Saturday, March 19, 2016

Good-Bye Tonsils (sung to the tune of "Good-Bye, Little Sebastian")

This is not MY throat, and these are not MY tonsils, by the way.


I made it though finals with minimal stress. All test scores have been reported except for the last one, and I maxed out exam scores. The last one shouldn't be much different than the others. (Thanks for asking, la perla.) Our course grades are pass/fail.

 Now it's on to bigger and better things. Our cohort is now de facto disbanded as we individually prep for the mother of all exams. We had a final social event which was attended by a large percentage of us. Some of us will choose to study together for a portion of our USMLE preparation, and we'll continue to see each other from time to time in the hospital and elsewhere as we begin clerkships. Still it will not be the same. The cohort was like being in a self-contained fourth-grade class, and then having the class move en masse the next year to fifth grade. We'll have the rare meeting as well, but it won't be the same. Alas, even good things must come to an end.

After partying with my classmates ( I limited myself to two mixed drinks, light on the alcohol in both), I slept for about twenty-six hours uninterrupted. Then I packed and drove to my parents' place on the central coast. I have nine days to relax, after which my tonsils are being removed. The tonsil removal is not without controversy. My pediatrician does not think the surgery is necessary. Two doctors at my school, however, consider me a walking strep factory as long as my tonsils are in place, and both of them knew that I wouldn't have the surgery done in their location, so they had no financial incentive to push the surgery on me. The ENT I saw for my secondary consultation said that my adenoids may need to come out as well, but it probably won't be known for certain until the surgeon gets a better look.The bottom line is that it's not my uncle's area of specialty, but he's still asserting his opinion. My dad said if I'm really contracting strep on a regular basis, it would be irresponsible to move on to clinical rotations with my tonsils still in place, but it was my decision. 

As much as I don't want to go through this procedure, if it must be done, now is the time to do it. I have an extremely accomplished surgeon.  I can recuperate in the comfort of my plush room at my parents' home, and I can study when I feel up to it. My dad and uncles can even help me study if I want their help. A couple of weeks following the surgery, I'll head back up north to the condo and will study there.

Meanwhile, I have a short-term list of goals to be accomplished. I need to para-sail at least once, preferably off the coast of Catalina. I want to see at least one musical before my surgery, and I don't yet have any tickets.  I would really like to find a viola to buy for a reasonable price. My cousin named a prize heifer after me, and I need to meet this creature. I can knock off my goals one at a time if I skimp on sleep. There will be ample time for sleep after my tonsils (and possibly adenoids) have been unceremoniously ripped from my throat.

14 comments:

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    1. Alexis, I'm pretty sure that you did not choose to have strep, and I find the idea a bit insulting. I'm sure that you understand your medical (and alternative) choices. I'm pretty sure that you know how untreated strep progresses, and your choices are valid whether you choose to remove the nidus, or continue to treat as needed. You are a very well-educated young lady, and I'm sure that your choices will be perfect for you. Feel better!

      Heather

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    2. Chuck, we may have to agree to disagree here. I'm too firmly entrenched in Western medicine to believe that strep is not real. Furthermore, I have no spleen, which leaves me slightly immunocompromised.

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  5. My sort-of-ex friend said to me: "I keep telling you what to do but you never do it." My reply was "Have you met me?"

    Your stellar accomplishments speak for themselves. Way to go!

    I very much appreciate the peek into your life, and, of course your humorous take on things.

    You forgot to say whether the picture was of YOUR tonsils. la perla

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    1. Thanks. And thanks for reminding me that I didn't properly identify the photo. i shall fix that right away ;)

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    2. I have always wanted to have a heifer named after me...

      Good luck with the surgery.

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  7. Dear Chuck,

    Your comments are inappropriate and disturbing.

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