“Do you know that the tonsils are just helping you fight bad bacteria?” My friend asked me that question and I felt like he had definitely lost it. But turns out, that is very true.
I mean, with all that crazy pain I was feeling at the time, I couldn’t take kindly such a comment. I couldn’t imagine those things could do anything positive for the body other than just being in the mouth cavity waiting for when to torment you.
Tonsillitis had me feeling like my world was over. You know, like this world is not my home. I was just sick. Completely faint and actually passing out at some point (a doctor friend I pride myself in knowing will rubbish this fainting bit and say hurtful things like “aaargh! Wewe you didn’t eat!”. But it’s okay hehe), one minute I’m down with a serious fever. The next I’m shivering, trembling my people- like that chameleon on a feeble twig. I wonder if that chameleon we wrote about in our primary school compositions still exists.
Some of you will be reading this and thinking “aaaargh! Lubbish! Kwani at your age you can’t handle a mere sore throat?”
My friend, wait until you find yourself in the same situation. Just wait. But as you wait, I will tell you what I learned about this tonsillitis thing during my ordeal.
So, what are tonsils?
At the back of your throat, two masses of tissue called tonsils act as filters, trapping germs that could otherwise enter your airways and cause infection. They also produce antibodies to fight infection. But sometimes the tonsils themselves become infected. Overwhelmed by bacteria or viruses, they swell and become inflamed. That condition is known as tonsillitis. (I also learned that all conditions with the ‘itis’ suffix are inflammations. Apart from Tonsillitis, another ‘itis’ I know is Meningitis. You? Which other ‘itis’ do you know?)
Traditionally, tonsillitis has been viewed as a ‘children’s disease’, because it is children that mostly suffer from the disease. But as you’ll come to learn, adults, especially those below 50 years of age, can also be affected.
Now, that you know that, these are the symptoms you are likely to experience if you’re suffering from tonsillitis;
In children, there could be symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and stomach pains.
Now, when you suffer from tonsillitis, I promise you, you won’t die. Oh well, maybe you will (kidding) but before you do, please try to take plenty of fluid and bed rest. Also, please visit a doctor. They will prescribe some painkillers and some not so appealing antibiotics but take them anyway. For the next seven to ten days. They will help you. Failure to which you risk suffering very unpleasant complications. Like Peritonsillar abscess. Can you imagine? Something painful in your mouth, full of pus. You won’t eat.