Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Medical Update (Not for the Squeamish)

Some of you are aware that I’ve been having some minor medical problems for the past few days. To be precise, every time I eat something, the side of my face and my neck swell up and hurt. I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something I was eating, but when it continued to happen no matter what I ate, that put me on the trail of a different diagnosis. (Hey, we’re all doctors now, since the invention of the Internet, right?)

A visit to a real doctor this morning confirmed what I had already figured out. I have an obstructed right parotid duct, which in turn has led to a minor infection of the duct and the adjacent parotid gland. This is the big salivary gland that curves around in front of and below the ear. So when I eat, the gland produces saliva as it’s supposed to, but there’s no place for it to go because the duct leading out of it is blocked somewhere, probably by a stone, leading to the swelling and hurting.

Now, the treatment of choice for a blocked salivary duct is not what you might think it would be. I’m supposed to suck lemons or eat sour candy (I’m opting for the candy) and drink lots of water. This will cause the gland to produce even more saliva and either dissolve the stone or force it on out of the duct. Should take a week or so. In the meantime, I’ll also be on antibiotics to knock out the infection. If that doesn’t do the trick, I’ll have to go to an ear, nose, and throat guy and have him locate and remove the stone. The doctor really seemed to think the situation would resolve itself and wouldn’t come to that, though. I’m hoping that’s right. Eating candy and drinking water sounds good to me.

So if I’m even more full of, ah, spit than usual for the next week, now you know the reason why.

18 comments:

Bill Crider said...

I hope the sour-candy treatment works. That's much better than the alternative.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It sounds like witch doctor v. medical doctor. Go with the witches.

David Cranmer said...

Keeping my fingers crossed the candy treatment works.

Charles Gramlich said...

As treatments go, that's not the worst kind. Candotherapy. I hope it resolves itself soon.

Rittster said...

James,

Hope the candy works. I've had TMJ dysfunction so I know how tender that area of the face is.

P.S. I also know how it feels to be told to go suck on a lemon.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I don't like sour candy, but it sounds better than a lemon. Unless you take the lemon as part of a tequila drinking ceremony.

James Reasoner said...

I'm not real fond of sour candy, either, and eating it gets old fast. Why can't M&Ms have any therapeutic value?

Jerry House said...

When the doorbell rings, be sure it's a candygram and not a landshark. Feel better soon, James.

Todd Mason said...

What everyone else says, James...though is there a reason sour candies (I like sour) are That much more efficacious than less-sour ones? And I can for some reason wrap my head around the notion of a stone in a bile duct that much easier than one in a salivary duct, which actually literally does have one's head wrapped around it...how and why do stones form there, he wonders as he contemplates an engine-searching odyssey.

That, in a different way than you do as you fight it, sucks, and I hope that the cure doesn't annoy or literally irritate anything too much. Better luck.

James Reasoner said...

Supposedly anything sour produces more saliva than non-sour food. Pickles would work, too. And might make a good change of pace.

Laurie Powers said...

I think that's the first time I've ever had a doctor prescribe candy as a treatment. What's your doctor's name?

Tom K Mason said...

M&M's do have therapeutic value - just eat them as a chaser. Feel better soon!

Livia J (Washburn) Reasoner said...

M&M's probably aren't a good idea. The man gets drunk as a skunk when he eats them. He's allergic to chocolate.

Randy Johnson said...

Never heard of such before. Liking sour candy, that would be the way to go for me should such happen. Of course, when young, I had a sister that ate lemons, peel and all.

Richard Prosch said...

This sounds like nothing a big ol' chaw o' chewin' tobaccy couldn't cure. Hang in there, James!

Steve M said...

Interesting way to solve the problem...hope it all works out ok.

Rick said...

A friend of mine had a fish bone blocking hers and she ate the lemons which produced enough saliva that it was forced out. The doc didn't believe her about the fish bone. He explained to her that that was impossible. He was wrong. Md's don't know everything.

Juri said...

Ouch, James! Can't you mix fresh lemon juice with water - you're supposed to drink a lot, right?