Friday, March 31, 2006


Here's the skinny. I have tonsillitis. That's why I haven't answered my phone if you've been trying to call me the last three days. If the killer drug cocktail of antibiotics and steroids that the doctor gave me doesn't improve my throat by Monday, I have to go under the knife. I'm hoping that the drugs work since I don't have health insurance. The doctor strongly suggested surgery but I talked him into letting see if the treatments work.

It all started on Wednesday. I felt a scratchy feeling in my throat and that blah sensation that's an indication that I was coming down with something. I drank some Airborne and canceled my Wednesday plans to gamble and hang out. Instead I bundled up on Grubby's couch and watched a 9.11 Conspiracy video. That would come back to haunt me over the next two days. Nothing is freakier than fever dreams and nothing, I repeat, nothing is more horrifying than having your friends who died on 9.11 haunt you in your dreams. Especially one guy who jumped to his death.

I've been ill the past few days. At first I figured I caught the flu. High temperatures and a sore throat were my major symptoms. I'd try to fall asleep only to wake up 10 minutes later. The problem was that it seemed like I was asleep for 3 or 4 hours and I would roll over to check my cell phone to see that just 10 minutes had elapsed. This went on for almost 36 hours just like out of a bad episode of the Twilight Zone... from about 10pm on Wednesday thru 7am on Friday. It seemed like almost a full week had passed. I tried all the tricks of the trade. Nyquil wasn't working. I'd pass out and wake up in a deep sweat 10 minutes later, only to have to change my damp clothes. I tried home remedies to cure the sore throat... gargling with hot water and salt, or lemon tea, or ricolas. Nothing worked. Depression set it. Being away from home when you are super ill is not fun.

My throat hurt so much I couldn't eat anything except sip on chicken broth and that was a chore. I'd drink some water and hot tea, but it was painful to swallow. My fever finally broke this morning, but then my entire neck was swollen. A quick glance at the internet told me that my symptoms meant I had strep throat and that I needed to see a doctor.

Grubby works at a radio station from 5:00am to 9:00am so I had to take a cab to the emergency room this morning. Lucky for me they treated me without insurance. The hard part was that I had to wait for three hours before anyone saw me. Nothing is more depressing than the waiting room with other sick people. The crying babies were the toughest to handle. I wanted to shoot them.

And as soon as the doctor saw me, I suggested that I had strep throat. He looked at me for less than 5 seconds before he sort of agreed.

"You should be a doctor," he joked.

"I'm not a real one, but I play one on the internet."

Of course the next five minutes involved the doctor bragging to me that he made $500,000 day trading last year. He gave me a few stock tips and then tried to get me to have surgery to correct my tonsillitis. Without insurance, asked him for a cheaper alternative. The only reason I went to the doctor was to get a prescription for antibiotics. That's when he came up with the cocktail with explicit instructions ... if I don't improve in 48 hours, then I have to get surgery... which means removal of my tonsils.

What am I, 8 years old?

So now, I can't talk and won't be able to for a few days. I can eat all the ice cream I want, since it's the only food that goes down smoothly with just minor pain. But I'm on steroids for now to reduce the swelling and I'm well enough to write now. I just can't talk. But I'm super tired and starving!!

Silent, exhausted and in pain, I wondered how I got so unlucky?


Thanks to Flipchip and the Poker Prof for driving me home today. It was a $25 cab ride to the hospital and not only did I save a few bucks, they cheered me up on the way home.

I'm on four different drugs... amoxicillin, a random steroid, lidocaine, and Motrin. Total cost: $50. I'm supposed to take four Motrin every four hours. I take 5 because I'm a badass. I can finally eat solid foods due to the lidocaine, which numbs my throat and entire mouth. I have to gargle 2 teaspons of this thick gooey liquid that tastes like Elmer's glue. I can't feel my lips. I tried eating a bagel and half of it kept falling out of my mouth because I have zero control of chewing functions. At least I can swallow with just some minor discomfort. I haven't eaten any solid foods in 2 days! I lost 4 more pounds.

The steroids are already working. I have to make sure I take them with milk, or ice cream, which I'm doing. I'm pretty sure I can hit 60 home runs this year and I might run for governor of California after all of this is over.

Last 5 Movies I Watched While Sick...
1. House of Wax
2. Two for the Money
3. 40 Year Old Virgin
4. Bittersweet Motel: The Phish Movie
5. History of Violence

Another Update...

I got an adorable email from Molly who offered to take me to Mexico to get inexpensive throat surgery then said she would take care of me at her house. Can we go to the cock-fight post op or before I go under the knife? Thanks for the offer, sweetie!

I did laundry and cleaned my new sheets (again) plus all my clothes that I wore this week to kill any lingering germs. Afterwards, I went to Subway acrosss the street and had to write down my order on a piece of paper. I handed it to the kid behind the counter and he freaked out for a few seconds because he thought I was trying to rob the place! He figured out I couldn't speak, so he calmed down and made me a meatball sub on wheat with extra cheese. I got the cookies but didn't eat those... yet. After not eating for 2 days, your stomach shrinks and I struggled to finish my sub while taking tiny baby bites with my numb mouth and throat. It was messy too. I was spilling out all over the place.

Man was I starving. Over the last 48 hours I had not gotten high, eaten solid food, got an erection, played online poker, nor took a shit. Not being able to speak is something you never think about until you are forced to deal with that situation. 90% of communication is non-verbal anyway, but a lot of good that does while standing in line at Subway.

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