I am a 37 y/o male and just wanted to share my recent experience from getting a tonsillectomy.
First of all, I've always had pretty large tonsils, but never really had any major issues with them. However, about 3 years ago, I started getting tonsil stones which then lead to me more and more infections. I saw 2 different ENTs and both recommended a tonsillectomy, so here I am.
Day 1 was a little scary since this was my first time getting surgery of any kind. Even the IV kinda freaked me out :) But turned out to be pretty fast and simple - it helped that I slept through all of it of course. My throat wasn't nearly as sore as I thought it was going to be either. I was a little drowsy from the anesthesia, but even that wasn't that bad.
Day 2 - 5 was pretty uneventful. I lived on yogurt, protein shakes, lukewarm soups and of course, lots and lots of ice water. The pain was very manageable. It wasn't even as bad as a typical bout of strep throat. Of course I'm sure the pain meds helped (hydrocodone) which I took religiously. I did have a little bit of bleeding on Day 3, but that stopped after about a minute of gargling with ice water.
Day 6 - 8 was probably the worse. There was noticeably more pain when swallowing and my neck was pretty achy. However it wasn't any worse than having strep throat, so it still wasn't all that bad. I think this was when my scabs started to fall off which everyone says is the worse part of the recovery process. The only reason I think this is because I noticed there were less white spots in my mouth and I also spit out one scab after a meal (yes it was kinda gross).
Day 9 was my post op appointment with surgeon and everything went well. She said I was healing nicely - uvula swelling has gone down and a lot of the scabs have fallen off. I was starting to eat more and more regular food - pasta, rice, sushi - but still avoided hard food like chips and nuts.
At Day 11 I'm pretty much back to normal for the most part. In fact I just gobbled a giant burrito with crispy pork. It was like heaven :) There's still some soreness and a slight metallic taste in my mouth - it started on Day 6 but has gotten better since then. Overall, the whole experience wasn't nearly as horrible as I was expecting after reading all the horror stories online.