At Least I Have My Health

When all hell breaks loose, supportive types like to wax philosophic and reassuringly remind you, “at least you have your health!”  Yeah, Whatever.

That’s all well and good. And things in my life are pretty great right now. No hell is breaking loose as far as I can tell.  I’m a lucky girl in so many ways. Amen and hallelujah.

However, as a bonus prize, selected especially for me by the “she looks a little too happy” Gods, I have spent the last two weeks in a randomly harmless, but relentless, health hazard hell. This is the payback, I suppose, for finally securing the half day kindergarten teaching job in a fabulous school that is a perfect fit for me that is also ridiculously logistically convenient that I have pined for since the birth of my first child 13 years ago. So Karma is speaking to me loud and clear, but I can barely hear it due to the alarmingly excessive fluid buildup in my vestibular canals.

Back we go in our time machine, two and half weeks. First day of school. Yay!! First sign of a sore throat. Boo!! By the weekend I am flat out in bed, unable to breathe through my nose. At all. Not one tiny bit. Monday, things start looking up. By Wednesday, inexplicably, I clearly have a sinus infection. Call the doctor on Thursday. On Friday, I see an associate in the practice, whom I’ve never met, out of desperation for any treatment whatsoever that will restore my ability to breath without panting like a golden retriever 7,000 feet above sea level without a Sherpa or a water dish. She urges me to enjoy the comforts (ahem) of a neti pot and warm compresses while reluctantly handing me a prescription for an antibiotic as a last ditch backup plan. I have to promise her I will not use it. But it’s Friday afternoon and I must look really, really desperate, so she hands it over after I sign (in blood) that I will try all the homeopathic hooey before hooking up the pharmaceutical IV.

I am not going to educate you on the masochistic pleasures of the neti pot. It is a miniature watering can. It is supposed to help you clear goo out of your sinuses. Figure it out. And if you want one, you can have mine.

I did everything the “doctor” asked me to, including the nasal spray, the compresses, the (don’t make me say it again) neti pot, and the Claritin D. Which, by the way, is apparently a drug of abuse for some, and they make you feel really dirty at the pharmacist’s counter for asking for a package. They photocopied my license and fingerprinted me. And scowled disapprovingly. Though I panted convincingly all the while. But I digress. Despite my best anti-antibiotic efforts, by Saturday night I had a full-blown double ear infection.

Now, if you never listen to another word I have to say, listen to this. If your child ever comes to you holding her ears and crying, drop everything immediately and get her a vodka tonic and a heap of kiddie advil. Then run, don’t walk, to the doctor and juice that kid up with some penicillin pronto. Because the pain of this ear infection was comparable to childbirth. As a matter of fact, it actually felt a bit like birthing a child from my ear. It was no joke. I cried like a baby and called my mother and sent my husband to CVS and then swore a lot. So A.M.A. I took the antibiotic.

Monday, Tuesday… The ear pain, gets better, the sinuses clear a bit… but the ears stay completely and utterly clogged. What was that, I couldn’t hear you? My ears are clogged with 12 days worth of goo.

Wednesday: In anticipation of speaking eloquently in front of 40 parents for curriculum night at school, I visit my doctor (the real one this time) again. She looks inside my ears and declares, “Wow! There’s a lot of fluid in there!” So at least now I’m getting my money’s worth. She goes on to assure me that I am recovering and the fluid should drain on it’s own in 3-4 weeks and I should avoid all allergens, stay inside all the time and completely wash, dust, and vacuum everything in my house. What’s that you say? I can’t hear you. I have fluid in my ears. And constant ringing. And a sense of claustrophobia because I. Hear. Nothing. She encourages me to finish the antibiotic course, and commiserates with me, actually referring to her associate as The Antibiotic Nazi. I am not making this up. I really heard that part. But apparently, I  must remain resigned to hearing nothing else for the next 3-4 weeks. Even after I assured her I saw George Clooney drain some crap out of someone’s ear with a giant needle on ER once, and would she please just give it a try? Nope. But I got a flu shot and took a magnet and a lollipop from the reception desk on the way out. So there’s that.

Off to CVS to fill my shiny new prescription for steroidal nasal spray which may or may not expedite the draining process, but, hey, what have I got to lose? I. Did. Not. Just. Say. That.

Thursday. Ouch. I shudder to even consider sharing the grim sub-continental side effects yielded by a week’s regimen of equine sized antibiotic pills, but suffice it to say they are unpleasant, unkind, and unseemly. Yes ladies. The dreaded Aisle 8. Monistat3. And there’s a reason for the STAT in Monistat, let me tell you.  Back to CVS, pronto.

So it’s Saturday and I still can’t hear. And I still have to sleep sitting up like the Elephant Man. But I can breathe. And I can almost sit without wincing. And I can taste some of my food some of the time. And I only used 34 tissues today, down from my all time high of 541,902.

And, all thing considered, I’m a lucky girl. Because at least I have my health.


A.Y.M.N.K.B.S. (Acronyms You Might Not Know But Should)

I am a food girl. I like it. So sue me. Sometimes (daily) I have issues with portion control and I overindulge a little. As a result, I have achieved a sort of Botticelli-esque roundness that would have made me quite the iconic beauty had I lived in the fifteenth century. But I don’t.

So God has intervened. Lately, when it is clearly time for me to put down my fork and take a load off, I have started to enjoy the symptoms of GERD. That’s GastroEsophogeal Reflux Disease or Gaseous Entrails Reversing Direction, I’m not sure which. GERD is also certainly the best example of onomatopoeia that I’ve ever heard. This is completely a self-diagnosed condition, if you’re reading, Mom. Do not go on WebMD and do not call asking about my cholesterol. It’s fine.

My GERD symptoms are likely imagined, and are certainly not troublesome if you don’t count the occasional vurp (figure it out) that may follow a big meal or the too-fast scarfing of a nice pesto with too much garlic in it. The vurp, which you might recognize as GERD-WAFC (GERD-With Accompanying Flavorful Chunks) is in the official list of Diagnostic Codes, under disgusting functions and symptoms that are your own damn fault.

Of greater concern is a psych-related acronym that has recently manifested in my health portfolio. I’m talking about the chronically uncalled for and inconvenient FWAP (Frustrated Woman About to Pop) which tends to occur every three and a half weeks or so, often accompanied by a severe case of ISYSES (I Suck, You Suck, Everything Sucks).  As a public service announcement, I would like to make it known that if you encounter a person stricken by  FWAP or ISYSES, you should know that the best treatment is TSAR-SYN (Turn Slowly And Retreat-Save Yourself Now). If you do not heed this sage advice, you may become a victim of YOHYTB (You Only Have Yourself To Blame).

And there’s NICDAT (Nothing I Can Do About That).