I don’t hear much about kids getting tonsils out any more but it happened to me when I was about 10. I was a very sickly, skinny little thing till they took my tonsils out. After that, I was never thin again!
My parents took me to a clinic where all they did was tonsils. One batch of kids went in one morning, stayed overnight, went home the next day and then they did it all over again with a new batch of kids.
I was the oldest one having my tonsils out that day and evidently they thought I would be a good example to the others. Of course we were all terrified. My parents had done a good job of preparing me for what would happen and I knew they were praying for me, but I was still scared.
And, no one told me about the blood test! So, this very nice nurse came to me first, in this waiting room full of kids and parents, and she said to me, “Let me see your hand.” She took my hand in hers and without any explanation of what she was going to do, she jabbed my finger with a sharp metal thing, to get a drop of blood from me. What an awful surprise! I yelled, and I cried. I would have been brave if I had known what was going to happen.
I wasn’t a good example about the blood test, but at least all the rest of the kids knew what was coming.
Then I went with the nurse into another room, the operating room. They strapped me down on the table and started to administer the ether. I was told to count backwards from 100, –which wasn’t easy for me. But I was surprised at how far I was getting, when suddenly I could see in the deep blackness inside my head a huge clamp kind of thing, much like the clamp rings in a notebook binder. It opened and closed with a loud click. Twice! It was ominous. I was terrified. I screamed, –loud and long.
When I woke up, I remembered the scream (I still do all these years later) and I felt awful. Mom had promised to buy me a new Honey Bunch book if I would be good and I was trying so hard to be very good because reading was probably the greatest delight of my life at that time. Mom had understood about the blood test because I had been caught off guard and didn’t realize what the nurse was going to do, but I was afraid that the scream would be counted as being bad. Now I probably wouldn’t get the book.
But, joy of joys, Mom was very understanding and knew how much I had tried to be co-operative. She gave me the book. She had it with her when she came to see me.
How strange and sick I felt. Mom started to read my new book to me but I couldn’t appreciate it. I just wanted to lie still and sleep. Later, when I was feeling better at home, I read the book for myself.
The world was so much different when I was a child.