On Wednesday, I noticed an ear pain wired to my swallowing. That is, every time I swallowed, I got a shooting pain through my ear. It was bizarrely difficult to distinguish my throat from my left ear. My attention was fractured because it had to be devoted to the process of swallowing, something I realize I’d rather not think about. Two things occurred to me: one, I am not conscious of the intersections of the various parts of my body, and therefore take for granted their working in harmony whenever I do not feel sick, and two, I swallow constantly.
On Saturday morning, the functioning of my mouth and throat was foreign to a degree that made me question if I’d been transported into someone else’s body. The regulation of my saliva was disrupted, swallowing felt like inserting a knife through my ear, and consciously or not, I had stopped doing it to a normal extent, and therefore had tons of excess liquid within my mouth. All of this was due to a swollen left tonsil, putting pressure on my throat, ear, and jaw.
I don’t often get sick, and it’s been about three years since I’d been prescribed an antibiotic. It was striking how differently I felt after taking just one. I started taking it yesterday at 2 pm, and about 24 hours later, I feel physically well again. I am no longer massaging my left ear every time I swallow. I paid 45 dollars, for both the antibiotic and to be told by a doctor that I had tonsillitis. It’s clear to me that if I hadn’t gone to a doctor, my condition would have worsened. As it stood, my pain was comparable to the intensity of a migraine or a cluster headache, (the unremitting ache), and Ibuprofen only provided a dimming of the symptoms for two hours at a time. It amazes me that if I did not have $45, I would have either continued to use Ibuprofen until I compromised my liver, or had a completely nonfunctional mouth in a week. Maybe my throat would have closed up.
The pharmaceutical industry controls society. This is, of course, a large problem, and it would take a lot of time to list all the ways in which this is true, but my personal experience in being so profoundly demobilized by bacteria, and then restored to health by exchanging value for a drug, introduced the control of the medical establishment to me at an affective level. My sense, along with most people, is that my body is my own, and yet I’m unconscious of the rules that govern it. How is it that the very processes responsible for the generation of this sentence cannot explain their own workings?
I am back at the general principle that stimulated my interests in philosophy of mind. I don’t have as much control as my mind leads me to believe I do. I helplessly feel like I am a mind that owns a body, and this is true until the body stops functioning. I either get to a doctor, someone who is more competent of my own workings than I am, or the mind dissolves in the break down of the body.