That seems to be what the different unpleasant sensory preceptors are doing (i.e., pain). The burning tongue, the sore throat, the tightness in the neck, and lately the ringing in the head. They all trade places at different times as the squeaky wheel. There are those times where I think, ‘if only the sore throat would stop, it wouldn’t be so bad,’ or, ‘if only the tongue wouldn’t burn, I could tolerate the rest.’ But lately, it’s been the very loud ringing in the head, on the left side, that’s been winning the attention battle.
It’s not so bad during the day when the ambient noise of the day, the street, competes with the head noise. But when I go home, especially when I go to bed and things are more quite, the ringing dominates. Since it’s on the left side, I try to sleep on that side so that the left ear is buried on the pillow side — seems to take off a decibel or two. But since the swelling in my neck is also on that side, I should really be sleeping on the right side. When I wake up from sleeping on the left side, the neck is more swollen in the morning. But sleeping on the right side increases the ring. So the back should be the compromise, with ear plugs.
And I guess we all have things fighting for attention in our brains. The trick is management of those things. Sometimes the squeaky wheel thought demands immediate attention, and sometimes it’s better discarded. So I suppose that is one of life’s simple challenges — the management of thought. And that may include seeking out and stretching to find those never thought of before. Mental gymnastics of the creative kind. That challenge doesn’t stop until we reach the stage of “true enlightenment.” I’m still babbling around in the jungle gym, enlightenment being way out there, only a fuzzy concept.
Anyway, as of yesterday the ringing in the left ear had been winning the fight for days. Then last night, eating Chinese broccoli with garlic sauce caused baseball size lumps to appear on the outside of my neck. They won the attention battle for a while. Perhaps it was the al dente chewing. But true to form the ringing came roaring back as this morning’s wake up call. Taking over mid-day today, just in time for lunch, is the acute sore throat driving me to avoid swallowing for any reason. But wait, I’m hearing the ringing. It’s coming back at full decibel blare. Maybe I can eat after all.