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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

I Have The Mumps And It Isn't Pretty.

The strange thing is that earlier this year I worried that I might contract some serious disease that has been eradicated or greatly reduced in western civilization, based on the fact that I must appear that the monthly hearings, of my late father's loss of leg due to nursing home neglect, at the Richard J. Daley Center in Chicago, Illinois, a huge building complex which provides legal services to a teeming mass of people from countries around the world, and especially serves immigrants from third world countries where medical standards are low or nonexistent. And I currently live in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois where for generations people have avoided vaccinations, claiming "religious" reasons, but in actuality they have been taking advantage of living among disease-free others who do vaccinate while avoiding the risks of being vaccinated themselves. I was especially concerned as I had read that mumps is reoccurring on the west coast of the USA, and whether it is weather or social issues, it all seems to move from west to east across the country, in my now seventy years of life experience.

In fact on 01-28-19 I messaged my primary care physician to ask if I should get a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. His nurse messaged me back, "No, at your age we presume you have already been exposed." AND NOW I HAVE THE MUMPS.

About a week after my last trip to Chicago, Illinois my throat swelled almost shut, making breathing a major concern, and my cheeks swelled up ugly and uncomfortable. While the average recovery time for adults is reputed to be 16 to 18 days, it has been about 21 days and my cheeks are only slightly diminished. I was goofing around with the camera on my Kindle Fire HD8 to see if I could get the camera to produce anything beyond grainy, fuzzy images. For want of a better subject, I snapped my own face and was shocked to realize how much my cheeks were still swollen. Now that I think about it my throat is still a little swollen also. Perhaps I should go in to see my doctor, but I am due back in Chicago for another hearing in a few days, and I simply feel that I cannot manage everything. The internet says that my doctor can do nothing for me other than to test and confirm that I do indeed have mumps. That does not benefit me. My swollen cheeks do not hurt so I will put seeing a doctor on hold until I get back from Chicago. Hopefully my mumps will resolve and I will have my thinner face back. Since I have already had the mumps for several weeks it will probably not spread to my brain causing encephalitis. Just for the record, my mind is as clear today as it ever is during this, my final passage through old age. I worry that my decisions are not as good as they would be if my mind were younger.

The internet offers the same home-style remedies that I have been hearing for most diseases for most of my life, and which never seem to produce any results, or even make me feel better:

Consume plenty of fluids, ideally water.

Place something cold on the swollen area to alleviate the pain.

Eat mushy or liquid food as chewing might be painful.

Get sufficient rest and sleep.

Gargle warm salt water.

I always have a headache so it is difficult to know if my mumps is causing me a headache. Same with joint pains and aches. I have been suffering malaise, and occasional vomiting. I did switch to soft foods but that did not trouble me as I have been uninterested in eating. At least my disposition remains good.

Caption: Three Weeks After I Contracted Mumps I Still Have Swollen Cheeks.

selfie by Annmarie Throckmorton 06-14-19

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