Some people are natural born sippers. They ingest life, liquids and love in tiny sips, pausing before letting anything trickle down their throats. Those safe little sips allow them to spit any uncomfortable substances out before much damage is done. I think sippers do quite a bit of spitting out. Comes with the breed.
I’ve never been a sipper. I’ve been a gulper since that first, long, pull of mother’s milk. For those of you who know me, this should explain a lot.
We gulpers get our tongues burned quite a bit. At top form, we manage to experience vast quantities of delicious new tastes. On less successful days, we choke frequently and wander around with scalded mouths.
My radiation treatments are turning me into an involuntary sipper. My esophagus is in direct line of fire to the daily zapping the two tumors in my right lung receive. This is causing some (hopefully) temporary damage. Swallowing water, in the style I’m accustomed to, leaves the sensation of having sucked down a 4 inch mace with very sharp spikes. Even slow sips are painful, enough so that I mentally flinch when considering a bite of anything. And Joyce has never before flinched at a bite or gulp of anything.
My doctor prescribed a nasty tasting medication, nicknamed, “Magic Mouthwash.” Magic mouthwash is comprised of mylanta, benadryl and lidocaine, among other drugs. It allows me to swallow without pain, if at a somewhat reduced, deadened pace. I’m happy there’s something I can take to help me eat and drink without too much pain. Eating and drinking do lose appeal when anticipating the horrible taste and the numbness in my gullet.
Once my radiation treatments are finished, my esophagus should heal and I’ll be back to inhaling everything in great big gulps. Aware of the time limit on savoring this world-full of interesting menu items, I doubt I’ll ever be anything but a gulper…scorched tongue or no.