I know it’s been too long, but chances are there a still a few of you interested in how this story ends. There is one friend in particular who texts me weekly to find out when I’m going to get to the next part. She’s really yearning to find out what happens next. I’m having lunch with her tomorrow and I can’t face her unless I get this published. So here I go.
Remember that I mentioned that I woke up sick on the Thursday following that miserable, rainy day that the teenager smashed into Cecily at McDonald’s. It has been a while so you may need to refresh your memory. (Sorry) Well, what I didn’t mention at that time was that I also had these crazy annoying bumps on the side of my tongue. (You know, the ones that are really sore.) As a kid I learned from my sister that they were LIE bumps. She assured me that if I had one then I had certainly told a lie. I can’t tell you how much time I spent during my childhood trying to figure out what I had lied about whenever I was plagued by one of those sores on my tongue.
Now I’ve had these bumps at various times before. Every once in a while I’d notice one but they never lasted long. And I never had more than one at a time. But during THIS season the one bump brought along a friend. Now if you have ever had one of these barely visible bumps you know they can be very painful. And because they grace the edges of the tongue, it is impossible to avoid irritating them. That’s not accurate. If you don’t talk, eat, smile, swallow, move your tongue or open your mouth in any way, you won’t even know it’s there. And here I was trying to manage two of those stinkers while coughing, blowing my nose and doing the general things that required the use of my tongue. Eating was agony but that was a good thing, however, I have a teenager who is constantly in need of direction. Because I had to be very economical with my words, my son had a peaceful week. The home remedies I found online didn’t work so after a few days I sought professional help. I called my doctor’s office and spoke with a nurse who suggested I try something for oral pain relief, like Anbesol. Genius! How in the world did the wizards of the web manage to overlook that idea?
Now let me put this into the timeline for you. The conversation with the nurse occurred on the day of the madness at the car rental place, soon after I exchanged the smoke saturated Chrysler for the very underpowered, uninspired Hyundai Accent. When I pulled out of the rental lot my mission was to pick up my son in Delaware, but not before stopping at Wal-Mart to get the magic tube of gel that would finally give me sweet relief. I got into the car and drove off. I opened the cap of the tube and was met by a tip with no opening. It was the kind of tube that required a puncture, or a bite? I bit down on the tip and manipulated the tube, trying to twist off the top, and it worked! In a split second too much of the ointment oozed into my mouth and came alive. My mouth became numb faster than I could open the window to try to spit it out. It wasn’t pretty. Have you ever had a dentist ask you to spit after he’s worked on your lidocaine-laden mouth? If so, you should be able to relate. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to project spit or anything else with a numb mouth. Let’s just say that after my attempt to spit the ointment out of the window, I was glad that I wasn’t in my car. But this whole thing continued to go wrong because extra saliva was filling my mouth and my natural response was to swallow. Then I realized that my throat was getting numb. So I was driving to get my son and I was approaching the bridge and in a bit of a panic. I was praying that I wouldn’t launch into a full-fledged panic attack on the bridge. Panic attacks are NEVER good but they are worse in places like bridges, where you can’t pull over and get yourself together. So as I drove over the bridge I did some self-talk. And I did it out loud repeating it, trying to distract myself from the numbness in my throat. It sounded something like this “uh-kay Ayee. Ya ill ee uh-kay. Dus don’t wallow.” Thanks to God I made it to my destination without having a psychotic break.
Believe it or not there is more to come. This adventure isn’t quite over, unfortunately (no pun intended).