seem like a good idea, but will feel more like knives in the long run either because of texture or seasoning in the sauces. This should wait for another couple of weeks.

Menu Planning- Week 3
By week three of recovering from surgery, unseasoned boiled shrimp in small bites are a great source of improving your protein intake while breaking the recent monotony of limited choices. It helps create a better diet balance than ice cream and popsicles would. Spinach, frozen and chopped goes down well because it’s small and slinky and does not require much chewing. Plain cheese quesadillas (toasted tortilla sandwich with cheese) can be swallowed fairly easily. The important thing to remember when eating that is to limit the salt that you would normally add to it for flavor. Iced coffees also help to soothe. Use those in conjunction with hard candy like sugar-free Jolly Ranchers and Halls Defense to coat your throat as well.

Be Prepared
Tonsillectomies are not fun, to say the least. The important thing to remember is that there is more going on than a sore throat. You have been anesthetized (sedated), intubated (tube inserted to your throat to help with breathing) and your jaw has been cranked open and held there for a couple of hours. Your tongue will feel like it’s been scratched and it will have some rawness too. Spices and seasoning or piping hot items will intensify that soreness. It’s best to make a plan prior to your surgery, and go grocery shopping so you are prepared for the aftermath. During the weeks following the operation, take care not to eat anything too chewy to avoid getting headaches. With a good physician and these tips in mind, your procedure should go as smoothly as possible.

Published: 2006-04-14
Author: Katherine Martinez

About the author or the publisher
Katherine is a graduate of University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX. She receved her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2001. She has since worked in the banking industry, in credit card service and disputes. She is now working as a mortgage counselor. Despite her career path, Kat has always loved writing. She hopes to refine her skills in the freelance arena while becoming an english teacher. She has been published in her company newsletter and local newspaper's op/ed column.

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