There are some things that are supposed to happen only when you are a child. Acne, mumps and for me, bad eighties fashion. You do it when you’re younger, you get a little older, you have older person problems and those trifling little childhood mishaps and diseases are left behind you like pacifiers and homework.
Thanks to American Apparel I feel like bad eighties fashion will never be over, but that’s another blog entry.
So for the past ten years, I’ve had a sore throat, blocked ears and a constant post nasal drip. After finally going to see an Ear Nose and Throat doc, I’m informed that my tonsils have to come out.
Yes, my tonsils. I’m 41, not 14. But here I am, late-blooming and scheduling a day of outpatient surgery. Cue Anxiety, riding in on nervous, skittish horse.
I research how many people die when they are under anaesthesia or however the fuck you spell it. I hear all kinds of stories of people getting infected larynx after their tonsils are removed. I contemplate how long before I can eat corn chips again.
And then there’s the embarrassment of feeling like I’m having puberty in mid adulthood. It’s like telling people I still play with crayons. But after I get over all of that, I’m relieved and excited to get these damn things cut out of me and on to the yellow brick road to health.
So the operation itself was relatively simple; go to an outpatient facility, put on a gown, go under, wake up, agonizingly swallow and get driven home.
But it’s what they send you home with that you’re just not expecting. And that little something is Liquid Vicodin. And this is where the addiction part of our story begins.
Liquid Vicodin. OMFG. Bliss. See, after you’ve had half your throat cut out and seared with a hot poker, the last thing you feel like is swallowing anything. Certainly not a jagged little pill.
So Liquid Vicodin is like manna from heaven. Oh, and popsicles.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good list. Nothing thrills the anal retentive librarian in me more than the joy of writing down and ticking off tasks. I’m also pretty famous for savagely underestimating the amount of rest, idle time and sleep I need.
So my plan for the week is to have a working holiday. I’m gonna do my taxes, I’m gonna catch up on emails, I’m gonna finally categorize every post on this blog.
But Liquid Vicodin had other plans.
Liquid Vicodin is sweet. Liquid Vicodin is warm and fuzzy. Liquid Vicodin got what you need. And Liquid Vicodin is not interested in lists. LV is interested in the couch and semi consciousness. Mmm… LV. LoVe.
Basically my week turned into a state of semiconsciousness, barely watching the TV, drooling onto the t-shirt I’d been wearing for days, LV always within reach. It was like Trainspotting but with a nicer backdrop.
I don’t need solid food. I can’t swallow it anyway. LV is my friend. Another episode. Give up all ambition. Don’t need that phone, can’t speak anyway. Just need the LV. Friend. LV. LV. LVZzzzzzzz….
And that list just gathered dust in my notepad, as I’d wake up thinking about my next treacle-ish acid yellow hit.
All good things must come to an end though and by the next Monday after I’d wrung every conceivable drop out of that bottle, I sighed for the absence of my thrice daily anti-thrill. I’d done the cold turkey and was ready to go and hit the office again.
Cue the Apocalypse. It was not the easiest thing in the world to head back to work after such a block of time away. I’d got used to silence, peace and rest. Basically everything that the office isn’t.
Back in the deep end of the pool, I was tired everyday. Every meeting was a marathon, every briefing a wringing out of my soul. Not to mention the fact that I could barely manage more than a loud whisper.
But perhaps the oddest thing that marked my return to the real world were the comments that people said. There are three that I’ll hold dear.
The first was from my friend Marty, who has a unique ability to always say something fantastically unexpected and inappropriate like, “Well, now you’ll have a bigger throat.”
Think about it.
There. You got it.
It took me a second too. Thanks Marty for reminding us that laughter is the best medicine. Except it still hurts to.
The second comment came from a young lady who works at the agency. She’d had her tonsils out a couple of years before, in her early twenties. Upon my return, I was touched that she sought me out in the agency to see how I was doing.
With nothing but concern and sincerity she asked me how my recovery was going, “because I heard that it’s a lot harder for people who are older.” That hurt about as much as eating dry crackers.
However, the oddest and funniest comment has to go to my mother. When I was skyping with her and told her that I was having an operation, she was immediately concerned until I clarified that it was my tonsils being removed.
Then she broke out laughing and then said, “Your tonsils? Isn’t that something you have done when you’re a little kid.”
“No Mum, that’s something you have done, when I’m a little kid.”
She had to concede that I had a point there.
So if you’re thinking about having your tonsils out, I can’t recommend it highly enough. I feel so much better since I’ve had it done. But if you do go for the chop, remember to save a little Liquid Vicodin to take the pain out of the comments later.