What it was and what it taught her
Here are the top reasons why.
Oprah Winfrey’s prescription for people who think they might be sick? Stay away from Web MD and Google.
While cooking breakfast one morning, she noticed her neck was sore and swollen, as though it were “a goiter (thyroid nodule or tumor) that came out of nowhere.”
So Winfrey did what we all do when something doesn’t feel quite right: hit up a search engine.
“I immediately Googled ‘swollen lymph gland causes,’ ” she said. “None of the results was good.”
She was able to get a doctor’s appointment on short notice and reported that swallowing hurt slightly.
“When I finally opened my mouth to say ‘Aahhh,’ I was prepared for the doctor to say, ‘I’m so sorry, Ms. Winfrey, you have (insert terrible disease),’ ” Winfrey recalled.
What the doctor actually told Winfrey was: “I think your salivary glands are blocked. Go home, drink plenty of water, and try sucking on some lemons to stimulate your salivary ducts.”
The media icon didn’t buy such a simple explanation.
“I couldn’t believe it. I’d worked myself up to a blood pressure reading of 150/80 thinking about how I was going to rearrange my life to deal with whatever this was,” she wrote. “Drinking water and sucking on lemons couldn’t be the answer. So I called another doctor. Sent photos of my bloated neck and said ‘ahhh’ over FaceTime.”
But the second doctor confirmed her sore, swollen neck was due to a blocked salivary gland. The remedy: water and Lemondrop candy. Two days, a gallon of water and several lemon slices later, the blockage had cleared and her neck was back to normal.
“As they say, you don’t appreciate your health until you no longer have it,” she wrote. “Before this scare, I’d taken my salivary glands for granted. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’d never thought of them at all.”
The experience reminded her that we should all be grateful for the human body.
“Too often we are not grateful for their perfect functioning, balancing bacteria and enzymes, managing blood flow, thrumming the sinus rhythm beat, beat, beat of our hearts day in, day out.”
So, she offered a suggestion to anyone trying to name something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving: “Look no further than your own body.”
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