Thursday, March 01, 2007

Review: My Throat Infection

Before the antibiotics completely eradicate the divine pleasure that is my current throat infection, I'd like to offer my thoughts and observations on its presence in my life.

Its worth noting that swallowing is a function of the body most of us probably take for granted. When your father finds you at 2am in the kitchen, clad only in your underwear, having a full fledged, hyperventilating, tear- and sweat-dripping panic attack over not being able to swallow a pill, let alone the water you're gagging on or even the saliva in your mouth, the value of this function is therein forever ingrained.

3am and we're in the Emergency waiting room after checking in with a lovely bunch of nurses, all very friendly and warm. The place is empty apart from a lone figure in the back corner who appears to be there more for shelter than anything else. Eventually I'm escorted to another location where I sit and wait in the dark for a while until a doctor comes and places a tongue depressor in my mouth, shines a light, rubs my throat up and down and walks away. Sometime later, another doctor comes and asks if I've been given a prescription. Its difficult for me to speak through the swelling and the pain, but I say in a somewhat pathetically monstrous voice, I'm not sure. She leaves and comes back with a prescription, along with two pills she's placing in my hand and a cup of water. She waits. I ask, with difficulty, what these pills are. She replies, Amoxicillin. Um, ok... what do they do? They're antibiotics. Ok, thanks. I struggle through the swallow, gagging some, feeling a tad embarrassed. I sit there. Um, am I done now? Yes, you're free to go, remember to drink plenty of fluids. But I can't swallow. Plenty of fluids. Ok. As I walk away, an awkward pat finds its way onto my shoulder. Thanks.

I spend the next day holding onto walls and door nobs while kicking and clenching my way through partial sips of water that splash my esophagus, causing me to gag and spit into the nearest sink. Food is an altogether foreign concept. My visit to the hospital left me with no idea of how long it would be until this situation might change, let alone a diagnosis of what this situation might be beyond one of the nurses casual comments that it was a throat infection. I manage to stave off any further bouts of massive panic, apart from a few choice moments here and there, and by late night the antibiotics have made enough room in my throat to allow small, gentle intakes of mushy food, which by now I am more than grateful for.

Today I've graduated from impossible to difficult to now mere painful swallowing. I'm eating toast and drinking coffee and feeling altogether more human. The uncertainty and terror have passed. Its a whole new day!

In conclusion, I'm sick of doctors that suck but otherwise feeling better.


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kat said...

I found this because i was looking up info on throat infections, I get them all the time, excruciating pain, cant swallow. i know what it is, i go to a walk in clinic early in the pain so i can get treated early before it gets to the shit stage, but doctors dont like to give antibiotics because it could be a virus, so i have to wait it out until my tonsils are glaring tenisbals of puss and bumps and go to the er. the last time i did this (not the time just now, about 6 months ago) every doctors a lil different, and this doctor immediately put me on an iv, with steroids to bring down the swelling, antibiotics, and a pain killer.

so this time when it happend, i did my usual waiting till it was unbearable and then went to the hospital, but i pulled out all the stops, i cried, i spit in a cup to show that i was unable to swallow (i could in fact swallow, but it hurt like hell), id been up all night, i did have a fever, but i also hadn't showered in a while and stunk pretty bad.

I worked myself into a psychological mess, yes i had been up all night, yes, it hurt like hell, but i threw a hissy fit when the 3 year old kid beside me wouldnt stop screaming, (in hindsight i have sympathy and feel like a bitch, but then i was just me me me)

afterwards, feeling better, i felt kinda guilty about my theatrics, but the point is. I got the IV of steroid antibiotic pain killer miracle cure, and felt comparably fantastic, besides being tired and feverish, 3 hours later.

my point, the squeeky wheel gets the greace... you can take the high road or you can take the low road, and the low road got me there faster. hope that helps you next time

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