It has certainly been an interesting week and a half since my last post. Let me fill you in.
The morning after the golfing extravaganza I awoke with a sore throat. I knew right away that I was going to get sick, I don't get sick often. Thankfully I didn't have to work that night so I tried to relax as best I could, drinking water and taking my multivitamin, hoping that I would beat this one out. Little did I know that my efforts never would have a chance to fight this one into submission; I began to run a fever.
At first I was just generally miserable: sore throat, myalgia
, malaise, and fever. The fever was keeping me up all night and I was popping acetaminophen
like candy, but the fever was getting the best of me and eventually it shot up over 103 at which point I decided it was time to get seen and get some antibiotics. The doctor saw Strep Throat and so I grumbled and started taking amoxicillin
. I have had this before and at least I knew the antibiotics would help me kick it fast and I would be back to work in a couple days. I assumed too much.
Just a day after starting the amoxicillin
I noticed that my throat was actually getting worse and I couldn't hardly speak with such swollen glands. I hadn't eaten in four days now and I was beginning
to feel weak, ready to submit to this horrible monster. My fever was going down but the swelling was more prominent than ever, I couldn't open my mouth more than a few centimeters, and as a rather peculiar side effect to the infection, my salivary glands were on overdrive. I was paralyzed, fever ridden, and drooling; time to see the doctor again.
The diagnosis this time was clear: Peritonsillar
Abscess. I needed to see a ENT
specialist and so it looked like I was going to go for a helicopter ride to Balad
. We found an accepting physician there and I was put on IV antibiotic therapy before I headed out on the chopper about six hours later.
Then next morning I met with the physician and it was clear that I needed surgery. Four hours later I was put out and under the blade. I came to about an hour later dazed and struggling to get myself into a bed in the ward. I don't remember if I went to sleep or not but I was quite relieved that the swelling that had been in the back of the throat was mostly gone now. I spent the next two days after that on IV antibiotic therapy and on the third day I was discharged. Now I was unto the biggest challenge yet: trying to make it back to home base.
I didn't have my ID card, a uniform, or a weapon, not a great start to get a flight. It was time to get McGyver
again. I scrounged around the hospital and assembled a uniform from old Air Force tops and bottoms and found a pair of boots. Lacking the essentials that characterized me as military, I blended in as a civilian as I found my way to the ID card office. After sweet talking the clerk, she assured me that she could get me and ID the next day, I was in business. I had to cajole my way through security to get back into the hospital and the next day I claimed my new ID card.
0400 this morning- I walked my happy butt to the Passenger Terminal at the airfield in my newly assumed identity and carrying my armor and kevlar
. No flights to my base, but there was hope that the Army could get me there in a Sherpa. Yes, it's a called a Sherpa flight. I made it to the Sherpa terminal just in time and two hours later I was riding in the small prop plane they call a Sherpa. I am back now and in just a few hours it's back to work, and it feels good. It felt like a month, but I am back to health.
Oh so relieved,