Infection Infected Infectious

I started feeling a pain in my throat last weekend. I knew right away it was an infection and wouldn’t get better without treatment, but I thought I’d have a few days until it got really bad. And I was right. A few days later it was really bad. My throat was swollen, my tongue was swollen, my ears hurt and I couldn’t swallow without it feeling as though there were knives in my throat.

I was even having trouble breathing when I was laying down.

But, other than that, my girlfriend, her son and I had a great time on Wednesday at the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa.

I’ve been on antibiotics since Thursday night… 1500mgs of Novamoxin (Amoxicillin) per day for a total of ten days. Plus two Extra-Strength Advil every couple of hours for its anti-inflammatory properties.

The “glands” on the right side of my neck were swollen as well… but there was never any fever, which I find weird.

The swelling in my throat has gone down substantially since yesterday (Saturday)… I can swallow now, but these crazy and deep valleys have appeared on my tongue since its swelling has gone down. It’s like my tongue has split… I can count four cuts, but I know there’s more further back. They’re like giant paper cuts, but they’re the only really painful part of this left.

Until last night, when I had a hamburger, I hadn’t been able to swallow solid food for almost a week… I could barely swallow liquids. So I’ve been ravenous since Wednesday. Since Thursday night my stomach has been waking me up and I’ll spoon half a tub of yogurt into my mouth before I realize I’m not in bed anymore.

Actually the only foods I could eat over the past week have been milk, water, yogurt and applesauce. But not if they were really cold. Anything carbonated was pure torture, even orange juice, tomato juice and V8 were difficult after the first swallow.

Because I couldn’t swallow food I couldn’t keep my blood sugar in the right place, so I was constantly feeling run over. My blood sugar crashed, I’m sure, at least once. On Wednesday, just before we went to the Museum, I was turning into a zombie so I chugged (as fast as I could given my health status) an A&W root beer. It made me feel almost as bad the other way, but at least my girlfriend told me I wasn’t grey anymore.

I did manage to take every dose of the anti-manic depression medications. The last time I was really sick — albeit not nearly as sick as this time — I stopped taking them. That was… four or five years ago. Back then I had a really bad flu and thought it’d be a good idea to use Benylin DM-E, which is never a good idea if you’re trying to recover from any kind of depression.

Because I was basically unconscious during the roughly eight days I was trapped in my bed, I began missing doses… and that was that. Even though I started taking them as soon as I started feeling better, I had a fairly significant depressive episode and ended up staying in bed for an extra month.

This time around I haven’t been taking my diabetes pills as often as I’m supposed to… at least not at the proper times. But I have spent a lot of time trying to make sure I don’t pass this thing on to my girlfriend.

Which is ironic because she’s the reason why I didn’t have this throat infection checked out in the first couple of days. The wait at the local emergency room is generally six to eight hours, and on the Sunday when my throat first got bad enough that I knew it was going to get worse we had dinner at my parents place.

I didn’t want to go to the hospital afterwards because it would have meant being up all night, and we had plans on Monday afternoon. Then Tuesday we were supposed to head to her cottage, so I didn’t want to be up all night on Monday. And Wednesday was our day at the museum with her son.

She would have driven me to the hospital, or totally understood my needing to take some time to recover, but I don’t think I even explained to her what was going on beyond “my throat hurts”… although she was the one who noticed my glands were swollen.

She did get pretty concerned on Thursday when I told her I was starting to have difficulty breathing, but that was after I got back from a clinic with my prescription.

She did bring me a bag of groceries the next morning… which was better than chicken soup.

I’ve noticed I have a hard time telling her things about me… I still haven’t told her about the manic depression, or that I’m on permanent disability, or even about how I grew up.

It’s starting to worry me a little.



About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at
This entry was posted in Bipolar, crazy people with no pants, Diabetes, Health, Lithium, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Ottawa. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Infection Infected Infectious

  1. thordora says:

    Oh blech. EVERYONE in this house is ill, and on antibiotics, and I’m THAT mom who hates that stuff. Stupid winter.

    You haven’t told her because you really like her. I’ve been there. You’ll get there. Give yourself some time. Just enjoy. And drink some tea with honey-Yogi Tea makes one called Breathe Easy that tastes horrid but works.

  2. I hope you feel better soon nin-Jah. And yes, Purple nin-JAH was feelin’ the guilt.


  3. Detached says:

    I hope you are feeling better soon…I have a hard time telling the “real-life” people I know that I am Bi Polar, too.

  4. Mahendra says:

    Hope you get fully fit and fine soon. Good thing you continued your meds this time. Any gap is not worth it.

    I would think – the sooner you tell her about the medical realities, the better – but I know its not easy. Still the discomfort or anxiety you may feel will get progressively worse the longer you delay the sharing.

  5. raino says:

    yikes. poor you. get better soon. as for telling her ‘about’ you, i think you should do it sooner than later. and y’know what. if she doesn’t like it, well what then? i don’t think it’s ever wrong to tell the truth about anything.

  6. Gabriel... says:

    Thanks for the best wishes… right now it just constantly feels like I’ve bitten the tip of my tongue a dozen times, but I can swallow solid foods with no discomfort in my mouth or throat so that’s nice. Even the splits in my tongue are going away. I have no idea what I had, but I’m pretty sure it’s related to ebola.

    Hello Detached… (and everyone else) when I was younger, for the first few years after I was diagnosed, I had no problem telling people I had the disease because just the words “manic depression” had some descriptive power so the people would have some understanding of its effects on my behaviours. Basically I could say “manic depression” and they’d get my weird behaviour.

    Later on I’d tell an employer when I thought they were getting ready to fire me, but I stopped telling girlfriends… at least all of them. I stopped telling anybody, but mostly because I had gotten tired of telling people my “back story”. I don’t tell many people anymore about my life growing up in a cult either.

    And now I feel uncomfortable telling people around here because everyone in my little village, where I moved back to five or six years ago, knows someone who knows my mother. And I’d prefer if people just left her alone. One of the reasons I’m so slow to tell my girlfriend about the manic depression, or even about my “back story”, is if we do break up I’m not sure how much of my family’s stories I want being fed into the village rumour mill.

    Not that I think she’d do that… but she does talk to her friends whom I don’t know. Anyway… that’s just one more reason. But I’ll probably tell her pretty soon.

  7. bipolarlife says:

    I second thordora. You’ll tell her when the time is right. Feel better soon.

  8. The tongue is one of the more vigorous of the body parts, thanks to all the blood vessels in it, so hopefully that’ll rebound quick.

  9. says:

    You should probably tell her sooner rather than later, especially since you’ve been blogging about her and putting her picture (which she’s sensitive about having taken) up on the web.

    Get better soon. Keep writing, it’s great to read.

  10. Gabriel... says:

    Funny how you (Anon Anon / butters) manage to insinuate you know me and / or my girlfriend, and at the same time insult and maybe even threaten me. For someone who is commenting for the first time, and “anonymously”, you’re taking an awful lot of liberties.

    If you do know me, feel free to let me know how. If we don’t know each other feel free to comment again when you’re feeling less passive-aggressive… it’d be safer that way.

    Thanks for the best wishes BPL, and thanks for the reassurance Justin. The pain has localized in the tip of my tongue, and the swelling and pain in my throat is completely gone… one more day of antibiotics to go and I should be back to normal.

  11. scrupulousseven says:

    I didn’t read anything passive aggressive about butters’ message, seems like he/she has your best interests in mind, no?

    To be fair, when you publish something, you make it public, and folks might comment whether they’re jerks or not. Unfortunately.

  12. Gabriel... says:

    Great, now I’m being lectured on net etiquette by an Anonymous poster defending an Anonymous poster… I can feel a Troll attack coming on.

    When people I don’t know post advice as though they know my girlfriend and what she likes or dislikes it makes them eligible to be a target. Especially if the person is commenting for the first time and has no history of constructive criticism, or interesting suggestions.

    When people then continue on and insinuate I’ve done something to slight or disrespect my girlfriend by writing about our relationship, or by taking and posting photos of her which I then use to illustrate posts on my blog, then I get to call them a passive aggressive fuck.

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