Surgery isn't fun, but I tell you, it's A LOT more "fun" than emergency surgery (I know this is a 'duh' moment), especially a ruptured appendix (in 1992). Here's a little comparison (for brevity's sake, I'll use EL for elective surgery and EM for emergency surgery):
FYI, for those bay area peeps reading this, Marin General did both surgeries, and the tonsillectomy was performed by Dr. Hribar, a young, no-nonsense pro Otolaryngologist!
1. EL is a conscious choice, EM a subconscious "whoopsie," then "shit!"
2. You get to plan EL around family, work, time off. EM just hits you like a brick on the head...."clunk!"
3. You get to pick a doctor in EL. EM provides general internist surgeons named "Looney." This is true.
4. You are happy to be in the hospital in EL, dressed in a special purple designer 'paws' gown with matching socks, waiting in a lazy-boy lounge chair with a special heater (attached to your gown), while checking in on FourSquare as your male nurse in training (my partner Mark Gurvis) sits by you with a big smile. Then the anesthesiologist gives you an anti-nausea 'cocktail' to be followed up with a 'margarita' anesthesia mix!! Whoopee!
5. Every step of the surgery is planned ahead in EL, every question answered ahead of time, and all is known, extremely professional and you are well taken care of. Even the anesthesiologist calls the night before to make sure you are informed. EM is the dreaded suspended unknown...from the 3 weeks the appendix was rupturing and you were diagnosed with 'gas,' to the emergency room waiting for 3 hours in excruciating pain, while they poked, prodded and poked...until they could figure out what was wrong with you--which turned out to be a severe internal infection developed after the rupture! Then Finally they give you the most potent drug available unapproved by the FDA. "Please, Dr. Looney, I'm not laughing anymore at your name, just give me the F%%@^&$ painkiller!" Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh....
6. They tell you that nausea is sometimes common after coming out of anesthesia. Not with this EL. Had the perfect cocktail mixes for the perfect return to consciousness...no nausea for me...nada/zip/zilch!, and I am the 'queasy' type. EM & the ruptured appendix is an entirely different story, because I was very very sick before I went under...so, post surgery, I was not only nauseous and felt like the aliens had just brought me back to earth, but had to have a tube down one nostril (oh, joy) to my stomach to abate the action of 'losing it' since I was so weak. Keeping the IVs plugged into your arm is very important in this state!
7. EL- I was in the recovery room for 2 hours, doted on by the female and my male nurse, thinking about this blog, then went home, not too worse for the wear. Post operation in EM entailed a 10 day hospital stay, 7 of those days on IV only (no food or drink), in and out of morphine hallucination, and family members who feared for my survival. My saviors were my mother rubbing my feet, men I didn't remember dating giving me roses (the morphine was very strong, at least that's my story), hospital roommates much sicker than me that inspired gratitude and my sense of humor, and the "oh shit" morphine button that I could press in case I needed another hit (and they say drug users aren't responsible...).
There is actually little comparison in the actual recovery time or the amount pain of these two events; the ruptured appendix definitely won that hands down, and even childbirth doesn't compare (I just know this, trust me)!
However, the purpose and the process is exactly the same: to help heal oneself, to learn how we got ourselves there in the first place, and to avoid repeating similar events in the future. I know why I attracted these two events in my life: for the ruptured appendix, I literally manifest repressed anger and my appendix "blew up." For the tonsillectomy, the past 7 years I have continually repressed my own creativity (the tonsillitis) due to fear and other challenges; removing the infected tonsils in the area has 'freed' this part of my body from stifling sickness into flowing creativity, or at least I've opened the door. Think I've had some issues with communication and living my life's purpose? You betcha! This has been my life's work!
It's interesting finding a photo of acute tonsillitis...this is what I had, one bigger than the other...everybody's mouth looks SO different (I made an effort to find one not too gross)!