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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Tonsillitis

Tuesday
August 21, 2007

I don't know how much I've written about this, but I've been reading an incredible book titled The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene. It's a fascinating look at emotion, behavior, and human nature. I promise you, if you read that book, you'll never look at life the same way again. It's captivating, and it uses many stories from history to give real-life examples (and applications) of the tenants instructed within.

Buy the book, or borrow it from your local library. I assure you that it's worth the read. A friend of mine (who asked that I not mention him by name) bought it on my advice and had just as positive of a reaction as I did. Especially for guys who have trouble communicating with women or understanding them, this will blow you away. Robert Greene is a genius in my estimation; he managed to explain seemingly irrational things in a way that made sense to even my acutely analytical mind.

The US Post Office is asking some odd questions on its website. This morning I shipped off a movie I sold on eBay, and the USPS asked this personal inquiry:

Asking about the length and girth of my package? Yo! Mind your own business, Mr. Postman.

I figured that the band Silverchair was finished, but they have a new single out called "Straight Lines" that is in rotation on Sirius' Alt Nation. To my surprise, the song has really grown on me. Sometimes bands will make a return out of nowhere (e.g. Blondie with "Maria" in 1999) with a surprisingly good song.

Speaking of Blondie, I found that there is a very enjoyable mash-up of the band's song "Rapture" and "Riders On The Storm" by The Doors that was released a few years ago. Take a look:

It's not quite as good as the "Incredible Humps" mash-up that I wrote about last year (and, sadly, which I lost when my old computer abruptly died on me shortly before my move to Nashville), but I dig it. My all-time favorite mash-up remains "Sexual High", the mix of "High and Dry" by Radiohead and "Sexual Feeling" by Marvin Gaye.

Today I found a very interesting article about children having their tonsils removed and weight gain. When I was young (age six range), I had a normal weight, no worries. But I had tonsillitis in a bad way: chronic tonsillitis. Because of this, in 1983 I was hospitalized for the first (and only) time in my life to have them removed.

It's funny the things I remember from that experience. I have a sharp long-term memory, which can be both a blessing and a curse. I remember watching Tic Tac Dough on TV from my hospital bed. I remember my parents giving me the board game Operation as a pretty funny way to make the whole being in a hospital experience not seem so bad. I remember the large black woman who, as the nurse, had the fun job of giving me a shot in the ass. That's right, a literal shot in the ass.

I remember being on the gurney when they were wheeling me in for my operation, and they put the mask over me to send me to dreamland. In some bizarre way I thought it would be interesting to fight it, but one breath and I was gone. My anesthesiologist apparently had his shit together.

Luckily I don't remember anything about the surgery. That is a blessing, I'm sure.

One boon after they cut out my tonsils was that I was allowed to eat all the ice cream I wanted. It's a bitch to swallow anything after doctors have performed surgery on your throat, and ice cream has the cold temperature and soothing ability to make consuming it quite tolerable. That and whatever pain medicine they gave me made a nice combo.

Over time, things changed for me. I put on weight, slowly at first, but enough so where by 2nd/3rd grade I was clearly overweight. That sucked like you wouldn't believe, and in many ways it haunted me until I made it to high school.

I'm sure my mostly sedentary lifestyle played a part in that; as a self-professed Indoorsman, I preferred video games in the air conditioning to dealing with heat and humidity and bugs outside. I liked candy, but so did other kids, and they had metabolisms that could run circles around mine. In a selfish way, seeing former classmates of mine who have put on weight makes me secretly happy in some dark corner of my mind. "Oh, it's not so easy when you have to work at it, now is it?" has popped into my head on more than one occasion.

I always figured that having weight issues just part of life and that I pulled a bad draw in the Royal Rumble. Them's the breaks, and bitching about it won't change things one bit -- that was just one of life's challenges thrown my way.

Overall I was pretty lucky: born into a great family, in good health most of the time, tall, 135 IQ, etc. So if I have to fight to stay in shape, that's proof that you can't win 'em all. But I never could understand *why* I suddenly went from normal to heavy when other kids didn't.

Then, today, I discovered a fascinating article about tonsils removed in children and weight gain from a study released last year. Check out the excerpt below:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/38626.php

"A study by a University at Buffalo pediatric researcher investigating the causes of weight gain in children after they have their tonsils and adenoids removed to treat sleep-disordered breathing has shown that removing these tissues results in less fidgeting and other non-exercise motor activity.

This reduction in motor activity left an excess of calories, findings showed, resulting in an average 13 percent increase in excess weight based on participants' age, sex and height."

Very interesting. It's not a play-the-victim explanation (proper diet and exercise would have worked for me as well), but it is an interesting look at a possible reason for my unexpected childhood weight gain.

Since then it's been a constant battle for me to stay in shape. Sometimes the battle has been easier to fight than others. The 13 months I spent in Alabaster did me no favors, with an incredibly non-active routine leading to me putting on table weight like Too Cold Scorpio. I have no one to blame for that but myself, but I resolved to change things when I made it back to Tennessee.

I began a rather strict self-imposed workout regiment soon after I moved back to Nashville. Between nearly daily visits to Fuel Fitness (my gym), using the supplement Ripped Fuel (the old kind with ephedra, the kind that actually works) to try to keep my sometimes voracious appetite in check, and drinking V8 on a regular basis (giving me the vegetable intake I really need), things are on the upswing for me.

To be clear, I don't know if my tonsil removal had anything to do with me putting on pounds as a child. But the idea that there *might* have been a correlation there is intriguing to me. Very intriguing. I certainly never thought about that angle until now. It's too late to change the past, but at least it gives a possible reason as to why. And in a world where that all too often isn't the case, there's something to be said for that.


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