I had my tonsils removed in December.
The surgery itself is nothing. I went in around 9am and was home in bed two hours later. When I woke up, I felt nothing. They offered me a popsicle and waited until I finished it. Then after some general questions, I was on my way home. Make sure they call your pain medication in to whatever pharmacy you use before you leave so someone can go pick it up for you. You will not be able to drive. Also, have any food you plan to eat during recovery already stocked up at home because you will not feel like going anywhere for a few days. Stock up on popsicles, soups, jello, mashed potatoes, and Ramen.
The pain on the afternoon of surgery was minimal. I took my Loritab (not liquid, I don't know why) on time like I was told to because a nurse told me that if you let it get out of control it can be hard to reign in again. The soreness and pain didn't hit me until nightfall, and my uvula was very, very swollen. I didn't even know they could get that big. Trying to sleep was awkward because it just felt so big hanging back there. Talking became increasingly difficult. I was talking fine just after the surgery but by nightfall I had to resort to grunting or other forms of communication because it hurt too much.
The second day was painful, but the Loritab kept it in check for the most part. You will not feel like talking, so be prepared to make caveman sounds to people. I ate tons of popsicles (like half a box a day), soups, jello, and drank tons of water. I don't think I even let ten minutes go by without drinking something. Yes, it hurts, but do it. It thins out the scabs and reduces the chances of bleeding when they come off.
By day three, I was sick of eating liquids and soft stuff and wanted real food. I tried mashed potatoes but they burned my throat and it was too painful. Anything harder was out of the question. My Loritab started wearing off a few hours before my next dose and there would be a two hour window where I was in extreme pain. I was tempted to cheat and take the next dose early, but I resisted somehow.
Day four was the worst. The pain was at its most intense and it was simply awful at some points when my Loritab was wearing off. I handle pain well and this was, in my description, excruciating. It was worse in the morning. I would wake up from sleep to take my pills in a mad rush and sit there on the edge of my bed rocking back and forth waiting for them to take effect. I tried watching TV and reading to distract myself from the pain, but sometimes it was so intense that trying to do anything was pointless because you're so distracted by how much pain you're in. Later in the night, I was checking my scabs in the mirror and one of them suddenly opened up a bit and my mouth filled with blood. I freaked and went to the ER only to have them do nothing. It clotted and they sent me home with a $125 co-pay for nothing.
There was more bleeding on day five. I gargled with ice water to stop it since the ER obviously wasn't going to do anything unless I was vomiting it everywhere. The pain was still incredible, but I did have relief in that brief three hour window after first taking my Loritab.
Day six was a bit easier. After day seven, the pain was lessening and I finally managed to eat something other than jello, popsicles, and soup. I ate some mashed potatoes and some Ramen. I began to feel better just having real food in my stomach again.
The pain steadily got better from that point on, and on day ten I had a chicken fried steak. I ate normally after that and had no problems. The need to use the Loritab because less and less.
By day eleven, I was eating anything I wanted, drinking soda, and carrying on like my usual self.
I stopped taking the Loritab on day fourteen as I no longer needed it. The scabs never came off in chunks or anything. They just sort of...disappeared gradually. I never even noticed them sloughing off or disintegrating or whatever. They were just gone one day.
Now it's March and I have not had throat problems since. No more nasty tonsil stones, my tongue looks clean (it used to look nasty because food would get trapped in my tonsils), and no more foul breath. In the end, I am glad I had the operation done and would do it again. I think drinking water constantly helped make it easier. Be prepared to have people call you a baby or think you're exaggerating the pain. Lots of people still misunderstand how big of a deal this is on adults. I actually met an anesthesiologist last month and mentioned I had a tonsillectomy done recently and he said it was a horrible thing for adults to experience. So my advice is be prepared, drink, drink, drink, take your meds on time, and be patient. The pain ends and you will be so glad you had it done when it's over.
Good luck to anyone considering having this done.