I’m not good at being sick or injured. I mean, I’m really not good at it. Charity says I become a complete mush ball when I get sick. Right now I’ve got what seems to be a case of transient lingual papillitis (TLP) – it is a relatively harmless but annoying health problem.
Notice how your tongue has lots of bump all over it? These are papillae (singular: papilla). Usually you don’t notice them – but sometimes one will become swollen and painful. This can occur for a number of reasons – accidentally biting one’s own tongue, a small infection by bacteria, or eating certain foods which have high acidity.
I have one – and it is on the tip of my tongue. Every time I move my tongue (which you don’t notice how often you do until you feel pain when doing so!) it hurts. It isn’t a severe pain – just enough to be annoying.
This should resolve itself within 1-2 days. I get these occasionally – and they are always annoying – but this is the first time I have had one on the tip of my tongue – which is constantly rubbing against my teeth…
I think the reason I have such a hard time with injuries/sicknesses of this kind is related to my OCD/ADD. OCD has a tendency to bring something undesired into focus – in this case, instead of my brain eventually saying, “okay, lets only remind Dave he has this swollen papilla when he actually needs to remember – like when he is eating good” it just reminds me continually saying, “What are you going to do about this?” To which the correct answer is “Nothing” but that won’t satisfy the OCD, instead it will just continue to repeat the question ad infinitum!
Similarly, ADD oftentimes involves the inability to selectively eliminate noisy signals from one’s environment. The problem with ADD is not that one hears too little – but that one hears too much. Our brains are supposed to filter out extraneous noises/stimuli given time, but the ADD brain oftentimes fails to do so…so the student trying to take a test isn’t failing to think about the test material, but being distracted from fully engaging the test material because of the tick, tick, tick of the clock in the room.
Now it is 5:10 am. I’ve slept maybe four hours since I first tried to sleep at 10:30 pm last night. All the articles say, ‘Nothing you can do, just wait it out.’ But how do you wait it out when you can’t think about anything else but it?
This is the same sort of thing that happens when I get a sore throat…it isn’t that I can’t handle the sore throat, but that my brain won’t ever shut up. I oftentimes go days with essentially no sleep b/c my brain refuses to be quiet for even a few minutes…I have to wear myself down to exhaustion before the impulse to sleep finally overwhelms the constant siren whirring in my head…and then, within a few hours, I’m refreshed enough to be continuously tortured again by the alarm inside my brain.
When I’m sick I usually watch a lot of TV/movies…and they have to be fairly fast-paced/action-filled if they are going to provide any relief. It is one of the only ways I know to make my brain shut up for a little while.