I'm 27 years old and I had my tonsils removed 10 days ago. I'd suffered from recurrent bouts of tonsillitis to the point that my tonsils developed pits that trapped food and led to horrible tonsil stones that I had to remove almost daily with q-tips. It was disgusting and I wanted to never have to deal with the problem again.
On the day of the surgery, the hardest thing for me was not being able to eat after midnight. I naturally get hungry every four hours, so it was hard for me. The surgery itself was over with before I knew it. I arrived at the surgery center at 8:15 and was home by 11. I had no pain until I woke up from my nap around 1:30pm to take my first dose of pain medication (Hydrocodone 7.5/500, 1-2 every six hours). The nurse told me to take the medication even if I felt like I didn't need it because it wasn't something I could catch up on and if I let the pain get out of hand it would be hard to get it back under control. The pain was very uncomfortable and I was shocked by how large my uvula was. It really alarmed me and I was afraid it would eventually block my airway. I never knew it could get so swollen. Thankfully I was able to sleep well that night.
Day 2 was virtually painless because I took my medication on time and I was lucky--it worked. It just made me tired. As for food, I was surviving on Popsicles, Jell-O cups, and ice cream after the first 24 hours, which I handled well. Some say it gives you too much phlegm, but I didn't have any. I drank a ridiculous amount. Not even five minutes went by without me sipping on water. I knew dehydration would be bad for my recovery, so I drank, drank, drank.
Day 3 was when the pain medication started wearing off before my next dose was due. It would work well for the first 2-3 hours and then leave me hanging the remaining 3 hours until my next dose was due. I found myself doing everything in the "no pain" window--eating, writing emails, texting, browsing the Internet, etc. Then I'd be on the edge of my bed staring at the clock in agony until my next dose. Thankfully my uvula had gone down at least. But the pain was simply awful. Just plain agony. I never knew something could hurt so much. I started to spit in a cup, disgusting as it was, because it hurt too much to swallow my own saliva. Regardless of the pain, I still forced myself to eat and drink as much as possible because I knew not doing so would make me even weaker and I wanted to keep my body strong to fight this.
Day 4 was full of more pain. Around dinner I tried to eat a moist brownie and soon paid for it when my right scab began bleeding. I looked in the mirror and saw my scab blossoming with bright red blood and panicked. I gargled with ice water and it stopped it, but I was left with a clot the size of a dime on my right scab and it scared the c**p out of me.
There was more bleeding on day 5, but ice water kept it under control. I was drinking ice tea, which was really soothing and way more appetizing than the water. By this point I was absolutely sick of Popsicles, Jell-O, and ice cream but there's not much you can do. I watched a lot of TV (like a lot) and chatted with friends online and researched all kinds of subjects. You find you need to do things to keep yourself occupied and if you're like me you'll spend hours on the computer.
The pain began to lesson on day 6 and occurred only during the night and in the mornings because my throat would dry out as I slept. The pain upon waking every 3 hours with a dry throat or in the mornings was excruciating, I will not lie. It was so bad, I would sit on the edge of my bed physically shaking as I tried to swallow and re-moisten my throat with water. I knew this was going to hurt, but nothing prepared me for this amount of pain. I ended up taking some of my medication earlier than I was supposed to because it was so bad I couldn't take it any more. Thankfully, by day 6 the daytime hours were manageable, it was only these middle-of-the-night awakenings and mornings that were awful.
The pain was virtually nonexistent throughout the daytime on days 7-8 and my scabs were thinning because I was still drinking tons. I would go through a whole jug of tea and several bottles of water each day.
I am now on day 9 and the scabs are barely there. The pain is completely gone and I am swallowing fine and no longer cringing. I ate a chicken fried steak and fried okra for dinner. Later, I had pizza rolls for a snack. No pain. I am so glad that is behind me and at this point, I am glad I had the surgery so I won't have to deal with those tonsil stones ever again.
Note: you WILL get constipated from not eating solids and the pain medication. You will need a mild laxative to get things going.
Would I recommend this surgery? As long as you are mentally ready to accept extreme pain for 7-10 days in exchange for a lifetime of benefits. I won't lie, the pain they talk about is worse than anything you can imagine. I have had tattoos and they were a joke compared to this. But the good thing is, it does end and afterward you'll be so glad your tonsil problems are forever behind you. I took comfort in reading others' stories when I was feeling my worst and it got me through it. You will reach a point where you wish you'd never done it, but once the pain is gone and you can swallow solids, it's such a good feeling. I felt so incredibly wonderful today because it's over. You will feel like you are on top of the world once the storm is over and you've made it to the other side.
Just hang in there. And if you're currently going through it, trust me, when you have your favorite meal with no pain once it's all over, it will all be worth it. The feeling I had eating today was amazing.
If I have any recovery advice, it's to drink, drink, drink. I really think this helped me recover so quickly. I have heard some people remain in horrible pain for weeks. I am on day 9 and today was a breeze and I really believe my constant (and I mean constant) drinking aided this. Also, as unappealing as it seems, do eat. Your body needs fuel to keep going. I have only lost 3 pounds throughout this because I made sure to eat as much as I could, often forcing myself in extreme pain. I have heard of people losing 10-13 pounds. This is not healthy and you will feel like c**p during your recovery if you let this happen. Drink and eat as much as you can!