Friday, September 23, 2011

About that conversation

In yesterday's blog entry, I shared a fragment of a conversation that left me fighting inappropriate laughter.

If you haven't read that yet, go do so now. I'll wait.

Back? Good.

I promised to provide the context, which despite the tone of much of what the other person said was decidely non-sexual.

About eight days ago, I noticed a slight swelling on the right side of my face along the jaw line below and just barely in front of my ear. I had no pain and no other symptoms; just the swelling. When I felt the area, I realized that I had a lump there.

Despite my natural paranoid tendency to jump right to the worst thing I could think of (cancer! tumor!), online research suggested strongly it was an issue with the parotid gland, which is a saliva gland in that very location.

When I returned home from last week's travel, I headed straight to my ENT for his opinion on the lump.

He stared up my nose, in my ears, down my throat, and in my mouth. He palpated the lump on the outside. He stuck a gloved finger in my mouth and for several seconds rubbed the inside of my cheek.

That rubbing, as it turns out, was him expressing the salivary gland, i.e., causing it to emit saliva. If it could not do so under the pressure of his fingers, that would mean a stone (yes, you can get saliva stones) had blocked the gland. If the gland emitted milky saliva, that would mean a stone might be in it.

Neither was the case. The gland "came clear."

He prescribed me a ten-day course of antibiotics and massage of the lump, which is what he meant when he said I should "milk the gland." The three-finger motion he mentioned is just how he wants me to rub my jaw.

So, I have a small lump that I hope antibiotics and massage will cause to disappear.

The conversation fragment was way better than the reality.

1 comment:

J. Griffin Barber said...

Yes that's some weird shit.

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