I Hate My Tongue

HI. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler.

The most powerful force on the planet has nothing to do with gravity, the ever-changing magnetic poles, love or faith in a deity. Not even close.

Rather, the most powerful force on the planet is your tongue’s need to probe any place in your mouth that in some shape or fashion hurts like a mothertrucker.

I know this. I am living this.

Longhaul COVID is wrecking me. Among my joyous symptoms has been a mouth that has had a foul taste and occasional sores for the past three months. Then, Friday night, the lower left part of my jaw started to feel as if I had taken a shot from the schoolyard bully (which, incidentally, I did back in second grade… but that was on the other side of my face).

That’s when my tongue, which is already damaged from the effects of COVID, started to be a royal pain the ass. Now, my brain knows that something is going on with my lower left jaw. A tooth is jacked or my gums are jacked or my face is going to literally split in two and alien worms are going to spill out. And my tongue is all, “Hey, is there a party going on over here?”




So while I sit here on the couch, my tongue is like, “I wonder if the party has started now?” and my brain is like, “For the ten-thousandth time: There is no freaking party! But thanks for visiting Pain Town. I’ll make sure to now make John wince and, oh, if I get around to it, fill his eyes with tears.”

“So John, you idiot,” you say. “Just… ya know… stop.”

Screw you. I have tried. But my tongue has somehow gained independent thought. Like flies to a big fresh pile of cow crap, my tongue is drawn to probe whatever is going on inside my face. And it won’t stop until it finds the pain.

Life today has devolved into:












And yes, I’ve taken pain meds. In fact, I have taken a lot of pain meds… by accident. This is where the fun of Longhaul COVID brain fog enters into the conversation. Because what I swear I heard my wife say was, “You can take four Aleve.” But what she says she said was, “You can take four Advil.”

I took four Aleve.

It didn’t kill me, and my face didn’t hurt so bad for awhile.

I’m considering taking eight.

So here’s what the beginning of my week looks like:

My dentist opens at 7 a.m. tomorrow. I will have all the digits but one dialed by that time, reminiscent of that time when I was in middle school and was trying so hard to call this pretty girl named Carlie but just couldn’t seem to hit that last number for, like, two hours and when I finally did her dad answered and told me that Carlie didn’t live there anymore because he and her mom had gotten divorced and then he gave me her new number, which I thought was really nice of him and then I proceeded to dial all but one digit of that number for the next two hours before I finally did it and she answered and I was actually able to speak in semi-coherent sentences and we talked for an hour and soon became boyfriend/girlfriend for one week and then she dumped me because my stupid friend Pat made a joke when one of her friends passed by and that friend went and told Carlie that I was going to break up with her so she broke up with me first and I wanted to punch Pat in the jaw and make his face hurt but I didn’t.

Because I’m a nice guy, even if I pick stupid friends.

I’m trusting the dentist tomorrow will be only a little more painful than that.

2 responses to “I Hate My Tongue”

  1. Love the writing but wishing you were not dealing with the after effects of covid. Hope you will get better soon for sure. Going to my doctor now too but his one finger is not going where your dentist fingers go!

  2. […] As I recently wrote, I started having major jaw/gum/tooth pain Saturday, and first thing this morning I was on the phone with the dentist my insurance company tells me I need to go to so I can be covered by said insurance. The place advertises “emergency dentistry.” I explained my situation, how last night I hit an “8” on the pain scale and that I am well-acquainted with pain (having had, among other things, my shoulder ripped out of the socket such that my arm was dangling like a wet noodle at my side). […]

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