17 February, 2009

Have You Ever

...had a stone in your salivary gland? (A what in my whatcha whoosit where?)

I've had a couple of these in my relatively-healthy existence. The first time, my jaw felt kinda weird, then would feel stiff when I ate, progressing quickly to OMFG THIS HURTS, I AM SO NOT EATING AGAIN. Essentially it's a blockage of the spit gland tubes into your mouth, so when you eat (or do anything that makes you drool) the gland swells up and can't get rid of the spit. This is Most Unpleasant.

The first time it happened I went to a doctor in Sydney, who looked at me carefully, checked beneath my earlobes for the telltale swellings, and was then unconvinced of what my internet research had diagnosed. I told him, dude, I have this lump under my tongue, I can totally feel the blockage! He then jammed a begloved finger under my tongue, trying to feel for this ENORMOUS lump that I was convinced was the size of a grape. Amazingly, a finger clad in a one-inch-thick latex condom cannot feel grape-sized lumps. So he'd press down harder and harder until my eyes were watering with the all-round fun of having a guy try to pierce the bottom of my jaw and through my neck, using only the first digit of his right hand.

He still declared he couldn't find anything. He also advised that these things don't tend to resolve and surgery is usually necessary. He was about as pleasant as an inch-thick condom.

After pleading to see whether it would maybe resolve in the next couple of days, he reluctantly let me leave, and I went to see my mother. She turned out better than the doctor. When it had happened to her, she went to see Dr Space Cadet. (I kid you not, Mum's doctor is a space cadet. I can't tell you her real name, because [1] I don't have enough spare cash for a legal defense, and [2] you'd totally think I made the name up to make her sound like a space cadet.)

Dr Space Cadet, on hearing my mother's avoidance of eating lemons, salt or anything causing drool, chided her severely and advised plenty of sour foods causing agony, the idea being to flush out the stone. So I loaded up on lemons and water by the gallon. About a day later, the lump had moved and after much manipulation I could see a tiny shiny white dot - I was so determined to get this bastard out and avoid surgery that I had decided to slice it out myself, *IF* I could get hold of the slippery little bugger with the tweezers. And by the time I actually gripped it, I could pull it out. One rice-sized stone, extracted. The relief was awesome.

The next time I felt the beginnings of those plums-under-the-earlobes I drank about ten gallons of water and must have fixed everything.

This time, it's on the other side. And I know it is my own fault for not drinking enough water. About 2 days ago, I noticed the rock under my tongue. No real pain, no need to care, right? Wrong. Today I have the most retarded (and random) shooting pains up the side of my face. These feel like months ago when I had a wisdom tooth pulled, except it's completely healed now and it just can't be coincidence that the duct lies right on the nerve. I'm all Smurfy and happy and next thing POW! In one split second, someone shoves a red hot knitting needle up the inside of my jaw, in front of my ear, and into both my scalp and temple (by magic). By the time I can clench my jaw in agony, draw in a hissed breath and grab my face, it's gone.

This new rice grain needs to move its butt out or else I'll sell my shares in SunRice.