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Kountry Life Memories

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My Tonsillectomy
The following story is true.In this high tech day and age,it might be hard to believe but it is true. In the olden days of 1936, I was a boy of 8 years growing up in Rutherford New Jersey. It was a happy childhood marred only by my frequent illnesses,namely sore throats.On one trip to the doctors office my parents were told I should have a tonsillectomy,an operation to remove my tonsils and adenoids. Now you would think that an 8 year old boy being told he would have to have an operation would scare the daylights out of him, but it didn't for the following reason. It was well known in my circle of friends and classmates that when you had your tonsils taken out,afterwards you could have all the ice cream you could eat. I loved ice cream,especially strawberry. The day of the operation arrived, but in 1936 there was no trip to the hospital,no operating room,operating table,anesthetist,nurse,doctor or IV's. My operation would be done at home! My doctor{O'brien was his name] arrived at our house alone. He would be assisted by my Mother. The operating room was our kitchen and the operating table would be our kitchen table. When everything was ready I came into the kitchen in my pajamas,no open backed gown for me. I climbed up on the operating/kitchen table and lay down. Dr O'brien told me he was going to put a mask over my nose and mouth and pour something called ether into it, He said'When I pour the ether you are to take deep breaths,OK' 'OK' I said. He poured and I breathed. Instant panic..I couldn't breathe.I was strangling and gasping for air. But the ether worked fast and I went out like a light. And that is all I remember of the operation. When I woke up,I was upstairs in my bed.The doctor had carried me upstairs and he and my Mother put me to bed. The operation was a success and no complications. I was happy to report to my friends and classmates that the rumor was true. I had all the icecream I could eat,especially strawberry. And that is the way they did things back in 1936

Submitted By: Edwin Peckens from OR on 2006-04-18

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