I'm coming clean. I'm a closet smoker. Have been for 25 years. Not solid. There have been some breaks along the way; a few months here, a year there. But mostly I've smoked a couple cigarettes a day, maybe a pack or two a month since I was 15 years old.
It started about six months ago, this sore throat, a change in my voice. Gravelly and hoarse. And this terrible pain from my ear to my neck. Drainage, phlegm, mucus, a slight cough. Pressure in my chest.
I went to my internal doctor today. Yes, I know he doesn't specialize in oncology or ear/nose/throat stuff, but HMO . . . well, you know the story. So I start there, not hoping for answers, but hoping to at least start the process.
He sends me to an ENT doc and tells me to lose weight and stop smoking. Really doc? Really? That's your advice? Eight years of medical school and 30 years of practice, and your advice is to lose weight and quit smoking?
He tells me it could be throat cancer, though he doubts it. Or it could be an infection caused by acid reflux. Um, again, really? Fancy initials at the beginning and end of your name, and this is your diagnosis? Guess what, I have Google and Wikipedia . . . and I came up with the EXACT SAME FUCKING DIAGNOSIS!
Anyway, I'm on terminal hold (should I use terminal when talking about cancer?) with the ENT trying to make an appointment. Hopefully they'll tell me something the Interwebs can't.
cough, cough, wheeze, wheeze.