This is long, boring, and unneccessary but I wanted to put the frustrations I’ve been having into words. I mentioned before how I’ve been going through medical issues for the past year and a half and I was going to leave it at that. But, I bitch and whine to my husband about it so much, I thought writing about it would help. I swear, I get the weirdest fucking medical problems. I’ve had an issue of getting salivary stones for years.
I never even knew something like this existed and for seven years, I would get this horrible pain on the right side of my neck when I ate or drank anything. I could feel the submandibular salivary gland get hard as a rock and cause so much pain and itchiness from below my chin, up into my right ear.
It may not seem like a big issue but I couldn’t even take a sip of water without the salivary gland flaring up.
When we moved to Seattle, I was finally able to see civillian doctors instead of military ones and the ENT there diagnosed me. I had surgery to take out the stone within the week. My one request was if she was able to save the stone, I would love to see what was making my life hell for seven years. She was more than happy to oblige and I still have that damn stone in a box somewhere.
After that, I would get frequent infections and flare ups in that gland. I had the option years ago to have that gland taken out but I was really hesitant. To be honest, it was because of the horrible experiences I’ve had with military doctors over the years and the incompetence so, there was no way I wanted one of those doctor’s to cut me open.
Things seemed to simmer down until last August when I had this horrible pain in the gland and it got so bad, I could barely move my tongue. Luckily for my husband, I wasn’t able to talk much for a few days until the antibiotics kicked in and I got some relief.
It cleared up, or so I thought, and then boom, it came back a few weeks later. I was referred to an ENT and he was pretty quick to say the gland really needs to come out. The hesitation came back about having this surgery, especially since I had three others within months of this one.
But, I decided to finally get it over and done with once and for all. The doctor didn’t feel the need to do a CT scan which still pisses me off because he didn’t think I had any stones in there and it was just the salivary gland that was infected. I had the surgery and I thought I was fucking done with all of the medical shit I had been dealing with.
Just when I had celebrated being done with this bullshit forever, the symptoms came back. The itchiness, the pain, and additionally, something that felt like a hot fire poker on the floor of my mouth. This time, a CT scan was done and yes, I was stoned from another stone. The ENT also noticed that a fucking hole was what had developed in the floor of my mouth as a way for my body to try and expel the stone that had been in there for who knows how long.
I know. It’s really fucking gross.
I had surgery for that five months ago and again, thought I was done. done. done.
Nope. Not even close.
I come to find out that the duct to the submandibular salivary gland was still in there because there’s a nerve to the tongue that wraps around the duct and it can be tricky to take out. It can cause permanent paralysis on the right side of the tongue.
I could also tell at this point that the ENT didn’t know what the fuck to do with me. So, he put me on antibiotics.
The infection went away.
Then it came back and he put me on antibiotics again.
Basically, my whole summer was spent dealing with these gross infections and taking an overload of antibiotics which I absolutely hate. I not only worry about antibiotic resistance but also, if feels like my stomach is being shredded. I’ve been on half a dozen different kinds of antibiotics and also found out by way of another CT scan I had in August is that there are now smaller stones in my sublingual salivary gland.
I was frustrated, my doctor was frustrated, and I was pissed off. I don’t feel like my normal self at all. My body is tired of fighting these infections. My ENT finally waved the white flag and referred me to a doctor in Boston.
I saw him last week and he hasn’t seen my scan results yet but felt at least two stones in the floor of my mouth.
His plan is to take out that fucking duct that’s probably causing these stones, and taking out however many stones are actually in there… besides the two he felt.
It looks like the surgery will take place in the next few months.
So, that’s where I’m at now…. hurry up and wait. That’s what it feels like. This new ENT doctor wants to act fast but there’s that waiting game of making sure this is the best plan of action.
This whole thing has my anxiety so out of whack. I just hope that soon I’ll be feeling healthier again.
Hopefully, more like myself than I’ve felt in the last 18 months.