Mostly Dead Is Slightly Alive

I am, against all odds I’m sure, much better than I was this time last week.

There are few words to describe the agony I was in but being a true blogger at heart I will bore you with the details anyways.

It started Friday night with an asthma attack and during my fit of coughing I noticed a twinge in my throat. A simple twinge. Saturday I noticed that the twinge had become a sore throat but considering the pollution here gives me those all the time I paid no attention to it whatsoever. Saturday night I remarked to Mr. MM that my throat hurt and Sunday morning when I got up for work I remarked to him again that my throat still hurt, and a lot more actually.

I went to work (Sunday being the Monday of the Middle East) and I must have been in quite a bit of pain but in all truth it has been eclipsed in my memory by the searing agony that I dealt with later. I do remembering updating my facebook status from “sore throat” to “increasing amounts of pain” to “giving up the ghost” when I called it quits and headed home at 1 pm after I found that I had lost my voice. I didn’t think too much of it, I ordered two milk shakes from McDs and nursed my rapidly worsening throat with cold ice cream. When Mr. MM got home I was bad enough to actually want to go to the doctor (a painful process here on good days) and that evening we went to an ENT and I was diagnosed with simple tonsillitis and laryngitis, given an antibiotic, some ibuprofin (wtf?) and sent home. To suffer. Seriously, homeboy gave me 400mgs of ibuprofin to counteract the pain of tonsillitis. EVERY 8 HOURS. I was in complete and utter misery.

I’ll skip over the boring parts but it got to the point that I was dangerously dehydrated because I couldn’t get past the pain enough to swallow small sips of water. And beyond swallowing anything and everything I drank, even water, felt like acid melting away the lining of my throat. The antibiotic that Dr #1 gave me did SQUAT and so after two days of wanting to rip my hair out and thinking that death would be a better option than living we went back to another doctor who took one look at my throat, called Mr. MM over to see it, and then gave me what I can only believe was the most sincere look of profound pity that anyone has ever given me.

I actually had acute follicular tonsillitis which is like tonsillitis’ big brother on steroids. The one who terrorizes other little kid tonsillitises and steals their milk money. Anyways my entire throat was white with pus and infection and my tonsils were so swollen by that point that I was having trouble breathing.

Dr. #2, who is, praise God, knowedgable about medicine, wrote me an antibiotic that worked but which was almost worse than the illness itself. I wouldn’t know that until a few hours later.

Lets rewind for a second though. On this second trip to the doctor I got to see one of the upsides of living in Egypt and having awesome Egyptian in-laws: people who will drive across the city to come hold your hand while you wait in line to see the doctor. My youngest sister-in-law, her mother, and her fiance came to the crowded hospital to sit with us and then sis-in-law (who I will hereby refer to as “Hope”) decided to stay behind and ended up both staying that night and cleaning my house and also coming again a few days later to stay for a couple more nights nursing me.

It was wonderful and made me feel very loved, especially as Hope has a really great shoulder for leaning on and did a lot of holding me up. But one of the things about Egyptians is they think that the doctor they know is the best so after seeing Dr. #2 I went for a second opinion at the doctor my in-laws thought would be a better doctor, but oh were they wrong. This doctor is a specialist in pulmonary, not ENT. We got into her office and by this time I’m half-conscious, exhausted, debilitated, and barely able to breathe past my giant inflamed tonsils. Dr. Pulmonary thought that putting me on a therapy of pure oxygen was going to help so there I was, half conscious, with a mask strapped onto my face being instructed to breathe in and out through my mouth. Not only did the air dry out my painful, dehydrated throat but it also made me woozy so that I had to lay down and when I laid down my giant inflamed tonsils blocked my breathing so I became even more woozy. After all of this she doe s a quick look, says I have tonsillitis and blames it on having a cat.

It was midnight by this point, or actually after, and we went down to the biggest pharmacy by us and purchased the meds Dr. #2- by far the most competent of the doctors- perscribed, including the shot he gave me for pain. Another reason I liked him.  But I was administered the first of the most painful shots I have ever gotten in my entire life. He had rx’d an antibiotic called UNAYSIS that, I swear to you wallahi, felt like being injected with flesh-eating acid. First it would burn where it was injected and then it would spread and it hurt so bad the muscles around the injection-site would twitch spasmodically.

I had FIVE of those injections ladies and gentlemen. FIVE. Every twleve hours. The first one hit me like a ton of bricks because I had absolutely no idea it was coming. In the backroom of the pharmacy the pharmacist gave me the antibiotic and the pain medicine when I thought I was only getting one shot. I turned around, bared the bum, and then clutched the shelves for support when I felt it. I don’t know how to put it into words how it is when you’re totally not expecting it. I can take shots. I can even take shots that kind of hurt. But @(#&@$%*%^$!@*^#$$(@$#^&$#*@$#^#(@#%&$@&$#(#$&, not something that hurts that bad, and not when it comes out of left field. The pharmacist could have given me a heads up or something. I got the second shot for the pain killer and then limped out to the car, whimpering, Hope holding me up, and laid on the front seat face down because my bum hurt too much to sit on it.

Imagine how utterly pathetic I felt when I realized I had four more of those hell shots to go. Seriously, my bum STILL HURTS and its 4-5 days since my last shot. Like tender to the touch hurts. I wouldn’t wish those shots on my greatest enemy.

But they did the job and even the next day I was feeling immensely better.

Now, almost two weeks later, I’m finally feeling well enough to go back to work. I’m still exhausted. And I also developed a lung infection that makes me cough all day long for prolonged periods, but I’m on an antibiotic for that and am slowly getting over than one as well.

Honestly I have never been that sick in my life. I don’t ever want to be that sick again, inshAllah. Hopefully when I get back to the states I can get these tonsils out once and for all because two bouts of tonsillitis, as an adult, is too much.

Thank you guys for all your thoughts and prayers. I saw them when I came online and it made me feel better.

And now, I think I’m going to go sleep some more.


8 responses to “Mostly Dead Is Slightly Alive

  1. Oh my, that sounds terrible! I’m glad you made it through and are feeling better now. I hope you heal completely very soon!

  2. O my G. Alhamdulillah I’m happy to hear you’re still alive, but sad to know you suffered so much. Also, I’m SURE having tonsilitis is because of the cat. Duh. Everyone knows that. They also make you infertile. I mean, that’s why I have four cats. I use them for birth control and use their fur-causing illnesses as an excuse to not go to work…..or maybe that’s just because I’m due with a baby in a few days? Dunno. (Whatevs.)
    Sorry you got the Burning Ring of Fire bum shot. I got two of those (not five) when I was insanely sick with food poisoning. It was great – especially since it was a male friend who drove me to the ER and I had to lie in his backseat all the way home. (((hugs, my love))) InshaAllah you can put this all behind you soon. P.s. Mr. B comes home Friday inshaAllah. He’ll be in Cairo on Thursday though if you’re up to meeting…which you’re probably not.

  3. Wow, sounds horrible. I’m thinking of getting my tonsils out to prevent the agony that was the last bout. The blame it on the cat part pissed me off.

  4. OH 😦 I hope u feel better soon… shafackAllah dear sis

  5. Oh, yes. Maybe there is something in Egypt that makes tonsils go nuts. I had so many infections there that I finally had them taken out! I was 23 or 24 and I must say that I am glad that I did. I also got wierd throat infections where holes opened up in my throat and I would moan all night in my sleep (as told by my roomate) because it was too much to handle. Alhamdulillah I found another doctor who figured out I was on the wrong medicine. Always get a second opinion over there. And it wasn’t the cat. Thank you very much. Allah yashfiki.

  6. Amie- Mr MM and I actually had a discussion about the infertility and cats crap just last night. The wife of a friend of his (who incidentally does not own a cat and I don’t think ever owned a cat) tested positive for that “virus” and has been told she will have problems conceiving. The ignorance of the doctors here is what really scares me.

    And you had that antibiotic?! Thank you for testifying to the agony, because I’m fairly sure that Mr MM just thought I was a wuss.

    Mama Mona- I was terrified that I would have to do surgery in this country. That scared me worse than anything.

    Um Omar- It sounds horrible! what were the holes from? I mean that just sounds torturous.

    Umm T and Candace- Thanks guys for your thoughts and prayers.

  7. Alhamdulillah, wow I’m so glad that is pretty much over. That sounds like one heck of a cold. I got my tonsils out when i was 4 or 5. You get those things taken out as soon as you come home.

    I’ll continue to keep you in my prayers hun. I’m just happy that you had good family to help take care of yu.

  8. Oh my!!! As horrible as your illness was–you managed to make me rofl. You are such a great writer…you should write for a living–what a comedian!!! I’m glad you are finally feeling better. I had the cough thingie as well since I’ve been here. In my case it was yet another round of bronchitis…I wouldnt wish that pain on my worst enemy. Nor the constant hacking, and least of all peeing (and having to wear adult diapers) from coughing so hard. Why does being sick feel so much worse here in Egypt??? May Allah keep us healthy!

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