When last we left off I was drowning in a sea of school and work. The Holidays were not being particularly kind to me and I was feeling the urge to withdraw in a cocoon of self pity. Most of December was spent under a haze of thick air pollution that was taking its toll as well. However, I emerged after Christmas determined to really enjoy New Years as it is one of the few holidays that is truly adult oriented.
A few days before New Years my lymphnodes in my neck started to swell up and my throat was scratchy. I assumed it was related to the air pollution and when we would go up into the mountains to escape I felt better but as the days passed I had more and more difficulty swallowing and sleeping. When my husband gently suggested I see the doctor I told him (nicely?) to mind his own business, that since I didn’t have a fever all a doctor would say is ” you have a virus, nothing I can do, go home.” Also lets be honest, I hate doctors and my infertility experience only made those feelings worse.
New Years Eve I felt better so I bought lobster, which I had never tried, bought fancy liquor and planned a grand night. At about 4 pm an intense pain stared on the right side of the back of my throat and all my energy drained. I spent New Years Eve sobbing on my husbands shoulder because I had ruined our nice dinner and alcohol burned my throat. I was in bed by nine (didn’t sleep because I couldnt lie down without feeling like I was drowning, it was only getting harder and harder to swallow).
New Years Day my beloved husband suggested again that I see the doctor and I told him no because it was a holiday and I wasn’t going to the ER. That day a noticeable lump formed under my chin on my right side and my whole neck was incredibly swollen at this point, so in the back of my mind I did start to think that it might be good to see the doctor soon.
The next day I went to work (I hadn’t missed any work up to this point) for 12 hours. I was developing some trouble breathing as well as swallowing now and my coworkers freaked out once when I took off the surgical mask I had been wearing (to protect the patients) at how swollen my neck was so I decided to hit the urgent care after work. My husband insisted in taking me, probably to make sure I actually went, and they did some tests. Right before the doctor walked in, I turned to him and said “I bet you a 100 bucks that he walks in and tells me I have a virus, nothing he can do, go home” (Denial is deep my friends). The doctor walked in, did a brief exam and told me I was to head to the ER because I had a tonsil abscess so large that he was worried it would block my airway soon and I needed to have it drained immediately. Apparently my virus was really strep throat…Oops… (to be continued)