Obligatory wow it’s been so long since I’ve written. I spent the month of July ramping back up in my life. I worked hard at the gym, I joined a cycling group, I had friends visit me from out of town, and I worked my ass off at work. I was very paranoid about my healing process throughout, but I eventually healed perfectly and all of that health drama was seeming further and further behind me.
Then August hit. I got a sore throat in the first few days of the month. I was immediately just like.. not dealing with it well. I couldn’t decide if I was being dramatic or if I was actually sick. Every day I thought I’d give it one more day to see if it would just go away. Looking back, I was definitely sick. There was a Thursday-Monday where I was SO worn out and was sleeping absurd amounts. In an attempt to deny it was happening, I pushed through and did my workouts and stuff, but it was HARD. After about a week and a half I kinda decided it was a real problem, but I was still too nervous to confront it head-on. I made an appointment with my GP to get medication for my upcoming trip abroad (more on that later), and then was like oh yea as a side note can you look at my throat maybe pls? I am not proud of the fact that I was too afraid to admit what my real concern was.
He said my throat definitely looked unusual, but it wasn’t really bad enough to do anything about it. He offered to order a CAT scan but I declined because I don’t want that extra radiation. He also gave me an antibiotic to take with me in case I got sick on my trip.
Later that day at work I was looking at my throat some more and noticed that pus was definitely coming out of the affected area. I hadn’t been able to prove that to myself before, but I took a series of photos that clearly showed it. I was shaking and crying in my office. I had actual PTSD symptoms after I had left the hospital in May, and I spent so many therapy sessions working on my anxiety related to this happening again, AND THEN IT FUCKING HAPPENED. My actual nightmare came true.
I sent photos to my doctor and then he forwarded it to my ENT. They told me to take the antibiotic prescription right away. I made an appointment with the ENT, but he was going on vacation, and then booked out a bit, then there was Labor Day, all before I could see him. So for ~3 weeks of August I just waited in terror. The antibiotic seemed to have no effect.
So the big complicating factor here is that I leave for Spain on freaking Monday. My ENT appointment was only a couple days ago, so not much time to work with. He confirmed that my throat is definitely infected. Luckily he didn’t have to cut into anything this time, but he did squeeze around and pus poured out into my mouth. Soo freaking gross. He took a culture and we need to get me on the correct antibiotics asap. He told me to keep trying to squeeze stuff out of it, and I realized that if I press below my ear, I can see it ooze into my mouth.
Once we deal with this infection and I get back from my trip, we have to consider a longer term solution, which may be surgery through my neck, although he’s not even convinced that’s a good idea. So I don’t know what the hell is going to happen with me.
Anyway, there is now one business day separating me from my trip abroad, and I still haven’t gotten the throat culture back.
I am negative 200% looking forward to my trip to Spain, which is fucking tragic. I am terrified of getting very sick while I’m there, and the fact that I have an active infection and no medication for it yet is not a good feeling. It’s like.. when dealing with an active medical situation the last thing you want to be doing is traveling across the world to a foreign land where you don’t speak the language! And I mean of course it’s a modern and safe country, but the idea of being trapped in Spain in a hospital terrifies me.
Right as this was all happening I got a text from my mom that starts “I have some bad news.” Ugh. Turns out that one of my uncles was basically near death and really struggling with alcoholism. He wasn’t answering their calls, but since they have a key to his house, they went over to go check on him. They found him in bed, delirious and barely able to stand. They took him immediately to the VA hospital where they found that his pancreas was barely functioning. He had become severely depressed and stopped eating and drinking, and only drinking alcohol.
He lives in and owns the house my grandparents lived in until they both died, so it’s a place I spent a lot of time in as a kid. My uncle used to live out of state but moved back to MN when I was a little kid. He moved into the basement of that house, and never left. My other uncle lived with him off and on, but got kicked out for being a shithead. The way my mom described the state of the house and the way my uncle was living just really hit me hard. I guess I’m a visual person, because knowing that house so well and the scene she described was just really hard.
After a few nights int he hospital, uncle refused inpatient addiction treatment, so he got sent home. After he got home he refused to bathe, and wouldn’t eat unless someone brought him food. His cognitive state was really poor - he forgot major details about his life, forgot his mother had died, etc. He got brought back to the hospital later that week for further testing, and then he agreed to be admitted to the psych ward.
I think he is just disabled forever now. His cogitative ability has not returned.
There are so many sad parts about it. One is that I fucking relate. The very same people that fucked him up and let him down are the same ones that did it to me, too. I have the same damn depression and I work SO HARD to keep it away. But sliding into that darkness.. I totally get it. Another sad part is that this uncle was a well-liked person. He was pretty soft-spoken, sarcastic, but overall mild mannered and easygoing. He’s pretty damn racist so clearly there were character flaws (and reasons I’m not actually close to him) but I can’t really say that he was a bad person or that people disliked him. Still, bad shit happened to him. He got laid off from his long-time job several years ago, and never got another. In my entire life he has never (openly) dated anyone. I knew that he socialized with some neighbors, but I don’t know that he ever had any friends. My mom says that he has social anxiety and drank to cope with that, and that he never has been any good at making friends.
I contrast this with my other uncle (his brother) who is a MEAN NASTY person who WILL screw you over if you know him long enough, but who is very outgoing. He visited Seattle in July, forcing himself on my cousin and I, and that’s what he does.. just drives around the country barging his way into people’s lives. But the fact that he’s so outgoing and bold means that he stays afloat mentally.
It’s fucking unfair that the nice uncle literally rotted in a basement because he was shy.