I’ve been fortunate enough to be free of disease/infection/broken limbs for most of my life. That’s why it shocked me when I started to feel a pain in my right ear. What is this not good feeling? Why is my ear not happy? I then proceeded to ration that if I forgot about it, it would go away. I hate taking medicine. I would rather have the flu for three weeks than take the devil’s liquid. As a child, my mother forced me to ingest the stuff. Like a tiny heathen, I would clamp down on my nose and whisper to the Gods, “1, 2, 3, Snape’s Magic Potion” before swallowing the contents of the tiny cup, quickly followed by at least three chasers (apple juice, then Gatorade, then water). Rolling her eyes, my mom then tried pills, reasoning that if it was the taste I couldn’t handle, pills would work wonders. Well, guess what? I have a tiny esophagus. It’s nearly impossible for me to swallow a pill the size of a tic-tac without gagging and/or spitting it back up. I know what you’re thinking and yes, I am bad at blow jobs. My mom had to resort to crushing up pills until they were powder and mixing them into apple juice. I have a good mom.
The pain in my ear worsened by the hour, and with a refusal to take any form of medication, the side effects escalated to the point where my jaw became rigid. With limited motion allowed in my mouth, talking to people felt like Vincent D’Onofrio after the alien took over his body in Men in Black. After mumbling through conversations and wincing as my ear started to pick up high-pitched tones, I caved and went to USC’s Urgent Care. When the nurse saw me, she asked me a whole bunch of questions that had nothing to do with my ear (“When was the first day of your last period?” “How much do you weigh?” Do you prefer Twix or Snickers?”). She then asked me to describe the pain on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst pain I’ve ever had; this is the most subjective scale in all of medicine. What if at one point all my limbs had been torn off and then reattached? The ear pain would probably be a 1 or 2. Or, in my actual case, what if the worst pain I had ever experienced was when Fred died on Angel? See? Totally subjective. Eventually, the doctor came in, declared what I already knew (ear infection), and gave me eardrops, antiobiotics, and advised I stay on advil until it felt better. That night, I gawked at the amount of medication I now had to take: a birth control pill, two advil, a BIG ASS antiobiotic, and three drops of eardrops. Let’s just say the entire process involved a lot of whimpering and prayers to Snape. Yes, I know I’m a bitch when it comes to pain. I know there are people out there who have cancer and missing limbs and real, actual terrible stuff to deal with and my inadequacy to deal with insignificant pain makes me a horrible person. But wait, it gets worse!
Not only am I bad at taking medication, pain reverts me back to my six-year-old self. Example A: I went in the kitchen to get the blender because my jaw hurt so bad I could only drink liquids. Well, the blender was gone. GONE. Some MOTHERFUCKER took the blender into their MOTHERFUCKING room. I stood in the kitchen going “Fuck. Motherfucker. Why. FUCK” before pounding on doors demanding whoever had it hostage to give it up immediately lest I rip their motherfucking head off. I finally found it in someone’s room and slunk with it back to the kitchen, muttering obscenities under my breath the whole way. After just FOUR HOURS of liquids, I had had enough. I needed solid food or I thought I might perish into nothing. Not wanting to cook anything, I drove to Taco Bell’s drive thru.
The speaker crackled. “Can I help you?” My jaw opened just enough to let garbled sound through. “Bn n chs brrito.” Miraculously, the guy understood me. “Anything else?” Now, did I need anything else? Absolutely not. Had I deprived myself of solid food for four hours which at the time seemed like forty years? Yes. So I also got a soft taco, reasoning that a “soft” taco would be soft enough for me to eat. I sped away from the Taco Bell, pulling the taco out of the bag because clearly I couldn’t wait the five freaking minutes to get to my house. Thankfully I didn’t drive past anyone I knew, because this is what they would’ve seen: Me stuffing a soft taco into the smallest hole in my mouth, toppings falling everywhere as I cried through the pain of opening my jaw. Totally worth it.