I spent all of Saturday and most of Sunday in an alcohol-induced haze trying to drown out what felt like forty broken bones from my snowboarding fiasco. When I finally came to, yesterday afternoon, and realized that my neck had regained enough strength to hold up my head, I was ecstatic. I stayed up just long enough to do a little dance and pound two more glasses of scotch before bed.
When I opened my eyes this morning, I felt great. I remembered what it was like to breathe without stabbing sensations coursing through my ribs.
Then I tried to lift my head. This is when things started downhill. The stabbing sensations from the ribs and lungs had relocated to the right side of my neck, one of the few areas of my body that hadn’t been sore the days before. And of course the neck pain couldn’t stand alone, my right jaw was locked up too. But, no big deal, I’m a big girl. I can handle a stiff neck and lock jaw. After all, I am a TMJ survivor who lived with my jaw wired-shut for three months.
But as the morning went on, I realized that my stiff neck and lock jaw weren’t stiff neck and lock jaw at all. They were side effects from a tumor on my jawbone. I came to this diagnosis after unintentionally shoving my thumb into the bone that lies just above my lymph node. The pain was excruciating, like I’d been hit in the head with a baseball bat. I knew instantly that no odd sleeping position could cause such discomfort.
And so went my Monday, checking the bone tumor, in between drinking green tea, and checking the lymph node for tumor spillage.