Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fighting the Crud

As I sit here at work, head throbbing and woozy, I am coming to terms with the fact that I am most likely housing an infection in my right ear. This is likely to become a very annoying and painful ear infection set out to destroy my fun-filled weekend. I have been feeling not quite with it all week, which isn't too unusual for me this time of year when my allergies turn my head into an achy balloon of mucus. Excuse my obvious lack of shame when it comes to discussing bodily functions. I am after all the wife of a third year medical student. We don't mince words or spare one another from life's grosser moments. I can however usually get over these fluctuations of the middle ear and excessive expulsions of sinus fluid out of various orifices with quite a bit of sudaphed (the meth-maker's drug of choice) and gallons of saline nasal spray. I fear now that my white blood cells' efforts have been surpassed by the apparent dedication of this year's crud. Consider me a victim.

I was late getting to bed last night as I was unknowingly sucked into this awful show called Nashville about the worst kind of music (country) that I will probably become OBSESSED with when I watch it in its entirety this afternoon (because I need closure).................. but when I finally crawled into bed and laid down on my right side (my preferred side to begin my weird sleep routine on), I felt a searing pain right beneath my jaw bone as I rested my head against the pillow. I gingerly rubbed the spot that hurt and felt a knot. I first thought it might be a pimple, so I sighed at my body's extreme hormonal confusion and let my head fall back down. Searing pain again! This time, I sat up and prodded more intensely. It felt like a hard, painful pea under my skin. So of course, I violently shook W awake, grabbed his hand and jabbed it under my jawbone.

My little army against this lump.

"DO YOU FEEL THAT!?!?! What is it?!?! Am I dying?! Is it cancer?!!?"

Without even lifting his head from the pillow or shifting his body to more easily prod the lump, W slurred that it was a lymph node and that we would look at it again in the morning.

"LOOK AT IT!? You haven't even opened your eyes!?! AND, YOU'RE GOING TO BE A DOCTOR!?"

However, W was once again fast asleep.

I of course did not sleep for the rest of the night. How could I? I couldn't complete my sleep routine, which is to lay on my right side (as the inside spoon) until the weight of W's leg cuts off the circulation to my right foot. Then, I heave my leg out from under his and flip to my left side. I stay in this position for approximately 10 minutes until it is no longer comfortable. Then, I flip back over to my right side and fall peacefully asleep until morning.

The painful pea-lump did not allow me to sleep on my preferred side. BITCH.

This morning, I reminded W of my cancer. (I am not making light of cancer. I honestly had nightmares all night that it was indeed a cancerous tumor. I am what some like to call a hypochondriac.) He checked it, informed me it was not deadly, and said I was most likely getting an ear or sinus infection. WONDERFUL.

I will not allow this to deter me from the next three days' packed schedule. Sure, I am deathly afraid to turn my head to the right, since that pinches my node and hurts and makes me break out in a terror sweat, but there is just too much to do!

Let's reflect for a moment on the very real torture that awaits me tomorrow at 12:30pm........... ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY fourth grade students will descend upon me and my fragile museum house for a tour and history lesson. Please say 50 Hail Marys that I make it through unscathed. Or, just load me up with some fast-acting antibiotics and lots of ibuprofen with a few cups of coffee to boot. Maybe, we should all just say a little prayer that these children make it through the afternoon in one piece. PSA: I am not responsible for my actions while heavily medicated. I have several activities planned to keep their evil minds from concocting terrifying feats of fun in the vicinity of the 200 year old museum and its precious artifacts. They will be forced to play a corn toss, gourd roll, and then, when they can take that no longer, I will make them all string cheerios on to yarn that they will then hang in the trees for the birds. I dare them to allow their minds to wander to sinister thoughts of asking too many questions, running, jumping, not using inside voices, and constantly twitching as their undeveloped brains cannot control their writhing bodies.

After the tour, W and I are hitting the road for Lewisburg for the weekend. We will of course be staying with Cap and J so that the boys can have their date night. Cap has--in true perfect-wife-fashion (J is so damn lucky)--planned a thrilling Oktoberfest themed evening for us complete with a bonfire. Maybe, we will all don animal-themed masks and dance around the flames like the pagans of yesteryear, praising the gods for fruitful harvests to last us through the dark months (winter). (I do know my Halloween history, do you?) Or, we might just roast some marshmallows. It has the great possibility to get CRAZY. (As always, follow my Instagram (bri_jackson) to keep up with it all.)

Then, Saturday morning, there is an event in downtown Lewisburg, called TOOT or Taste of our Town, where restaurants and vendors set up tents and make delicious food. There's haggis (blegh), ribs, crabcakes, tiramisu and so much more. Cap and I plan to enjoy a little bit of everything. W will most likely be at the Greenbrier Resort talking up a few vascular surgery residency program directors (whew) from the northeast. Fingers crossed that he makes some worthwhile connections! After that, who knows what will happen! Maybe, we will have dinner at our favorite restaurant in West Virginia, Julian's. Maybe we will have another pagan bonfire. The possibilities are endless. This weekend is peak color for the leaves, so we will be sure to enjoy the foliage.

Let's just hope that this infection/swollen lymph node thing is a DUD. I refuse to accept it. No thanks. Go away.

On that note, I would like to take this time to vent about the extreme lack of compassion from my medical student husband in the wake of my illness. My boss sent me home early to rest and recuperate before the heathen tour tomorrow. This meant that W and I could enjoy lunch together at home! W was in the midst of reheating leftovers for lunch, when I trudged in and set water to boil for my go-to sick meal, Ramen noodles. I asked W to put my noodles in the water when it started to boil, which he did. Then, he very unfeelingly yelled from the kitchen for me to come, "Watch your noooodles!" How rude! I asked him if this is how it will always be from now on--do only paying patients get his time and care? Well, do they, W????

Its like that time I went nearly 10 years not being able to see long distances. My MOTHER, a school nurse (!!!), never believed me when I told her that I couldn't do boardwork from my desk--I had to sit on the floor under the board just to see it. Sure, it was her job to do yearly screenings on all of those ungrateful public school kids to make sure that they could all see and hear, but her own daughter? Nah! She'll be fine! Boy, did she feel guilty, when finally during my freshman year of college (!!!), I convinced her that I really couldn't see the board--"No, MOM, its not a ploy for attention because I might actually be blind"--did she agree to make an eye appointment for me. On the ride home from Lenscrafters with my sweet purple DKNY specs on, I surveyed the trees in the distance and couldn't stop the eruption of joy the sight induced. "MOM, I can actually see the leaves on the trees! I never knew you could see the individual leaves! I just thought everyone saw a massive blob of green." I think she might have cried. GUILT. I really made her feel bad that night when I wondered at the stars. "Stars are actually little pinpoints in the sky. They do look like diamonds! I never understood that line in 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' until just now. WOW!!!

Oh, how the times have not changed. I guess its just me and my health, all by our lonesome. W just doesn't have the time for us!


On another note, some jerk stole my ridiculously cute pumpkin off the front porch of my museum. I mean look at that thing. Have you ever seen anything so adorable--look at its pudgy stalk??? I am bitter and pissed and feel very violated. WHO STEALS PUMPKINS FROM A NON-PROFIT!?

What are your plans for the weekend?


1 comment:

  1. This made me laugh so hard! Sometimes I am sure we are the same person. Lymph nodes and nightmares of death; I know those all too well (from things like sinus infections - not cancer)! I love you and I'm so glad you're my sis-in-law. :)