Some people mentioned that Paul McCartney’s album’s title, Memory Almost Full, is an anagram of “for my soulmate LLM” (the initials of Linda Louise McCartney). In an interview with Pitchfork Media, McCartney clarified, “There does appear to be an anagram in the title. And it’s a mystery. It was not intentional.” The album’s title was actually inspired by a message that came up on his mobile phone. He thought the phrase summed up modern life.

My thoughts exactly.

Like many people, I never cared for learning things at school that didn’t fully interest me and what little I did learn in biology and science have long been pushed to the back of the filing cabinet of my brain, or fallen out somewhere, never to be retrieved again… until a recent visit to my GP had me googling three things related to my sore throat.

Sore being an understatement as I had a small white ulcer on each side where my tonsils go. My throat was dry, red and painful when I woke up the next day and I couldn’t swallow my own saliva. I panicked and phoned the surgery. I relayed my symptoms along with what I’d seen in my throat and was told to go to the surgery at mid-day.

‘Open wide,’ the doctor said and I did. ‘You don’t have any tonsils. So, where am I looking?’


I was so embarrassed that I didn’t even know where my tonsils were. I thought they were that dangly thing in the middle at the back of your throat. DER! He did say they sometimes disappear with age. I felt as ancient as the hills and couldn’t wait to get out of there to run away from my stupidity. There was no additional advice from the GP about what to do as I had already been doing the gargling with salt, taking painkillers and sucking lozenges best way I could with the pain.

So, I’ll just carry on with that then, shall I?

I concluded it must be a viral infection so checked with Google whether I was doing the right things, as my viral throat was still red raw with the white ulcer-like spot marks which the GP had obviously not looked at because they weren’t on my non-existent tonsils. They were in the place where my tonsils should be. Hard to spot (pardon the pun) because the tissue is soft there and loosely folded, which covers them slightly.


On google, I discovered more info, as per link above, than I wanted to about viral infections in that no antibiotic can treat them, the main part I learnt being that it works in the same way as any other virus, ie, Covid 19. I immediately grabbed the LFT kit from my bathroom. NEGATIVE. I breathed a sigh of relief so fiercely that I had a coughing fit which sent an excruciating pain to my throat, warranting a salt gargle, painkiller and lozenge.

I went for a lie down feeling sorry for myself.

The other thing I looked up on Google (good old Google, eh, frightens you to death all over again!) was that tonsils can become more of a liability than an asset and, as the GP said, they can disappear with age.

It made me feel better to know he wasn’t having me on about that or, even worse, making fun of me, yet I came out of that surgery knowing, just knowing, that he would share the story about the consultation regarding my non-existing tonsils with his colleagues for a good old-fashioned laugh. Worse still, I think I confirmed to him that I may be a hypochondriac.

I didn’t dare mention that I thought the throat problem was connected to a new medication I’d been prescribed for angina a week or so ago as it had made my throat very dry. No problem though. My throat is far too painful to take that as well as painkillers so I’ve stopped taking it.

I could change my GP I suppose but I can’t change the HYPOCHONDRIAC diagnosis that is probably written in big bold letters across my medical record!

And I STILL have this raging throat problem! Tonsils or not!

Still, with my memory almost full again because of all the google learning I’ve undertaken to find a self-help solution, I’ll be able to delete the experience of the visit to make room for a better outcome next time, should I ever dare step foot in the surgery again.

By the way, that dangly thing is called the Uvula and here’s an interesting read of its uniqueness, in case you didn’t know.

Please take this blog post with a large pinch of salt, a couple of painkillers, an extra-strong lozenge and a gargle of giggles.

With love for the journey


Published by Julie Fairweather

After being warned never to speak of secrets, the noise of them clattered and crashed inside my head. I wandered through a wilderness of solitude for years, sifting through my silence, seeking a way to release the sickness within. I listened in that place many times and heard my unspoken thoughts groaning; deeper, deeper, deep into a world of unwritten words. Then, in an unexpected moment, I found You there, waiting to welcome me with love, without condition. You bled out the sins of the world and gave my silence a voice so I could tell others that it’s okay to share your secrets sometimes.

2 thoughts on “A HARD KNOCK LESSON

  1. Well Julie you might not have any tonsils but you’re certainly not “As ancient as the hills”, but you are quite mad!


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