Thursday, February 9, 2012

Elizabeth Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Elizabeth doesn't live here anymore.

In fact, Elizabeth evidently never lived here in the first place.

Also, the medical degrees I've earned from Google, WebMd and general health boards are pretty flimsy. I completely misdiagnosed myself.

My general internist couldn't see anything, other than the spray of  spit I coughed into her face after she gagged me with the tongue depressor, but she was able to provide me with the name and number of an ENT specialist who was new to a practice and had a good chance of having some openings today.

Leaving the general's office, I dialed up the ENT's office: they were on lunch break. 

I returned to my car, because I managed some primo street parking ($5 cheaper than the garage that the general's office validates) and I didn't want to lose my space. I called Husband, who was in class at the time and told him it wasn't a stone, it's probably cancer.

Husband, call me soon before my throat is removed.

Then I called my friend and asked if she could get my son after school was out in the event I secured an appointment with the ENT. And although I didn't want to, I started to cry.  She knows me, so she could easily see how I got to "it-isn't-a-tonsil-stone-so-it-has-to-be-cancer" so quickly. She did her best to calm me down and promised to get my son if I got the appointment.

The stars aligned and I scored an appointment with the ENT. I was advised by the assistant that I would be scoped and I blurted out: "I'm a gagger!"  My heart was racing.

"Oh honey," she said. "We go in through your nose -- it's not that uncomfortable at all."

And it wasn't. I mean, I wouldn't want to get 'the scope' every day, but it wasn't painful and it didn't make me gag. She shoved a thin, plastic cord with a light at the end of it up one nostril, and then looped it thru the other... and then pointed it into my throat.


She believes I have acid reflux. And while I don't have the typical chest-grabbing heart burn that many acid reflux sufferers have, the sensation of having a wad of food lodged in the throat is, in fact, a common symptom of acid reflux.

So, I have to start taking Prilosec tomorrow. 

After the scope, I flat out asked her: "Is it cancer?"

"It isn't cancer," she told me.

I believed her in the office, but by the time I got to the school to get my son (I let my friend off the hook, since she's got one sick kid at home today), I had sort of jumped back on the cancer wagon.  

 My friend told me that we needed to find me a new 'go-to' disease: this cancer shit was killing me.

I am positively exhausted.  I didn't eat at all this morning, because I had (correctly) anticipated medical professionals trying to gag me with sticks and scopes.  And sitting alone in my car while I waited for the ENT's office to return from lunch was mentally crushing. I texted Husband. I texted my Coach. I cried a bunch.

I'm taking the night off. I should go to run club, but I'm worn out. I'd like to find the humor in this. I mean, spitting and gagging in the faces of two strangers should be funny, right? Confessing that I had Husband, who is trained in the fields of English and Education, sit on my chest and poke the back of my throat with Q-Tips is laughable, right? Or the strange woman at Walgreen's who told me my pants had split at the pocket seem and the whole left side of my ass was hanging out, possibly all god damn day while I ran through the streets of Chicago with my throat cancer ... that's a good time, right?

I need a hot bath, a real meal, a good cry and a fresh start tomorrow.

I'll go after it tomorrow.


  1. I like how you made sure to warn them that you're a gagger.

    A day off after an emotional day is a good thing - enjoy the rest. Just remember - you can't keep a "Left side of my ass hanging out" story to yourself.

  2. Some days are just shite. Draw the curtains on it and know that a new one will be delivered tomorrow. They always are, and some of them are actually rather good.

  3. I knew there was a reason I read you, other than Gemini at home mom...I left the doctor the other day and promptly informed my family that it was not, in fact, an inoperable brain tumor that was giving me headaches and locking my jaw, apparently it is "just" the stress from the relocation.

    However, now I am thinking about this acid reflux thing I may have just caught from you...

  4. Why is it that the pockets on jeans do that? That has happened to me on more than one pair.

    A day off is probably good. I am glad it's not cancer!

  5. I'm SO angry about those stupid jeans!!!! Yesterday, I was sad. Today...I'm ready to write someone an angry, angry letter! I just bought them in September!