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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Parotid Duct Obstruction Treatment: Day Ten │ Rose Hips, Brown Fat, and Weight Loss

My bedtime last evening was especially early ─ possibly as early as 10:07 p.m. And for the past half-dozen evenings at the least, I have limited my self to just one strong (8% alcohol) beer in the evening.

I just want to be done with these antibiotic IV drips ─ ALL antibiotics, in fact, for I do not want to next have to be taking them in tablet form. Rather, I want to try and get hold of as good a probiotic as I can to help restore the population balance of ideal gut flora. I have been getting these antibiotic IV drips since February 10 ─ this is getting to be too much.

This morning at 10:00 a.m. I had another etrapenem IV drip scheduled for the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. That medical centre is located a little over a mile from where I live.

My youngest step-son Poté had driven me Friday morning, but he has ever since seemed to be doing his best to remain isolated from me so as not to get involved in any conversation with me that are going to commit him to drive me.

And I refuse to ask him for a ride. If he wishes not be be bothered, then so damned be it.

I walked yesterday, barely arriving on time. Today, I left 20 minutes earlier, and had an easy go of it. The morning was overcast, and it was trying to start raining.

But before I left, the first thing I did after rising this morning ahead of 8:00 a.m. was to remove the dressing that a nurse had applied over the opening of the infection cavity in the swelling on the left side of my face. Around the start of this month, my main parotid gland's duct had apparently become blocked; and soon, an abscess began forming. The swelling grew to resemble a hard-boiled egg embedded in my face, until at its worst it looked as large as a very big orange.

I had self-diagnosed my trouble as temporomandibular joint dysfunction. When by about the ninth day (February 9) I finally had to resort to three Advils that day to help bear the pain, I knew I needed medical intervention. A hellishly bad night's sleep proved it.

And so on February 10, I entered the medical system.

I never did take more than three Advils a day; but I think today is now the fourth since I have stopped taking them.

But as I was saying, the first thing I did this morning after rising was to remove the dressing to try and use a shaver and trim my beard down to a stubble. All yesterday, a clear liquid had been dripping from beneath the dressing and running into the beard on my chin, and then coldly dripping down onto my neck and chest. I finally had to wear a small towel like a bib.

(I am experiencing some of that annoying draining today, too.) 

A couple of days ago, an ENT specialist had manually squeezed everything that he felt that he could from the infection ─ I had to endure it, lying on an examination table with teeth gritted and hands clenched to the table sides, all the while my booted feet were fluttering and even kicking as I growled from the pain.

He had finished his ministrations by stuffing a goodly length of an antibiotic ribbon dressing into the cavity.

Well, when I removed the dressing covering the swelling opening, that ribbon was almost entirely extruded from the cavity ─ there were about six inches of it just barely hanging on. And it was thick with pus. And so was the area of the opening ─ I had a thick stretch of it about the size of the joint of my thumb to the end of the thumbnail.

Shaving would be impossible without first trying to wash off the nearly gelled pus. And by the time I had managed most of that, I then had to wait for my beard to dry.

I finally discarded the ribbon dressing because it came loose from the infection cavity.

I had time to make an instant coffee, so I did that and tried to enjoy some of it here at my computer while the beard drying proceeded.

And eventually I was able to shave. There was one small area by the infection opening where the beard had become matted firmly to my face, and I could not work the teeth of the shaver beneath the bit of matting.

The walk to Jim Pattison was almost a pleasure compared to yesterday's hectic rush to get there on time.

I was given the antibiotic IV drip, and a nurse changed the new dressing I had covered the wound with ─ even as I was doing so earlier after shaving, there was pus oozing from the infection cavity opening.

I was to learn from the nurse that the ribbon dressing is expected to gradually be rejected from the cavity, so its inadvertent removal by me was not even an issue.

She saw the chance to use her fingers to manually expel a good quantity of pus from the infection cavity, and then she seemed to be possibly irrigating it. And finally, she wanted to pack some more ribbon dressing into it.

She isn't as ruthless as the ENT specialist, though, and didn't stuff as much into the cavity as she felt that she could and wanted to. She knew that it was hurting me like the dickens.

When she was done, I mentioned that for some reason it was burning me with pain, and she explained that this would only last some minutes ─ the ribbon dressing she had used was imbued with salt. This stuff supposedly helps draw out infectious matter.

When my swelling was again all bandaged over and I was free to go, it was something like 10:54 a.m. when I was out of the building and beginning my leisurely walk back home.

My younger brother Mark had meantime gotten home from his girlfriend Bev's residence where he had spent the night. Poté never got up until into the noon-hour. And even though he has basically been home all weekend, I have not exchanged a word with the 19-year-old since Friday. If he wants that badly to be distanced from the inconvenience of giving me rides, then so be it. I will not ask for help.

However, tomorrow is going to be difficult for me otherwise. I am scheduled for an ultrasound procedure at Jim Pattison, and have been variously directed to arrive at 7:30 a.m. or 7:45 a.m. The actual procedure is either 8:00 a.m. or 8:15 a.m.

I am not at all liking the prospect of having to get up so darned early ─ I would need to be up by 5:30 a.m. in order to comfortably be at Jim Pattison on foot by 7:30 a.m.

Technically, I expect that the ultrasound is going to be used to identify the offending sialolith or stone blocking the duct. Once it ─ or they if there are more than one ─ are found, a further course of action can be devised for it or their removal.

Note that I have already had two CT scans, so I am not in the least liking that I am having these health-threatening procedures.

Anyone interested enough to want to learn more about treating sialolithiasis can find some information at the following:
Rather compounding my logistics difficulties tomorrow is the next scheduled antiobiotic IV drip ─ it is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. at Jim Pattision. I have absolutely no desire to walk there and back home again in the morning, and then have to do it later again around midday!

When I was leaving the area at Jim Pattison today where I had gotten the IV drip, I checked in with one of the medical receptionists. She immediately recognized my dilemma, even if she did not know about my need to be walking the distance. So she said that once the ultrasound was all finished with, then I should just report back to this section and ─ the Good Lord willing ─ my IV drip just might get bumped ahead so that I would not have to show up later.

May it be!

Once the IV drip is done, I would then just go and visit my ENT specialist ─ I have an 11:15 a.m. appointment with him. He is located roughly halfway on my walk home from Jim Pattison. I don't want to walk all the way past his office, only to have to cover the same five or so blocks later to keep that appointment.

Believe me, I am really getting fed up with this stinking condition! What the hell's wrong with my body that it fails like this?

Well, again, I took no photos today, since my swelling is all covered over. But I discovered that yesterday, Google sent me a notification that it had created a collage from some of my wife Jack's photos on that day back in 2012:


My wife Jack had charged the fare to fly back to Thailand to visit her mother at the family home in Nong Soong, a large village that is likely no more than about a 15-minute drive from Udon Thani.

Here are the original photos, beginning with the three in the left column. The first photo shows Jack's nephew (Jack's brother Santi's son) being hugged by one of Jack's two sisters, Penn. Just beyond them is Jack's mother:


I have no idea who any of these boys are:


That is Jack's mother in the foreground, but I cannot confidently suggest who anyone else is:


This is a nice photo of Jack hugging her mother, while Jack's sisters Penn and Lumpoon stand on the other side of their mother:


And finally Jack by herself:


I am not entirely sure, but it is possible that those shots were all taken in the Nong Khai area ─ and maybe even on February 19, 2012, for I really doubt that Jack's camera had its date setting changed.

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I have before read that rose hips are able to enhance the development of healthy brown fat, and to even turn white fat into brown fat. Brown fat is the good body fat that has nothing to do with weight gain, and which in fact is metabolically active and expends lots of energy (calories).

White fat is the type we especially do not want accumulating around our internal organs as visceral fat. Brown fat can actually help to burn visceral fat up, if I remember correctly.

I have no idea what rose hips supplements might cost, but they certainly sound like a good choice for anyone faced with the need to drop weight. Check out this article by Dr. Marc S. Micozzi:

DrMicozzi.com

Domestic rose hips lack by far the vitamin C content that their wild relatives do, so I suspect that domestic rose hips also likely lack in the potential weight loss realm, as well.

If you happen to have access to lots of wild rose hips, just ensure that they haven't been sprayed with anything toxic, and are not growing on land that may have harmful commercial chemicals mixed into it.

I have read that the fuzzy seeds of rose hips are very irritating to our alimentary canal, and mustn't be consumed. So scoop those out before sampling the outer 'meat' encasing them.

However, please note that I have not attempted harvesting wild rose hips. I am merely relaying what I have read. If my pension was not so limited, I would splurge on the 1,000-mg supplements recommended by Dr. Micozzi...except that I might take that much a couple of times a day.

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After I had my first smallish meal of the day early this afternoon, I sought a bit of a nap. I was successful, but I doubt that I lied down for as long as an hour.

I am really not looking forward to getting up exceptionally early tomorrow morning for that ultrasound appointment.

Here to close today's post is a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting the small affair in a house located on Ninth Street, and one or two houses up from Third Avenue.

I had gone to bed the evening before this entry at 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY, February 19, 1976

I arose about 5:20 a.m.

I finished typing a letter to Terri, which I'll mail on my way to the welfare office to turn in my declaration and to see about my unsent incentive cheque.

Simple Joe from S.A.N.E. was there, and we spoke.

I was well treated. Mr. Jeffs even saw me; apparently I was still supposed to have been putting in time at S.A.N.E., for he was going to continue my incentive.

Also, he gave me a phone number, and he even dialed it; it concerns maybe 2 months work land clearing in Haney on a L.I.P. grant; however, the woman I was to speak with was out, but my patronym and mom's phone number were taken.

My cheque was put in yesterday's mail and should arrive today, but I think I'll forget about it for now.

I went to the post office and bought 2 money orders ($6 & $4), and returning in the spitting weather, I bought Synthetic Men of Mars and John Carter of Mars second-hand (85¢ apiece) at the Royal Book Mart. Just before, I saw Henry of Nell's going down 6th St with another guy.

Next, I headed out and went to the bookstore at Edmond's I missed yesterday; they've got a good selection, and second-hand I bought Pirates of Venus (85¢), Lost on Venus (50¢), Tarnsman of Gor (70¢; I need it, Mark having sold my original), and de Camp's The Fallible Fiend (70¢). I could have blown more, but dared not.

I headed into a heavy sprinkle for Simpsons-Sears; as far as I'm concerned, the place is inferior to Woodward's, for I bought nothing. But at least I got exercised and weathered.

On my way home I stopped in at the Western Book Store; their selection is good too, but I found nothing I couldn't resist.

I finally fell; 'twas Knave's Audrey at about 3:39 p.m. Since November 27!! This hurts me.

My belly is afflicted with the gas pressure I have known undereating to bring on.

The landlady has been out all day, so it is a good thing I didn't wait inside all day for her to make my cheque accessible.

I'm going to bed at 8:00 p.m.; the place is pretty cold again. My throat feels as if it picked up a bug today.
The letter I finished typing that morning was to an American pen-pal, Terri Martin.

Possibly for as long as a couple of years, I had been working one day a week as a truck swamper for a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends). This arrangement was between them and the government as part of an employment incentives programme.

Under it, I received the regular social assistance rate for a Single person each month, plus an extra $50 or so for the actual work.  

However, I had been told that due to underfunding, my contract had been terminated with S.A.N.E. And so I had not gone to work for the past one or two weeks ─ I usually worked on a Friday.

Russ Jeff's was my social worker (I have no idea now who "simple Joe" was that I spoke with in the social assistance offices). Back then, the social assistance offices were on Sixth Street, just up from Columbia Street and on the left-hand side if one were walking downhill towards Columbia Street

I remember nothing of any land-clearing in Haney on a Local Initiatives Project (L.I.P.), so obviously that never came about.

On my way to the Royal Book Mart (then located at Sixth Street & Agnes Street), the "Henry" I saw was an older gent who somehow had gotten involved in the partying that took place each weekend at my maternal Aunt Nell Halverson's home off in Surrey

I now have no idea where the next two bookstores were that I hiked to, but they must have been quite near to where the Edmonds SkyTrain Station is today off in Burnaby ─ I walked a lot back then. 

My younger brother Mark must have borrowed one of my books previously and then sold it, so I was buying that copy again as a secondhand version just to actually read it.

I sure loved my 'sword & sorcery' fiction!

I did not have any mail delivery directly where I was living. Instead, the mailman would deliver all mail into the slot at the front door of the house, and my landlady would in due time come and leave anything for me in a special receptacle in the basement just outside of my room. Thus, whenever she was not home, I would not receive my mail until she finally returned and sorted it out. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Parotid Duct Obstruction Treatment: Day Nine │ Lupron: Ruining the Lives of Men with Prostate Cancer and Kids with Precocious Puberty

It was 10:59 p.m. when I had finally settled into bed last evening. I never had taken an Advil despite the nigh brutal treatment I had received late in the morning yesterday when an ENT specialist manually expressed every possible amount of pus that he could from the great swelling that arose after an obstruction of my main left parotid gland.

An abscess had formed, and it had finally broken open this past Wednesday/Thursday night while I was in bed.

But I had felt quite beaten up all day long following the doctor's office punishment.

I didn't seem to sweat too much overnight ─ my bedding wasn't as clammy as it has commonly been.

I had a 10:00 a.m. ertapenem IV drip scheduled for this morning at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, so when I checked the time just ahead of 8:00 a.m., I decided to rise  First up would be a good face-soaking in the bathtub to try and wash off the dried blood and plasma caked to my face and beard.

Then groomed as best as I am able, I went downstairs to make an instant coffee.

The day outside seemed lightly overcast, with some extremely weak sunshine, but it seemed a bit chilly.

I had it in mind that I would likely be walking to my appointment ─ Jim Pattison is just over a mile from where I live. Normally my youngest step-son Poté would have driven me, but he was sacked out in bed. Still, that did not necessarily mean that he did not have an alarm set.

My younger brother Mark emerged from his bedroom around 9:00 a.m., and set about doing a load of laundry; and then he fixed himself a coffee while he enjoyed the Saturday edition of The Vancouver Sun.  

Soon it was approaching 9:30 a.m., so I started preparing for the hike. Mark would have driven me, but I did not wish to inconvenience him ─ after all, it was not as if it was pouring rain, or the ground covered with inches of snow and ice.

It was 9:34 a.m. when I slipped away unnoticed.

And I barely made it on time ─ that last third of a mile was one fast walk!

When my time at Jim Pattison arrived to be treated, the attending nurse did some mopping up of the wound, including trimming a length from the antibiotic ribbon that the ENT specialist had packed into the infection cavity yesterday.

She wondered on the sense of stuffing the cavity like that, for I do not see the guy again until Tuesday. To her thinking, having the cavity stuffed will impede its easy drainage.

And she finished up by actually expressing some pus from the site anyway. I wasn't expecting anything like that again, but at least it was not the long torturous process I experienced yesterday.

She even gave me about four packets of sterile pads and a roll of an adhesive bandage to use to keep the pads in place. I had said that I hoped to trim my beard down over the weekend until it was only a couple of days' worth of stubble, so she felt that I should have the extra material to re-dress the infection site.

The walk home after the antibiotic IV drip was finished was less harrowing than the urgent earlier walk to the clinic, but the nippy air was certainly apparent ─ I wore a denim jacket.

Poté was still asleep when I got home. He was not to rise until into the noon-hour.

I fixed myself my first meal of the day ─ nothing that requires too much chewing, for I can barely put my finger between my teeth, my bite has become so restricted at the temporomandibular joint. I probably should mention this tomorrow when I go for my next IV drip at 10:00 a.m. ─ is this limitation of jaw-opening commonplace for something like my infection, and will all become normal in due course?

It is 1:23 p.m. as I type this, and I have finished eating. But the action of working my jaws has caused what appears to be clear liquid to be dripping down my beard from the covered wound. I think I am just going to take a break and see if I can maybe drift off into a nap.

*****

I was deep into a beautiful sound nap when my cellphone rang about 3:08 p.m. It was my wife Jack checking up on me from Vancouver.

So that was that! It would take too long to return to sleep, even though I wanted it. Instead, I went downstairs to make my day's second instant coffee.

I noticed that one of my two step-sons left a largish can of some kind of Campbell's soup in front of my computer. I took that downstairs and put it into a cupboard ─ I will not knowingly ingest anything of Campbell's (nor any other soup company's product). Campbell uses bisphenol A (BPA) in the linings of their cans ─ an endocrine-disrupting chemical that mimics estrogen, and which can cause cancer and who-knows-what-else, besides robbing men of their fertility and even adversely affecting their masculinity by reducing overall testosterone levels.

The chemical is in lots of food products besides can linings ─ it is also used to line food cartons and boxes, and those packages of popcorn that people microwave to pop the corn are heavy contributors of BPA in the diets of the duped. Nothing draws out the toxin into something like popcorn like harsh steam and heat will.

Sure, Campbell nearly a year ago proclaimed to rid their can linings of BPA by "mid-2017," but they have lied and lied in the past about their wholesomeness. And as this lengthy September 18, 2012, article at Forbes.com shows, that promise to stop using BPA is one of their long-standing favourites: Campbell's Big Fat Green BPA Lie -- and the Sustainability Activists who Enabled It.

I believe that I can honestly state that I will never in my life buy anyone's canned food product.

Well, no photos of myself today. I could have taken one this morning (when I was first cleaning up after getting out of bed) of the antibiotic ribbon sticking a couple of inches out of the infection cavity on my left cheek, but there are better things to look at.

In fact, Google sent me notice today that it had created a collage of my wife Jack's photos from this day five years ago:


The photos were taken at some special occasion at the Thai Buddhist temple (Wat Budhapanyanantarama) in Burnaby ─ the temple is at 4796 Canada Way. It has no website that I am aware of, but this is its Facebook page.

These are the four original photos:





That is me standing beside the head monk in the final photo, while my wife Jack is kneeling.

Happier times? I suppose.

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One treatment for men with prostate cancer is androgen deprivation therapy (ADT); and one of the drugs used for such therapy is Lupron.

Note that Lupron "treats only the symptoms of prostate cancer and does not treat the cancer itself."

But it has an enormous list of side effects:
In that second webpage, don't be afraid to scroll down to the section for healthcare professionals ─ it gives details that it does not offer in the first section to the consumer, including percentages for people who suffer side effects. Remember, 10% means that one out of every 10 people will suffer that side effect ─ and these reported side effects are just those that have been submitted and recorded, of course.

That second webpage also mentioned something else about the use of Lupron ─ it is used to treat early-onset or precocious puberty in children. And we're talking about kids as young as five years old!

So...any problems crop up yet?

Well, duh!!! Of course!

See this comprehensive report at Kaiser Health News:

KHN.org

The same article is also available at STATnews.com and PBS.org, should it become unavailable at the source I cited.

The horror stories are out there. Unfortunately for Americans, their FDA is doing precisely what it does best in situations like this ─ spending years and years supposedly reviewing these disasters, but of course never seeing any actual cause to express open concern about the precious drug.

Big Pharma mightn't like it, I suppose.

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I am going to close for the day with this journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting my little space in a house located on Ninth Street, and one or two houses up from Third Avenue.

My main mailing address was my mother Irene Dorosh's home out in Surrey; the little house she shared with her husband Alex is now gone, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue. To hike there in the Kennedy heights area of Surrey from my room would take about 1½ hours of fast-paced trekking.

I was planning such a hike for this day.

The evening prior to this entry, I had gone to bed at 8:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, February 18, 1976

I've been cold all night, sleeping poorly; after a stretch of wakefulness, I looked and saw it to be 2:45 a.m.; unable to get to sleep with any ease, I arose at 3:00 a.m.

I'll leave here for mom's at 5:30 a.m.

'Twas windy. I arrived in good time, noting no foot trouble.

As Thursday, pancakes (buckwheat) constituted the great part of my diet today; I first though scaled myself, finding an easy 184 lbs registered.

I've eaten a lot since my granola Saturday, but believe it or not, that was all I passed today! What a length of intestine I must have!

No mail today.

Phyllis dropped by about 2:20 p.m. for 45 minutes or so.

Mom learned yesterday she has high blood pressure; the poor thing has a harder time than I at losing weight.

I came here very easy minded for once; no hate, anger, and bitterness.

My foot was really no problem, though running is out.

I saw David come down 5th St to Royal, but he failed to recognize me; I don't know if he did after crossing, however, for I didn't look; we were directly opposite each other.

Still no $50 incentive cheque; I'll look into it tomorrow. 

But I did have a letter from dad; he suggested I visit on Sunday at the end of the month; he's apparently sometime seen Art, who believed I may have moved.

I finished reading Vihljalmur Stefansson's My Life with the Eskimo; I won't finish the anatomy text, however.

Mom said this forenoon that Roxanne Halverson tried to suicide with pills; and Georgie might come and visit awhile.

I'd thought I might go on a walk this evening, but I changed my mind.

The possibility exists mom & Phyllis may go Sunday to see Greta, who phoned, I guess, yesterday, her third call; but mom doesn't find Phyllis' driving an attractive prospect.

Monday I discovered in a Shopper flyer at mom's a new smorgasbord on Marine Drive called The Holstein; lunch is from 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. daily except Saturday and Monday for $2.75, cheaper than dear Country Boy's. If I get my money tomorrow, I'll propose we try this place out on Sunday, for that is really my only free glutting day this week, and at Country Boy's that day would necessitate an expenditure of at least $3.50 or possibly $3.99; "we" means Bill & I, of course.

I'm going to retire at 7:30 p.m.
My mother cooked everything from scratch. She would have had genuine buckwheat flour, and probably even buckwheat grains. Her pancakes were irresistible, and I could not help but eat gluttonously. The pickings back at my room were most sparse.

Phyllis is my older maternal half-sister. The trip she and my mother might make on Sunday would be to Barriere to visit my mother's Dutch friend Greta, who had been all in a tearful tither at a looming break-up with her boyfriend Kurt who had just recently discovered that Greta was 14 years older than he was, and he could not handle it.

Roxanne Halverson was my younger maternal cousin resident in Calgary; her mother was Georgina Halverson, one of my mother's sisters. Rocky was to get over her troubled teens, and has been married for decades; she and her husband recently moved from Surrey to the Chilliwack area, I believe.     

It was while I was hiking back to my room that I saw my old friend Philip David Prince. I usually tried to avoid his company, but I sure miss him in my old age! He lived in his own room there in New Westminster.

I would have been walking along Royal Avenue towards Fifth Street when I saw him coming down the latter and then crossing Royal at the intersection. I must have been right on the opposite side of Fifth Street from him, but he must not have looked left. I would be crossing Fifth Street right to where he was standing, but his light changed first and he proceeded across Royal.

Whether he looked back afterwards, I did not wish to look to see, not wanting to become entangled with my old friend.

Fifth Street no longer reaches Royal Avenue, but seems to end at Third Avenue now.  

My old friend William Alan Gill and I loved our cheap smorgasbords! Bill lived in a bachelor suite he was renting, perhaps four or so blocks from my room.

The $50 cheque I was missing was my final payment for working a day each week at a New Westminster charitable organization for possibly a couple of years. I had worked there via an employment incentives project in place between them and the government. However funding ran out, and my contract was not renewed.

The $50 was what I received for working those four or so days a month.

I also received the going social assistance rate for a Single person ss part of that package.

Concerning the letter from my father Hector, he had reportedly seen Art Smith somewhere, and Art had speculated that I may have moved. Art was an older friend of mine who was in his early 40s, but I had come to try and avoid him as much as I could because he was always trying to haul me off to his home to sit up late into the night as his drinking companion. I was trying to break from those unplanned late hours.

So anytime he came knocking, I ignored the knocks. But that was my way in general ─ if I knew not who was knocking, I was unlikely to answer.

I had mentioned weighing myself before eating at my mother's home. For most of my adult life, I have weighed in the bottom half of the 180s. But just this morning when I was cleaning up my bloody beard after getting up for the day, I wasn't any more than about 174 pounds. 

Unable to chew at all well because of how limited my jaws are at separating to accept food ─ and because of how unwell that part of my face has been ─ I have been consuming less than normal. Besides, I am unable to exercise. I have the IV needle conveniently (for the medical staff) inserted into a vein in my left forearm. It is all wrapped up, and is attached to an IV unit whenever my next antibiotic drip is scheduled. 

Thus, I am loath to attempt exercising with that peripheral venous catheter affixed into a vein ─ I don't want the needle to pull out of the vein, after all. So trying to do any strenuous exercise movements would jeopardize the set-up.

However, I have been getting these darned antibiotic drips since February 10, and I am getting my fill of being limited like this. My arms are beginning to look like some frail old man's.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Parotid Duct Obstruction Treatment: Day Eight ─ Hell in the Doctor's Office │ A Smell Test May Be Able to Predict Dementia/Alzheimer's Onset Nine Years Early

With the parotid duct obstruction infectious swelling on the left side of my face now weeping pus after bursting open Wednesday night while I was sleeping, I have to retire to bed with the site covered over ─ I hood helps keep any padding in place.

It was 11:01 p.m. by the time I was settled under the covers last evening.

I had a 10:00 a.m. appointment scheduled for this morning at Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre ─ an ertapenem IV drip. I was also to be seeing Dr. Yaz Mirzanejad, an infectious diseases specialist. I had first seen him last Tuesday morning,

My youngest step-son Poté was available to drive me to the appointment, just over a mile away from where we live.

I have been getting antibiotic IV drips since last Friday afternoon, originally starting with clindamycin.

Dr. Mirzanejad had not seen me since Tuesday, so he had yet to see for himself just how much pus is exuding from the infection. I had been scheduled to have the site drained next Monday morning, but he now does not see that as required.

In some exuberance, he could not help but attempting to express some pus for himself. He was so impressed with what he expulsed that he even suggested that I lie on my side upon an examining table, but then he seemed to change his mind ─ maybe he was not prepared to become so engaged.

He didn't visit with me for too long; and once the drip was done, I was released. I now had an appointment to keep with ENT specialist Dr. Mark Miller. Poté didn't have to start work today until 2:00 p.m., I believe, so he had said to summon him when I was done at Jim Pattison.

I decided to walk ─ it was perhaps just over half a mile. But I used a hard pace. And I was outside his door at 9656 King George Boulevard at 11:05 a.m. The appointment was on the books for 11:00 a.m., but Dr. Miller knew about the IV drip and my appointment with Dr. Mirzanejad, so he had told me to just come when it was over.

There was someone else being treated ahead of me. And when it finally came time for my examination once the other patient had gone, the medical receptionist said that she was going to lock up the office because she was going to assist in what was to follow.

I was bidden to lie upon an examination table.

After examining the raw opening of the swelling and noting how it was indeed excreting pus, he followed Dr. Mirzanejad's lead and had himself a go at expressing a mess of pus from the opening.

This was of course painful for me, and he realized it.

Next came the long needle to inject freezing into the site.

Without much of a wait, he then proceeded in earnest to expel everything that he possibly could from the infection, changing the positioning of his fingers over and over.

I was often fluttering my booted feet as I gripped the table sides mightily, and growling expressions of pain were frequent. Once, I even involuntarily hurled forth the 'F word.'

Meanwhile, his assistant was softly stroking my temple and forehead ─ a small measure, yes, but it was still welcome. I am unaccustomed to gentle physical contact, and she is a pleasant enough looking woman.

Dr. Miller asked her for some sort of tool with a blade curved at the end, and which apparently had a clamp. I never saw it, but it seemed to be used to pull at something in the wound ─ there was what felt like a sustained unpleasant tug for a time.

During all of these various experiences of pain, it occurred to me to wonder if my heart could fail me ─ I am 67, after all. And at one point when I was lying with my face and body relaxed, Dr. Miller even asked me if I was alright ─ I think he needed assurance that I had not passed out.

He exclaimed how delighted he was with what he had been able to force from the infection, and commended me on performing my role in this rather well. I suppose that was because I did not once lay hands upon his and interfere with what he was doing, even when the pain was sometimes extreme.

Instead of fluttering my arms and hands and interfering with what he was attempting to focus upon, I resolutely gripped the table-sides and tensed my upper body, gritting my teeth and often clenching my closed eyes. 

When he was done, he next proceeded to use a prod of some sort and start packing the infection cavity with some kind of antibiotic ribbon dressing ─ feeling that stuff slowly getting stuffed into the cavity was definitely no pain-free highlight of the entire office experience.

But even that was soon enough completed.

When I mentioned that I had a walk of about five blocks to get home, he sought assurance that I felt capable, and offered that he had not administered anything that should affect my balance adversely.

Sure, I could have summoned Poté, but he's got work to concern himself with. Maybe he was resting up.

The day was partially sunny and mild ─ a nice one for a fast-paced bit of hiking. Too, I felt I needed the physical activity to try and unwind from everything I had been through.

Once home, I was soon lying in bed to attempt to relax. I had not taken an Advil at all yesterday, and I hadn't intended on any today. But maybe by the late afternoon or evening, I may decide otherwise, There is also something to be said for pain relief as a means of facilitating sleep, so we shall see how I hold up.

I have had to apply a face cloth or something similar over the dressing to hold it in place, and I have a hood over the cloth to keep it in place, too. I found that bloody fluid was tricking down into the beard on my chin and dripping off. I think I have successfully gotten that stopped.

Dr. Mirzanejad has asked me to shave the site of the infection by Monday, but I am going to have to feel a whole lot better than I do today. It's not going to happen before Sunday.

Tomorrow, I have another ertapenem IV drop scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at Jim Pattison.

There were no selfies today, since the swelling has always been covered over.

By the way, my wife Jack texted me from Vancouver soon after I was home from Dr. Miller's manipulations:
Hi how going, hope u r doing ok, I have my MRI yesterday and today for my accident last two years
She had been rear-ended in her car, and is still complaining of adverse symptoms from the accident.

We're quite a pair!

I just came across a Google notification sent to me a couple of days ago concerning a collage Google had made of some photos that Jack took during a trip back to Thailand to see her mother in early 2013:


I suspect that all of those photos in the collage were taken at Suvarnabhumi Airport, after she first landed in Bangkok, and before she had continued on to Udon Thani.

I will try to find the original photos and now post them, starting across the top of the collage:






↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔

Have you ever heard that a failing sense of smell can be a clue to the potentiality of developing dementia like Alzheimer's disease in an older person?

It is not a new concept, but a recently published study did much to affirm its value:

JacksDailyDose.com

MedicalXpress.com

The first report suggested trying to smell peanut butter ─ I found that to be quite curious. So I did a bit of research and found this January 20, 2016, article at Alzheimers.netCan’t Smell Peanut Butter? Alzheimer’s May Be the Culprit.

I need to buy a goodly quantity of peanut butter ─ we've essentially been out of it for some while. But there is no way that I am in any condition to be going public with the bloody mess that my face is as of today.

I had said that I took no photos of me today, but I now see that Google has also created a collage of the three photos that I took of myself yesterday while standing outside of Jim Pattison after the antibiotic IV drip, and waiting for Poté to come and pick me up:


After I had gone home that day, I was hungry, so I had some of my wife Jack's congee. That was around 2:00 p.m. The effort of working my jaws just enough to 'chew' the rice porridge re-opened the spot where everything had broken open the previous night. When I checked myself after eating, there was a fair quantity of grey puss oozed into my beard, with more waiting to work up and out.

Yes, it's great to be me.

↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔↔

I had to go and lie down for a nap to escape this ongoing recurrence of annoying pain. As yet, no pain-killers, though.

I am going to close now with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was paying rent for the small affair in a house located on Ninth Street, and one or two houses up from Third Avenue.

My bedtime the evening before was 8:30 p.m.
TUESDAY, February 17, 1976

I'm guessing, but around 12:30 a.m. last night David came knocking lightly, but lengthily; he even spoke out. Before that I'd had some sort of WD.

I rose about 5:45 a.m.

It was raining with some light snow when I laundered, having the place to myself until I'd finished when 2 separate people came in; I bought Skull and TV Guide.

Well, I guess my incentive $50 aren't coming; I intend postponing its earned follow-up for Thursday when I take in my declaration of assistance.

I set off for a long walk, but turned homeward after a couple blocks. It wasn't raining. There just isn't any decent place to walk; nothing but city and residential areas, which I found myself unable to suffer without any goal.

Too, I felt conspicuous out in the public in the light of day.

I did some work on a letter to Terri.

This place is cold! It remained so, and very much, all the remainder of the boring day.

In all, I ate 1 pancake.

Bed should be 8:30 p.m.
My old friend Philip David Prince would have been my attempted visitor. He had his own room elsewhere in New Westminster, so it was no truly great inconvenience to him for me to have ignored his knocking.

I believe that I generally laundered at a laundromat that may have been located on Sixth Avenue, up by the public library.

I had to guess about that Marvel comic I bought ─ I cannot remember any series called Skull the Slayer.

For maybe a couple of years, I had been working one day a week as a truck swamper for a New Westminster charitable organization. They were part of an employment incentives programme in place with the government. Working entitled me to the Single social assistance rate, plus an extra $50 above that.

Well, the funding for the charitable organization came to an end and my contract had to be terminated, but my final $50 payment had yet to show up. Apparently I was going to the social assistance office in two days to submit that I was still in need of the social assistance.

Discouraged by having no place worthwhile to walk, I returned home and did some work on a letter to Terri Martin, an American pen-pal I had.

It sure does sound like an empty day.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Parotid Duct Obstruction Treatment: Day Seven

Last evening, I noticed that the area of the enormous swelling on the left side of my face where the ENT specialist Dr. Mark Miller had inserted a needle and withdrawn perhaps two c.c.s of pus last Tuesday morning, was pulsating with each beat of my heart in a rather fiery fashion.

I checked, and saw that I had a large whitish area nearly the size of a trimmed thumbnail ─ the infection seemed to be achieving a 'head.'

Unsure if I should just allow this to run its course, I gave Dr. Miller a call on his cellphone. I am already due to see him on Friday. He confirmed my assessment, and said that if it was bothersome enough, to go to the emergency section at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

That wasn't necessary ─ I had only required assurance that it was nothing to be concerned about if this broke open.

So come bedtime, I placed a pad against the great swelling and went to bed wearing a hood over my head.

I was in bed by 11:01 p.m.

When finally I decided to rise this morning, it was 8:57 a.m. I had used the bathroom several times overnight to pee. However, I felt decent ─ i.e., I didn't feel need for an Advil. I have been limiting myself to three a day since beginning them last Thursday.

I did sweat overnight again, however, rendering my bedding very clammy.

And yes, the infectious area did break open. The pad had a wet area about the size of a loonie or toonie, and I saw a ridge of greyish pus in my beard that was maybe 1½ inches long. It was soft, and quite a job to wash away.

I have an ertapenem IV drip scheduled for the noon-hour today, with some blood-taking beforehand for testing purposes. This is to take place at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. They are located just over a mile from where I live, but my youngest step-son Poté has today off work and will be driving me.

However, I have twice received a call this morning from Dr. Miller ─ he is scrambling to get me another damned CT scan. I already had one last Friday afternoon.

But he has mentioned that it might need to take place at the Royal Columbian Hospital, and not the Surrey Memorial Hospital which is a mere five or so blocks from where I live. I think that if there is no option but the Royal Columbian, I will refuse. As I said, I feel good today ─ the pain has subsided, and I know that I could easily go the day without any pain medication whatsoever.

In fact, if I did not have the needle injection set-up for the IV drip ─ the needle is in my left forearm and all wrapped up, and just waiting for the IV attachment ─ I feel good enough to exercise today. I feel just about normal ─ I just have the large facial swelling.

I would rather just be left alone to be seen by the staff at Jim Pattison so that they can draw their own conclusions about the state of things today, now that the swelling has broken open and begun draining. Or at least, it had done so overnight.

The angry pulsations matching my heartbeat are gone ─ whatever had been brewing in the site of infection has tapered right away. I guess everything was 'coming to a boil,' and that has now been accomplished. The pressure was released when the mass of pus oozed out last night.    

Even the swelling has reduced.

...It is 10:47 a.m. right now, and I have just finished my third call from Dr. Miller. He wanted me to go to the Royal Columbian Hospital for the CT scan this afternoon, but I threw up some resistance.

I explained that I feel good, and countered that I preferred to just see what the folks at Jim Pattison have to say once I get into some details about last night and they get a chance to have a look at the swelling break. I also said that I would tell them of his wishes that I receive the CT scan, and that he has tried and tried but is unable to reach anyone at Surrey Memorial.

Jim Pattison and the Surrey Memorial have a strong affiliation, so maybe Jim Pattison may be able to establish a contact with a key player at Surrey Memorial ─ if the CT scan is that important.

But is it?

I would really like a second opinion thereon.  

It would be a virtual ordeal for me to get out to the Royal Columbian. And I dislike deeply having to keep imposing upon my youngest step-son Poté. That in itself is near enough to an ordeal. I am independent, and detest feeling this ongoing indebtedness to the young fellow.

...It is now 11:20 a.m. Dr. Miller has called me for the fourth time.

He finally got through to the Surrey Memorial, and someone will be contacting me about a CT scan this afternoon. I just hope Poté will be available to take me. He is actually still in bed right now with his girlfriend, so I have had no counsel with him today.

*****

Well, Poté roused in time to get me to Jim Pattison. The folks doing the ertapenem drip didn't want me to submit blood at the designated area until I had been finished with.

I saw the infectious diseases specialist Dr. Mirzanejad, but he chose to stay away from me. I believe that he may actually be involved in the procedure early Monday morning to try and empty out the infection from the parotid duct obstruction abscess.

I am to see him tomorrow morning, but had he seen me this afternoon, maybe he might have seen that the drainage of the site is a real possibility now.

Anyway, after the drip was done, I had to take a 'requisition' to an adjacent section on that floor, select a ticket number, and await my turn to get called up. There were only a half-dozen people ahead of me, but it still took about 40 minutes.

And guess what? All they did was swab inside my elbow, stick me with a needle to take some blood, and I was done ─ not two minutes!

There is a small Shoppers Drug Mart in the Jim Pattison building, and since my nutritional supplements supply is very low, I did a fair stocking up.

Then I went outside and texted Poté that I was finished. While awaiting him, I took these three photos at 2:17 p.m.:




Compare this to a collage of three photos I took there yesterday:


Quite a sight, eh?

I had eaten nothing today yet, so once home I got a small bowl of my wife Jack's congee, and gingerly inserted spoons of the stuff into my partially-openable mouth.

I could feel some pain across the spot where the pus had seeped out of the swelling last night ─ it felt almost as if I was breaking some tiny stitches.

When I was done eating, on a suspicion I checked myself out in a mirror ─ and sure enough, the opening had broached, and more puss had thickly oozed out into my beard.

Just then Dr. Miller phoned, just to say that the Surrey Memorial was going to push ahead to get me in as soon as possible for the CT scan.

For the present, I just wanted time to try and wash clear the puss.

But of course, that is just when the hospital called ─ could I come over right now? I explained my cleansing requirement, so I was told that it was okay as long as I was there within an hour. That was maybe 3:15 p.m.

By the time I had cleaned up, it was about 3:40 p.m. I went downstairs to see what was going on with Poté...and realized that he and his girlfriend had gone to bed.

So I readied, and just walked the five or so blocks to the hospital.

I am obviously home again now (I walked) ─ I was finished with the CT scan and released just ahead of 5:00 p.m.

Now tomorrow morning, at 10:00 a.m. I am to be at Jim Pattison for another ertapenem IV drip, and I will be seeing Dr. Yaz Mirzanejad. When everything is finished with over there, Dr. Mark Miller wants to see me ─ he has his office on my way home. At least both of these independent specialists will at last be getting to see the massive (in my opinion) seepage that is going on with the abscess.

I have had to keep tissue over it since eating this afternoon and breaking the site open. Or at least, I have kept it covered in order to go forth into the public again, for it keeps seeping. But it can do what it wants now that I am back home.

By the way, I will not be requiring an Advil today ─ I am off them, I hope. 

∟∟∟∟∟∟∟∟∟∟∟∟∟∟

Here is where I close for the day with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting the small space in a house located on Ninth Street, and one or two houses up from Third Avenue.
My major agenda item for the day was a hike out to visit my mother Irene Dorosh in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey. The home she shared with her husband Alex was my main mailing address.

The house no longer exists, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue. To hike there from my room would take about 1½ hours of rapid walking.
MONDAY, February 16, 1976

I got up at 5:10 a.m., feeling rather underslept for some reason, but full thanks to last night's meal.

I'll mail my second Playboy lottery entry when I head for mom's, leaving here c. 7:05 a.m.

Well, Greta neither showed nor phoned again.

I weighed in at a disappointing 186. And of course, I ate a caloriec glut today.

The mail brought the 3 sets of 5 Currier & Ives prints I ordered from T.P. Products, and they are inferior to my expectations.

I also received ordering coupons for the Olympic & Western Lotteries from the Canadian Big 4 Amateur Football Conference, and best of all, from Donald M. Grant came a slip of paper bearing "To Garnet H.G. Barcelo with Best Wishes from H. Warner Munn" in the latter's handwriting. 

Cathy phoned and spoke to mom a short while in the afternoon. Then about 3:45 p.m. Phyllis dropped by; I had planned to leave soon after 4:00 p.m., but didn't get away for half an hour later due to her, for I feared to prepare to leave lest she offer me a ride my flabby belly didn't need.

My foot still gets sensitive, but I think now I can walk any distance; running is all that seems to be denied me.

My final $50 incentive cheque wasn't here when I got back; it better arrive tomorrow, or I might that day go hunting for it.

I planned all week-end to possibly apply at Dare today, but I absolutely chickened out after reaching mom's. Besides, I am developing a narrow beard and wish to just give it a chance to sprout to neat dimensions.

I'm suffering some indigestion.

I'm bedding at 8:30 p.m.
Greta was a Dutch friend of my mother's who had said that she might come down from Barriere and stay for a few days while she looks for a place of her own  Her boyfriend Kurt had learned that she was 14 years his senior, and he couldn't seem to handle it. Thus, if Greta and Kurt were splitting, then Greta was supposed to come to stay with my mother a short time.

I have no idea if I still have that H. Warner Munn signature item! Heck, reading about it here is news to me! 

It was my younger brother Mark's girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther who phoned my mother in the afternoon; and then my older maternal half-sister Phyllis came for a visit.

The incentive cheque was the last payment I was to receive for working a day a week as a truck swamper for a New Westminster charitable organization. I must have been with them nigh on two years, but their government grant expired and they could not renew my contract.

Okay, it is 6:59 p.m. I will proofread this post, then publish it ─ and have a bit of a lie-down to rest my eyes.