Pain For Too Long

I feel proud, manly, strong – probably stupidly so, but I do – when after the examination the doctor says

“I usually only see patients with this in the ER! And you’ve had this for a MONTH?!?!”  

I can’t help it, I want to say

“HELL yeah I have! fuckin’ right man!”

But then sanity clicks in and looks back at the constant pain, uncomfortableness, lack of sleep and the like and I realize I probably should have just gone to the ER when it first happened. I did go to the walk-in clinic twice for the same condition before finally going to the ENT, so at least there is progress.

It all started in the beginning of May, I was dog sitting for my friend Cliff and I started to not feel so good – fever, restlessness and my throat hurt really bad. No I mean REALLY bad. I got up and sped off to the grocery store for Aleve, Advil or whatever would help – I was in so much pain that night if there had been liquor or drugs handy I might have taken it – but I can handle it, no worries. I was up most of the night, hoping it would get better.

The next day I attempted to go to work and even my mean supervisor told me to go home (I swear she likes seeing me suffer :-P) so that day I did go to the walk-in clinic and they assured me it was probably a sinus infection and gave me some low grade antibiotics and sent me home. Mostly I sat straight up, ate jello and drank lots of water and tea. Next day I was back at work – still in pain but hey, this will get better, I’m on medication now. My voice was weird for the first two days.

After day three or so I started to take Claritin D too, maybe there’s drainage and I just don’t notice, maybe it’s just allergies.

I could feel something in my throat, stuck it felt like and every swallow was uncomfortable. At night on a few occasions it felt like my throat had constricted and I’d sit up trying to breathe and I’d end up sitting up the rest of the night – I’m not a fan of not being able to breathe.

The pain was magnificent, yet sporadic, one day I’d think it was finally going  away and the next I’d be ready to dig into my throat with my fingers to just get it loose, whatever it was. I started mornings with 2 tylenol and 2 advil together for the pain, then at noon take an Aleve and then repeat the tylenol and advil at night, really not fun as it didn’t help relieve the pain that much.

The other symptom I had was not being able to open my mouth fully – even trying to take a bite of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was difficult. That symptom scared me a lot, but hey, again, I’ve been to the doctor and was on antibiotics.

After the first round of antibiotics didn’t help I took another visit to the walk-in clinic where they gave me a stronger antibiotic and some steroids – but yesterday was the last day of those and still no relief – they had suggested if I wasn’t better after this treatment I should see an ENT, so I scheduled and saw one today.

I hate missing work, I feel guilty – I am reminded of all the times when I was young and stupid and called in sick to work cause I was stoned, hungover or drunk and it weighs on me when I’m legitimately sick – are you REALLY sick Jamez? cause I’m that way you know

Anyway, the ENT guy first did the usual poking and prodding – then numbed my nasal passage way, stuck a camera down there (only a little uncomfortable) and said:

You have a Peritonsillar Abscess – “I usually only see patients with this in the ER! And you’ve had this for a MONTH?!?!”

A peritonsillar abscess forms in the tissues of the throat next to one of the tonsils. An abscess is a collection of pus that forms near an area of infected skin or other soft tissue.

The abscess can cause pain, swelling, and, if severe, blockage of the throat. If the throat is blocked, swallowing, speaking, and even breathing become difficult.

I didn’t know what that was, so I just asked – can you make it better? and he assured me he could – he then went on explaining some medical thingamajig thing that made me want to feint (I really wish they wouldn’t tell me thing like that, I’m squeamish) so I’m not sure what all of it was. Then he stuck a needle in my throat to numb it and left me sit there for a bit.

He came back in with a long thin instrument and a sucker thing – he had me hold the sucker thing and he stuck the other thing way in the back of my throat and I felt a slight hurt. “Don’t swallow” he said and then he grabbed the sucker thing and sucked the puss and blood out of the thing and it was gross and almost immediately I felt better, but then I realized it was probably whatever he numbed me with and I’d hurt later – that bastard 🙂

He wrote me 2 prescriptions, another antibiotic and different steroids (are my testicles going to shrink?) and told me I should be perfectly fine in a week. Now, an hour or so later, and no pain and I can swallow… I’d say it’s likely I’ll be fine soon.

Next time maybe I’ll go to the ER right away, that can be expensive though so probably not  and I can handle a little pain. Did you know i used to refuse Novocain at the dentist? Yeah, I’m not a fast learner at all.

4 thoughts on “Pain For Too Long

  1. I’m glad you’re feeling better. But for God’s sake, why didn’t you go to your general practitioner? You know, that person somewhere between an Aleve and an emergency room? My GP is awesome at telling me when to worry and when to act, usually for just my copay.

    Hope you heal up nice and fast!


    1. Michael – I haven’t picked one yet, I do miss my old GP at Kaiser though, loved him for that very reason.


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