Friday, December 28, 2007

Strep Tease

I have been a full-time mom, wife and college student for a year and a part-time employee for half a year. Any time I'd feel so much as a sniffle come on I'd declare loudly, "I don't have time to be sick!" then start drinking Airborne like it tastes good, chewing on vitamin C tablets and dousing everything around me in tea tree oil because Granny Glenn swore by that stuff and if it was good enough for Granny, by golly, it's good enough for me. Seriously, I was like a priest (albeit an overweight female priest who's actually a Baptist) sprinkling that stuff on people and furniture and anything that got in my path. I considered smearing the blood of a unblemished lamb on the doorframes a few times then decided that might be taking things a little too far - number one because I'm not Jewish and number two because ewwww. But strange as it sounds, this obsessive/compulsive behavior has worked for a year now.

So imagine my surprise when I woke up Christmas morning with a sore throat. I opened my eyes and swallowed only to realize that at some point during the night some sick had replaced my saliva with razor blades and acid. I shook it off, thinking that the humidifier must've run dry during the night and my throat was just a little parchy and in need of liquid. On my way back to get the kids so they could open presents I attempted that swallowing thing one more time (because by this point I was drowning due to lack of swallowing for five minutes) and again cursed the smart-ass who sabotaged my saliva. I also noticed that the humidifer was humming along nicely.

After we watched the kids squeal and squawk over the digital camera, pellet gun and Polly Pocket jet I asked Sam to bring me a Coke from the fridge. Surely this would be the balm for my dry throat! Turns out that a throat that has been brutally ravaged by acid and razor blades does not like Coca Cola burning a path straight down it. I know Paul was disappointed that I didn't run directly out to my computer to put pictures on my new! digital! photo frame! from him because that is normally what I do when I receive a new electronic gadget. In fact, I don't think he expected to see me for a day or two, except for when I'd come into the living room toting the frame, exclaiming, "Look what I did now!" I think he was truly disappointed when I instead grabbed two extremely heavy blankets, an extra sweatshirt and my pillow and laid down after telling him, "When I stop breathing and you have to call the paramedics, tell them that I took three Aleve. They'll know what to do." I slept for two hours and felt like I could've slept so many, many more.

I didn't even shower before we went over to visit my aunt and uncle. I just drank some Tylenol Sore Throat (talk about burn, baby burn), put on an extra sweatshirt and spritzed on some perfume to hide the stench of sick, diseased human. When Mom invited us to her house afterwards for leftovers, I looked at Paul to see whether he wanted to or not. He looked me up and down and said, "Yeah, we'll go. I don't think Kristin has it in her to cook. Hell, I don't think she has it in her to breathe tonight." By that point, I didn't.

The next day is a total blur. I remember calling to cancel the kids' doctor appointments, calling work to tell my supervisor I was dead and wouldn't be in that day and calling the sitter to let her know she was off the hook until next week. I don't remember much else. At one point, through my drug-induced stupor which was running in sync with my pain-ravaged body, I heard Abby unloading the dishwasher. Then I cried because I didn't ask her to do that and that was the kindest thing anyone could've done for me at that point. Well, aside from giving me a new throat or shooting me in the head and calling the dead wagon.

By Thursday morning I literally could not swallow. There was no space for anything to go down because my throat was nearly swollen shut. Talk about a scary feeling. As bad as I felt, I knew I had to get myself to a doctor. I showered but I'm not entirely sure how clean I got because my head was spinning so bad I was clinging to the wall for dear life. I figured at that point hot water running over my body was going to have to be enough. I somehow managed to dry my hair and even pulled Kady's up into some halfway decent looking dogears. Abby was totally on her own; thank God she's 11 and knows how to run a hair dryer. I called my mom to make sure the Indian Clinic still had a triage walk-in clinic and immediately busted into tears which didn't help matters at all. Crying is heck on a sore throat. My voice sounded like I was talking through a wad of bubble gum anyway and then add in hysterical bawling....yeah, I think I freaked my mom the hell out.

The kids were strangely quiet on the way to the clinic. I'm not sure whether it was because they were just trying to be good or if it's because they were praying I didn't wreck. It wasn't the smartest thing I'd ever done, driving while delirious. We got to the clinic a little after 8 and those kids of mine were the most well-behaved children ever to sit in that germ-laden clinic ever. They might be brats sometimes, but when it comes down to it, they're good kids. I walked out of there with a 10-day supply of amoxicillin and a glimmer of hope that I might indeed not die of strep throat. I called my mom when I left the clinic and promptly started bawling again and she offered to bring the kids lunch and said to just go home, get in bed and she'd call later. She brought the kids pizza, brought me some Mountain Dew because sweet tea tastes horrible right now (something I never ever thought I'd say or write) and Coke is still painful and also brought chicken noodle soup and lemme just say that a HazMat suit looks lovely on her. Hey, it was either don the HazMat suit or get scrubbed down like that chick in Silkwood. I think she made the right choice.

I can't sleep because evidently I will not allow myself to swallow while I'm asleep. I guess this is because my body doesn't want me to miss out on any of the available pain. How kind of it. I wake up about every 30 minutes, drooling. Yes, glamorous picture, I know. Then I force myself to swallow, then spend 5 or so minutes writhing in pain. I forced myself to eat a piece of cheese last night and felt like I was swallowing silly putty. Malt O Meal was breakfast this morning and it looks like Campbell's Tomato soup for lunch. Normally I don't mind soup, in fact, I really like soup, but dude, I really want some chips and salsa today.....

Sam asked me earlier why I keep making "that face" and I said, "Son, it's because I'm trying to swallow." He totally looked at me like I'd sprouted an extra head and then said, " do it like this..." and then he swallowed. And then I grounded him for life.


Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

I am oh, so sad to hear you're ailin'. Sucks, huh?

I have no words of wisdom, no great advice, except did you ask them for heavy pain drugs? Cause you might be able to sleep then!

Here's a cyber pat on the head. Get well soon, friend!

BjMckay said...

Oh thank goodness someone knows how I feel at this moment. I would lay down UNDER my house if it would rid me of this horrendous pain. When will it end?!

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