Sunday, 4 March 2018

| 2018 | week 9 | the weeks I lost to tonsillitis |

Before this past week, I had no understanding of how severe tonsillitis could be. I've been lead to understand that my particular bout is on the worse end of the scale (googling standard pictures has confirmed this because my throat looks like theirs after treatment).

- - -

What started last Friday as feeling slightly under the weather - rebuffed by a coworker as 'oh it's nothing' - developed on the Saturday into me feeling thoroughly exhausted. By Sunday my throat was sore and I was sure I was a little bit under the weather.

Damn.... only a little. Hah.

Monday at 1am I was awoken by the feeling of broken glass in my throat, so I took the executive decision that I would not be attending work that day.

Tuesday, things were looking worse not better. I'd managed to eat a few biscuits and drink some tea but other than that not a lot was making it past (what I thought was just) a particularly sore throat.

An examination by my wise sibling lead us both to decide I probably needed an emergency appointment with the GP. By this point, I should mention, I was now in excruciating pain, unable to drink and breathing was a struggle. Oh. And I couldn't speak at all. I was prescribed antibiotics, told to painkiller up and sleep. Charlie had to essentially carry me to the surgery and speak on my behalf as I sat there dribbling and staring at the floor.

I don't consider myself a softie, nor someone with a low pain threshold so my inability to handle this was concerning not just myself but my family too.

Wednesday was what I thought was a low point, but boy oh boy did I have more fun in store. Wednesday I did not eat, I could not drink and any periods of sleep were erratic and disrupted. I was in intense pain all over my body and breathing was tortuous.

Thursday morning, again, amazingly, I was looking worse. I don't really think I've been this far away from my norm before. I've never been in this much pain, discomfort and general sadness. Looking in the mirror it wasn't pretty. Unfocused eyes. Horrible colouring. Sweat. The swelling around my throat had spread to my face and my jaw was hanging loose.

Being unable to speak was another blockade but thankfully my dad could see something was off. We went to the GP's first thing, and he was sympathetic. In fact, sufficiently so I left with the impression I was not looking good. New painkillers, antibiotics and steroids. I will admit the first round of all these things made me cry like a child (my dad had to essentially force feed me) but once they started to kick in and I downed a bottle of water I slept like a baby for a few hours.

[so transpired in the conversation with the GP I had sepsis and would potentially need hospital admission at the very least. I couldn't actually follow that conversation so missed all this information]

Then I drank some more water.

It's amazing how you get stripped back to basics and realise just what the basics are. Water, salt and sugar. Oh and the z's. Sleep is the greatest healer.

My brain wasn't craving stimulation, just water and the horizontal position, and my body was shutting down to adapt to running on empty.

I was now a resident of the sofa. Stairs were impossible, walking to the kitchen was challenging and I was the weakest I have ever been.

- - -

It's technically Saturday now, but that's a full week since I started feeling ill. I stand by the fact that nights are the worst when you're feeling rough. It's the longest stint between painkillers and you're completely alone. It's horrible to be woken up every few minutes by a catch in your breath or just from the pain of air passing over inflamed tonsils.

The bit I've found the hardest, and is still ongoing, is the fact I physically cannot speak. It's not just a case of avoiding it, it's that I cannot form words or produce sound. I have no way of communicating with the people around me. That means I can't tell them the severity of the situation. Isolated, in pain and feeling awful is a horrible combination.

- - -

I'm not better yet, but I am over the worst of it (touch wood). My tonsils now resemble what google says tonsillitis looks like, rather than blackened lumps of pain and suffering. I want to be back at work and in my routine.

The dream.