I am a 23 (almost 24) year-old female with a history of chronic strep throat, tonsillitis, and obstructive sleep apnea. My tonsils have always been huge and I had my adenoids removed at a young age (2 or 3) because of snoring. I had my tonsils removed with coblation just a week ago, and so far I am doing quite well. I wanted to write this post because most of the posts I've seen from 20 year-olds or older say that the pain they experienced is horrific, but I really think it depends on your pain tolerance and expectations. If you take your pain medication on a schedule and even wake up to do it you will feel better (I chose to take one pain pill every four hours), but don't expect the pain meds to take away all of your pain and discomfort. It will hurt to swallow for a while. Also be sure to keep drinking as much fluid as you can, and popsicles really help with the pain.
A few other notes: I chose pain pills over the liquid because the liquid is less effective for pain and it burns going down (or so I've been warned). Also having a humidifier is a necessity. I've spent the week sleeping in a reclining chair because you are not supposed to lie down flat for a few weeks after the surgery because it could increase your risk of bleeding. My doctor recommended that my head be at a minimum of 30 degrees from the ground and a maximum of 60 degrees most of the time because sitting straight up can cause swelling. I was also told that it is normal to have a low grade fever (which may go up if you miss your pain meds or don't drink enough fluid). So here's my progression so far:
The surgery was over fairly quickly, and I was surprised to find that I could drink with much less pain than I had expected. I had several popsicles this day, but swallowing is really different, so you have to be patient. I had pain pills, and I found that it helped to cut them in half and put them in jello or in a popsicle so that I could swallow them. The only real problem I had this day was nausea. Make sure you have some kind of anti-nausea pill or suppository on hand, because this probably will happen.
Day 2: I progressed to being able to swallow the pain pills without jello. My throat hurt a little more
sleeping, but it didn't dry out completely during the night due to having a humidifier placed right beside me. I found it harder to drink after waking up, but after about an hour of taking small sips it became easier. I was surprised at how much better I could breathe without my tonsils.
Day 3: I had more ear pain this day, and the pain in my throat was increased. I was able to eat a bit of mashed potatoes (very slowly and with the aid of lots of water). I didn't add milk to them though, just butter.
It hurt even more to drink after waking up, but I just made myself do it. I also had some warm chicken broth, which I found to be soothing.
Day 4: I slept through my pain med schedule a few times on accident and had more of a fever this day than the other days. I had a lot of ear pain and a lot of nausea. I spent much of this day sleeping with a cool wet rag on my neck and face. It helped a lot with the swelling. I also found that heated towels are soothing if placed around the back of the head and over the ears if you are having ear pain. It makes me go right to sleep. I only had a nausea medication that I could take twice a day at this point, and ended up getting the suppositories after this, which helped immensely with the nausea.
Day 5: I was pretty miserable this day. I had a lot of ear pain and it was all I could do to swallow anything at all. Cold things hurt to swallow and hot things hurt to swallow. I finally just drank room temperature water and apple juice. I slept most of this day. I also found later that warm tea with a bit of honey added to it can help the ear pain at least a little bit.
Day 6: I began to notice that I was having trouble breathing after taking the pain meds (I have asthma) so I called my doctor and was prescribed a steroid to take daily with the pain medication because it can cause shortness of breath and swelling (I think?) in people with asthma. After taking the steroid I feel so much better. I can actually swallow fluids without having to brace myself. It still feels a little weird, but is no longer painful. I also ate a bit of soupy kraft macaroni and cheese with no problem. The ear pain diminished as the day went on, and now I'm feeling pretty awesome.
I am so excited about how much better I can breathe after this surgery, and since I've had this surgery I've always been able to breathe out of my nose (which has historically been a rarity for me, as I have allergies). I am living with my parents throughout the recovery time so that they can be here for me when they are not at work, and they say that they have not once heard me snore and it seems that I am sleeping more soundly and not gasping for air in my sleep. I am really looking forward to seeing how I feel once I fully recover. At this point I would highly recommend this surgery to anyone whose quality of life it might improve. The pain has been somewhat less than what I expected, but I have a fairly high pain tolerance due to having some painful gastrointestinal issues. I also managed to sleep most of the time which is helpful as long as you are able to wake up to take pain meds and drink. Also, a random tip: Don't chew on the ice you are given after your surgery! Just let it melt, because your teeth may hurt later if you chew on it! I hope that this post can help someone who is looking into having this surgery! Best of luck!