Parotid Surgery

A couple of months ago I mentioned that I had pain in my saliva gland aka my Parotid gland.  I went to the doctor who gave me an anti-biotic medicine and said I may need surgery and even asked me if that was what I wanted.  He sent me to Kern Medical Center and that surgeon told me that I had Sialolithiasis which is apparently a very common thing.  I’ve never heard of it.

The surgeon at KMC gave me some options, have it removed with a scope in L.A. or have surgery to remove the entire gland.  My partner didn’t want me to have it removed because it would leave a huge unsightly scar.  He said we could go to L.A. to have that procedure, but then we discussed how many trips we would probably end up making, so he changed his mind.  See, I told the surgeon that I wanted to have him perform the surgery because I knew it would cost money to drive to L.A., and you know that I would have to come 2 or 3 times.  But the surgeon today told me that the stones are too big to be removed with a scope anyway.  The scope would fit in the, I’m just going to call it a vein, but the stones were way too big to be pulled out of said vein.  So surgery is my only option.

My surgery will be in late November, which just happens to be 1 week before Thanksgiving, and I will have a port in the back that will drain into a container which I will have to be mindful of.  I will have to keep that on me for 1 week and then he will remove it.

On one hand I’m very excited to finally have this removed to fix my problem, but on the other hand I’m not looking forward to having a huge scar on my face lol.  I mean, if that’s what it takes to end this constant agony then so be it, but why did it have to be my face?  Why couldn’t the gland be inside my mouth?  Or why couldn’t the stone be somewhere in my stomach where I never have to worry about people seeing my scar?  Why of all places did it have to be on my face?  I mean, I’m not a model so it doesn’t matter, it’s not like I’m going to lose any modeling gigs, but still.  You never want to do something that will put a scar on the first thing people look at when they see you, or bring too much attention to yourself when you are trying to stay invisible.

Well, it’s inevitable, so there is nothing I can do but learn to live with it.  I’m sure the scar won’t be too bad and I can use scar creams that will make it disappear, so there is something to look forward to.  I’m just glad the pain will finally be gone soon.

So until November…

Jumping Through Hoops For Surgery

Life isn’t fair, is it?  Murphy’s law says that if something can go wrong, it will.  Well, something is very wrong with how long it is taking to get my surgery.  I have been in pain, no, agony for going on 2 months now and I was told I could get surgery to help, yet I don’t see it coming.

I was diagnosed with Sialolithiasis which means my right Parotid gland (saliva gland) has stones in it.  You know how you get kidney stones?  Well, the saliva gland can get stones too.  The problem is that the stones are preventing the saliva from being released into my mouth and that causes it to swell up.  I can push on it and I can feel the saliva squirt into my mouth, and that relieves the pressure which is very painful.  I have been doing that for years, yes this has been happening to me for many years.  I would guess up to 10 years that I can recall.  I know it’s more, but I can’t be sure when it began.

So first thing that happened was it started and I waited a few days to call the doctor.  I figured that it has happened so many times in my adulthood and that I was almost positive it would go away from pushing on it, but it wasn’t going away, it was just getting worse and worse and there was a blockage preventing the saliva from releasing.  I made an appointment which meant I had to wait for a weekend.  I went to the doctor and he gave me an antibiotic and saw me again in 7 days.  I came back in 7 days and he gave me another antibiotic and told me that I might need surgery.  If this antibiotic doesn’t help in another week then I could get surgery if I chose to.

Naturally, it didn’t go away after that 2nd week.  In the past it has always gone away after taking the antibiotics, but this one has stayed with me.  He sent me to have an ultrasound which showed that I had a stone that was 1cm.  Look at your ruler, that’s nearly half an inch.  He then referred me to an Ear, Nose, Throat specialist who sent me for an CT scan with contrast which showed that I have multiple stones, not just on the right side, but also on the left.  The left side swells up as well, but not as bad as the right side.  The doctor said that the left side were much smaller, so it’s not as big of an emergency as the right side is.

The ENT doctor referred me to a surgeon at Kern Medical Center aka KMC which I always joke and call it KFC.  He gave me my options and I chose to go to LA, but then changed my mind and wanted to have him do the surgery.  Before he can do anything, he needs my original doctor to sign off on it because I have some other health concerns that had to be tested before he would do surgery.  My doctor had blood drawn and did an EKG which showed heart trouble.  UGH!

heart monitor I finally went to the heart doctor today and they gave me another EKG and put a heart monitor on me that I have to wear for 24 hours.  It has been recording since around 2pm or so.  I had to change my physical therapy for my scoliosis issue tomorrow from 10:45am to 2:30pm.  I hope that gives them a full 24 hours, but the nurse told me that I could take it off before 24 hours was up if I had to.  They also made 2  more appointments for me, one in 2 weeks and then another in October.

October?  What?  I needed my surgery like a month ago!  I’m so sick of this pain.  I mean, the pain isn’t as bad as it was for 2 months, but it’s still bad.  The pain from my saliva gland makes me think my teeth need to be pulled.  I know having my teeth pulled isn’t the answer because that’s not where the pain is coming from, the pain is just travelling to those places.  When I don’t have pain in my saliva gland then my teeth are fine.  If the problem was my teeth then I would feel the pain in my teeth when I didn’t feel pain in my saliva gland.

So I am hoping that I can get my surgery in October because I don’t think I can wait very much longer after that.  I just can’t take it anymore.  Nobody should have to live in constant pain every day like this.  There really isn’t anything I can do, so I guess I have no choice but to deal with it.  I really hope that it gets taken care of soon.