By Michelle Tian

I wish that title was clickbait. But it’s not.

I think it’s safe to say my last couple of weeks were a bit rough. I had a small surgery in late September — which is another long-ass story for another time — and the dentist gave me antibiotics. 

Little did I know, the tablets were meant for my second surgery in November. 

Yeah, they told me the instructions, but in my defense, I was kinda focusing on the fact that they were going to cut my gums open. I really wasn’t paying attention to anything they were saying. 

Besides, if I had taken the tablets in November, I would’ve had the same reaction. Better that I know what medicines I can’t take sooner than later.

So, after the surgery, I took the antibiotics and it was going fine for a few days. Then, about a week in, I was hit with this weird, tightening pain. It was near my upper stomach, but at that time, I thought it was my chest. 

Naturally, I freaked out. I thought I had COVID-19. I searched my symptoms — a BIG mistake — and Google told me I was having a heart attack, which was just great

It faded after a couple of hours, but then came back again after three days, and the pain didn’t go away for about a week. I know, it sounds like a short amount of time, but when you’re constantly feeling your upper stomach get tight with every breath, it feels like a million years. 

Every time I ate, it hurt. I literally felt the food being swallowed. My poor parents were panicking, I was trying to downplay how bad I felt and it was just a mess. I wanted to see a doctor, but they insisted on phone appointments first to limit social interaction, and it’s just not the same. 

After a couple days, I called my family doctor. Going into it, I had my suspicions that I had something called esophagitis. Sure enough, that’s exactly what it was. 

Esophagitis is the inflammation or irritation of your esophagus, which is the tube that sends food from your mouth to your stomach. My doctor suspected I had developed a sort of reaction to the antibiotic the dentists gave me. 

Thankfully, my condition got better and I was able to fully focus on my schoolwork. As I’m typing this, I’ve fully recovered — knocking on wood right now. 

But let me tell you, it was not a fun time. I had a few mental breakdowns during which I was being so overdramatic. I kept thinking about whether I was going to have this condition for the rest of my life. 


Super fun. Loved it. 10/10. Quite the experience, to say the least. Oh yeah, and one more thing. Don’t ever take a painless swallow for granted. I would’ve killed for that shit.