When Life Gives You Lemons

Sometimes life gives you lemons, or so the saying goes.  And with those lemons you should make lemonade. 

Life gave me a literal lemon this week… in my throat.


I spent Friday until Monday cabin camping with a bunch of friends in awful weather. Friday was pretty beautiful so I took Dunk on a trail run/walk when we got there. It was so fun to casually run again. The other days were cold, rainy, and even snowing! We still had a good time, particularly Saturday night when we scream-sang Celine Dion, played boardgames and poker, while I drank about half a bottle of cherry whiskey and went to bed at 4:30am.

When I woke up on Sunday morning with a sore throat, I wasn’t totally surprised. I overused my voice all night! I took some ibuprofen and went on with my day. Monday morning my throat was still really sore and felt funny, so immediately I put my hand to my throat and whoa, a huge ass lump at the base of my neck.

We packed up quickly and left a couple hours earlier than anticipated so I could get myself to Urgent Care. When I got there, the nurse and physician assistant (both females around my age, super friendly) were amazed at my lump. It was a little like “You are here for a lump? Okay let’s loo– OH MY THAT is a LUMP!”

Said lump

So long story short, I got an x-ray and blood work which were negative and told I could get an ENT appointment for Tuesday or go to a specific ER that had an ENT on staff, but it wasn’t super urgent since I had no other symptoms. I opted to go to ENT the next day mostly because the ER recommended is not a place I’m comfortable going by myself.

At the ENT, everyone had the same reaction. “Here for a lump? Let’s see it — whoa!” The doctor aspirated quite a bit of fluid out with a needle, it was all old blood. Talk about weird! He was not concerned over malignancy but also had no definitive reason for it appearing the way it did. Now I have a thyroid ultrasound next week and am on antibiotics just in case it was an infection. It’s so far a totally weird and random thing since none of this runs in my family – cysts or thyroid problems.

I’m pretty upset because this thing is ugly and super painful. I’m taking ibuprofen every 6 hours and called into work today which I’ve never done in my adult career life. That also sucks because I’m working just one day this week now since Friday I leave to go to Tennessee for a college friend’s wedding. On the bright side it seems to be getting ever so slightly smaller, but I’m not sure what has helped. Antibiotics? Echinacea tea? Icing? Sleeping as much as I can? Time? Heating pad? Nuun?

So as it relates to running, I clearly can’t right now. Even though I committed to running with my cousin, had I not, life certainly told me not to run this race for a time. That is… If I can even run next weekend…


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Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

9 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Lemons”

  1. Yikes! Here I was thinking maybe you had strep or something until I saw the picture. It looks and sounds like it would be painful. How weird for it to show up out of nowhere like that! I hope that your ultrasound comes back with good news (and answers, I can imagine it’s hard not knowing what or why it came on) and that you are feeling back to normal very soon!


    1. Right? I wish it was something so simple but instead seems like it’s a fluke. Like I had a cyst for a while but it finally broke and bled? I hope for good news too! Thanks for the well wishes!


      1. My best friend went through a medical issue recently that they couldn’t diagnose at first. We have fantastic hospitals here and joked that somehow she was a medical marvel they couldn’t figure out. They did end up with a diagnosis (and she is totally fine now), but it was sooo strange and frustrating when she didn’t have answers. I hope that it’s a quick recovery for you once you get the ultrasound results.


  2. Brittany, I’m thinking of you and I do hope everything gets better soon (as well as t’s not super serious). I sent you a few texts, so hopefully you got them. Fingers crossed emoji!

    I don’t like the doctors either so I cannot imagine everything you are going through.


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