i wanna be sedated

march 27. 2000

i don't feel so well....

The doctor at Tyler, I like her. She reminds me of someone, but I can't remember who. She peers down my throat, does the cursory check up, and then recommends I go to the emergency room because she is afraid my soft palate is so swollen that it could block off my airway. My voice is wrecked, I can barely speak, and when I do it sounds a bit like Bugs Bunny after a couple shots of Jack Daniels. The doctor says I have a "hot potato voice", and it's caused by my soft palate being raised because it's so swollen. So it's hard to enunciate.

I call my mother to appraise her of the situation. As soon as I heard her voice, I thought I was going to break down crying, but I managed to hold together enough to tell her what was up.

The nice Temple University Police escort me down to Abington Hospital in Jenkintown, about 15 minutes away. Another devastatingly beautiful day. The officer is extremely nice, asking me if I'm comfortable and should he roll up the window. I reply as best I can that I'm just fine, thank you. Once he realizes my voice is not up to par, he lapses into silence and sends sympathy vibes my way. I manage to keep it together. Few tears shed.

I steel myself for a long wait in the hospital, but it's mercifully brief. Dad calls and says he'll be there by 4 o'clock. Throat cultures taken, blood drawn (many tears shed), mononucleosis or strep is suspected.

I wait in the waiting room, Dad shows up, I go to pieces. I dragged him outside the waiting room lest I make a slobbering, snotty fool of myself in front of all the people in the waiting room. I sit on a bench outside crying so hard I'm hiccuping and choking and gasping for air. Dad keeps repeating, "It's okay now, calm down, nothing to be upset about." Apparently not, your daughter is sitting in front of you practically having a seizure for no good reason. And there was really no good reason. Fairly simple procedure, non life threatening illness, common and uncomplicated treatment. Why the fuck was I so scared? I don't know. Don't ask me, I just occupy this body.

We got out of the hospital, go to get the prescription filled, and in the meantime go to an Outback Steakhouse across the street. I found the restaurant a bit cheesy, with their attempts to be cute by throwing bits of Australian slang into their speech while taking our order. Surrounded by good food, cannot eat it. It's excruciating painful for me to swallow, so I am stuck with mush food. I order a virgin pina colada, some cheese and onion soup and a delicious coconut ice cream sundae that I unfortunately could not finish to save my life. All of this I had to eat at an extremely slow pace. This was frustrating because I come from the gulp and inhale school of eating (something I am not proud of to begin with).

I get my antibiotics, Dad drives me home, I collapse. Goodnight.