Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My pesky tonsils

I have the worst tonsils. They torment me. I get sore throats/strep quite regularly and about once a year I get deathly ill because of them. Well, today is that time of year. It's a rather strange infection this time though. It only affects one side. My left tonsil is, well... (warning: Too Much Information ahead)... huge and red and extremely painful and oozing pus. The good news is that today I went to the doctor got a referral to see a specialist, at which point I will get these pesky tonsils removed (something I've been meaning to do for years). The bad news is that I am sick. Last night I had absolutely HAD it and as I lay in bed, in agony, I began to seriously contemplate cutting it out myself. After all, it's only one side... If I could get just one good snip and then spit it out. think
But the following three reasons would not allow me to go through with said plan: #1 It would give my mother more proof that I am crazy. (I'm not!) #2 My son has dental surgery scheduled for Monday which we've prepaid for and I don't want to screw that up by being laid up in the hospital myself for complications to home-done tonsilectomy. #3 If the professors at the nursing school find out that I cut out my own tonsil they may bar me from the program. You see? Three very good reasons not to cut my own tonsil out. Oh and then there's the whole, it's next to the airway and carotid artery thing. roll eyes

While considering the pros and cons of said plan, I did come across some funny online advice given to someone else who asked how one might go about cutting out ones own tonsils. I will paste it here for your viewing pleasure:

if I were going to do this, I'd want a good mirror or maybe 3, a big curved sucker with a vacuum source, a compressed-air-sprayer of lidocaine (or cocaine 1%) and phenylephrine, a pair of long Kelly clamps, a tonsil knife, and a Bovie electrocautery. You could sterilize these by boiling them, in an ethylene oxide bag, or whatever. Sterility in an oral operation is not so important as the oropharynx is totally colonized with nasties anyway - a real ENT would paint the tonsils with iodine but it's probably just superstition.

The cocaine would do double duty as local anesthetic and confidence booster.

So, I'd spray the coke and phenyl transnasally, grab the tonsil with the Kelly, cram the sucker down my throat, take a swipe with the curved tonsil knife, remove the Kelly with tonsil attached, and suck while I jammed the Bovie down there and tried to cauterize the back of my throat without perforating it or tearing a hole in the soft palate.

I'd have a second standing by with a wakizashi in case my own attempt was unsuccessful.



what sort of motivation would the hypothetical person have to perform such a surgery on him/herself?

Because he's the LAST PERSON ON EARTH and his throat hurts. So let's assume this happens the proverbial Few Years From Now.

The first thing you'll do is read up, a lot, for what has to happen when, and how, and why. And for what can go wrong.

Next, you'll want to assemble the appropriate robotics.

The first thing your Doc-In-A-Box will need to be able to do is see -- you could do this with wee tiny stereo cameras. Probably more than one set, so it can see outside and inside. Getting robots to see well is difficult in the real world, but not in The World Of A Few Years From Now. There will probably be a firefox extension for it.

ikkyu2 or other playful physicians: could you also do this by feeding the data from several ultrasounds into a machine to give it a 3-d model of what's going on in yer throatular region?

Next, your DIAB will need to be able to do something. One way you could go with this would be with several robotic arms to hold normal surgical instruments. Alternatively, you could locate several of the tools onto the same arm, like you see in a CIC machine tool. At minimum, you'd probably want one arm to hold your mouth open, one for grabbing and pulling, one for cutting, and one for cauterizing. But a real man would also program an additional unit to pat you on the back and say "There, there, it's all right" in Cylon-voice.

Nearly there! Now, grab a corpse -- there are zillions about, you're the last man on Earth after all -- and put it in The Chair. Make sure the corpse has tonsils! Then fire up your de-tonsillator. You'll probably find that you have programmed badly and that the corpse has been gruesomely decapitated, or had its jaw removed, or been circumcised. Try, try again -- remember, your sore throat waits for no man.

Eventually, you'll have a system that works well enough for whatever safety margin you want. Sterilization: pour some Everclear on the relavent bits of machinery and light it; that oughta be good enough for the likes of you. Now just sit down in the chair, open wide, and push the button. 40 milliseconds later you'll either be cured or paste.

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