Thursday, December 23, 2010

All I Want For Christmas...Is To Get This Out Of My Mouth.

You know what's really not hot for the holidays? Being sick. And guess who just happened to come down with strep throat during the most romantic time of the year to be playing tongue hockey? That's right-- THIS GIRL.

Among all the things in the world, the image above is NOT something you want in your mouth.

Sunday night I was feeling great. The boy came into town; we watched a movie (NOT in the sense of what it meant in high school-- in the sense we ACTUALLY watched it, or, most of it); I was in high spirits. Monday morning, I woke up to clean the apartment before it was being shown and before I picked my mom up from the airport, and I noticed that my right lymph node on my neck was slightly swollen and a little painful. Now, my throat glands are the rough equivalent of Zac Efron-- they start breaking down if you even just look at them funny and they sure as hell can't take a punch. So I ignored it. Monday afternoon, I zonked out and took a nap like the dead for hours when my body commanded it. When I woke up, BOTH glands on the sides of my throat were swollen. Great. Well, I've got Aleve, and chloraseptic spray, and throat lozenges-- bring it on, bitch. I'm prepared.

NAWWWWWT. Tuesday, I woke up crying because it hurts so much to swallow no one should have to endure that sort of pain, not even Kim Jong-Il, Jack the Ripper, or the Jonas Brothers. Now, I'm a stoic bitch. I'm pretty used to pain. In fact, I'm kind of prone and partial to enjoying it-- if you think I'm faking, ask me about the bruises and welt on my forearms sometime. But, when I'm trying to breathe and swallow and talk, that is not the time to fuck with me about pain. So, after calling my mom and sobbing brokenly to her about it, I woke Alli up and had her drive me to the Fletcher Allen walk-in clinic. Insurance is a grand thing, but still, I spent $30 to have a doctor tell me that my rapid swab turned up negative for strep, and to go home, gargle with salt water (WHICH, by the way, is possibly my LEAST favorite remedy and something I'm sure is COMPLETE bullshit), and get some children's Benadryl and ibuprofen and wait it out. I do all of the above. I sleep a lot. I try to be a trooper. I cry a lot more than I'd like to admit to. I really just wanted some sort of antibiotic from that visit, that's all, and I DON'T think it was too much to ask for. That night, I call the clinic back as rasp at them that I've done everything they told me to as religiously as a pagan can, and if anything, the only things it's gotten me is A.) feeling worse, and B.) producing copious amounts of thick, viscous, slimy saliva that won't go past my engorged glands. Great. Now I'm slowly suffocating to death, and all that they'll tell me to do is wait it out to see if it's an abscess in my tonsils that will need to be DRAINED. Sounds like all the fun you want during your holiday break, right? "Sorry babe, this may not be a great week to come see me...I'm getting my tonsils drained of pus and shit. But you have a Merry Christmas, and we'll be kissing under the mistletoe soon enough?"

Now, I am not the sort of person to WebMD shit. I'm not a hypochondriac, or a germ freak, but mono HAS been going around, and though I had in once before in high school (before I even had ever kissed a guy; it was SUCH a bum deal) and was 95% sure that's not what I had this time, I went to the Mayo Clinic online, because my aunt works there and I trust it, and did some research on strep throat. Armed with a flashlight, the bathroom mirror (I was decidedly NOT the fairest in the land at that moment), and just enough knowledge to be considered dangerous, I looked into deep throat. Well. That's an angry red, and that's certainly swollen, and WAIT...ARE THOSE WHITE SPOTS? YES, THOSE ARE WHITE SPOTS! And wait! IS THAT MY TONSILS TOUCHING MY GLAND? YES, that would be my swollen tonsils touching my swollen, spotty gland. Excuse me, Fletcher Allen, what is going on here? I'm so needlephobic I faint after getting shots and have white-coat syndrome, and even I know strep when I'm staring down my throat at it.

Called my mom. Cried about it some more. Spit some more shit out because I couldn't swallow it. Wiped my running mascara off my cheeks. Was coerced into going home a day early to have real doctor's appointment at my primary care place. I mean, I was convinced I was going to lose my tonsils at this point if this tragic comedy of errors and misdiagnoses continued, so I was willing to brave the Home From Whence I Came for one extra night if it would get me some antibiotics, which Fletcher had made abundantly clear would not be happening there, save possible administration after I, I don't know, DIED.

After listening to my general list on complaints and doing a rapid check of my ears, nostrils, eyes, and throat, it was decided in my hometown doctor's office. "You're showing 3 of the 4 signs of strep, and the only one not there is the test result," Dr. Coombs told me. "At some point you have to put aside the test and start treating the patient." I felt my eyebrows raise, fo' sho', and made some sort of hands-out-shoulder-shrug in mute pantomime of "finally!" I got scripts for not only the antibiotic I so desperately wanted, but also for steroids to speed up the process, and Vicodin for the pain, which I aptly described as being "the worst in my life." I have had my arms broken more than 4 times. I dislocated my collar bone. I've been kicked in the chin by a horse wearing steel shoes who had just thrown me into the wall of the indoor arena. I've had sex with overly well-endowed men. And it's strep throat takes the cake for "Most Painful And Humiliating Moment Of My Life."

So, moral of the story? I paid a $30 dollar co-pay, and $15 worth of bullshit medications to be told nothing was wrong with me and for things that did absolutely nothing for me. And then we paid a $20 co-pay, and under $20 for what I am throughly convinced are the best drugs in the world (I really do NOT understand how steroids and Vicodin can be less than what it costs for a g of greenery), and I feel if not like a million bucks already, but at least like 500,000 grand. I now understand not only why people love Vicodin enough to become addicted to using it recreationally, but also while I was a little confused at first when the doctor said that while the steroids can make me "zingy" and more of an insomniac, the Vicodin might knock me out, now I get it. I promptly went fucking off my rocker, and then passed out on the couch. Euuuuuphooooria.

While I know that this subject matter isn't quite what you're used to if you're a devout reader of SATCG, I feel like it's an important story nonetheless. Moral of the story in more clear, blog-themed wording? Sometimes you don't get what you pay for-- sometimes, it's the less expensive things that have the most effect. Which I think is a really valid point as we come up on Christmas. I.E-- Don't get me jewelry-- get me a new wristband to add to my tatty collection, and I'll wear it every day until it falls off. The end.


Sidenote: Steroids make me ridiculously horny? What is this? Why? Aren't they supposed to do the reverse? Or is it because I have no balls to shrink that if affects me the other way? Does anyone have an answer for this?

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