I just had my tonsillectomy a week ago.  I'm age 31 so i'll share my experiences. 

Day 1 - Surgery wasn't bad at all.  Woke up in minimum pain (3 out of 10).  Dry throat so I drank lots of water.  Bought all the necessary foods for post op (Popsicle,  Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Ice Cream, Mash potato packs with gravy, plus lots of water!) Hardly got any sleep.  Whenever I'd fall alseep my throat would dry out and I'd cough.  Pain is still minimal. Taking hyrdocodone every 4 hours.

Day 2 - Same as day 1 sep slightly more pain in back of throat.  Sleep is minimal again with maybe 3 hours since the surgery. 

Day 3 - Increase pain toward the end of day 3.  You really start looking forward to taking the hydrocodone doze since pain is increasing.  Finally fall asleep on couch for 2-3 hours (massive improvement).  Wake up with dry throat and mouth full of blood.  Call doctor, but the bleeding stop quickly after cold water, popsicle, and ice.  Its very important to keep your throat cold along with water. 

Day 4 - Pain increases from day 4.  Hurts to swallow, but you can handle it.  Start to experience ear pains.  Feels like my ears are pinched inside.  Sleep is beginning to improve.

Day 5 - Less pain than day 4, but about as much pain as day 3.  Ears getting worse.  Seems to trigger pain in my ears when I eat more solid foods.  Sleep is much better.  Now I'm getting 4-5 hours at a time.  Scabs are beginning to be coughed up.  White scabs formed and are forming in the tonsil sockets.  Very bitter taste.  You can taste the burn marks which is gross. 

Day 6 - Everything is better sep ears still pinch in pain esp when eating certain foods. This has been my worst pain. Not my throat at this point. 

So if your scared don't be.  You need to do these things.

Do what the doctor says
Drink lots of water and keep it as cold as possible ( I drank 3 gallons in 3 days)
Sleep if you can.
This isn't that bad.