You know that part in the horror movie where the blonde on the stilettos walks into the dark, desolate parking garage alone? It was just like that. Except that I was in my kitchen making pizza dough at 6 in the afternoon. With three other people around. Anyway, I grabbed a handful of cashews and began chewing. No big deal. Suddenly, one of the cashews decided to stab me. Now, I generally consider cashews to be a relatively peaceful snack food, unlike tortilla chips which will shank you without warning, but this cashew had a score to settle. He poked the inside of my mouth under my tongue. I did what everyone does when stabbed in the mouth. I swallowed the little fucker and washed him down with some cabernet.
The rest of the evening was peaceful. Dinner was lovely and violence-free. The next morning, my cup of coffee was perfectly hot and delicious. All was well. That is, until the cashew chose to exact his revenge during breakfast. Halfway through my homemade replica of the Starbucks protein plate minus the cheese, I noticed, mid-bite of bagel with peanut butter, that my neck felt uncomfortable and I was having some trouble swallowing. These are rarely good signs.
I reached up to the right side of my neck, which hurt like hell and was approximately the size of Chet's neck in Weird Science. When T returned from walking the dogs, I asked, "Does this look swollen to you?" "Wow," he said, "that's really something." I think that was a take on "that's some baby" from Seinfeld, but I wasn't exactly focused. And then, "you might want to get someone to look at that." So I did. Despite my totally irrational and pathological fear of doctors. Which should tell you how big my neck was.
Three hours later, I'm telling my super-fabulous nurse practitioner, whom I love, the whole shocking story. By then, my neck had reduced in size to smaller than a kiwi. Which was apparently all she needed. Turns out that my cashew arch-nemesis had left a microscopic calling card in one of my salivary ducts, blocking up my salivary gland. So every time I ate something, the saliva wanted out of saliva gland prison, but that cashew was blocking the emergency exits. And swelling at an alarming rate. As soon as I wasn't eating, it started to go down. Gross, right?
And here's the best part: the prescription for a blocked salivary duct is . . . candy. Are you kidding me? I KNEW that whole insurance gig was a racket. Turns out that what they do for blocked saliva glands is give you lemon drops. Honest. I made Kate write me a script so I could prove it to everyone that I wasn't making it up.
The sour makes you salivate and the sucking on a hard candy creates a vacuum. So, I ate soup and lemon drops all day long. And by the time I got up today, I WAS CURED!
So, what can we learn from this? You CAN medicate with food. Can I get an amen?