The son of my good friend Stiffy had his tonsils out yesterday. She sent me a text with a picture of him, lying in his hospital bed surrounded by stuffed animals. She was spending the night in his hospital room. His experience seemed little bit different then the time I had my tonsillectomy in 1970. Kids weren't treated to pre-admission tours, puppets, and caring staff back then. In fact, I think my dogs are treated better at the vet then the way kids were treated at the hospital 40 years ago.
My father brought me to the hospital bright and early. Rather, I should say he "dropped me off" as parents were not encouraged to hang around like they are today. The room was large, about half the size of a basketball court minus the bleachers (or at least that's what it seemed like). Beds filled the entire perimeter of the ward. I remember being told to lie on my stomach. "Must be doing something hospital thing" I thought. Before I knew what was happening, a thermometer was stuck up my butt. Hey - pull the freaking curtain at least. Oh wait, there were no curtains.
A few minutes later someone came by and gave me a shot in the calf which did absolutely nothing to relax me - Stiffy's son got some good pre-surgical drugs that had him seeing double. I was carried down to the operating room. No explanations of anything that was happening. It was like a factory line. Get 'em in, rip 'em out, get 'em back to the ward.
I woke up in a bed on the opposite side of the room from where the thermometer incident had occurred. Every kid in that ward was crying. So I decided I should cry too. I don't remember being in pain but I'm pretty sure I remember getting a Hoodsie Cup. Nothing like ice cream to stir up lots of mucus when you've just had something surgically ripped out of your throat.
Stiffy's poor son was in a lot of pain. He got morphine. I don't even think I got a baby aspirin.
To top it all off, I was in a facility named Mercy Hospital. Mercy my bum.