I’ve been spending the last 11 days or so recovering from having my tonsils removed, which at the age of 25, really is not all that much fun or interesting. It’s actually quite a bit painful and made me rethink several times that being out of commission one day out of every 25 or so for strep wouldn’t have been all that bad if I had truly had any idea how much pain can be perceived by the brain from the mere act of swallowing water. I’m doing much better now after having been on steroids for three days (which I really, really wanted to avoid if at all possible) and after several days of doing absolutely nothing. Which, mind you, is a big deal for me since I have two jobs, a fiance, two cats, friends and family who all vie for my time in some way or other.
So what is the purpose of today’s post beyond making you ask why in the world would a 25 year old woman be stupid enough to get her tonsils removed? Well, it’s actually an observation I made today when I decided to put on something besides a pair of scrub pants and a t-shirt. I truly feel like I am something resembling a human today, which I hadn’t really been feeling like that for the last week and a half. There’s this feeling one gets when one is a patient that seems to seep into the core of ones soul that just won’t go away until some drastic change is made. For some people, it’s the physical relief of symptoms and they are good to go. For others, they cannot have their environment remain the same. And still others, like me, need to make a physical change to themselves in order to start to wipe away that “patient” label from their mind and heart and soul.
What’s funny is that I had initially put on a pair of scrubs and t-shirt and figured I would take advantage of my last day of freedom to “slum” it. But, as I was (finally) clearing out a part of the closet that I had made a mess of, I found an old jean dress that I got my senior year of high school. What the hell, let’s see if it’s worth keeping the darn thing, I had thought to myself. I had a hell of a time with the zipper; apparently my bust has changed more than a bit since I had purchased the dress, and it’s tighter about the hips and ass than it was originally. Luckily, that stretchy denim material that was so very popular in the mid-2000’s is incredibly forgiving of such flaws. Or benefits depending upon how one views the female body. Anywho, I was surprised and pleased with the results of my spontaneous decision. I finished the closet, sorted out a box of shoes that was supposed to have lived in that part of the closet a few weeks ago and found a cute pair of sandals to go with my dress. Since I was more than half-way there already, I decided that I may as well do something different with my hair and pulled it back with one of those large clippy thingamajigs and voila, I not only look and feel human, but like a girl, (for once) and I maybe even look a bit flirtatious and cute.
The impact was not lost on my fiance when I finally made my way out to the main living area. He was playing a game (as he has been trying to just finish this damn game for the last week and it was really getting to him that it just wasn’t over yet) and looked over and did this double-take that made me giggle. Poor man really hasn’t seen me wearing anything truly feminine more than maybe once in a blue moon, and this was very unexpected. It was almost like he was seeing a whole new me too, all shiny and sparkly and no longer his “sickly gazelle,” as he had started to call me after my second strep episode two months ago. I do believe that helped to wipe away even more of that patient feeling from my mind, because it’s really hard to know that someone is thinking “sexy” and still feel “sick” at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, my throat still hurts. It still hurts to open my mouth too wide, to swallow, to chew, to yawn, (which by the way, is the most painful thing in the world, especially when I have no freakin’ control over it!) to eat, to drink, to breath, to cough, or any number of things that have to do with anything at all thinking about going near my throat. However, I don’t look like any of that is a problem at all, and that is making all the difference in the world for my recovery.
So, in the future, I will be making sure that my “slumming it” when I’m feeling sick and tired and lazy is kept to a minimum and that if, at any point in time, I start to feel the sticky “patient” way of thinking and feeling seeping into my being, I will take a shower and put something nice on and try my darndest to be anything but that. At the very least, I’ll be a patient who looks and smells good, which as a nurse, I can always appreciate.