Ice Cream After Tonsillectomy

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, March 12, 1914: Ma made ice cream for me this morning. It slips down without hurting much. Had chicken broth this morning. It did make me work to get it down.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:


It’s awesome that your mother made ice cream for you. I bet your throat really hurts. It’s only been a day since your tonsillectomy.

Somehow this diary entry makes me think about when I got my tonsils removed.  I was 10 or 11 years old, and prior to the surgery, my mother told me that the hospital would give me lots of ice cream to eat.

When I woke up after the operation, I was shocked to discover that my mother was wrong. There was NO ice cream. Instead I got a ‘soft’ meal tray that featured soft- boiled eggs. Yuck!

38 thoughts on “Ice Cream After Tonsillectomy

  1. I always heard that you got plenty of ice cream after having your tonsils out too! When my son had his removed, all he wanted as we left the hospital was French Toast Sticks from Burger King. We asked the dr, and he said that he could have whatever he could manage to eat. (He didn’t eat much of those French Toast Sticks!)

  2. I never had mine out but my brother did. I think he had ice cream but what I remember is my mom making him eat bread pudding. Now as an adult, I like bread pudding but ad a kid I thought my brother GSD to eat the grossest thing in the world.

  3. I have vivid memories of my tonsillectomy 54 years ago. The day after the operation the nurse brought me scrambled eggs–it took many years to beat my aversion to scrambled eggs!

  4. I got ice cream but I think it was at home, not in the hospital. It seems that everyone was fed ice cream after having a tonsillectomy!

    1. It was done at a small rural hospital. I don’t think that they had many kids. I can remember that the room I was in had four beds–and that there were adult women in the other three beds.

  5. Oh my yes, I remember the ice cream. Even that hurt some. Worse yet, I remember the life-threatening hemorrhaging at home, calling to my father in the night ’cause I couldn’t stop my nose from running. (Yes, my dad was the nighttime rescuer.) I remember the hustle and bustle, but I don’t remember Dr. Frost coming, or what they did to stop it.

    But I am certainly glad they terminated the bleeding. There was a neighbor of my aunt’s who didn’t survive it.

    I also remember the wonderful life size paper doll my mother brought me in the recovery room. Oh, and I remember being half awake to feel the pain of the surgery itself.

    I don’t know if it was true everywhere, but the doctor had us lined up for the surgery and then into a row of recovery rooms. Mass production. I wonder if it was like that for Grandma.

    1. What a horrible experience! And, it’s sad to think that some people didn’t survive tonsillectomies.

      I’m really surprised how quickly Grandma was sent home after her surgery on the train. In those days of poor transportation and poor communication–it seems like they would have kept people longer to help ensure that there won’t be any hemorrhaging.

  6. You had a major letdown, expecting ice cream. I’m glad her mother made ice cream especially for Helena, considering Ruth away, the surgery, and all the other work that needed to be done around the farm.

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