April 25, 2000
A Big Fat Pain in the Neck


I'm dealing with a big fat pain in the neck today ... and for a change, it doesn't have a German accent.


When I woke up this morning, the entire right side of my neck felt as puffy, tender and bruised as an overly ripe banana. My neck has actually been bothering me for a couple of days, but until now I'd managed to beat it back with equal amounts of Tylenol and willpower.

This morning it appears I've lost the battle.

One gland in particular  --  I think that's what we're talking about here, anyway -- glands? or lymph glands? or lymph somethingorothers? *  --  is so stiff and swollen I can actually feel it poking out, like a little hard knot under my skin. Every few minutes I push it with my finger and it snaps back into place with a satisfying  --  albeit painful and thoroughly disgusting  --   *popping* sound.

Attention all *medical professionals* reading this website:
help me out here.
Lymph glands, right?
Or lymph nodes?
Or "those bumpy things underneath the skin?"

I imagine this is what a hernia would feel like ... if it were possible for women to get hernias, that is. And if hernias were something you get in your neck.

But I digress.

It doesn't hurt to swallow -- much -- but it does hurt to do everyfudkingthing else. Like laughing. Or sneezing. Or yawning. Or talking. Or typing. Or moving my head in any direction.

Or breathing, basically.

I feel mostly OK, otherwise. A teeny-tiny bit of a headache, creeping up the back and sides of my skull, stubbornly resistant to any of our over-the-counter meds ... not a big bunch of energy: all I want to do is curl up and sleep some more, this afternoon ... but nothing too awful. I don't feel "sick-sick." My stoopid neck is so sore, though, that it's making it difficult to concentrate on much of anything ... let alone *enjoy* this unexpected day off from work.

I'm convinced that it's some hideous fatal disease, of course. For that reason, I'm steering clear of the the medical websites this afternoon: I know they'll just fuel my paranoia and make me feel worse.

(I'm steering clear of daytime TV and the message boards for pretty much the same reason.)

David -- my darling, wonderful, oh-so-sympathetic *life partner* -- came home for lunch a little while ago, and as he wolfed down a tuna sandwich and installed the new scanner, he said "Maybe you've just pulled a muscle."

(Men. Feh. What do THEY know?)

Anyway. I'll check back in a day or so ... whenever I feel a little closer to normal. Right now I'm going to set the laptop to one side, swallow another Tylenol, crank up the heating pad another notch ... pack as many pillows around my head and neck as possible, since staying absolutely immobile is the only thing that seems to help, basically ...

... and hope like hell that I don't get the hiccups right now.

throw a rock