Life in the Throes of Tonsillitis

You’ve never been much of a drug taker. Legal drugs that is.

You’ve being convinced by your mother since birth that antibiotics should only be taken when they really are needed.

If you have a cold, suck it up.

If you have heart disease, suck it up.

If you’ve broken a bone, suck it up.

You have often wondered why you would need antibiotics if you’ve broken a bone. Mother doesn’t stop to let you get a word in, let alone that particular point. She continues.

People apparently clog up doctor’s waiting rooms with this lack of understanding.

They get antibiotics for the common cold.

They get antibiotics for broken bones.

They get antibiotics because they burnt their finger on the stove.

They get antibiotics because the come in cool pill packages. You know the ones. They’re the ones with the the foil packages. But not the ones just in pill form, no. These are the ones in those colourful cylindrical covers that degrade in your stomach. They’re the ones that you extract out of the thin film of foil with such a satisfying pop that’s undeniably arousing to the ears.

They are Antibiotic Abusers.


You like to kiss girls.

You do it sometimes. You’d like to do it more, but you don’t have a girlfriend, or the looks to persuade more strangers to agree to it.

Mother says you’re handsome. Thank you, Mother.

The problem is, one of the girls you have kissed has given you an unwanted present.

That’s right, swollen tonsils akin to two ping pong balls being in your throat that make it excruciatingly painful to swallow. The problem is, your mouth is producing a bucket of saliva eveyr thirty-six seconds, along with a mug full of mucus.

You can’t always be standing by a drain and spitting into the sink. So, you swallow occasionally.

But you begin to fear the act entirely.

You try to eat, but it’s still the same. The tonsils say, “Nup, we don’t want a sandwich; soup’s a little better — but bring on the jelly!”

You eat jelly. You eat some more jelly. You are aware that jelly has nothing substantially nutritional in it. You eat some more jelly; it tastes so great.

You haven’t moved you bowels for two days. Somehow the jelly has ended up in your bladder. You piss. It is always yellow, despite what jelly colour you’ve been eating.

Did I mention you have a fever? Well, you’ve had it the entire time. You try to drink a lot of water, but guess again. Your throat hurts. You consider rigging up an IV drip with water in it. You procrastinate. You watch House. It looks difficult. You can’t be fucked.

There is salvation, though.

One day, as mother leaves for work, you drive to the nearest Medical Centre.

You are told the waiting time will be forty-five minutes.

You wait approximately two and a half hours before being called.

You go inside, greated by a doctor who’s last name is too long.

You say you have tonsillitis.

Doctor agrees.

Doctor writes script.

You thank doctor and fill the script.

You pop the penicillin capsules from their foil prison and bolt them down with a gulp of water.

You wince as you swallow, but it is a victorious wince.

You begin to feel better hours later. The next day is even better.

Mother has not discovered the pills. You hope she will not discover the pills.

The fever abates and your tonsils slowly recede to their normal size.

You can swallow again.

You eat lots of carbs.

You finally move your bowels. You don’t dare look at it as you flush the toilet.

You go back to work.

As you open you car door, your mother calls from the front door, “See? All you had to do was suck it up!”

You nod.

You throw the rest of the pills off a bridge.

Mother will never know.

You smile.

You thank a deity, any of them, for penicillin.

You also thank them that it wasn’t AIDS.

Matt Querzoli was inspired to write this from his current experience with tonsillitis. Follow his writing blog, his letters to strangers blog or his blog blog if you liked the post, or even the bloke himself if this tickled your proverbial pickle.

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