The Wanderlust Misfit

Don't Run From Anything, Run Towards Everything

Polygala & Thrush

I always thought my eyes looked cool green. Normally they’re hazel, but whenever I’m stoned or have the general ‘red eye’ they look green to me. I was looking in the mirror and my eyes were tearing and ‘oh, shit, here it comes again’ so I crouched back over the bathtub and tried to get it all out. I could see the brown flecks and the green bits from the spices, and these white chunks I figured were pieces of my stomach lining (they were pieces of cheese), all mixed into the orange and yellow and brown in the bottom of the bathtub — the tub is an easier target than the toilet. I thought it burned on the way down, it was twice as bad coming back up. And the taste would linger in my mouth and that would only make me want to puke again because it’s like having to constantly smell the very liquor that made you sick in the first place. Except I hadn’t drank liquor that night.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a problem: substance abuse. I’m not embarrassed to say it because I need to face it. I need to quit messing around because one of these days I’m going to seriously injure or kill myself and I wouldn’t be too pleased with either of those outcomes. We were watching the Superbowl, drinking beer and eating pizza and when it was over I found myself back at the apartment all by myself. I was drunk, I was in party mode, and I didn’t feel like going to bed, so I began to look for a way to get high. On top of the refrigerator are three rows of little glass jars, each containing a different spice or herb that my roommate uses to make tea. Some of these spices are rather potent and in large enough doses will make a person high. He had been telling me about the polygala root he bought the other day, that it really has some intoxicating properties. So I picked up the little glass jar with the brown sticks in it and crunched down on a piece. It was bitter, but I figured if I wanted the full effects I would have to eat more. My greedy little fingers in the  polygala jar, pulling out the crunchy brown sticks that were bitter to the point that they made my mouth burn, crunching away any feelings of guilt that should be associated with eating all of someone’s tea mix, because I was going to be high, baby. About half way through my mouth was hurting, sore from those bitter little sticks. But I was already halfway through so I figured I’d just eat all the rest.

Go ahead and Google ‘polygala root’. The first result to come up reads ‘Use of Polygala root must be cautiously monitored, as milkwort is toxic in large dosages.’ You don’t even have to click on it, it’s right there, and I’m sure you’re guessing I didn’t Google polygala before eating an entire jar of it, and I’m sure you’re guessing where this is all headed.

My mouth was on fire and I crunched down on the last few sticks. Then I fell asleep on our slouch (our couch is more of a long ottoman or cushioned bench with pillows propped against the wall so we coined a new term for it), woke up a few hours later with a stomach ache, my mouth still on fire, and went upstairs into my bed where I fell right back to sleep. Then it was 6:00 a.m. and I was rolling around in my bed trying to get comfortable because I could feel something welling up inside of my stomach and it hurt. Finally I jumped out of bed and ran into the bathroom and passed the toilet with the piss and pubes all around the rim and swished open the shower curtain and got down on my knees and puked. It wasn’t lovely. For the next, say, eight hours I kept having to puke and so I kept myself bedridden, watching TV shows and movies on my laptop in bed the entire day, rolling around the whole time to make my stomach comfortable.

My mouth hurt. I wasn’t getting sick anymore and I figured that the burning soreness in my mouth was just leftover from puking up the bitter polygala. I couldn’t eat nor open my mouth without my gums and tongue hurting, so eventually I looked at my mouth in the mirror and noticed it was all white; my tongue, the insides of my cheeks were white, the far back of my tongue was yellow and the saliva formed strands that looked like cottage cheese. I didn’t think much of it at first but it became worrisome and I looked up the symptoms on WebMD and sure enough I had Thrush.

Thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth caused by Candida, a bacteria that is found naturally in your mouth. But when the other bacteria in your mouth die off for some reason or another, the candida thrives and you develop a yeast infection. Wonderful. Yeast in my mouth. The same stuff that causes certain yellowy discharges is now thriving in my mouth. I looked into it and it turns out Thrush is easily treatable without seeing a doctor; most cases clear up just by rinsing your mouth out with hydrogen peroxide (1 part hydrogen peroxide, 3 parts warm water). It also works with using salt water. I went out and picked up a few quarts of yogurt, aiming for the brand (I bought Chobani Greek Yogurt because it contains acidophilus which I kept reading was the best) with the most forms of natural bacteria to help balance out the bacteria in my mouth. I also got some orange juice and frozen fruit juice and ice pops because it’s hard to eat, your mouth is covered in sores and everything tastes like ass.

So here’s my routine for the next few days: rinse my mouth, eat yogurt, brush my teeth and repeat every two hours. Also, try to talk to as few people as possible, lest they notice the white tip of my tongue!




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