My Dear John Letter

Break-ups are never easy.

In a few weeks, I will be saying goodbye to my tonsils.  They will move out of the space in the back of my throat that they have been living in rent-free all these years, and take their reoccurring infections with them.

“Just for the record, I hate you both.” – Speaker7

Frankly my tonsils have been acting like giant a-holes with the emphasis on the giant. If this country worshipped giant tonsils rather than giant breasts, I would be regularly featured as a Playboy Tonsilmate.

For the past three years, I have felt like I’ve had popcorn kernels lodged in the back of my throat, and I don’t even eat popcorn. The glands in my neck have swollen to a point that they could appear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and people would say “There goes two of the largest balloons I have ever seen.” And I am responsible for the influx of peed-out antibiotics in the local water supply.

I know the recovery is going–to put it bluntly–suck a huge tonsil stone. But I am at the point where I’m ready to take them out myself with a spork.

I find that now people know of my impending surgery, they find it of great import to tell me their own personal tonsillectomy-horror story. I’ve been regaled with tales of throwing up blood and post-anthesia paralysis. I’ve been told that yes, the person had them out as a child, and yet the person remembers it as the most vividly horrifying experience of the person’s life.

I enjoy this.

I do because I’m going to have my tonsils out in less than three weeks.

So please, by all means tell me:

I had my tonsils out and I threw up so much blood, they had to give me all new blood and then my head fell off.

-or-

I was scheduled to get my tonsils removed and the doctors accidentally removed my larynx instead. They replaced it with the mechanical voice box of a talking Barbie. Math class is hard. Tee-hee.

-or-

I had my tonsils removed and now I can’t stop scatting. Zoop-de-flee, zoop-de-fly.

-or-

I had my tonsils out and they went on to win The Voice and refused to get me into the after party.

-or-

I had my tonsils out and now they’re seeing someone else and have even proposed. What does that person’s throat have that mine doesn’t?

That one especially hurts. Get it? Get it?

Because it’s the worst pain in the history of pain in the history of surgeries in the history of vomiting blood.

If you don’t believe, just tell someone you’re getting your tonsils removed.

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101 comments

  1. I hope your surgery goes well! My minister had his out a few years ago – he was well past 40 when he had it done. That surgery was the best thing that happened to him in a long time. He felt so much better. He slept better, quit snoring, all his apnea issues went away. Hope your recovery is as good and as quick.

  2. I had to get my tonsils removed and for days (weeks?) after the surgery I was obliged to eat vanilla ice cream to soothe the pain (now don’t tell me you don’t like vanilla ice cream, because I will feel like an a$$).
    Also I skipped most of the first part of this story, because I could not look at that picture…

    1. Aw thanks. I love Grover books. My favorite is the one about the monster at the end of the book and he keeps trying to stop you from turning the page and it turns out he is the monster.

      1. That was my absolute favourite book as a child, so obviously I bought it immediately upon finding out I was pregnant. Now my son demands it on a regular basis. In fact, I just read it to him fifteen minutes ago.

        I love you.

  3. Worst pain the world? You’re kidding, right? Your horror stories were hilarious though. Good luck with the surgery and if you ask me (not that you did and you’d be smart not to), good riddance to bad and unnecessary body parts.

  4. Oh, heck, having a few post-operative Popsicles and some ice cream surely makes vomiting all of your blood out worth it…

  5. I have personally had 15,438 surgeries. And people feel compelled to tell horror stories each and every time. Last time I offered to let them come and get it too.

    The worst thing about surgery is waiting for it to happen. Everything else happens while you’re on drugs so you don’t really care.

    That said, I do wish they would just make all the body parts screw in/screw out. Surgery is time consuming.

  6. I recall getting mine out with my brother – a twofer. I recall that it took three nurses to get me to open my elbow to start the IV, I woke up with a sore throat, I ate lots of ice cream, met my first nun, and that my grandma bought me a GI Joe so I could play along with my little brother – all in all pretty good.

  7. I had it done when I was 19. You’ll get good drugs and before you know it all will be better. Like you, I was constantly having issues. Taking those bitches out was one of the best things I ever did. Just stroke Hugo’s bald head when you’re hurting. It will be fine.

  8. I never had my tonsils out so I cannot offer any horrific tales of permanent disfigurement or massive blood-letting. Meanwhile I like how you touched up Pamela Anderson’s photo. She hasn’t looked that good in years.

  9. i have those tonsil stone thingies too and horrible allergies. i’m convinced my tonsils are half of the problem, but i’m too much of a P*ssy to do anything about it. god speed, lots of ice cream, and blogging. you’ll make it through. i suspect we’ll all be seeing my more tonsil-faced baywatch babes? please, spkr 7, make it so! loool. xoxo, sm

  10. Well judging by that photo, they definitely have to go. I had my tonsils out after my freshman year in college. It was a breeze! You are going to LOVE it! You will vomit tulips and snort ice cream through a straw. No worries Speaker 7, it ain’t so bad.

  11. The only surgery I’ve had was getting my baby works taken out when I was thirty (I kept the ovary thingies). Best surgery ever! No more little friend visits. And no more lizards. I also heard horror stories before my surgery. Fun, fun, and oh so helpful!

    Do we get a Speaker7 Has Tonsil Surgery Very Special Episode? Maybe your tonsils can hang out with the pneumonia mucus I cough up. Bonding time.

  12. Especially enjoyed your face augmentation of Pamela Anderson. But is that a tonsil on her face? Or is it one of her boobs turned inside out after a botched breast implant surgery performed by Tommy Lee when he and Pam were both really drunk? Oh jeeze! That was gross! I’m beginning to think you’re a bad influence on me. Nah, screw that. I take full responsibility. Also liked your tonsillectomy comic one liners and riffs. You are definitely not the SOS and I like it.

  13. Sorry to hear that you have to go under the knife soon, but considering that it’s a routine procedure and hopefully, your surgeon did not purchase his degree at Sears, it will go well and your recovery will be so much less worse than you anticipate. In fact, I will keep my fingers, legs and eyes crossed that during your convalescence you’ll publish a post about the most harrowing aspect of the procedure being finding a parking space.

      1. As long as your surgeon uses Craftsman brand tools I think you’ll be more than fine. This should ease your mind:

        “Consumers have ranked the Craftsman brand second (surpassed only by Waterford Crystal) in terms of quality. In 2007, Craftsman was named “America’s Most Trusted Brand” and brand with “Highest Expectations”. In 2009, the readers of Popular Mechanics named Craftsman their favorite brand of hand tools in their Reader’s Choice Awards. Craftsman is the official tool brand of NASCAR and the DIY Network.”

        With all that excellence in the operating theater, I think I might follow your lead and have my tonsils removed, too, now. You’ll probably be able to sing soprano at the Metropolitan Opera following this procedure. You’re my hero.

  14. When I was a kid, I had this recurring fantasy that I’d get really bad tonsilities and I’d have to g oto hospital and have my tonsilitis out and I’d get to eat ice cream all the time and my family would be so sorrythey were mean to me and…

    Shut up. I was a weird kid with issues, okay? Besides, when I finally got really bad tonsilitis, I didn’t get to have surgery at all. I just had to sit at home for two months drinking an horrendous glucose-replacement drink that tasted like orange-flavoured puke.

    So have fun living my childhood dream. I’ll just be over here sobbing in the corner.

  15. Let me give you the view from my ‘Peri-operiative Scheduling Coordinator’ throne….I love tonsillectomies! 15 minutes, snippety-snip. You can do 6 of ‘em before lunch! Best part? The nurses come to get you in a little red radio flyer wagon! You’ll love it. Then they give you a stuffed bear with a scrub cap on it and afterward, he’ll have a bandage where his IV site was too. Oh, the fun you will have!!! You get to miss school too.

  16. Offspring the first had his resident germ magnets removed last year. I was more traumatised by the surgery than he was. 2 weeks off school for him … 2 weeks of hell for me. He got ice cream and I got a headache

  17. When I was told I would be having my tonsils removed, I was promised ice cream when I woke up after the surgery but all I got was a bowl of chipped ice. It felt good but I was disappointed that I didn’t get ice cream. Then the next morning they brought this awful cream of wheat goop and told me I wouldn’t be allowed to leave the hospital until I ate the goop. I tasted the goop and it was awful. I started to cry because I knew I would spend the rest of my life in the hospital because I would never be able to eat all of the awful goop. Then my father told me he would sneak me out so I wouldn’t have to eat the goop. He was my hero.

    So if they promise you ice cream, hold them to it and don’t let them bully you into eating the awful cream of wheat goop the next morning. Other than that, I don’t remember much about it except the operating room was cold. You might want to ask for an extra blanket.

    Good luck.

  18. Speaker7,
    It’s painful, it really is. Not that I have lived it myself, but I have witnessed people suffering after the surgery, and I had to take care of their needs and watch less trash tv because of it. Tell your husband he’ll need to buy a great deal of alcohol to deal with you.
    Le Clown

  19. Sorry to hear you have to have surgery Speaker 7 – but I was so glad to read those aren’t your actual tonsils! Yikes!

    I never had to have mine out. They are still in there, annoying me by getting tonsil stones every once in a while. I;m with everyone else though, you get lots of ice cream! And you get to moan and groan around the house! Sounds like a blast to me!

    Good luck, my blog friend!

    1. Thank you. I’m actually looking forward to watching uninterrupted TV while my husband and son are at their respective day places. I’m thinking of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon. This is what I call “living the dream.”

  20. Ah man, S7 that sucks! But ice cream will help. I had mine out when I was 6 or 7 I think. Least you’ll have fewer sore throats and that popcorn thing will go away. Good luck, but really play this out — ask for presents and what you want. I got a Gumbi doll and a Pokey doll.

    You may be inspired to revisit the 50 Shades of Crap again. I’m guessing you’ll be on pain medication to get through it again. (Seriously, though — good luck!)

  21. My oldest had his tonsils taken out two years ago. We were nervous, but his head didn’t fall off. Actually, he’s much healthier now, and no longer runs fevers every 3 weeks. Feel better, and consider it an excuse to eat lots of applesauce.

    P.S. I’m not so sure about all of these ice cream recommendations. Doesn’t dairy increase phlegm production? I’d go with Jack Daniels on the theory that it will help fight infections. Or something.

      1. To quote Rihanna, they found love in a hopeless place…filled with chlamydia. At this point, I don’t know if I’m talking about my tonsils or Pam and Tommy Lee.

  22. I tell you my story. I had them out when I was 3, and I was asleep, and they were gone, so they tell me, and I ate a lot of ice cream when I was awake, and took a lot of drugs, and slept a lot for about 3 days. So, kind of a good memory of ice cream, sleep, feelin’ groovy and having no responsibilities.

    1. Thanks Edward. For some reason this turned up in my spam folder right after a comment from Mariah about how she “conceive(d) me.” Weirdness. Your story sounds so good, I want to invent drug ice cream.

  23. I had my tonsils out and they started their own blog and said all sorts of horrible things about me.

    Yeah, I never had mine out. But I did get my wisdom teeth removed and have everyone in the entire world tell me I was going to die a horrible, wisdom-less, toothy death, so I can relate.

  24. Good lord. I can barely get past the first photo. I must have a thing with nasty throat pics. Like Elyse, I’ve had about a thousand surgeries and the anticipation almost kills you but the vicodin saves you in the end. Best wishes you get tons of ice cream and find some real relief.

  25. I had my tonsils out, and after I woke up, the nurses gave me some milk to drink. But I didn’t like milk, so I managed to convince them to give me some ice cream. Unfortunately, the only ice cream they had was cherry vanilla, which would have been okay except that the cherries were kind of shriveled up. When a cherry is shriveled up and frozen solid, it has a lot of sharp edges, which feel really horrible going down your throat when you’ve just had tonsil surgery. It was like eating shards of glass. I couldn’t eat cherry vanilla ice cream again for at least ten years.

    Good luck with the surgery, and stay away from cherry vanilla ice cream.

  26. But it looked so easy on the Brady Bunch. Remember? Carol and Cindy had a double-tonsillectomy and then sat in bed together and ate ice cream? Now was that the same one where Carol lost her voice and couldn’t sing in the church Christmas concert until Cindy asked Santa for her mommy’s voice back, right before Bobby threw the football pass that hit Marsha in the face and took out her adenoids? Oh, I don’t remember. They all kind of run together at some point. Kind of like your bulging tonsils.

    My brother and I had so many bouts of strep as kids that it’s a wonder we didn’t have our tonsils taken out. His doctor once told him that his tonsils had actually disintegrated from all the illnesses he’d been through. Not kidding. I wish that could happen to you.

    Best wishes on a speedy recovery, BBFF. I mean it.

    1. Do you think my husband will do what Mike did? And call me every 5 minutes to make sure I don’t talk and then chastise me for answering the phone? I hope so. My tonsils were pretty crapola as a child too. I kept getting tonsillitis as a kid, but the doctors wouldn’t take them out because “they’re the first line in fighting infection.” Great, but what if they’re the thing that’s infected. All the time.

  27. I got my tonsils out in high school and they gave me liquid codeine and it was fucking rad. Me and my best friend were high for days. Seriously, who gives a teenager narcotics? Also, one of the best things I ever did was get those dirty bastards cut out. Throat cheese, be gone!

    1. See, these are the stories I want. Not the vomiting blood, but the high as a kite, pain-free kind of romps. I know it’s going to be a painful recovery, but it is such the necessity. I’m not going through the next 50 years (god-willing) feeling like I have popcorn caught in my throat.

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