Hot Throat

“Don’t forget to take your pill.” The Curmudgeonly Lion reminded me before bed. That’s the time when I normally take my anti-depressant so that if there are any side effects like drowsiness or nausea I can sleep through them.

But, of course, I forgot.

I was already in bed by the time I remembered. The light was out and so were my contacts, and I didn’t feel like getting up just to get a glass of water. The pills were small- I figured I’d just gulp it down dry for once and it would be no big deal.

Well, it was a big deal.

I gulped down the pill and lay back down in bed to go to sleep, but clearly it didn’t go down my throat the way it was supposed to and sat somewhere behind my tonsils to slowly dissolve. I became aware of a burning sensation. At first I thought I must have dislodged a pepper flake from dinner and gotten it caught in my throat. I’d opened a new bottle of hot sauce: habanero. It certainly felt hit enough for a pepper, but I couldn’t taste anything on my tongue and the burning sensation just kept getting worse. It felt like a hot lump in my throat- hot like a coal. Radiating heat. I could feel my pulse in my throat and hear it in my ears.

“What’s wrong?” The Curmudgeonly Lion asked when I got up.

“My throat is on fire.” I said. I put on glasses and went into the bathroom to try to look down my throat: one side was red and shot through with blood vessels standing out from the pink flesh. There was a whitish spot on the back of my throat- was it strep? I’d had strep throat enough to know what it felt like when it came on and this wasn’t that. It was too far back for me to prod it without gagging.

I tried water. No help. I tried milk. It soothed it for as long as I was drinking but the pain came back right away. I tried baking soda in water: same effect.

Nothing seemed to help. I turned to Dr Google.

Throat cancer!

I was pretty sure it wasn’t throat cancer. I was pretty sure it wasn’t acid reflux. I was petty sure it wasn’t strep.


Maybe. Could be caused by pills. Seemed the most likely.

I propped myself up in bed assuming that esophagatitis would not require a trip to the emergency room and that I was just going to have to tough it out. I did eventually fall asleep, and today decided to look up “burning throat” and the name of my medication to discover that, yes, this was a thing that could happen to people who took their pills dry, and could have necessitated a trip to the emergency room if it had gotten lodged further down in my throat and burned through the lining. The internet was rife with horror stories.

So, I learned my lesson the hard way- or, at least, the hot way: always take this pill with water from now on.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on October 16, 2019.

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