It’s fair to say that uttering the words ‘ORAL’ or ‘THRUSH’ in public is bad enough, but when paired together, they make for a very awkward conversation. Especially when talking and showing your tongue to a pharmacist in a crowded pharmacy.
But please don’t be alarmed. I don’t actually have oral thrush. At least, according to one doctor and three different pharmacists, I don’t. Apparently I don’t appear to have anything as there are no visible symptoms. But from where I’m standing, my tongue feels like it’s licked an electric hotplate and whenever I eat I feel like that metal-mouthed Isabel Lucas character in “Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen” – but without the tan.
Of course this has all happened on the back of oral surgery and a cold sore and a week without alcohol, combined with the dairy-free diet my doctor placed me on to see if I’m late-in-life-lactose-intolerant. Part of me suspects my taste buds have just withered up and died of disappointment.
Anyway, in lieu of an actual diagnosis, I ended up trying to diagnose myself by way of google. Big mistake. Turns out the internet is littered with forums full of jolly people discussing their symptoms in minute detail with other people helpfully suggesting treatments with nary a trained medical professional in sight. These sites are obviously for the medical profession what Deadwood was for the law.
The diagnosis I ended up choosing from the veritable buffet of diagnoses on offer was that my ‘oral flora’ needed re-balancing. I mostly chose this because it gave me an excuse to shout “There’s a garden party in my mouth and you’re all invited!”, except that it’s really less of a “garden party” and more like a scene from Apocalypse Now where half the “garden” has been napalmed and Martin Sheen is smashing furniture.
According to my new online friends, the way to ‘redress the balance’ was to sprinkle acidophilus on your tongue. (Acid on your tongue? Surely that would make it worse!) I also (briefly) contemplated trying out the Candida Diet, which I had high hopes would involve playing food tricks on people in front of hidden cameras but ended up being one of those bleak diets where you’re not allowed to eat anything but leafy green vegetables and wheatgrass, which I have long suspected is just the scunge scraped from the bottom of a fish tank.
In the end, I followed my husband’s advice (often more dangerous than random online strangers) by swirling shots of whiskey around in my mouth to “kill the nasties”, also to make me drunk enough to forget that my tongue was giving me jip. But ultimately this treatment just added a slight headache to my raft of ailments.
Then to make matters worse, nine days into my lactose-free diet, I made a terrible discovery. In an incident soon to be known as ‘The People versus Paul’s Milk”, I erroneously bought – and consumed – a carton of Physi-Cal rather than the lactose-free Zymil and now will have to embark upon my two weeks without butter again.
Mere words can not express my disappointment in life right now…