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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Do children still get their tonsils removed?

Barry Evans
Barry Evans

Many, many years ago when I was a youngin’, there were many conversations about tonsils – usually having them out.  There were some good reasons for it as quite often a kid would be sick and tonsils would get the blame.  The same thing could be said for adults. However, adults suffered more from the operation so they tried to figure out if they could live with whatever problem they were having.  Many kids thought it would not be bad as they would get out of going to school for perhaps a week.  Then, when they went back the other kids would crowd around and ask what it was like.  The kid with no tonsils would then be a big shot for maybe a whole 10 minutes before the other kids got interested in something else.

I had mine out when I was six years old. In my case it was due to the fact that I used to have excruciating earaches. I can still feel them these many, many years later.  I wasn’t so certain that I was going to enjoy having them out despite missing some school.  The fact was that I liked school so why miss any.  On the other hand, there was no question but that the earaches were not a pleasant occurrence. The Blonde in the House also had them out, but she was older since she was eight.  My Mother bought a child’s book which explained how the operation would be done. In fact, she read it several times so I was good as a six year old could be about the situation.Since the Blonde was eight, she was undoubtedly more mature about the issue. I should mention so that there is no confusion she was not eight when I was six. We are definitely speaking of different years here.

Today, you hear very little about tonsillectomies.  It could be that some of it is due to the company we keep – mostly folks around our age. On the other hand, many of us have grandkids, but I don’t know of any who have had their tonsils removed. Apparently, the reason is good old penicillin. Penicillin cures most of the illness that went with tonsils, and they have not become immune as have so many other maladies. What this points out, I guess is that while today’s kids miss out on so many good things that we had when we were growing up, they also avoid some of the things that were not so great.  Of course, if they did have to go through what we did and lay around in a bed, they could now just pick up their iPad or cell phone and keep busy playing games.  In our day, if we did have some one to play games with, it would most likely be a board game.  Board games had the problem of the pieces falling off the bed as you were playing. That would particularly happen as some one was about to win the game. (It didn’t take much of a jiggle on the bed to knock something off.)

There are also old cases like what happened to the Blonde and myself after the operation. In her case when she woke up, she said that she would like to have something to eat.  The doctor who was obviously a mean old guy probably in his forties, snarled, “Give her some food, and see how she likes it.” She doesn’t recall what she was fed. In my case I do especially because of the book on the operation that my Mother read to me.  According to the book, when I awoke, I would have a sore throat. However, I should not worry as the hospital would give me a nice bowl of ice cream. (A book the Blonde read to our kids told them the same thing.) I waited eagerly for the food lady to come by. Sure, enough she did and handed me a nice plate which contained a piece of TOAST!

Yep, kids do have some things better today!

Columnist Barry Evans writes about Life in The Villages.

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