This is a new level of pain. Shallow breaths. Daggers digging into my throat. Every time I swallow I grunt like a schoolboy getting pummeled by the bully. Then my body jerks to deal with the pain. To try to distribute it more evenly. But there is no even here. There is no fare. There is a micro man with a machete standing right behind my uvula. He is the most ill-tempered tyrant you’ll know. Whatever necessity I must pass his way – water, soup, yogurt, halls, saliva, life force – he lashes out against them all. He swings his weapon against my tonsil, where there’s now a white cist just sitting there, just throbbing, just consuming me with pain. The size of a crumb, the force of an anvil.
I can’t even sleep. When I lie down, the mucus builds up. If I swallow, it hurts like hell, but it lubricates my throat and makes it hurt just a bit less for the next swallow. But there is so much my inclination is just to spit it out. And once I spit, the flood ensues. First me, then the deluge. It just keeps building and building, and I can’t swallow fast enough to keep up with my salivary glands. And if I tried, I am sure I would be on the ground jerking and contorting everywhichway, yelping gnarled, obscured obscenities not said for the effect, but to try and capture the sheer misery of it. Then my throat would melt down into my stomach and I would be finished.
If I do manage to lay down and shut my eyes, then the strangest thoughts dribble around my mind. Lately it’s been all politics. Last night, in my sorry state, the predominant thought on the forefront of my mind was: Who will Obama select for his cabinet? It is a moderately interesting question, but not one I want to deal with in bed whilst I’m trying to sleep. Considering all of the different possibilities genuinely generates this anxiety inside of me that keeps me from truly relaxing. Then I put on some music and that helps momentarily, but then I start spitting again and all is lost. When I do get some bits of sleep, it is by pure accident, always unanticipated. Usually, they are about 30 minute chunks of bliss, of escape. I’ve recently taken to reading a Psychology text book to induce exhaustion. This doesn't work too well though b/c the book is very interesting.
In the mornings the pain is the worst because my throat is at its least lubricated state. Every swallow is death by throat-stab. I have to swallow saliva so I can eat food. I have to swallow food so I can take medicine. I have to swallow medicine so the pain subsides temporarily. Then repeat.