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In My Day…We Got Lemon Drops | In My Day | Lynn Ruth Miller

Lynn Ruth Miller
Lynn Ruth Miller

In 1936, when I was three years old, I had my tonsils and adenoids taken out in Dr. Steinfeld’s office. I loved Dr. Steinfeld, because he was the same height I was. That man was so short, the nurse had to lift him up to reach my throat. But he sure had a way with children.

The Doctor put a cloth soaked with ether over my face and the next thing I knew, I had the worst sore throat ever! But before the tears could start, he gave me a lemon drop. For those of you who have no clue what ether was or is, we use it these days for rocket fuel and to kill fleas.

Dr. Steinfeld sent me home with my mother and she fed me yummy chocolate ice cream and gave me lots of kisses and I got to read all my favorite books. I felt just like a princess, until the flatulence hit. I know that modern methods of removing your tonsils are very efficient and much safer than they were in Dr. Steinfeld’s office. But I sometimes wonder if the precautions they take these days are worth the emotional cost to a child.

You know, back then, I got to hold my momma’s hand while the doctor anesthetized me and I didn’t wake up to find myself surrounded by strange smells and sounds with strangers forcing me to take medications I didn’t understand. I understood chocolate ice cream.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad that there’s been so much progress made in medicine in the last 75 years. God knows I wouldn’t be alive if there hadn’t been. I thank medical science for my hips, my knees, my mobile respirator and my botox. But I wonder if doctors today wouldn’t be much more effective and alot less intimidating if they gave their patients lemon drops and let them hold their momma’s hands.

I’m Lynn Ruth Miller with a lemon drop and another edition of  In My Day.

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