|Photo Credit: Huffington Post|
Unfinished projects, calls you said you would make before end of day, books you swore you will be done with before the clock hit eight in the evening. But who are we kidding, you have been reading the same page for the umpteenth time. Plus you have been dealing with a bunch of snooty people throughout the day and faking a smile while at it…. Long story short, it’s been a loooong ass day and you could really use a good scream on your pillow…Or a stiff drink of something.
But it’s on a Tuesday night…no stiff drinks for you. So, back to rubbing your neck idly as “John Mayer’s Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” plays in the background. “What is this?” you mumble to yourself as your fingers trace a small lump on your left side of the neck, just below your ear lobe. You drop the cream and rise so fast as if your pants have caught some imagined fire.
It’s not a pimple but more like a soft lump. It moves if you fiddle with it. What the shit man!?. Is this how you go down? How did it get there? How long has it been there? How come you’ve never seen it before? Why are you so oblivious of your own body? Should you call someone? Your mum? Dad? That guy who’ve been making moves on you (See, how he “likes” you now…haha) Have they noticed this “thing” on your neck and failed to mention it?
It’s 11.37pm…Probably best not to scare people with your incoherent ‘I just found this “thing” on my neck” one liner. You are scared shitless, so you do what a normal “ailing” person does. Ask google. Worst decision you will make that night, but like an accident, you can’t look away. “Suspicious lump on neck” you type and decide to go with WebMb followed by Mayo Clinic followed by sites you are certain they are riddled with viruses. Oh and Yahoo… One thing though….All of you yahoo commenters “Who raised you!?”
As your heart thumps in your chest, there are certain keywords that stand out in all these crazy ass articles…"Malignancy” “Chronic infection” to “Inflammatory lymph nodes” to “Thyroid" to “Kawasaki disease” to “love bites” (lol) to calming sentences such as “Neck lumps are more likely to be inflammatory than malignant in children and young people…..” You do the math…. You are a no longer a child but you are a young person. Twenty something ish is perceptibly young…right?
The idea of going to the hospital irks you more than you would like to admit. An occasional dental check up every now and then is what you are accustomed to. Anything else, you decide to walk off. “Aint nobody got time for seeing a doctor for just a little fever” …right? The reason why you would rather gorge your eyes out than pay a visit to “your” doctor is because you spent considerable amount of your childhood in clinics and hospitals. Bad memories, the smell, the fluorescent lights, aaargh….
But this ‘thing’ on your neck could be serious, you can't just walk it off with some uji and wish it away. So, you book an appointment with a general doctor (no need to complicate things at this point) It’s a cold Thursday morning, it’s drizzling and traffic is infuriating (when is it not?). No worries, you took an emergency leave to sort this “thing” out…whatever it might be.
“When did you notice this?” the doctor asks. She looks 50 ish, motherly, with wide rimmed spectacles and a few grey hairs on the side of her temples.
“Yesterday evening,” you mumble
“Does it hurt when I do this?” she presses, fidgets with it and moves it around
You want to ask if the lack of pain is a good thing or something that should throw you into a tizzy
“Have you been taking any antibiotics lately..”
“Not really…just some painkillers for a toothache?”
“For how long?”
What is this.. some AA meeting?
“Two weeks,” you hear yourself lie. You’ve been popping those painkillers for close to three months now.
“I see,” she appears like the kind to call out bullshit on this “two weeks answer” but luckily, she doesn’t.
What follows is that scornful motherly look and her explaining that what you have is a bad case of “tooth abscess where bacteria have infected your lymph nodes, hence the hideous lump.(of course I am paraphrasing this... there was a lot of medical mumbo - jumbo)
Truth is, you were shitting green…all thanks to Google.