Sunday, August 16, 2009

And Then There was One

So, unbeknownst to me my tonsils were launching an campaign for emancipation in the spring of 2009. I say unbeknownst as at the time I assumed it was merely a little strep infection, I'd go through my usual round of antibiotic treatment and days of social isolation and then I would move on.

But no; my tonsils had something entirely different in mind this year. They were done. They were leaving, and they were going to make no small bones about how exactly they got out.

I'd had issues with the tonsils since I was a kid. I had several strep infections as a child, and at least one that was severe enough I probably should have been more closely monitored and a tonsillectomy might have at some point been recommended. But no, the tonsils stayed and I got older.

I remember during my second year of school getting an infection to beat the band. Painful, owie let me tell you. Being an uninsured college student I treated myself with a gargling solution of salt and water and was extremely lucky that it actually did clear up in five days and not get worse. That was probably the luckiest I ever got with the tonsils, as an untreated strep infection can pretty much kill you. Through the years I've had tonsillitis or strep at least once a year for as long as I can remember. I had it in 2006 twice in the same month. That should have been the sign right there. My doctor was worried, but the second round of antibiotics cleared it up and I was on my merry way.

Enter round, who knows how many, of tonsil infection: Springfest 2009. At first when I got it in March I was pretty sure I knew the source (this is what you get for kissing girls). The second time I had it, not two weeks after it had just cleared up, I blamed the doctor for not giving me a longer run of antibiotics and I blamed the yellow dust.

Over the next five months, though, when the infections were coming on again as soon as three days after stopping the antibiotics I knew for a fact that my tonsils were preforming their version of Morse code. What they were saying was, apparently, that they were through. Maybe it was the tequila, maybe my oral habits, maybe my diet, or a necklace or collar they disagreed with. I don't know but what I did know was that after having close to ten infections in five months I was listening and they were definitely leaving.

The worst infection was probably the one that started the day I was flying to the States for the class I was taking in Chicago that summer. That one was bad enough that I was pretty sure my brain was going to fill with pus on the plane (I was given a fifty/fifty chance by my doctor). 10 hours and less brain pus later I made it to the city to start the class. I promptly had a nervous breakdown five days into the class when I came off the antibiotics and was sure that my tonsillitis was coming back that day. It didn't, it came back three days later, but it was still a little too close for comfort. I survived my class, and actually had one period of eight days in July where I did not have to take antibiotics before the tonsillitis kicked back in and I stayed on antibiotics until I took off and landed in Korea.

Upon arrival to Korea I slept. The next day I checked into a hospital for pre-op. The next morning I woke up in the hospital room to get the motherless organs out of my body for good.

I've been recovering from the tonsil experience the last couple of days. The hospital is a separate story and will be dealt with separately. There are also some things to write about from Chicago that got neglected. I realize a lot of my life got neglected over the last couple of months. I was so beaten down by being sick all the time that I just didn't want to do anything. Now I'm a little out of the habit. Out of the swing of not only caring, but of everything.

I'm so used to crawling into a ball to hide, feeling like the tonsils were some kind of gigantic gatekeeper between me and my true emotions. They boxed me in, cut me off from my creative avenues. This year I've barely spent any time writing, or sewing, or making art. I've just been obsessed with my illness. I have only minimally managed to keep up my gym life. And forget a social life. I stopped drinking pretty much anything but wine during the third round of tonsil infection. You see after the third infection I didn't get much pain in my throat. Instead I got migraines, chronic nausea and dizziness. Nothing says fun like going to the restaurant your friends own, having dinner, and then promptly throwing up in the bathroom not an hour later. It wasn't their food, it was totally my tonsils. The tonsils were taking the joy out of my life. I've missed the joy.

So I have a lot of making up to do. To myself and to anyone out there who might still be reading.

The tonsils have been freed. I don't know exactly what they will be off to do now that they have finally gotten their wish. Perhaps they are joining some sort of conservative Christian cult as a way to recover from the aforementioned lifestyle they were leading via being located in my mouth. I don't know. I do know that I'm happy to see them gone and looking forward to rediscovering myself and everything me during the next few months.

1 comment:

Psyche Z. Ready said...

Your tonsils don't know what they're missing. I've been in your mouth, and it's pretty sweet.

I hope this is the beginning of a long period of health, my dear.