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Tag: Tonsils

Post-surgery posting.

Hi everyone! DID YOU MISS ME!? I missed you!

The operation went swimmingly as far as I can tell. I’m not going to post a photo of the back of my throat. Feel secure in the knowledge that it is NOT PRETTY right now. Luckily, the pain is mild. Maybe that’s just the lingering anesthesia, but I prefer to think that I am just super awesome. You know. Narcissism.

On request from Carol, I did record my super sweet post-surgery voice. Between the tube they shoved down my throat, the drugs, the surgical excision of my tonsils, and the burning of my adenoids, my voice sounds really great right now. I think I will sing an opera to Richie, my 82 year old super intendant.



Don’t you want to listen to an entire book-on-tape version of Crime & Punishment read by me in that voice? I know you do!!!

Here’s to hoping my recovery is as easy for the rest of the two weeks I took off for it. The doctor’s doom and gloom about the utter misery I’d be suffering through seems, at this point, to have been hyperbole, but there is time for things to get bad and painful. Thank The Flying Spaghetti Monster for the bottle of hydrocodone syrup I’ve got.

One minor complaint though. I’d kill for a taco. Like, murder and watch the life drain out of someone’s eyes as I choked them to death kind of kill. Someone want to bring me a taco shake? Sausage smoothie? Lamb sorbet?

Bye bye, tonsils! Bye bye!

This is the inside of my mouth:

These are my tonsils:

Not sure what you’re looking for? How about a visual aid:


Those pock-marked balls of vestigial tissue are the bastards that have caused so much drama in my life over the past few months and tomorrow they will be excised from my face forever. So take a good look at them because the next time I post a photo of my gaping maw, they won’t be there. They’ll hopefully be in a jar in my closet.

Also consider this posting a notice that things might be slow here at The Black Laser for a little bit while I recover. My doctor has really been hammering it in that I am going to be in some considerable pain while my throat heals meaning I might not be up for posting amazing things for all of you to enjoy. For this I apologize. In the case that he is being overly dramatic and my throat does not hurt quite so badly as he makes out it will, then you can expect me back in a few days. We shall see.

Wish me luck. I have to be at the hospital at 7:30 tomorrow morning.

A Letter to the Hospital Where I Was Supposed to Have Surgery This Friday but Am Not and To My Doctor’s Office For Not Letting Me Know Until I Called This Morning.

Dear you all,

Seriously, I am annoyed.

Regular readers of this site know of my troubles with strep throat not just this year but over most of my life. I’ve mentioned the issue here before. Luckily, I’ve not gotten sick in a few months which I associate with…uh…pretty much pure luck. Such things are a mystery to me.

Earlier this summer, the whole ordeal reached a point where taking my tonsils out made sense. We went through all the motions, remember?, of setting up a date and dealing with insurance and all sorts of crap. I originally wanted them yanked before I went to California for June, but that didn’t fit into the doctor’s schedule, so I went with August 13th. The astute of you out there will realize that August 13th is the coming Friday. Very soon, I know!

When I hadn’t heard from the doctor’s office last Thursday, I started to get worried. Why hadn’t they called me? Had they forgotten? Where was I supposed to go? Did I have prescriptions to fill out? When should I be there? With these fairly important questions in mind, I called this morning. This is how it went, if you don’t remember.

Me: Hi! I’m having surgery this Friday and I was just, you know, wondering where I should go and all.
Them: Oh, let me check….what was your name again?
Me: Joseph Dillingham.
Them: Oh. Uh, I need to call you back.
Me: Of course.

I do some work, drink some coffee, and then my phone rings.

Me: Hello?
Them: Hi Joseph, this is your doctor’s office calling.
Me: Hi! What’s up?
Them: So there’s been a mix up at the hospital and the room we were trying to get for you has been taken by another doctor.
Me: And what, exactly, does that mean?
Them: It means there’s no slot for you this Friday.
Me: Well, that’s bullshit.
Them: Yes, I’m sorry, but the doctor doesn’t get a preferred slot there and if some other doctor who does wants to come in and operate, we get bumped.
Me: That’s complete and utter bullshit.
Them: The best we can do is offer you September 3rd.
Me: But I’ve already been put on hold for September…fuck. Ok, put me in for the 3rd and, you know what, I don’t even know if I’m going to take it then, but put me down and fuck the hospital. We’ll treat them like they’ve treated me.

It wasn’t until I was off the phone—l’esprit de l’escalier strikes again!—that I realized that THOSE MOTHERFUCKERS IN THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS BEFORE NOW. What the fucking fuck?! Fucking hell guys. I know you’re human, but if I dropped the ball like this for something my client was expecting my ass would be grass. And that’s just commercials! We’re talking about my throat here. God damn!

Go health care!

The reality is though that Sept 3rd is fine. It makes my finances a little more stressful than they needed to be, but I have some projects on the horizon which will hopefully turn into money. And, shit, I can cut when my throat hurts and I am recovering, so whatever. But still. I’ve been planning this all summer and it’s drag to have the proverbial rug pulled out from under me at the eleventh hour. How many more idioms can I pack into that last sentence?


The Black Laser.

PS – Fuck you.

A Letter to My Tonsils Regarding Their Current Inability to Function For Longer than a Week Without Providing Me Serious Distress.

Dear Tonsils,

It has been a long road for the three of us, hasn’t it? I recall clearly my entire childhood my mother noting that you two were very large, even then, and I always thought it curious. What a strange thing to have large tonsils. We had such a fine life together through most of my childhood.

I recall, quite clearly, the first time you caused me pain. I was 13 and at camp for the summer. I remember one day my throat hurting like nothing I’d ever experienced before. A burning, miserable pain every time I swallowed. Down at the showers I looked at the back on my throat in the small mirror screwed to the tree by the hand washing basin and saw, for the very first time, a sight that would become something I’d know as a horrible, horrible sign: white splotches covering you two. It hurt even to swallow my spit; water and food caused me grievous discomfort. But, as a 13 year old, being sick means admitting that you can’t tough your way through everything and that is admitting defeat. Instead of going to the infirmary right away, I suffered silently. At lunch at the doctor’s table, I couldn’t eat at all and just sat there, frustrated, angry, in pain, and broke into silent tears. Jim, the table councilor, took a look at me and then took me straight over to the infirmary where I stayed for the next few days as I slept off my fever and had the anti-biotics I so dearly needed administered. That was our first, but most certainly not our last, experience with those dastardly streptococcus bacteria. I’m sure you’re familiar with them, tonsils.

Time passed and I forgot about the special type of hell I lived through that week. During my junior year of high school I came down with infectious mononucleosis. I thought I was just bored, but as it turned out I had mono. The mono made me slightly more tired, a little draggy, but wasn’t too bad. What it really did that I enjoyed so much was open the door for our good friend strep to walk right back into the back of my mouth and set up shop. TWICE. That was an unpleasant year, salvaged only by 800mg hits of ibuprofen, raspberry sorbet, and liquid penicillin. Really, tonsils, no one should have to deal with this. It’s unpleasant.

And how many times during college did we come down with strep throat, tonsils? 3? 4? More? Too many times, tonsils. It was about this point that I started to suspect that you were broken. Swollen, disfigured, scarred, I don’t know anyone else who gets food stuck in their tonsils. That’s a bad sign right? I’m fairly certain it means that something is wrong. When the doctor referred to you as “hypertrophic,” meaning that you were huge, he probably didn’t mean it in a complimentary way. I think what he meant to say was, “Damn, son. Those shits in the back of your throat are right fucked up.”

Now here we are hours away from April and I have strep for the third time since the end of February. What is that? Five weeks? Consider me frustrated. The first of the three was pretty easy. You two got gross and whatever, but I was never in any serious pain. But the second time? Lord. I was up all night having fever delusions, unable to sleep for the pain you were causing me, choking down water and Advil by the thimbleful so I wouldn’t keel over dead. Not nice. Not nice at all. And since I’m a freelancer, I don’t get sick days. I was sitting at Number 6, sipping soup, and wincing as I tried to get it into my stomach. When those white splotches reappeared this Monday, I nearly had a heart attack. I’m moving on Saturday and have so much stuff to do tomorrow and Friday that I could not afford to be incapacitated with strep.

All this begs the question, what’s the next step for us, tonsils? If I have anything to do about it, you will soon be but a memory. The Ear/Nose/Throat specialist I went to see tonight took a look at you, recoiled, and said, “Oh my god, yes. Those are infected.” I said to him, “Doc, this is nothing. You should have seen the last round,” and he looked at me like he couldn’t imagine how it could be worse. It made me wish I had a photo. He then told me that the next step was surgery but that he didn’t want to operate until I’d been infection-free for a few weeks. Here’s what I think will happen: I’m going to run this third round of anti-biotics, I’ll be fine for a few days, and BOOM splotches. He tried to put the fear of the surgery into me telling me how painful it would be for a couple weeks. But I just countered that it would be better than living under the constant tyranny of two motherfucking, goddamned, asshole tonsils that kept making me ill.

Sorry, guys, I got a little carried away there.

Anyway, it’s been a long road and I wish I could say that I was sad to see you go. But I’m not. Good riddance. I just want you out by mid-May so I can get healed and go down to the Maryland Death Fest and have a jolly old time.


Joe Dillingham
The Black Laser.