How to make someone feel better after a tonsillectomy?

My husband is having his tonsils out tomorrow morning. He’ll be in the hospital over night.

I’m wondering what I can do to help him feel better during his recovery. I know for adults it is a much longer recovery time than it is for kids.

Ideas / Suggestions?

I seem to remember that ice cream in Large Medicinally Necessary Quantities was the standard, but I was five when I had mine out. But nothing with hard chunks.

OTOH, Advil and lots of “you poor, poor baby” will probably be appreciated.

Can you wash all the bedding and have fresh bedding for him when he gets home? That’s a thoughtful touch. Things to eat: Warm broths, warm cocoa, warm teas that he likes. Pudding, jello, ice cream/popsicles, apple sauce. Maybe KFC Mashed Potatoes and gravy, or your own homemade. Home made soups, or other “gooshy food” are things to consider for his menu. He might not want really warm or hot food, and I’d ask him if he wanted spicy stuff or bland stuff too. (I think he’ll be on a clear liquid diet for a bit won’t he? Either clear liquid, or soft food IIRC. That means stuff like jello, broth, apple or grape juice etc.) Go by what the doctor says he can have to eat, but have such things on hand for him, you may not get to go shopping for a day or two.

Probably he’ll just want a soft, warm bed, in a nice quiet dark room to sleep in. Maybe set a special alarm where he can’t hear it so you can get his medicine to him, or at least check to see if he wants any more for the first few days? Are you staying home to look after him, or will you have to work? He might want things like books or other quiet things to do after a day or so. I don’t know how he’ll take it. I know after my partial hysterectomy I just wanted to sleep for the most part the first 2-3 days I got home from the hospital. After that I was able to be up for short times, and read or got on the computer for short periods. I wanted “gooshy food” to eat because I was in pain and the pain medicine knocked me out. I just wanted to be able to get some food in me with little fuss.

Will he want to be propped up? Do you have good pillows to do that? They sell back rest cushions at Wal-Mart (and probably Target) that come with fuzzy soft blankets. Maybe that would be useful if you can afford it? Then he could sit up to read comfortably. Can you snag some books you know he’d like to read (and hasn’t had a chance to) and have them ready? Does he like any kind of word puzzle? I’m sending good thoughts your way.

When my dad was in the hospital for an extended period, I bought him (on impulse) a handheld Tetris game. He has told me more than once that it “saved his life.” Basically, it kept him distracted as he tried to beat his best score and get to higher levels. He played it until he wore it out. Best $12 I’ve ever spent.


Seconded. Only add that it should be YOU doing the stipping.

And possibly even the stripping.

I had mine out as an adult, and one of the things not allowed was ice cream. The dairy can make you phlegmy, and you don’t need to be trying to clear your throat or cough right after the surgery.

Also, no popsicles, as you’re not supposed to suck stuff. Sucking ‘pulls’ on the throat muscles.

I’d go with italian ices, the same idea as popsicles, but in a cup. Jell-O is good, too.

I hope he feels better.

Ingestion of anything (including plain water) was horribly painful for me. If you really want to do him a favor, keep him drugged for a few days. The pain is pretty awful.

My most vivid memory of my tonsillectomy when I was five was realizing I was in so much pain I couldn’t even stand the thought of eating ice cream. The kid in the bed next me had a freaking broken leg and gleefully ate all the ice cream I wouldn’t.

… little bastard. :smiley:

Thanks all. We have a 3 month old baby, so I figure I will be doing hubby a favour by keeping the baby quiet and happy …

That also kind of rules out the stripping … seeing my post-preggo body might just make him feel even worse!!!

Good to know about the ice cream - I will buy some and if he can’t have it, darn, I guess I will have to take care of it so it doesn’t get freezer burn. :smiley:

Crush up his pain pills and put them in something silky smooth so he can get them down in one swallow. Pat him on the head and watch him drift off to the Land Where Throats Don’t Feel Raked.


I couldn’t eat dairy after my tonsillectomy (as an adult) for a month, it coated my throat and was too painful. Clear cold liquids were the best for the first few days, after that just try different things and see what he can tolerate. Be prepared that there can be a lot of pain the first few days, much more than I expected since I was used to having sore throats, I thought ‘how bad can it be?’ The best foods are ones that go down easy but don’t ‘stick’, so for example Jello is better than mashed potatoes. Keep him taking any pain meds they give him.

After a few days ear pain can start, I used a heating pad to help relieve that. I also used the throat numbing sprays to take the edge off.

I don’t think you should mess around with crushing medicines without first asking your pharmacist if it is ok to do so. That could cause it’s rate of ingestion to change etc. I know I’ve had medicines that I was supposed to swallow whole since they were time release. Also, I think it’s got something to do with how it is absorbed.
If he can’t have ice cream, how about sorbet since that has no milk? What about breaking up a popsicle and letting the bits melt, or would that still tempt him to suck? Apple sauce looks like it’s still an option, and I bet there are other “gooshy foods” that don’t stick and don’t have dairy as well. Can you get him some kind of food replacement type drink like Ensure, if he doesn’t mind the taste?

After I hit “submit” I saw that Ensure makes a pudding just for people in situations like the OP. Cool.

Of course, I’m not a doctor, but going by the meds I was given, there was no time release. I belive Tylenol with codeine is just painkiller. You will, I trust, check with your doctor. :rolleyes:

I know you meant well Kalhoun, just as I did. My experience differs from yours, no problem. I figured it would be better to be a bit stuffy in this case and voice a differing experience just in case is all. No need to roll your eyes at me, when we both mean well, right? :wink:

It wasn’t an eyeroll at you. It’s the silly practice of everyone covering their asses about supposed medical advice. We all know we’re not doctors and we’re having a conversation — not advising or prescribing drugs. I don’t know who started the practice of the disclaimer and the CYA, but it’s tiresome. Not your fault. Sorry if it came off that way.

Everyone! If you don’t claim to be a doctor in your post, I’ll assume you’re not…OKAY???

Or mash it up sufficiently so it’s in bite-sized pieces? Or go all the way to slush, like a Slurpee? Make your own with Kool-aid/grape juice in ice cube trays.