Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Witz Pickz: Housing Life

So, yeah, I wasn't around for a few days. Let's chalk it up to the writer's strike, ok? I was suddenly overcome with an illogical desire to support the strike by not writing on this blog, even though I'm not in the WGA...that sounds fair to me. Fine, so that's not it, I was feeling miserable, life was kicking my ass, and I didn't receive any e-cards wishing me back to the site. So we're both at fault. Now let me tell you the story of how I returned to the site after HOUSING LIFE. I warn you, this is a bit gross.

When you have been waiting every single day for an entire week to hear back about a job, after three rounds of interviews and meeting the entire team, and having already turned down one potential job in order to try and get the latter of the two, you start to get a little frustrated with life and all those in it. People in CA continue to be the worst drivers I've ever seen in my entire life, with turn signals and checking mirrors before switching lanes seemingly not being their concern. All my favorite shows are off the air due to the writers strike, my healthcare runs out in two weeks, and you'll never guess what? The one time I go out and have fun, I end up sick the next day. And what do I have? A white spot on my right tonsils (I bet they call that something else, like the aft tonsils or the tonsils a droite...whatever). I had a white spot on my tonsils six months ago. I had one on their 9 months ago when that d-bag from Group Health gave me the antibiotics and I passed out on the plane and all that jazz. Six months ago it accompanied me with a fever and sore throat and since I didn't want to pay for a doctor with no healthcare option, I simply waited it out for a week or two. It finally went away. So when I have 5 days left before flying cross country for xmas, start to have a slight fever, massive fatigue, and dwindling bank funds with still no paycheck in sight, I freak out a little.

Tonsilitis. Tonsilitis. Tonsilitis. This is what WebMD tells me again and again when I search "white spots tonsils." Well, that's not entirely true. I could also have Children's Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma, but clearly I'm an optimist, so I ignore that little gem and store it away in the back of my mind to terrorize me. So tonisilitis it is. Antibiotics can help, but not all the time and I was once told that "these things have a habit of going away by themselves" so is it worth the 200 dollar doctor visit? I don't think so? But in 3 days I fly back east where getting to a doctor with my health plan is not gonna happen, and then Jan 1 it's all up anyway, so what do I do?

I do like any other sane person would do-- I ignored the initial diagnosis, told WebMD to go eff itself (seriously, I mean, WebMD only believes that ankles get sprained, muscles get torn, and people get cancer. It's a worst case scenario doctor site), and broadened my knowledge search to all of the Google Search Universe. I want med student opinions. I want herbalist healers from Califo-- here. I want crackpot insane Arizona druggies telling me what's what, asshole rednecks blaming Jews, alcoholics telling me to take whiskey and raw eggs, and three-nippled carnies telling me my future. I want it all. Google: "White spot on tonsils."

I got a lot of varied results, but none as crazy as I'd imagined. Finally one catches my eye saying, "Many patients are frightened when they see white spots on the tonsils. This is perfectly O.K. These are the dead white cells and dead bacteria that accumulate in the holes of the tonsils called crypts. Here the tonsils are just doing their job." OHHHHHHH SNAP! This sounds like an answer I can roll with! It sounds like there's an enemy I can picture-- Crips (it's important to note here how I was easily able to chance crypts, like mass graves, into Crips, like the gang. But I think it's equally important to note how easily I am able to change Crips into Crisps. Ask anyone from England and they'll tell you how important that "S" is to them. You may very well want a plate of crisps as a snack or dessert, but if a plate of Crips shows up, it's time to get a move on). So the white Bloods get stuck in the Crips. Now I get it. Anyway, sometimes these don't go away. They can cause a sore throat, mild fever, and irritation. For me, the white spot was causing super annoyance/irritation, and apparently a mild fever. So it could be infection, but it could also be this. Another article told me that doctors often treat this with antibiotics, but they have a minimal effect. Interesting. Finally, I came to an article that told me that I could go to a doctor and they could use a "tool" to scrape off the whiteness and relieve the irritation. That would run me about a hundred and fifty dollars I'm betting. I could also buy a water pik or an Oral Irrigation System...that would run me 100 and make me feel sixty-five years old.

Time to go all "herbalist" on them and find some home remedies. One kid gargled with salt water and it fell off. I tried that. Not successful. A water pik, eh? I find the closest thing in the house to a water pik-- a lemon juice squirt bottle. Eff it. I take aim in the mirror and shoot the lemon juice right at the spot. Nothing. Then it stings, then I cry. I do it again. And again. Lemon juice is kinda tasty if no one's there to watch you weep while drinking it. My next solution? Shower head. I almost drown and let me just say it's not a good idea. You ever line yourself up under a high power shower head, hoping to hit a specific TONSIL and turn the water on? You end up choking, gasping, drowning, and very wet. And the white spot remains. I drink vast amounts of fluid, I gargle lots of things including Scope and hot water and salt water again. Nothing. I sit down on the couch, furious and ready to quit. Life wins. I decide to call the hospital help line and ask an "Advice Nurse" or an "On-Call Physician." I stay on hold for twenty minutes before deciding it's just not my year and hang up.

I wait.
I think.
I self-pity.
I glance at the seventh floor balcony and the drop below.
I get angry.
I think.
Eff it.

"Wait a minute, I have a tool!" I exclaim, thinking later I will print it where it will be taken out of context the next time I run for something. I rush into the bathroom, wash my hands, and semi-blindly stick my chubby, sausage-finger into my mouth towards the tonsils (a lot of people, myself included until recently, believed the tonsils was the hangy ball straight back in your throat. They are not. That's the uvula. The tonsils are on the sides and look like teeth right by your cheekbone. Now try and figure out how they cut THOSE out! Scary shit. So I scrape my finger and yes, I almost throw up. Gag reflex and all. But I try again. And again (by the end of this, I had pretty much eliminated any gag issues at all, which means that should the need arise to deep throat anything, I'm pretty sure I'm up to the challenge-- and yes, I'm leaving that vague, open-ended comment for Anonymous to comment on-- I will not moderate it). I nick a piece and look, and it appears to have moved. I try again and without gagging, I scrape it and take a look-- IT HAS FALLEN OFF! I spit it out and take a look-- whitish and calcified. JUST what they said on all those other message boards. I swallow and immediately feel a lack of irritation that had been bothering me for days. Holy shit!

I feel immediately better. No throat irritation, no fever. The great weight of healthcare is off my shoulders, the doctor visit no longer an issue, the flight home not a big deal. I try and imagine if this were House MD:

Kutner: But the white spot not being an infection only accounts for the symptoms of the fever and the irritation. What about the extreme fatigue and sleeplessness?

House: Well, I dunno, let's see. He's a twenty-five year old guy with no job, dwindling funds, Christmas coming up, healthcare running out in two weeks, and there's a WHITE SPOT on his TONSILS!! He's a little stressed out!

Thirteen: I would have thought he celebrated Chanukkah...

House: You would have throught wrong. Remember, unlike last names and hierarchical lands, religion runs through the Mother.

Taub: Yeah, like diabetes and spite.

Thirteen: Oh, please. Mother issues?

House: Ok then. I'm gonna go see if Cuddy wants to work out any Daddy issues. You it is that you do after I make a grand exit....


Feeling better and less stressed, I wander out from the bathroom and sit smiling on the couch. I look at the seventh floor balcony and admire the view, not the fall. For the first time in nine months, I have defeated sickness and not the other way around. It's a small victory, and I'm sure there will be more tests as I plunge into the frigid sub-zero wind chill temperatures of the east coast, and the odds of me waking up healthy on January 1st are slim, but still, Christmas (Time) Miracles are tough to come by, and I'll take what I can get.

Like A Caterpillar Shedding His Cocoon, I Shed My...White Spot Gunk....,

P.S. I miss House.


Anonymous said...

So...the next time I'm talking to an attractive woman and she mentions that she has white spots on her not-uvula (a surprisingly common occurrence), I can medically advise her to deep throat me? And although the scenario apparently ends with spitting, I think I could live with it.

Witz said...

Yeah, probably, ask YOUR WIFE.

momula said...

I haven't checked your blog in a few weeks, what with the holidays and all; I'm commenting now just to wish you a happy new year (whatever that means, whatever power my "wish" has), and to let you know that I Laughed Out Loud several times while catching up with the unread entries. I'm going to commit your line about lemon juice to memory so that I can recall it and laugh whenever I use lemon juice.
Were you this funny before you moved to CA, or does living in CA make you funny?

Lifestyle said...

Tonsils stones are not life threatening, nor are they that dangerous. They are, however, extremely annoying. This is because those white spots on your tonsils are actually nasty balls of bacteria, mouth debris and old food particles stuck together to form a putrid ball of YUCK!

How to Get Rid of White Spots on Tonsils

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