The Bizzaro World of Magic Mouthwash

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

Over in another part of this site, you can meet my California relative, Q.F. Conseco. His branch of the family tree is by far the most interesting to sprout in at least the past 500 years — and as the family genealogist, I should know.

Q.F. is a blend of hippie technophobe (he mails me his blogs on handwritten scraps of paper), deep-thinking existentialist and outright weirdo. He also happens to know a lot of stuff about obscure historical and current events, which makes his “The Crazy Life” blog extremely entertaining.


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What I heard yesterday from my doctor’s office was more in line with something someone from the Conseco clan would come up with for a remedy to the disgusting-yet-not-physically-apparent mouth hell I’m doing through.

I had messaged the doc the night before to let her know about the failed steroid experiment and see if maybe-just-maybe she had something else up her sleeve to help give me some relief.

The response from her nurse (or perhaps Q.F.)? “She said that we could try and treat you with magic mouthwash as the next step.”

Excuse me? Did you say magic mouthwash? As in abracadabra mouthwash? As in Harry Potter accio mouthwash? We really are going to exit the realm of modern medicine and go with a product with “magic” in the name? Really? We’re doing that?

Now, to be sure: This entire Longhauler journey has been bizarro from the start. But never in a million years did I think something called “magic mouthwash” would enter the scene.

I called up Q.F. (on his landline, or course, which is attached to a corded handset) to see if this was one of the “alternative medicines” he loves to tout for everything from hangnails to hip replacements.

“Dude,” I said. “I am not opposed to trying anything. If there’s a root in the middle of the Amazon surrounded on all sides by tribes of hungry cannibals and it has even a 25 percent chance of working, I’m goin’ in, but…”

“Never heard of it, dude,” he replied. We say “dude” a lot when we talk with each other. “Why don’t you look it up on the internet?”

Which is about the point I realized I truly am in bizzaro world because, as mentioned, Q.F. is a technophobe who last was on the internet back when you’d be disproportionately excited if you were greeted with a robotic, “You’ve got mail.”

But Q.F. was, as is surprisingly common, right in what my next step needed to be. So I googled it and found, somewhat disappointedly, that this wasn’t a groovy-and-legal hallucinogenic drug but rather a rinse-and-spit compound composed of:

  • An antibiotic to kill bacteria.
  • Antifungal medicine to get yeast back in balance. (To which I add… eww.)
  • Lidocaine or other numbing medicine to soothe the pain from mouth sores.
  • Steroids or antihistamines to reduce inflammation.

Sounds lovely. Dare I say… magical?

I followed up with the doctor. Neither she nor I are under any illusion that this stuff is actually going to work. She is unashamedly flummoxed as to what is going on with me, and I have the benefit of thousands of dollars of failed experiments to bolster my own pessimism. That said, I sit here anxiously awaiting the text from my pharmacy alerting me to the crazy fact that my very own magic mouthwash is ready, if only so I can then forevermore tell people I once tried magic mouthwash.

Oh, what interesting sights dot the sides of Longhauler Boulevard.

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