Warning. This entry isn’t for the weak.

I’m about to tell a pretty gross story, y’all. I’ve outgrossed even myself, and I’m not proud of what happened to me last night, but I feel it’s important to share my story, if only for the knowledge I recently acquired.

We went to dinner last night with a large group of friends at a cajun place that supposedly had the best food and cheap drinks. It smelled good and the jambalaya looked awesome. Jessica told me I had to try the blackened red snapper.

Now, only recently did I discover I like fish. I’d say in the past three years or so, and I’m a hesitant fish eater. Those three words: “blackened,” “red” and “snapper,” are three words I tend to avoid anyway, and in that combination I was worried I’d be eating some kind of smoked fishy red goo. I saw the special was a peppercorn salmon. I like salmon. I like peppercorn steak. What could go wrong?

It was served in this tomato watery sauce, like a can of chopped tomatoes was dropped on top of the dish. And it was dark in the restaurant. And we were all talking, having a good time. I had a $3.00 Red Stripe (the Red Stripe goes against my usual “Don’t eat something with the word “red” in it rule, I know).

I’ve heard about people saying they don’t like fish because of the bones. I’ve heard of people choking on fish bones. I knew all about that. When I buy salmon from Ralph’s, they don’t take the bones out, and we have to eat carefully. But one good pull tends to take all of the bones out in some kind of fish-spine magic trick. When we buy salmon from Trader Joe’s, it never has bones. So, I’m unused to bones in my fish.

But I didn’t panic. I could feel a fish bone in the back of my throat. The problem was, it wouldn’t seem to go down, no matter how much I swallowed.

That last sentence is going to get me tons of Google hits, by the way.

I didn’t panic. I quietly said to Jessica, “There’s a fish bone in the back of my throat.” I swallowed half a glass of water. I tried to quietly jam my finger into my mouth, but there was no way I could do that discreetly. I excused myself from the table and took my glass of water with me into the bathroom.

So I’m swallowing and swallowing and drinking water and swallowing. I’m coughing and gagging, trying to dislodge this bone from the back of my throat. I can feel it right on the top of my tongue. It feels like I could see it if I opened my mouth.

So I did. I opened my mouth and looked in the mirror.

The fish bone. Was through. My tonsil.

My right tonsil looked like a cherry tomato with a toothpick jammed through it. Through all of this morning’s research, I now know that I had a pinbone through my tonsil. This knowledge does not change the fact that it was pretty fucking creepy, and really scary to see a bone piercing one of my body parts deep in my throat.

I did that thing where I push my throat and tongue muscles up to try and dislodge the bone. But the bone is soft, so it just bent with the pressure and hung on. I tried to push it down through my tonsil, but all that did was move it towards my tongue, triggering my gag reflex, which would push it back up again. So the bone stayed in the middle of my tonsil, a skewer through my throat.

I didn’t want to tell everyone at the table. I didn’t want to have to go to the hospital to have them remove it. Also, how is it through my tonsil? Why doesn’t it hurt? Why didn’t I feel it pierce my body?

That’s a pinbone, right there. I’m trying to ignore the nice man’s scary fingernail, because I’m already upset enough. I can’t convey to you just how scared and freaked out I was. I didn’t know if I was going to have to pull Jessica into the bathroom and have her jam her hands down my mouth to pull out the bone. I didn’t know what to do.

So I went back out to the table, figuring I’d drink some more water and dislodge it. I whispered to my boyfriend the problem. He explained to me that it must be through one of my “tonsil holes,” which freaked me out even further. I have holes in my tonsils? And why? Why? He suggested I gargle.

So, I’m back in the bathroom, glass in hand, makeup smeared from tears of frustration and scary fish bone fears. I imagine passing out in the bathroom, nobody finding me, my fall pushes the fish bone through my neck and I slowly, ever so slowly bleed to death. I imagine my tonsil becoming incredibly inflammed from the fish irritation, my neck expanding, my airway cut off, and I die a swollen death on the floor of this cajun restaurant.

Mostly I just wanted that fucking bone out of my fucking tonsil.

So I gathered up all of my strength, calmed myself down, relaxed the back of my throat and jammed my hand in my mouth. I pulled the bone out from the bottom, and it fell out of my tonsil.

It was such a small bone, too. What if part of it had broken off and it just stayed inside my tonsil forever? What if there wasn’t a piece for me to grab onto and pull?

Why do gross things keep happening to me?

I went back to the table, shaky but proud, and drank another two glasses of water. In retaliation, my throat and tongue swelled and were incredibly sore. I didn’t finish my dinner.

Jessica: “Well, I told you to have the blackened red snapper, didn’t I? That’s what you get for having bony ol’ salmon.”

What’s the positive in all of this? I learned quite a bit about the tonsil this morning, as I tried to find a picture of someone else who went through my misery.

There are holes in your tonsils, did you know that? They’re called crypts. Well, not all of you have them. Just lucky ones like me who had chronic tonsillitis as a kid. Now I’ve got holes in my tonsils. And really, there’s nothing nastier than a tonsil stone. But apparently crypts help fight infection, and that’s where all the white blood cells hang out to fight the good fight.

Now, from what I understand, these holes don’t go all the way through your tonsil, so I’m not sure how I had a fish bone sticking all the way through like I did, but perhaps one of my invaginations made a perfect tube through my tonsil.

Oh, you may have noticed that I also learned the word “invaginate.” I learned it from this article. But that’s not the cool thing I learned. I learned that on that particular medical website, the one that taught me “invaginate,” when you highlight a word on the site, it automatically opens a dictionary window and looks up the word for you. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen on the web. Go ahead. Find “invaginate” on that article and highlight it. Awesome.

Awesome the website… and I guess the word. It’s one of those words that makes boys wince. I like those words. Like “Areola.” [I promise, that’s the nastiest link I found in all of this.]

And in other news, I found out this morning that some idiots will send hatemail to anyone. Here’s one for Cal:

[readermail]Subject: I just came upon your website…

…you poor, poor fucked up idiot. Get a life or fucking end it you dip shit screw-up![/readermail]

Luckily he told me his name is “Randy Kay.” I’m including his email here so he starts getting all of the spam these webpage spiders send me every day (why does everyone think I want to buy the deck of Iraqi’s Most Wanted cards?). But I’m also including it so you can tell him to get a fucking life if you so feel inclined. Or, you know, if you want to get him in trouble with his ISP. Fred did that for me once, when we had trolls on the old forum.

Mostly I just like posting my hatemail so you know what kind of people I deal with while I’m waiting for you to drop me a line.

This morning my throat still hurts. Maybe I should have had the voodoo chicken. Somehow that feels safer.

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