My Tonsillitis Torture (That actually turned out to be Glandular Fever)

Friday, 2 May 2014

Around ten days ago from today I began to feel lethargic and have a muzzy head. Muzzy meaning, a sort of headache, but not a skull thrashing one, the kind of pain in my head that I couldn't even distinguish. I presumed I must be fighting off a cold in its early stages as I had sneezed once or twice in the last few days. Wanting to enjoy my Easter break and see my friends from home I'd take a few paracetamol, that would lower any pain to an ebb and allow me to enjoy the evening. I'd then get home and fall into bed before the effects of the painkillers wore off.

This went on for another two or three days when I came to presume that I was losing my battle with the flu as the pain had spread to a rawness in my throat. I began to drink water like I'd just come out the desert and expected all other common cold symptoms to erupt out, cue the runny nose, trouble breathing and goodbye all ability to taste... but over the next few days these didn't come out. My throat was just getting more and more raw, my inner ear continuing some of that sensitivity but my nasal airways were completely clear. I'd never had simply a sore throat in complete isolation of any mucus mayhem and I just didn't know what was going on. I decided to wait it out a little longer before I worried about it being anything more serious. Over the five days that followed it was progressively unbearable to swallow any water, any food, no matter how squishy- the swallowing reflex is triggered regardless and it felt like shattered glass in my throat every time.

I began uncontrollably dribbling because I was very conscious of any swallowing and couldn't naturally, automatically swallow excess saliva (gross gross, I know). So it would just pour out while I was somewhere between asleep and awake and I, in horror, would wonder what was going on and have to bolt to the bathroom to spit out the rest.
In the night I'd get so sick of getting in and out of bed to spit out saliva I couldn't stand to swallow, I contemplated dragging my duvet to set up camp for the night on the bathroom tiles.
In between all of this my bones ached, my tongue had grown the most hideous fur coat and my temperature was through the roof. I'd fall asleep in a onesie with feet numb and goose bumps only to wake up with sweat dripping off me and changing into a vest top and shorts, hanging my head out the window. I'd take cold showers to cool down and hot baths to heat up, all in the same day.

I'd stopped functioning, when I spoke I sounded like I had a ping pong ball stuffed in my mouth, I just slept all day and I didn't even mind because I couldn't face anything else, I'd have Spotify playlists on really really low all day and all night, maybe a talk show from time to time if I felt lonely at not hearing any voices, but the brightness from any screen was so painful I couldn't bear to watch. Sleeping began to become a problem as whatever angle I fell asleep I'd wake myself up with the most awful, gentle snore erupting from my own mouth that would confuse me and frustrate me until I fell into an exhausted sleep.

A little look into my archive of 'Tonsil Patrol', you can see the bright redness at the back of the throat where it was so irritated and sore. If you look really closely you can see the white blobs sat on the tonsils that are so incredibly painful just being there!
 When I realised I'd essentially turned into a newborn baby (sleeping 18 hours a day, full of dribble, bad at controlling my own body temperature) I couldn't 'wait it out' any longer. I thought I'd just been given the mother of all flu viruses and there's nothing that I could do, but my symptoms were getting progressively worse so I did what any girl in their twenties would do, cry to my mum.

After a speedy trip to the doctors, the kind receptionist looked concerned and I was able to get an emergency appointment there and then. I sat in the GP's office, she wanted to have a look in my mouth, before I opened wide I apologised for the state of my tongue. She glanced in for less than a second before saying:
"You have tonsillitis, very advanced."
Call me crazy, but of all the possible diagnosis that I was not expecting.
 Of course the throat pain and inability to swallow was central to the whole feeling, but I think it was diluted by the bad fever, sore body, painful ears and bad head that the sore throat was just one of many symptoms in the end.

I was prescribed with a 10 day course of Penicillin tablets. 2 tablets taken 4 times a day on an empty stomach. Normally, such grounds would be incredibly inconvenient but my appetite has jumped out of the window and hit every obstacle on the way down. In the past week I've worryingly lost a lot of weight  and it's just too quick and very unhealthy. My head is looking a bit big in proportion to my body and my elbows look particularly pointed, my shoulders and my decolletage are jutting against my skin.

A closer look at the hideous white blobs and you can see the stubborn, disgusting lining on my tongue
Four days later I began to feel so much better already, my temperature was back under control, only spiking in the night if at all, the dribbling has stopped completely (hooray!) and I want to graze here and there, my appetite hasn't caught up with my eyes- when I feel hungry I plate up a normal portion size of food, but when I sit down to eat I'm unimaginably full after two or three spoons, but today is the first time I haven't fallen asleep in the day, my head is clear and I feel mostly good! Using the torch on my phone and a mirror I'm still on 'tonsil patrol' they had very large white spots on them that today for the first day they look slightly, slightly smaller.

UPDATE 23rd May 2014
I had blood tests from the doctor for a different issue entirely and my liver function came back as slightly abormal, the doctor (A different one from the GP who diagnosed me with Tonsilitis) told me that I in fact had obviously endured... Glandular Fever.
A whole different issue entirely. By this point my symptoms are long gone and my weight is slowly gaining back onto my body so it sort of doesn't make a difference to me either way. The only sad thing is that Penicillin has absolutely no impact on Glandular fever so I took that intense course, and my poor body took a medicinal battering for nothing!

This was all a very long winded way of explaining my absence and my upset that I was not able to pre film so many fun videos over the Easter break. I'm behind on all blogging, videoing platforms, but I am healthier! It's such a shame when little inconveniences like this happen and knock us off our feet. Similarly, I know the internet is full of health stories, people love to explain their ailments, it's a bit therapeutic to write it out I must say! But my story didn't resemble any other about tonsillitis that I read, I never considered my symptoms as tonsillitis and so delayed much longer than I should have getting medical intervention, maybe you're in bed right now struggling to look at the computer screen because it burns, and your head is muzzy and your throat feels like it's swollen into your ears. But you're contemplating 'battling through' anyway, I'd urge you to be kinder on yourself, not to consider yourself a nuisance to the doctor and not to underestimate how severe the pain can get!


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