Of Monkey Bites and Alien Egg Sacs -- How I Ended Up on Horse Pills

Sunday night my throat started hurting.  It felt like a standard sore throat.  My daughter had a cold, so I thought maybe I had caught the same.  By late Sunday evening my ear was hurting, as was the entire side of my neck.  Monday it got worse.  Once Tuesday morning came around I knew I was staying home and calling my doctor's office for an appointment.

"My friend's pet monkey bit my arm twice and I'm not doing so good," I told the receptionist who was unlucky enough to pick up the phone.

"That's an emergency room visit!"

What the receptionist was envisioning. Ebola time.

"Then go!"

I told her I was kidding and got the next available appointment.  In the meantime I continued gargling with warm salt water -- nature's cure-all.

The doctor asked me the standard questions and then said I could take some Advil for the pain.  No worries there.  Then she had me open up.  "Oh," she muttered.  "That's unnaturally large."


She did her swabs, ordering me to "sing" as she did it.  I wanted to break out in a little Mr. Mister, but since I had already screwed around with them, and she was jamming stuff in my throat, I figured I'd abstain.

When she came back into the room she told me she thought it could be one of two things: tonsilitis or something with a long name I had never heard of before.  She thought it was the later and was going to treat me as such "just in case." 

"Is it possible it is just the flu?" I asked.  Strep and flu were going around.

"Unfortunately, no."

That is never good to hear.  From there on in there was nothing I liked hearing.  Sitting in a sterile room with copies of duck hunting and diabetes magazines while hearing insane medical things is not the ideal way to spend a morning.

"What was that one you were treating me for again?" I asked.

She repeated the name and then told me what it was in layman's terms.  A tonsil abscess.  I know of abcesses.  I've seen enough drug cinema.  Not good.

She looked at some test and told me it definitely wasn't strep.  I maintain my record of never having strep.  I felt like Charlie Sheen or a drunken Gandhi.  Undefeated ... except for this abscess thing that made my tonsil look like an alien egg sac roughly the size of an elephant testicle.

"If the side of your neck swells up anymore, you'll want to get in here right away.  I'm here on Saturday.  Come in."

"Okay.  Why?"

"We'll have to lance and drain it."

"Lance" and "drain" when used in the same sentence has roughly the same effect as using "prison" and "anal rape" together.  Nothing good comes of it, and you clench up.

"That sounds painful," I said.  I am the master of observation.

"Not as painful as what you are going to go through."

Oh, fuck me Glenn Close.  Why did this happen to me?  I don't shoot heroin into my tonsils.  Did I piss off a Chinese wizard?

She sat down and started writing out my prescription.  "I see you take Tylenol III for your back pain.  Do you have some at home?"

"Yeah.  I hardly ever take it."

"You'll want to use that instead of the Advil."

Holy fucking shit!  Seriously?  What had I gotten myself into?  I felt like I had an invite to an orgy, only when I show up it's all biker dudes in Reagan masks holding duct tape.  Shock.  Awe.  Fear.

I make my way to the pharmacy, fairly convinced this can't really get any worse.  There is an insurance foul-up (of course), but after that is done, I get my medicine.  875 mg horse pills.  The bottle says to take orally.  Honestly, I was wondering because they were suppository-sized. 

"I have to drive to get my daughter," I told the lady at the counter.  "Are there any side-effects to this?"

"I need to have the pharmacist come out and talk to you."

Again: Never a good sign!

The pharmacist comes out.  He's a kindly older gent, used to dealing with shaking seniors and Oxy addicts.  He looks over the medicine and says, "There is one side-effect you must know about."

I was ready for anything.  Dry mouth.  Stomach pains.  Fatigue.  Testicular sapping.  I was ready for anything ... except what he said.  It was another two words you never want to hear together. 

"Profound diarrhea."
Not my tonsils ... and oddly sexual in nature.

"Excellent," I said.

"Well, no, not really."

"No.  That was sarcasm.  Profound diarrhea is never excellent."

"It should only last two days.  If goes on longer than that, you have to go see your doctor right away."

"Two days!  Are there any other side-effects to know about?  I have to drive to get my daughter."

"It will only affect your driving if you suddenly have to go ..."

"No.  I get that.  Diarrhea is always going to be a problem if you are driving and suddenly have to go."

"Then you should be fine."

Not the word I'd use to describe the situation.  "Fine" was so far from what I was at the moment.  An abscessed tonsil that may have to be lanced and drained, a possible hospital visit to remove it and "profound diarrhea" were not in anyone's honest definition of "fine."  In fact, I'd say those things pretty much took you out of "fine" territory and put you into the land of "concern" and "discomfort." 

Chinese wizard in disguise.  Looks cute.  Very deadly.
As of now, my tonsil swelling has gone down.  The pain is less than it has been.  Diarrhea, profound or otherwise, has not made an appearance (though Night Nurse has told me that it could come at the end of my timeframe for taking the medicine, so I still have that to look forward to).  I've got a few more days to go, and the fact that I'm not totally healed yet has me concerned.

Co-workers, family and friends have been part supportive and mocking -- so that's good.  I deserve it, and it is a funny story.  Plus, it's not like I have some life altering disease or lost a limb.  All things considered, though, I'd rather not be dealing with this bit of misfortune.

Fucking Chinese wizards.


Anonymous said...

this is funny!

Rachel said...

Are you single? If you aren't, care to make me your bride. This is some funny stuff! I love your writing and want to meet you. I'm a town away ... hint.

-Doug Brunell "America's Favorite Son" said...

Rachel, I don't think we should meet. I tend to scare people. Thank you, though.