Wednesday, January 30, 2013

More About Illness a.k.a. The Tonsil that Ate Tokyo a.k.a. Pain Management

   Lately my blog has evolved into little more than anecdotes about illness (which seems to have become the primary focus in my life anyway), so much so, that I have considered renaming the blog, 'The Virus Chronicles- Tales of the Sick and Malaised,' or, 'Infirmity Information- More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Phlegm,' or, 'The Disease Diaries- All the Nasty Little Tidbits that Web MD Never Thought About Telling You.' I will keep you updated.

   On a side note: it is currently fifty-one degrees, foggy and raining. Just five days ago I was scraping ice and snow off my vehicle in zero degrees- fifteen below with the wind chill. It's like the Twilight Zone with the weather around here and I can only imagine the maladies that will come from this.

   Meanwhile, onto yet another sickness saga. Firstly, when I had, 'The macabre dance of death performed by maniacal microorganism type beasties playing kettle drums inside your head and stomping on all your nerve endings with spiked cleats, whilst lighting roaring fires inside all of your cells,' ersatz the 'flu,' my son managed to get strep. Or, at least, that's what we thought it was. It looked like strep (if all the nasties growing on his gargantuan tonsils was anything to go by), and so I took him to Med One (in the middle of another white-out non-blizzard I might add), so that he might partake of the joy that is the throat culture. (Wherein they take a giant Q-tip and 'swab' your throat- a.k.a. rub it all over your tonsils while you try not to gag- you know the one. So much fun.) Anyway, it came back negative, but since the creeping-crud was encroaching on tonsils that were so big they needed their own zip code, it was a safe bet there was SOME kind of infection. And so, they sent him packing with steroids and antibiotics to go away and hopefully live to tell the tale.

   After a few days his fever subsided and he stopped looking like an extra from the Walking Dead and so naturally we thought all was well. At least until he stopped by over the weekend and I (being a mother I have special powers and all) could hear the swelling in his throat when he talked. And so I said, 'Hey? How you feeling? You doing okay? You sound kind of funny.' Or something like that. (It may actually have been, 'Hey, kid, you still sound sick! Take thy germs hence! Be gone hideous beastie!')

   He responded with a non-committal grunt which I took to be, 'Actually, Mom, best Mom in the whole wide world, mother who cares beyond all that is caring, and nurtures with the utmost nurturing, woman I love above all others,' (maybe I'm laying it on a little thick, but I'm sure it was something in that general vicinity). 'Now that you mention it, I am still feeling a bit under the weather, and my throat is still a tad tight.'

   So, I whipped out my handy-dandy flashlight and proceeded to shine it down the cavernous cavern that is my son's throat. I expected swollen tonsils, (after all, I was hearing them), I did NOT expect a solid wall of tonsil which was in fact beginning to swell DOWN his throat.

   Let me paint a picture. (I can hear the eeewwwwwws!!! from here; I don't care; I'm painting anyway- I already got my brush out.) One tonsil was pretty much normal (or as normal as anything on my son can ever be), the other, had swelled completely across his entire throat, squashing the uvula (get your minds out of the gutter- I'm talking about the little dangly thing that hangs at the back of your throat) so that it was horizontal, and flattening the other tonsil against the wall of his throat. In fact, it looked like it might actually be threatening the other tonsil. Something like:

   Tonsillus Monumentus: Hey, buddy, I don't like your kind hanging around here. This here throat is MY turf. You hear me? MY turf. So why don't you just get on outta here? Make like a tree and leave. Make like a tonsil and ectomy. Capice?
   Tonsillus Weenius: I get you, boss! I'm outta here! I'll just flatten myself against this wall over here and make like I'm invisible, see? That okay, boss?
   Tonsillus Monumentus: Just see that you do that, son. And just to make sure, I'll be hanging about, puttin' a little muscle into your disappearing act. You got a problem with that?
   Tonsillus Weenius: Nope. That's cool.

   I'm fairly sure that's how it went down. Meanwhile, Tonsillus Monumentus, having acquired the turf of all of his nearest neighbors, was looking for even more real estate. The only place to go was down.

   Needless to say, I told my son a return trip to the doctor was in order. Either that or name it, (we considered Ignatius), get it a Social Security number and tell it to get a job.

   Two days later we found ourselves sitting in the office, whilst the nurse took his temp, blood pressure and all that nonsense, and asked questions. Brilliant ones like, 'So, what brings you in today?' Honestly- what kind of response are they expecting? 'I was bored and had nothing better to do than come sit for hours in a waiting room riddled with disease laden bodies coughing all their germs into the air for me to breathe in- so here I am!'

   He told her about the Tonsil That Ate Tokyo, to which she said, 'Well, you've got some stiff competition this week. I saw a twelve-year-old girl the other day whose tonsils were so swollen that there was only a little tiny circle she could eat and breathe through. (Been there, done that, no less than a hundred times. Tonsillitis is prevalent in my family and if your tonsils weren’t at the very least touching each other, my mother didn't even panic. She was pretty much like, 'Come back to me when you can't breathe.' Hey, after five kids, I'm pretty sure you get like that. So, I'm thinking, 'This girl is a weenie and she ain't seen nothin' yet.')

   Finally, she got around to flipping out the flashlight and taking a gander at 'what brought him in today.' The reaction was priceless. She was forced to admit that she had never seen anything like it. Further, she mentioned that his weakness and exhaustion was no doubt stemming from the fact that this thing was sapping all of his strength and nutrition because, and I quote, 'That thing has got its own intestines.'

   Okay, now you can say ewwwwww!

   So that was yesterday. (When I should have been working on my writing, I was instead watching my son's tonsil stage a mutiny.) So, today, I had the joy of returning to the doctor's office, though this time for very different reasons. My father-in-law was partaking of some 'pain management' procedure. A.k.a. having an injection in his spine. Let me repeat: Having an injection IN his SPINE. Uh-huh. Pain management. I would venture a guess that having a twelve-inch needled rammed into the teensy-tiny vertebrae of your spine is hardly pain management. Pain inducing, yes. Pain managing, no. This is Marquis de Sade type doctoring right here.

   Anyway, naturally, after said procedure, he was not allowed to drive home, therefore he needed a driver. That's where I come in.

   Upon entering the clinic, there was only one other person in the waiting room. (Who was happy to tell me he was waiting for his boss, who had sustained a back injury at some point, yada, yada, yada, and he had told his boss the shot would be akin to a woman in labor getting a spinal block- without the benefit of the soul-searing pain caused by something trying to rip its way out of one's uterus, of course- etc, etc, etc.- Mister Man was really quite chatty.) They took my father-in-law back within a few minutes of our arrival and I sat there waiting, in the not-so-quiet room assigned for said waiting.

   And I waited.
   And waited.
   And waited.

   Meanwhile, several more patients arrived. Two younger (one was about mid-thirties, and the other upper forties to lower fifties), four older. (One MUCH older. He had a few years on Father Time.) Still, I waited.

   They took each person back, one by one and for awhile there no one was coming back out.

   I watched Mr. Chatty-pants partake of the amenities. (Consisting of a cappuccino maker, a sink, and a water cooler.)

   And I waited some more.

   Here came Mister Forty-something, followed closely by Miss Thirty-five. But none of the elders.

   Left with my own over-active imagination, Mr. Chatty-pants, (who finally took the hint and stopped talking- or maybe he burned his tongue on his cappuccino?) and a television spewing court TV soap operas- murder and mayhem at its finest- it didn't take long for me to start imagining what could possibly be going on back there.

   Another half hour passed and still no one came out. Court TV had moved on to an even more maniacal, twisted and bizarre case (hard to believe people really DO these things!) and I was very nearly in full blown panic mode.

   What could possibly be taking this long?

   What were they doing to that poor man?

   Was that a scream I heard coming from the other room?

   I swear, if anyone had come out of the office offering up a cracker, I would have leapt up and fled from the building screaming, 'Don't eat it! Soylent Green is people!!'

   Luckily, the geezers all began shuffling out. It was like watching the Bunny Hop with walkers. My father-in-law was amongst them, hale and hearty, and in no way cracker-like. He was a joy to behold.

   On a side note, I may not have imagined the scream, as he mentioned something about the introduction of a giant needle between his L-5 and some other letter-number combination I can't recall, having caused him a moment of extreme distress, so much so, that he let out a yelp.

   Meanwhile, Ignatius is scheduled for a photo-shoot (a.k.a. a CAT scan) later on in the week, although I'm not certain that I will attend. But I do hope my son has it billed to Iggy. It's only fair, after all.


  1. priceless... I vote for The Virus Chronicles"


    1. Keeping that in mind; but judging by the tonsil that wouldn't die, it's looking like it might be The Tonsil That Ate Tokyo or Some Other Part of the World... =0)