My young (31) brother in law just had his removed also. He was miserable before, but felt much better immediately. He is still lazy though, but that is another story. Most people I know of are miserable before this surgery, then feel night and day better. I hope the same for Sumdumguy.
I live in Northern CA also, and it will be weird without the fireworks and celebrations. In fact, I work with the local American Legion, which funds our fireworks. My hope is that everything will be twice as good next year!