Today’s been a weird day. I’ve been fighting this cold I picked up from Peter for a couple of days – runny nose, muscle ache, sore throat, the usual. Unfortunately, the usual with me often involves an ear infection. I’ve been getting them since I was a kid. Back then, just about every cold seemed to culminate waking up in the night crying from the pressure building inside my ear. At least, my doctor told me, most people grow out of them. You’ll probably stop having them when you’re twelve.
Well, I’m way older than twelve so I guess that makes me special. Because last night I woke up around midnight with that same incredible pain. I don’t get ear infections as frequently as I used to and in the past few years they’ve tended to be less painful but last night was bad. Tempted to down all the T3s leftover from my wisdom teeth removal bad. (I didn’t. I polished off the extra strengths and cried.) Lest this turn into a pity post, I will say I feel better this morning and I’m thankful for both my wonderful, sympathetic husband and the wonders of penicillin. That, by the way, is why I can’t stand artificial banana flavouring. Too much liquid amoxicillin as a kid. (I had to go check the bottle to spell that.) When the time comes, my husband will be a great dad. It’s a blessing to have someone get up in the middle of the night with you and google home remedies. When I thanked him for it this morning he said, “Well, I figured I had two options. Be really mad at you or be nice. And I decided to be nice.”
Somewhere in the middle of pacing the floor and pouring oil in my ear (yeah, I did that) I attempted to compare my current pain with painful experiences in my past. Admittedly, it was not my most subjective moment and today I’m still in a “That was the worst pain ever experienced by anyone” kind of mood but let me share some of my thoughts.
The three most painful experiences I recalled last night are: getting stung by a jellyfish, having my wisdom teeth removed, contracting Norwalk virus.
In the light of day (actually, it’s dark already now) I would say that getting stung by a jellyfish was more painful than my ear infection. I was stung by a jellyfish in the Philippines and, to date, I would say it was the most painful experience of my life. Plus, when you stupidly try and brush it away with your hand, you then have been stung in two places. (Also, if you step on a dead jellyfish two days later, you will get stung again. What kind of jerk creature needs to sting you when it’s dead? I hate jellyfish.) The plus side of being stung by a jellyfish is that it wasn’t a long-lasting pain. I was able to get to a remedy quickly and though my leg swelled up and walking was uncomfortable, it wasn’t the same as the initial pain. (No, nobody peed on me. We used vinegar. It worked really well.) Ear infection pain can last all night and even though you know it can’t last forever, in the moment, it doesn’t feel that way.
Having my wisdom teeth removed, on the other hand, was perfectly painless. It helped that I was completely unconscious, of course. It was the recovery that merited the aforementioned T3s. Two years later, I don’t remember the pain that vividly. I remember needing more T3s because even after several days had passed, I couldn’t sleep through the pain. I remember the T3s making me incredibly nauseous and I remember my face swelling up about three times its size. (Sadly, all pictures of that time have been lost.) I’d have to say last night was more painful, though (hopefully) not as drawn out.
And the Norwalk virus. I do have to admit that this is a self-diagnosis but I think I’m correct. The symptoms were all there, as well as the incredible speed at which it passed through my fellow co-workers. I don’t know why exactly I thought of that spring week last night. Probably because that remains the sickest I’ve ever been. You know how sometimes you don’t feel well and you’re not sure if you’re bad enough to call in sick to work? This was not one of those times. I won’t go in to the details (If you’re that curious, just look up the symptoms. I had ’em all.) but I spent most of a day trying to make it to the kitchen for a glass of water and couldn’t because I kept blacking out. I made it back to bed by crawling. So, even though that week doesn’t trump last night in terms of pain, it still wins over all worst sickness experience. Yay!
Wow, what a great way to end a post. Please don’t look up Norwalk symptoms. I don’t want any of you to think of me that way. For now, I’m going to keep taking my antibiotics and eating yogurt. Stay healthy, folks!