Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Small But Mighty


Now
Then
Our oldest grandson had to have his tonsils out.
Poor little guy.
But they were so huge that they made it difficult for him to swallow and were constantly getting infected.
There were perks.
For a week, he got to live on freezies and fruit pops and jello and things cold and sweet and delicious.
Paradise.
He is feeling much better now.
And able to swallow, perhaps for the first time in his life.
Bless modern medicine.
It was day surgery. In and out.
The whole experience reminded me of my older brother, George.
Who had the same problem, fifty years ago.
Are we seeing a pattern, here?
George had a big appetite.
And a small throat.
He would chew and chew and chew on a piece of tender, wonderful roast beef.
Chew and chew and chew.
Then, finally, give up in despair and sit there, morosely, with a lump of meat in his mouth that he simply couldn't swallow.
My Dad took pity on him and told him to spit his mouthful into Dad's hand.
Which he did.
And which my Dad then disposed of.
Umm. Ick.
Then George would happily move on to the potatoes and gravy.
For a couple of years, the same scenario was played out at the Stringam dinner table.
George starting out with things chewy and delicious.
Then moving on to things mushy and easier to swallow.
Finally, it became so common that Dad didn't even get the chance to offer to help.
George would chew and chew and chew, then reach for Dad's hand and spit his mouthful into it.
Often without Dad realizing it.
Until it had happened.
Sort of hard to ignore then . . .
When he did it at a restaurant, my parents decided that something had to be done.
Checkup.
Diagnosis: large tonsils.
Solution: Removal.
Back then, though the operation was common, it meant several day's stay at the local hospital.
But with lots and lots of ice cream and jello and things cold and sweet and delicious.
Modern medicine has come so far.

8 comments:

  1. It' not often we can say to our grandchildren that we know 'exactly' how they feel.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, how those genes keep cropping up! In our family it was the small mouth, crowded with normal teeth, that popped up in the next generation. The orthodontist was happy, though.

    I'm so glad your little grandson is able to enjoy all things hard-to-swallow now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, the problems of too big teeth and too little mouth . . .
      Yep. He's happy now!

      Delete
  3. Actually that happened 58 years ago, when I was 2. The doctor told me that he was amazed that they didn't choke me to death. I didn't grow much from 2 to 4, when I had them out. My friend, Gordie, had his tonsils out when he was 24. In his case the infection was coming out through the palms of his hands; they started cracking away until there was hardly any skin left. Makes you wonder why we even have tonsils.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What?! They discovered it when you were two and waited two years to have them out? Yikes!
      Tonsils are in the same category as an appendix. Unnecessary. And downright aggravating . . .

      Delete
  4. You've just explained why I could never swallow meat, all this time I thought it was because I hated lamb. I eventually learned to take such tiny bites I could get it down, but still avoided eating meat as much as possible. I had my tonsils out at 19.

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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