I woke with a start last night, bathed in post-menopausal sweat, fearing that the pain in my throat was coming from an abcessed tooth.
There I lay for at least an hour with the pain throbbing up from its original little ball of misery in the side of my throat into the jaw and radiating to the cheek.
As an uninsured individual, I live in fear of pain like this, the kind that requires a medical professional who is not paid by the government.
After a Motrin, the pain eased back into my throat again and I was able to relax.
I've had a running battle with my esophagas and the tendons in my neck area thanks to a perpetually sour stomach and a profession that requires me to sit bolt upright for hours at a time.
But that's not where the pain was coming from.
My misery was caused, it seems, but an uncharacteristic bout of over-talking.
I know. It's strange.
Being a shut-in, I rarely talk to anyone. Scott gets my attention in the evening and I can ramble on incessantly, especially after a glass or three of wine. But for the most part, I talk no more than an hour a day to humans and my trifecta of canines.
I stopped talking on the phone a few years back, preferring to text or email so I've saved my vocal chords in such a pristine condition that I could probably donate them for transplant.
This past Friday, I had to do an interview with someone in Switzerland -- the topic is, really, of no interest to anyone but audiologists -- but I found that I had strained my voice with the talking, and then I lashed my neck muscles with the writing.
You see -- did I forget to mention? -- I hardly write anymore, except for this blog. So a long period at the computer results in neck and back pain.
As I sit and write this now, my back muscles have begun to spasm, so I must soon be going.
I have only this left to say. With the downturn in my employment as a writer and interviewer has come atrophication of once athletic and animated muscles and tendons.
The resulting condition, thankfully, can be calmed by a couple of Motrin, hold the ice.
But there is something more serious afoot here.
My lack of employment has also resulted in a lack of funds for things like root canals or other emergencies, especially when new car brakes are required.
That's where my buffer went -- car repairs -- because we still need to get from here to there.
And so I live in fear.
A root canal is a luxury in my business.