Torch Confessions: A hard pill to swallow

I don’t particularly know if this counts as “embarrassing” but it’s denitely something I’m not proud of.

Ever since I was little, my mom has told me that I have a small gullet. When I was too little to know what a gullet was, my mom would hold up her hand in a tight fist and point to the teeny tiny hole in the middle.

“That’s how small your throat is because of your tonsils.”

My tonsils have been naturally inamed since I was born (as far as I know), making it hard for me to learn how to swallow foods (thoroughly chewed or not) and, as I got older, making it nearly impossible for me to swallow medicine.

“Why didn’t you just get your tonsils removed?” You might ask.

My dad and mom made decent money, but it didn’t mean we had wiggle room for medical procedures and expenses. My tonsils weren’t interfering with my breathing or drinking or anything like that, so my mom and dad decided my tonsils could just stay put.

Needless to say, I was not a happy camper every time I got a cold or flu and my tonsils swelled up more. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t drink, couldn’t talk — oh, yeah, they’re not in the way at all.

My mom attempted to get me to swallow a small, red 81 mg pill when my tonsils weren’t swollen despite my sickness. She stuck it in a spoonful of peanut butter, much like you do for dogs. All I did was take a nibble off of the end of the spoon, because: one — why are you randomly offering me a spoon of peanut butter after lunch? And two — I saw you do it, Mom, you aren’t that sneaky. But she gets brownie points for trying to help me.

I’m now in college and still struggling to swallow even 81 mg pills. Those things are tiny compared to the vitamins I watch my mom and dad throw back, multiple at a time. I’m an adult. I knew I couldn’t go the rest of my life hunting for chewable and liquid alternatives to medicine — some simply aren’t available — which means I have to be able to swallow medication: birth control, aspirin, fever reducer, medication for procedures or health problems, etc.

It wasn’t until early 2018 that I could swallow an 81 mg pill, and even today it takes two or three gulps of water to get it down the hatch.