I’m a pepper.
At least my tongue feels like one — the hottest pepper in the entire universe which I just swallowed at dinner.
I think it was a habanero chili pepper and somebody slipped it onto my plate while I wasn’t looking.
It was hidden in my fish taco and went directly into my taste buds.
My tongue throbbed with pain as I soaked it, gulping down ice water as fast as my straw would allow.
Which only made it worse.
I dipped my fork in ketchup and salved it all over the tip of my burning tongue.
As my eyes started to tear the only option left was a dollop of sour cream sitting on my plate.
I. Hate. Sour. Cream.
But, I swallowed it anyway in my one fearless act of the day.
It didn’t help.
So I ordered a bowl of ice cream just to coat my tongue in something. Anything to take the burn away.
I haven’t had ice cream in so long, not the real dairy-full kind, that I can’t even remember my last bout with the creamy stuff.
But, tonight, I downed the entire heaping bowl of chocolate ice cream in practically one bite, dabbing the cold stuff all over my tongue and around the sides and tips of my taste buds.
It seemed to work.
The ice cream finally started to coat and numb my tongue.
Now, after taking a bath, I am propped up in bed, with a numb tongue, bloated, burping and belching myself to sleep with a belly ache.
It occurs to me, that THIS is exactly what is wrong with our health care system.
You could give me a pill for my stomach ache and numb tongue, but really, neither are the cause of my problems.
Sugar coating it is, of course, not the cure.
Getting down to root, and understanding the “pepper” of it all, is our only hope.
That alone, would be a fearless act if you ask me.