Today I found out that I have Sialolithiasis

Sialolithiasis

I have been dealing with a problem in my right saliva gland, called the parotid gland, for at least the last 10 years.  It comes and goes at the least 2 times and at the most 5 times per year.  The doctors have always given me antibiotics, or by the time I get to the doctor it has gone down so I don’t mention it.  This time around I had the issue and I made a special appointment for it because it was too painful to ignore.

inches and centimetersThe doctor put me on antibiotics which lasted 1 week.  I saw him a week later and was still in pain and it was still swollen and he gave me more antibiotics.  Because it wasn’t going away, he sent me to get an ultrasound and when he found out that it was 1cm, he suggested surgery, but asked me if that was what I wanted.  Not everyone wants to have surgery which would scar you, so he wanted to know what I wanted to have done.  For scale, see image (left).

He referred me to an Ear Nose Throat doctor who sent me for a cat scan with contrast and when I saw him on Wednesday, he told me that I needed to go to yet another doctor.  Are all these doctors getting a kick back for these referrals?  I mean honestly, why do I need to have so many referrals?  Anyway, he was trying to send me to Los Angeles and I told him that I’d rather go to a doctor here in Bakersfield because I don’t want to have to drive (well, I don’t drive, I’d have to be driven) all the way to Los Angeles just for a consultation to be told that I have to come back for the surgery and then after surgery.

So I went to a doctor at Kern Medical Center today for the consultation and he told me that I have 4 options

  1. Live with it.
  2. Ultrasound which they don’t do there and my insurance doesn’t cover.
  3. Surgery where they use a scope to go in there with a camera and grab the stone and pull it out, which is also not available there, I would have to go to LA and most likely make several trips, which we can’t afford and my insurance might not pay for it.
  4. Have him do surgery to remove the entire gland and give me a huge scar.

I decided on option 4, but when I told my partner out in the lobby he said “Oh no tell him you want to go to LA.”  Without thinking I went back to the counter and said I need to tell the doctor that I want to go to LA.  Then we got to talking, my insurance company probably won’t want to pay for that because I bet you that will cost more than having it removed.  Plus, we’d still have to go all the way to LA and probably make several trips.  I can’t afford that dammit!  If I could have afforded that, then I would have just done that in the beginning.  Sheesh!

Well, the doctor at KMC told me that before he can do the surgery (when I had told him I was up for option 4) he needs my doctor to sign off on it.  So I made an appointment for Tuesday of next week so I could talk to him and tell him that I need him to call that doctor’s office and give them his okay.

This is what I have.  It’s called Sialolithiasis.

parotid gland “Sialolithiasis (also termed salivary calculi,[1] or salivary stones),[1] is a condition where a calcified mass forms within a salivary gland, usually in the duct of the submandibular gland (2) (also termed “Wharton’s duct“). Less commonly the parotid gland (1) or rarely the sublingual gland (3) or a minor salivary gland may develop salivary stones.”

This is what he said will happen.  They will have to start cutting right at the edge of my sideburn just at or near the top of my ear which is where my glasses are, go all the way down below my earlobe and turn towards my neck and go down my neck.  It’s a big gland as you can see in the image above, so naturally they have to cut a lot.  He said there will be a pretty big scar, but I’m okay with that.  Neosporin has a cream for scars to help them disappear.

I have no issue with scars.  In fact, I feel scars give you character.  Perhaps the doctor will let me keep the stone so I can have something to show when I tell the story of how I got that scar on my face.

As always, I will keep updating this blog on the progress.

Dr. Jim and Bob’s Funny Health Advice

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of © Blue Shield of California for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Everyone has to visit the doctor from time to time, some more than others depending on what ails them.  I have to go once a month because I have serious health issues, but sometimes I have minor issues that I should discuss with my doctor, but I don’t always because it’s a bit embarrassing.  Even though he is my doctor, it still makes me blush to have to talk about constipation, diarrhea or whatever embarrassing things you have to talk about.  Sometimes you want to go to a website to check things out before speaking to your doctor, and Dr. Jim and Bob are probably the best people to help because they make you giggle.

Check out Dr. Jim and Bob’s Fun & Helpful Health Advice on Facebook and watch all of their videos.  Every day, Dr. Jim and Bob scour the internet looking for people who have problems that they for one reason or another discuss, and they leave a reply with a link to one of their videos.  Perhaps the health issues I have blogged about have stumped them and they just don’t know how to respond.  Yeah, I’m sure that’s it.  Hmmm…

Dr. Jim and Bob are with Blue Shield of California which is a non-profit company.  They offer easy access to chiropractors, acupuncture and other alternative care.  They offer access to great doctors and they have a wide range of health plans that you can actually afford.  Imagine that.

I think I have benefitted from some of the advice that Dr. Jim and Bob have given in their videos.  One of the issues I have is with heartburn and Dr. Jim and Bob discuss how perhaps I get heartburn because I might be eating too much or the wrong foods, or perhaps maybe I just need to go on a diet and lose some weight.  Are you calling me fat Dr. Jim?  LOL just kidding… or am I?  Watch the video, it’s hilarious.

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Another Diet

I went to the doctor’s office yesterday for my regular visit and found out how much weight I have gained. Over 20lbs.

Here’s the story for those who aren’t familiar. I was diagnosed with diabetes earlier this year when I weighed 252lbs. I went on a diet and went down to 215lbs.

Our diet wasn’t very inventive but it was good enough for me since it had protein, grains and vegetables. I had cut out all breads from our diets (mine and Chips) and my diet gave me so much energy that I was always cleaning.

One night Darrin said to me that he didn’t want to eat this anymore, you’re working too hard and it makes me feel bad. Well, I had lost 37lbs and by telling me that, he discouraged me. He started asking for pasta and for other things and next thing you know, he’s buying cookies and donuts.

I started gaining weight again and before I knew it I was losing all of my energy and becoming lazy again. Now, I’m 239 according to the doctor’s office. The doctor said 20lbs but that’s according to where it says 218 in my chart.

What happened was, I was 218 then went to the doctors then lost more weight and before my next visit I had already gone back up to 218 because of Darrin not wanting to continue the diet. Then I just kept gaining more and more weight.

So now that he has a job, he can’t tell me what I can make for him for dinner or to not clean and I’m going to tell him flat-out that he needs to just let me do what I’m gonna do to help us lose weight. I can’t keep up with this yo-yo dieting. I have to lose this weight.

I’ve already started cooking vegetables for dinner again so when Darrin comes home from work he has a balanced dinner to eat before he collapses on the couch for the evening. I’m going to get off my M&M’s binge and stop eating sugar and breads altogether again. I can do this, I know I can.

I have a feeling I will be hosting Thanksgiving this year which means I gotta get this house clean lol. In order to do that, I need to eat balanced meals to give me the energy. I just drank a Red Bull to give me the energy to mop the kitchen floor which takes all of about 10 minutes to do lol.

You know your energy levels are at 0 when you can’t even do the simplest chores such as mopping the floor. I seriously don’t know how I cleaned the bathroom and living room last week.

If I am hosting Thanksgiving this year then I have a lot of work to do to get this house up to snuff. I’m sure I can do it all by myself… UGH! I’m gonna need a LOT of Red Bull. I wish I had the money to hire a housekeeper a couple of days before they arrive to make damn sure this house is spic n span.

Drunk Bus Station People

Since Darrin is working now and my bicycle is missing a wheel, I have to take the bus to my doctors appointments and anywhere else that is too far to walk. I don’t mind taking the bus, in fact, I recommend it to anyone because it’s green.

Unfortunately, our city has a station in Downtown Bakersfield where all the busses come.  If you have to transfer then you just go downtown and walk over to your next bus. If it’s there great, if not wait.

So I took the bus to my doctor’s appointment, all is well with bus travel. I leave and have to go to the bus station to transfer to the 2. It’s not there so I have to wait.

I’m sitting in one of the seats waiting and the number 2 (going in the opposite direction that I need to go) comes and people get off. I hear a guy taking his bike off the bike rack in the front and turn around and look at how nice his bike is and watch him struggle to put the rack up.

Out of nowhere, another guys face is literally 1 inch away from my face. He said “why were you looking at me just now?” and I could smell the beer on his breath. “I wasn’t looking at you, I was looking at the guy taking his bike off the rack” as if I owe him an explanation.

He backs away and sits across from me, staring at me.

Uncomfortable, I get up and walk 40 feet away. I’m staring off into the distance so that it doesn’t appear that I’m looking at anyone or anything in particular. I don’t want to get accused of looking at anyone again.

I feel like I’m being watched and I turn around and he’s sitting down 2 feet behind me.

Are you serious?

He comes up to me, again 1 inch from my face but whispers into my ear “I bet you watch anus videos all day long, don’t you?” I smell the beer on his breath and it is not pleasant.

“Uh, no, I don’t think so” I say to him with a dirty look on my face. Trying to convey to him that he has the wrong impression of me and hoping he’ll leave me alone.

I’m trying not to look at him, not even for a second and he tries to start a conversation with me but I’m giving him 1 word answers, trying to let him know that I am uninterested in talking to him.

He asks if I have a badge.  Why are people always asking me if I’m a cop?  I mean seriously!  Does a Lego Indiana Jones t-shirt scream cop?  No, it screams video game geek.  I tell him “I don’t have a badge, if I did have a badge it would say ‘The Nerd Herd’” (you know from Chuck) and he laughed and said “well at least your honest.”

He’s asking me questions and finally I said “Look, I don’t want to get into a fight with you, I just want to go home” but apparently that was the wrong thing to say because now he starts laughing as if I just told the funniest joke. “You think you can take me HAHAHAHA that is so funny because I will kick your ass so hard….”

I just walked away. I figured, he’s not going to just let me walk away and wait for my bus, no he’s going to stalk me until my bus comes. And for all I know he might get on the bus and follow me home. Then he would know where I live. I can’t have that. So I left.

I left the bus station altogether. I just kept walking until I got to the corner that City Hall is on right next to the police station. Not to go make a complaint, the bus stops there.

I didn’t have to wait long but if he were on that bus I would’ve hoofed it all the way to the house which is about 25 blocks. My leg is still injured and walking to that bus stop which was about 5 blocks was causing a lot of pain but I would rather suffer a bit of leg pain to avoid that guy knowing where I live.

What makes people do things like that? I looked at the time on my cell phone when he was harassing me and it was only 11am and he’s already piss drunk. I don’t understand alcoholism.

First of all, I don’t know if he was hitting on me or if he was trying to find a gay person to beat up. You can never tell anymore what someones motives are. He didn’t look like a typical gay person, he looked like a typical red neck which Bakersfield is most known for.

And if he was gay trying to get a piece of this action (yeah right, that’s hilarious) why wasn’t he a little nicer about it? I mean seriously, you catch more flies with honey that with vinegar.

Anyway, I NEED to either get my bike fixed or get a new bike before my next appointment because I am NOT taking the bus again. Period! End of discussion.

Never Help Unappreciative Friends

I have a friend who used to live next door to us.  She was, as we gay’s called them, my “fag hag“.  That is until she moved away and then I didn’t see her again for many years.

All of a sudden, out of nowhere she calls me a couple of weeks ago begging me for my help.  She broke her sisters computer and knowing that I used to build computers for a (semi) living, she begged me to come over to her sister’s house to help her.

I didn’t want to because I’m a hermit.  I don’t leave the house unless it’s to go to the store, doctors appointments or to take the dog out.  I have a huge case of Body dysmorphic disorder so I just don’t like being around people out of fear they are constantly judging me.  Not just my face, skin and hair but also because I have facial ticks.

But what could I do?  She was talking so loud and so fast on the phone, I could barely understand what she was saying so to get her to stop begging and to shut up I said ok, come get me.

Her sister pulls up to our front door in a few minutes and she brings me to her house.  She drops me off and I go upstairs, look at the computer but I can’t do anything about it, the hard drive has crashed.  I was there for a couple of hours switching hard drives since they had 3 of them but none of them worked.  They all started to load a different version of Windows but always went to blue screen which was a clear indication that the hard drive had crashed.

Her sister finally takes me home and I think that’s the end of it.

About a week ago the sister calls me to tell me she’s at the computer store I told her to go to and asks me what kind of hard drive to buy.  Naturally I told her she needs to have her crashed hard drive with her so she gets the right one.  It has to have the same configuration as her old one otherwise a new hard drive (that fits todays standards) may not work in her (I don’t know how old) motherboard.

That happened to me once, I bought a brand new 320gb hard drive in 2007 for the computer I built in 2002 and it wouldn’t work.  I ended up having to buy all new parts to build a new computer around that hard drive.

So she gets the hard drive and calls me asking if I’ll install it for her.  I begrudgingly said I’d do it.  My former BFF called to tell me that she has the mouse at work so I’ll have to bring my own.  Well, that doesn’t work because mine is wireless, it won’t work with the Windows installation.

Anyway, long story short (too late?) I’m there for 6 hours, we cleared the CMOS because it had a password that nobody knew and I had to access it to get the job done.  I install Windows and helped get her started with the windows updates.

The sister takes me home and she offers to pay me but, what do you say when someone offers to pay you money?  I’m sure most people would be like oh sure that’ll be $60 (@$10/hr) please.  I’m too embarrassed by money.  We were broke and starving and we could’ve used the money, even $10 to get us some food but I said no thanks.  She offered to buy me a pumpkin for Halloween or a Turkey for Thanksgiving.  I’m not gonna go grocery shopping with her lol.  Just take me home lol.

The next morning at 7am, the sister calls me accusing me of stealing her neighbors mouse.  Excuse me?  Are you kidding me?  She knew I had a wireless mouse and she saw me grab MY mouse.  I even watched her hand her neighbors mouse to her.  I get paid $0 for 6 hours of work and I get accused of stealing.  Uncool!

Well, it has been over a week and my so-called “fag hag” has not once called or emailed me via Facebook to thank me for getting her sisters computer working.  If anything, she owes me the money because she is the one who messed up her sisters computer in the first place.  But not even a simple “thank you” from her.

I will NEVER help another person who is not a permanent fixture in my life who I know is ungrateful and will not even thank me.  I believe in Karma and I know that my karma is in very good standing.

Update 2011-01-23:  She called me a few weeks later acting as if nothing happened and I told her I was pissed off.  I told her what her sister did and she said she knew and she thought I was pissed off at her sister but I said no, I’m pissed off at you.  She asked why and I told her because this is the first I’m hearing from her and I still haven’t heard a thank you for helping your sister out.

Then I told her that I removed her as Facebook friends but not because of this but because I am better friends with her ex who demanded that I remove her from my Facebook friends.  She understood why I removed her and we haven’t spoken since.

Oprah’s New Format

Every couple of years Oprah gets a new format for her show.  It’s like her show is evolving with time.

I can recall in the 80’s that her show was just like any other talk show.  It was like Jerry Springer (early 90’s Jerry Springer) or Phil Donahue or even Sally Jessie Raphael.

Over the years she has started talking to more stars than regular people.  Well, that I know of.  I mean, I really don’t watch her show.  You know, cause I’m a dude.  But sometimes as I’m channel surfing and I’m passing that channel I stop for a few minutes and look to see whats going on.

Well, now the format she has is a table with 3 other people.  They have their little coffee cups and they are chatting about whatever.

It’s like she is copying this new show called The Doctors where all these doctors are sitting at a table talking about medical stuff (not that I’ve seen it but I’ve seen commercials).  Or they are copying The View.  Who knows.

I guess it doesn’t really matter what Oprah does because no matter what she makes way more money than God himself (you know, Ryan Seacrest).

Dentist Today

I went to the Dentist (Western Dental) on Saturday last week because the pain in my tooth was so unbearable and they wouldn’t see me without a medical release.  So I had to wait until Monday, got it, they saw me, did a partial root canal (they didn’t have to do a full one because he got the decay and it wasn’t near the soft tissue so no need to finish) and filled the tooth and I made an appointment for Tuesday.

Yesterday I go in and he fills in my broken tooth on the bottom but same side of the mouth as Monday.  No problem, made an appointment for today.

Today comes, I go in and I wait for 30 min in the waiting room and Nurse Ratchet calls Mr. McDonald.  Normally they just say my first name.  So I go in, she doesn’t let me sit down yet, she asks why I’m here, I tell her root canal and I point at my top left tooth.  She says there is no authorization for a root canal.  She looks at my papers and says we don’t even have your doctors authorization.  I said look some more.  She looks and finds it.

She pushes the button on the chair to lower it so I can sit down and she says Mr. McDonald you were here at 10am, can I ask why you were here so early?  And I said uh, that’s my appointment time.  She says well the doctor isn’t even scheduled to be here until 11am.  What the hell does she expect me to do?  I don’t know their dentists schedules.  They didn’t email me with his full schedule lol.

Then the white devil, yes, that’s what she is, the white devil, starts setting everything up being her bitchy cheerful self.  She tells me well he won’t be here for another half hour what would you like to do?  What the hell is she asking me?  They normally sit you in the chair and keep you waiting for an hour anyway so uh hello?  Just leave me here and go run over some puppies, I don’t give a crap.  Do what you normally do.  She continues setting me up and she goes to put the paper on my chest, the bib if you will.  But instead of clipping that chain with roach clips (yes, I said roach clips) she tucks it into my shirt at which point 1 eyebrow raises and I look from side to side and she starts giggling from my facial expression.  She informs me they don’t have any clips.

So 11 comes and the dentist comes in and he’s arguing with her about what I’m here for today and he comes to me and tells me he is out of gloves and that I can either wait until 3pm or come back this evening because he doesn’t know when they are coming in.  Excuse me?  3pm?  I’m not going to sit there with Ms. Sunshine for 4 more hours.  No, I’ll reschedule.

So I go back on Friday.