I can count on one hand the number of times in 32 years at Keloland, that I missed work because I was sick. I mean, REALLY sick..not suffering from one of those mysterious 12 hour bugs which some people get. You know, those that show up at sunrise and disappear at sunset. There were lots of times when I probably shouldn’t have gone in..choosing instead to contaminate my colleagues with clouds of germs from constant sneezing and coughing. But the truth is, I hated to miss an on-air shift and was just paranoid enough to worry that whoever they got to fill in for me would do a better job and take over permanently so I rarely called in sick.
I might have this week, though, if I had a real job because an old nemesis, tonsillitis, has raised its ugly head for the first time in years..looking like morel mushrooms at the back of my throat and making the decision to swallow an excruciatingly painful one.
I can hear some of you saying..why didn’t you have them taken out when you were a kid? Well, once my friend made me gag after showing me his extracted tonsils floating around in a jar of formaldehyde. They looked like a couple of the creatures my mom would use to make oyster stew. Still, my bouts with tonsillitis became so frequent and painful; I agreed to have the surgery next time I had a flare-up. Sure enough, my tonsil troubles returned but this time, mom took me to the clinic in nearby Brookings where the doctor gave me a shot of penicillin and, amazingly, within a couple hours, the swelling in my neck went down and those disgusting white deposits attached to each tonsil disappeared. I had several more occasions to get that penicillin shot but each time it took longer for the drug to do its magic. Thankfully, by the time I’d graduated from high school, my annual battles with tonsillitis had become a distant memory. Until now, that is. I woke up in the middle of the night Sunday with a familiar unpleasant feeling in the back of my throat. I’ve been doing battle ever since with dozens of Advil, Amoxicillin (left over from my root canal in May) and something I’d never heard of before that is saving my sanity; Cepacol sore throat lozenges. Their active ingredient is similar to what the dentist rubs on your gums to ease the pain of the anesthetic shots. They don’t taste great but sure do live up to the claims of working instantly to ease the pain. The only trouble is, you have to keep one in your mouth pretty much at all times and I’m running out.
I’ve found that a distilled beverage on ice has a soothing effect too and I believe we have an adequate supply of that in the cabinet.
“Honey, would you mind making me a cocktail? “I’m sick.”