Saturday, January 14, 2012

Losing my voice

Being sick has a very strange effect on how I converse with my friends. Since I am physically unable to speak while I'm ill, I have only the ability to really listen very well and occasionally make grandiose facial expressions or gestures.  I've been doing a lot of eye contact (something I'm not very good at) and I've found that its actually really nice being able to just stare into people's eyes. Of course a couple people have been a bit confused as to why I'm staring, but I can only answer with a written note 'I'm just listening.' At first I was going a little crazy because there was so much I wanted to say, so many times I wanted to pitch in my two cents, but getting used to watching other people talk and listening to what they say without my usual interjections is certainly holding my attention.
I still feel like shit, and I hope I can get all of this school work done before Tuesday. I have papers to grade and I admit I haven't had the energy to look at what assignments are due. Currently I have no plans to attend class on Tuesday, this will only change if I am actually feeling better then.
I wish there was someone I could convince to come walk my dog for me. Poor BB has had to be mostly inside while I just sit here and rot away.
And without any further ado here is my saga of sickness with the perfect climax of grossness...

I get sick very rarely, but when I do its always completely dilapidating.  This time is no different.  I get strep throat fair often, and when I say that it means once every other year but its really the only sickness that has the gumph to take me down.  Now, all of my symptoms are those that I immediately recognize as strep throat, so I had no doubt that I needed to head to the doc, grab some antibiotics, and be on my merry way. This time would not be so easy.
The campus RN says the strep quick test was negative, therefore she felt antibiotics were not an answer. Ugh, now I'm not an idiot, I'm not one of those people that thing antibiotics are going to solve all of my sniffles and sneezes.  I'm smart enough to know that the fat puss filled balls a.k.a. my tonsils needed antibiotic assistance, so (without her innitiation of the process) I demanded a throat culture be made. She seemed to be a little surprised that I understood the words that fell from my mouth.  She says it will take two days to grow the culture, well damn I suppose I can suffer for two more days and by then they will realize that my malady is in fact a bacterial infection and they can pull their heads out of their asses and shoot me with some penicillin. They end up inviting me back to the office the next day to speak with the M.D. all he tells me is that he suspects a viral infection (nothing to treat those but pain killers) and he suggests taking some progesterone (steroid) to reduce the swelling so I can at least eat some food.  I didn't want that, not only because I really felt that it wasn't viral, but I also really didn't want to take steroids.
Anyways, I force myself to go to class for the next several days because I cannot allow myself to miss out on the first week of classes.  The worst part of that mess was when I was feeling so terrible shitty in my Museum Exhibit Design class that I was literally nodding off every few moments, and the teacher feels the need to single me out and ask me every question throughout lecture "And what do you think about this, Karina?" when there are plenty of my peers with eagerly raised hands ready to answer; and I have no voice--I CANNOT SPEAK! and he says "what's that? speak up." and I squeeze out an extremely painful weeze: "Sorry sir, I've lost my voice [I tell him this everytime he calls on me].  My opinion is that the museum would benefit from...."  My guess is that he is either trying to single me out and mock me for falling alseep, or that he actually really likes how I answer his questions, or he is just as saddistic as I think he is and enjoys watching me tear up and wince as I force the words past my searing tonsil-juggernauts.
By Friday morning I'm feeling the worst that I have all along, and still I've had no call back about the supposed '2-day culture.' So I take the initiative and call the docs to ask about it.  The RN was unnavailable at first but she called me back a few minutes later and told me the culture isn't ready yet, but I sound completely miserable and hardly recognizable over the phone and she invites me back to the office once more.  I'm so glad that I've got friends who care about me, because I really didn't want to walk all the way to the docs.  When I get to the office I use my notepad and pen to communicate for most of the visit because the smallest little hum feels like the center of our fiery sun.  They are shocked to see how huge my tonsils are now, literally choking off my air supply and I have to painfully hold my throat open every moment of this day (this is why I haven't been able to sleep, having little dreams of being strangled and waking up to find that I really am being strangled--by my tonsils).  At the office they take a decent sized blood sample to test for mononucleosis.  The M.D. is back at this point telling me it is imperative that I take the progesterone at this point so I can eat, drink water, and at the very least breathe. I'm okay with it at this point because I'm so exhausted and so hungry.  Blood test comes back, no mono (thank goodness!!) but it does show a bacterial infection. Hah! I wanted to jump up and scream TOLD YA SO! But that wasn't going to happen.  So they give me antibiotics and progesterone.  In my opinion this is the best choice they've made in all along.  But since the clinic isn't open this weekend or on Monday I'm going to have to be careful, if things get worse I'm going to have to go to a real doctor's office and I don't have the money to afford an adventure like that.
Friday night was great because I forced myself to slurp down a ton of noodles and afterward I got the best sleep I've gotten in two weeks, a whole six hours of sleep! On average I had been getting maybe two or three before waking up to breathe or in excruciating pain.  So this morning I'm feeling pretty well rested, but I'm having a hard time finding my appetite.  I've got this nasty "after taste" looming in my mouth, so food my look delicious but when I try to gobble this oatmeal it just tastes like nastiness.  I go to investigate a bit using a tongue depressor and a little LED flashlight I peer back in my mouth to find out a strange sight. [warning: graphic descriptions]
The only way I can describe this is that my left tonsil (is smaller than yesterday, and I suppose that's good) has a large depression on the back side, surrounded by the familiar white puss, but coming from the depression is gooey brown and yellow mucus-like stuff.  I understand this may have been a not-so-good decision but I stuck a q-tip back in there and out comes two chunks of... tonsil flesh? Chunks of something.  White-ish gray-ish fleshy blobs peel off my tonsil and stick to my q-tip.  No blood, just brown-ish gooey stuff.  I get a little freaked out so I no longer have any plans to go poking around in my tonsils again.  In general I'm feeling a smidge better today, so I'll be sad if this is just the clam before the storm and I end up having a flesh eating bacterial infection.