Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Tonsilar Crypt Tonsillolith.jpg
Dig this quote from Wikipedia:
"A tonsillolith lodged in the tonsillar crypt"  Crypt?!  CRYPT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.  (Source)

Okay, has this ever happened to you:  you get some gross little blobby of food stuck in your tonsil, and one day you notice it because you feel something really uncomfortable at the back of your throat, and when you look into the mirror, you see a white spot way back there, and you assume that your tonsils are infected, but really you just have some disgusting, smelly little gloop that was once food stuck back there, and if you reach WAAAAY back and pick it out either with your finger or a toothpick, you realise that you're essentially gross, and have probably been walking around with terrible breath for a while and not knowing it, as that little bloop of  stuff rots away at the back of your mouth?

Anyone?  Anyone???

No, don't look at me like that--I'm not crazy.  It's called a "tonsil stone," or a TONSILLOLITH, which, come to think of it, sounds like a GODZILLA MONSTER.  ARGH!  THE TONSILLOLITH IS DESTROYING THE CITY!!!!  Anyhoo, you can read all about that HERE.

This has happened to me a few times in the past--especially if I eat oatmeal daily for many weeks in a row, it seems.  It's gross.  I feel like I'm gross, but I get rid of it, or it comes out on its own, or you can knock it out with some scratchy Doritos (like SOMEONE I know once did.  Yeah, you know who you are), and it's not painful or life threatening, so you get on with it.

But, this has now happened to Jack twice.  Jack isn't exactly the posterboy for "getting on with it."  He's also not a big advocate of "rolling with it," or "taking things in stride."  He's not very good at "mellowing out" and he certainly doesn't "go with the flow,"  and as much as I'd like him to, he just won't ever seem to take that "chill pill."  Okay, you get my point.  Can I also tell you that he is particularly good at


So, last night I was reading him his bedtime story, and The Man was still at karate, when suddenly Jack started WAILING:


And off he ran to the bathroom in a total panic.  So, I'm thinking he's been at school just long enough to pick up some filthy bug, better go get the Motrin and see if he'll take some to quell his sore throat.

After much freaking and frantic gesturing, I realised that he didn't have a sore throat, but had one of those gluey things stuck behind his tonsil.

FREEEEEEAK!  He freaked.

Needless to say, as much as I tried to be super casual, and reassure him that this happens to people, and it's happened to me, and all you have to do is reach up there and get that thing out, it was quickly becoming a major crisis.

So, I was desperately trying to get the thing out for the poor kid, but there was one problem:  his MASSIVE TONGUE.  How come you tell kids to stick their tongues out and say "Ah," and they somehow make their tongues tripple in size?

I tried the toothpick (blunt end, people).  I tried a spoon handle as a tongue depressor.  Then I got a wooden skewer--you know, one of those shish kabob things?  All the while the kid is gagging like a maniac, and the spit is rolling out of his mouth in great rivers.  Then we have to pause because the gagging is FREAKING him out, and he has to cry and scream and lament that it's NEVER COMING OUT!!!!

Finally The Man returned home from karate.  Oh good. He's very hands on, plus he's RELENTLESS, so I figure that's the magic combo for getting past Jack's gag reflex to get that thing out.  A gag reflex SO STRONG, that all I had to do was stick the skewer in his mouth and not touch ANYTHING, and "HO-EP!"  the super gag, with watering eyes and all.

But The Man couldn't get it out.  He kept trying. Jack kept gagging.  They moved around under the light.  The Man went and got his little pen light.  He tried to dig it out with his big, blunt finger.  Good luck.  Jack started to lose his mind a little with despair.  Clearly, this was not working.  Nor were the crackers I tried to get the kid to eat in great, unsafe bites, and just swallow the scratchy things without chewing too much.

So, just give up, you say?  Oh, my love, my dear one, you have NO FREAKING IDEA what it's like to live with a relentless child then.  And by "relentless" I mean BRUTAL AND WILL NEVER EVER EVER GIVE UP.

And so, back to that stubborn little piece of shit stuck in the kid's tonsil...

The Man:  "isn't it just an infected tonsil?"

Me:  "no.  It's food.  It's a gross little thing of food that gets stuck in the little pits around the tonsil."

The Man (who has no tonsils):  "aah...all the bread he eats?"

Me:  "nah--probably oatmeal.  Happens to me when I eat a lot of oatmeal."


Me:  "NO!  IT'S NOT OATMEAL--it's ANY FOOD.  It could be BREAD or COOKIES or whatever!"  

My favourite part of the evening, was when Jack was sitting on The Man's lap, with his head craned back over his dad's shoulder, me with the penlight in one hand, and the blunted shish kabob skewer in the other, and The Man holding the tip of Jack's tongue with a tissue so as to get better grip.  

Me:  "Okay.  Okay.  We can DO THIS!  Yes!  Let's DO THIS THING!  Okay, sweetie, grab hold of his tongue and pull it out.  Pull it out.  Pull that thing out more!  Jack, say 'aaah'.  No, make your tongue flat!  OKAY, THERE IT IS!"

and as I reach the stick toward the back of Jack's throat:


Finally, at 10:30, one hour since the whole drama started, the hour of my bedtime, and basically the end of my evening free/quiet time, I lost all my sympathy and said;

"how bout you GIVE UP and just go to bed?"

Amazingly, Jack agreed. I nearly fainted with relief.

This morning, with little zombie circles under his eyes, Jack came up to me and said;

"Mom!  I think THE FOOD came out while I was sleeping!"

Nothing but good times here, people.  Nothing but good times.


  1. This was hilarious! Well, for me it was .... me who has never had this goopy thing stuck in her tonsils.


  2. I am sorry...but this made laugh...sorry...I know that sooo not fun for you at all...

  3. I AM EXHAUSTED just reading that.

    But that was fucking hilarious.

  4. Oh, no need to apologise Sandy. These things are kind of par for the course here :)

  5. Well, not fun LAST NIGHT, Steph, but by the morning the time Jack went to bed finally I could see the hilarity in it.

  6. This disturbs me but this will completely freak out my OCD daughter. I can't wait to tell her. Thanks.

  7. My hand was covering my mouth the entire time I was reading.
    Wait! Did this come with a warning? It really should have.
    Too funny!

  8. Poor boy! I'm glad it came out! I would have probably puked everywhere if I had a skewer stuck in my mouth, I puke at the drop of a hat!

  9. Gross. The only white things at the back of my throat sadly have been horrid cases of strep throat. Thank God it was not that.

  10. Oh gawd, you should have told me to put down my yogurt I started reading. But yeah, don't you just love when something like that works itself out on its own. Priceless.

  11. before I started reading, not just I started reading....

  12. Never heard of this before, then again no one had tonsils in my family. I think ours were removed automatically when we were 4 years old.

  13. dbs, you are WELCOME! One girl's angst is another man's treasure! Wait...too corny? Whatevs.

  14. A warning for grossness, Mark, or a warning for hilarity?

    Okay, here's your warning:


    Ha ha...I'm soo hepped up on caffeine right now

  15. Oh Paula--you and my sister. She is still mystified that one can TOUCH their own tonsils. Ya gotta GET IN THERE and enjoy your own body! Yeah!

  16. You people realise by now that these return comments from moi are not going to be sane, right?

  17. Oh Melissa, so what you're saying is you'd take a nice case of STREP THROAT over a itty bitty glob of smelly food? Pshaw, woman, pshaw.

  18. Okay, okay--Lizbeth may have a point. Next time I'll put a big disclaimer up:


    ....especially when about to eat yogurt!!!

  19. but George, you're a younger dude--I thought they stopped treating tonsils as body garbage by the time you rolled on in to the world???

  20. Okay, heres a gross one for ya...I had my tonsils out when I was 12...that was bad...BUT heres the gross stitches...the darn DR. STAPLED by one or two...about one hundred staples back there all jammed around....everytime i get a head x-ray or my teeth xrayed...the person looking at it gives me a strange look, then back to teh xray...then says "Dr. Kelly took your tonsils out?" Apparently that is his signature....SO now, sometimes I swear I can feel them...or get "junk" stuck in them...i gag a few times then i am okay...I told you...gross...
    This is why I laughed so hard when I read this post...
    Poor Jack.

  21. I don't think it's food - I guess it could be. . .but I always heard it was a gathering of white blood cells attacking bacteria - yes, it's gross, yes, I've seen them and you did the right thing to get them out : )
    Ah, Jack - well, he is your meditation, isn't he!?
    the F.lux thin on my blog ROCKS Karen - you MUST do IT it is the greatest thing since Jack's sliced bread!

  22. Staples where your tonsils used to be, Steph?!? Sheesh. That just sounds completely barbaric. You poor thing :(

  23. Christina, it may not always be food, it can certainly be infection and bacteria, but sometimes it is indeed food. Yuck. Okay, I think I'm done with this topic now. It's starting to gross ME out.

  24. just one of the many reasons i could never work in the medical world.i think the moral of the story is'do nothing and hope for the best'

  25. that is some seriously sage advice, Ms. H--and ditto about the medical biz.

  26. i have had this very problem myself bunches of times in the past couple years. i've found that the best time to deal with it is first thing in the morning, in the shower before eating anything. that way, when you retch & hurl & drool, there's no food to puke out, no one can see you & if you hork up some stomach acid, you just spit at the drain. plus, you can wash your hand repeatedly during the process to get all the disgusting mouth slime off before going back in for the next round of poke-digging.

  27. ooo, very smart, Sherilin! We don't have a shower though :( so we'd just be hurking away in the tub. OH well, same difference, right? What a stupid problem. Actually, there are lots of stupid little things that happen to the human body, no?

  28. so very many stupid bodily functions.


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