Story by Julian Aiden Bravo, art by Natalie Thomas.
Going through a tonsillectomy the day before Thanksgiving is easily the most idiotic thing to do, and that’s exactly what I did.
Before getting into detail about the experience, a proper explanation of what a tonsillectomy actually is would be a good idea.
A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure where the tonsils of a patient, two clusters of tissue located on both sides of the back of the throat, are removed due to either infection, or over enlargement, blocking the upper airway and causing problematic respiration.
This all began in September. Sitting in the throat specialist’s room he had a look down my throat and explained to me that my tonsils were oversized, a stage three of four stages.
“We gotta get those bad boys out,” he said. “Call the office once you get home to make an appointment and I’ll take them out in 30 minutes.
He made it sound so simple, I call to make an appointment, waltz right in the day of surgery, and waltz back out tonsil free. It actually was a lot more than that.
The only available appointment was Nov. 26 2014, the day before Thanksgiving.
When the day came for the surgery I didn’t feel so nervous, just really depressed that I wouldn’t be able to eat on the one day of the year where you can over indulge on turkey and mashed potatoes and not be judged by it.
It wasn’t until the nurse called me that I felt my heart beating faster.
“Bravo, ” the nurse said.
“That’s me,” I said to myself.
Walking down the cramped hallway into the room. I remember it smelled like plastic gloves, an all too uncomfortable scent if you’re not a fan of going to the doctor’s office.
They gave me a gown, a cap and slippers and told me to change in the restroom.
Once done changing, I took a look at myself in the mirror.
“Well, this is it,” I told myself.
The nurse came in and explained the procedure. I would be put to sleep by anesthetic, the surgeon would do his thing, and then I would wake up in the recovery room.
Easy, right? No, wrong.
Waiting in the pre-surgery room I heard a type of muffled scream, as if someone awoke in the middle of surgery.
“Whoa, what’s going on in there?” I said. “What are they doing to that person?”
After taking my blood pressure, and my temperature, they ushered me to the actual surgery room.
It felt as if the room was a place where they preformed horrible experiments on people, and I was their test subject.
They told me to lie down on the table, and once I did the nurse and the anesthesiologist began asking me questions all at once.
I couldn’t process anything they were asking. I wanted out.
“We’re giving you happy gas now, okay?” the nurse said.
I replied with an “alright” and then immediately knocked out.
As if one second passed by, I woke up in the recovery room thinking how it all ended so quickly when in reality it was a one hour procedure.
“Are you feeling pain?” the nurse said.
I nodded my head yes. I was awake for less than five minutes when she gave me morphine, then the lights in went out again.
I awoke again, this time able to handle the pain. They let me have a look at my tonsils. Everything was over, no more procedures. I was free to go home.
On Thanksgiving day I was both angry and upset that I couldn’t eat anything at all. I silently did my homework while scrutinizing my family having a good time.
All I was able to consume for four days was jello and Gatorade. I slowly progressed to solids, hoping to get Thanksgiving leftovers, but I was out of luck.
The leftovers were long gone, all I had was lingering throat pain, and shattered hopes