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Friday, February 24, 2017

Fructose and an Epidemic of Liver Disease in Our Youth │ Official Recommendations Are Against Pain Relievers for Acute Lower Back Pain │ Siliq (A.K.A. Suicide Stunner) Approved for Psoriasis

It has been so good to have a day to myself here at home without any medical appointments to keep! Since February 10, I have been out everyday for at least one appointment concerning the blocked duct of my left cheek's parotid gland that had become extremely swollen and formed a large abscess.

Despite having today free, I was still eager for bed last evening, and was under the covers by 10:50 p.m. I also limited myself to just one can of strong (8% alcohol) beer that evening. It must be approaching 10 days since I have started being so sparse with my beer, but my supply must be preserved.

I think it was 7:53 a.m. this morning when I chose to rise for the day, even though I was very comfortable in bed. I was eager to get to work on a post at my Latin Impressions website that has been unfinished since commencing it back on February 3. However, there are still at least two days of work left before I can publish the post ─ maybe I won't be able to publish until Monday, but we shall see.

The opening to the infection cavity in my left cheek is still bandaged over, with a ribbon dressing packing the cavity. The outer end of that ribbon dressing weeps an incredible amount of clear fluid ─ lymph? ─ that is most annoying. Not only must I sleep with a hood over my head to soak up the fluid and keep the bedding from getting soaked; but the act of eating seems to open a floodgate of sorts, and the flow drips off onto my pants and makes them look as if my bladder gave way.

Just after 10:30 a.m., I went out to the backyard shed to try some exercising for the first time in well over two weeks. I have grown so weak! And the effort of course started the fluid flow from the wound on my cheek, dripping over my clothes and onto the floor and ground.

I took these three selfies out in the backyard when I was done the enfeebled exercise session:


The fleece hood I wear over my head is evident.

As you can see, there has been quite a lot of blue skies and sunshine today. Nevertheless, when I went to bed last evening, I noticed that the ground had almost been blanketed with a light cover of snow.

In venturing out into the backyard this morning, though, I discovered that it was probably hail, or else snow pellets. That heavy dusting is essentially gone now as I type these words at 3:57 p.m.

I had hoped to find the nerve to get out early this morning for some local grocery shopping. But once I was dressed with the hood on, the bandaging was all too obvious, and my nerve broke.

It is one thing to be walking the streets like this to get to ─ or home from ─ a medical appointment; it is quite another to brave a supermarket full of wondering people. I am a reclusive sort who prefers anonymity and inconspicuousness, and my present appearance does not make that possible.

I sometimes feel so downtrodden because of this betrayal of my body ─ just one more thing to keep me feeling helplessly home-bound.

I have a 10:15 a.m. appointment tomorrow morning to have the infection cavity tended ─ probably some irrigation, and further ribbon dressing packing; and the the whole will be bandaged over as shown in the above three photos.

But I am going for this someplace entirely new to me ─ and it's about a two-mile walk to get there. This Home Health Office is located right beside the Gateway SkyTrain Station: #1500 - 13401 - 108th Avenue here in Whalley.

I had been awaiting their call to book the appointment, for I would have in lieu had another one at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. However, Jim Pattison no longer wants to see me because the dressings were just ancillary to the antibiotic IV drips I had been getting daily from February 10 until yesterday.

With no more need for IV antibiotics, they preferred I be taken over by this other service at Gateway.

Rather interestingly, in relation to this new service, I received a call yesterday afternoon by a woman gathering information about me, including asking questions such as how many people live in this house? ─ do we have a dog? ─ is there anyone who is alcoholic in the house? ─ and are there any firearms in the house?

Obviously they are concerned when house calls are necessary to tend a patient, but I have no intention of anyone coming here.

Before I received the appointment confirmation call, I received yet a second call ─ shortly after mid-morning today ─ from yet another woman. In all honesty, I now cannot recall what her call was all about.

The confirmation call came just ahead of 10:50 a.m. just as I was into the last of my exercises out in the backyard shed.

Anyway, this essentially catches me up on my day thus far. I sure wish that I had found the never to do that early grocery shopping ─ the pickings are rather poor, so today's first meal was more filler than anything quality.

Google has been busy putting together still another collage of photos to mark this day back in 2014 ─ I seem to have been finding them doing this every day for the past week now:

I sure am glad that we don't have that snow around here now!

Here are the three original photos ─ two of the backyard, and one of the front:


This should concern just about any caring parent. And even though it speaks of the States, kids everywhere tend to eat pretty much the same.

Our children are suffering an epidemic of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and all fingers can point directly to fructose and HFCS in manufactured food products and junk food.   

These two reports tell of a study that has borne this out.



That second report has some advice on how to avoid these killer sweeteners that the food manufacturers refuse to do away with. Just try to keep it in mind whenever you are considering the food you buy.


Sufferers of acute and sub-acute lower back pain are no longer recommended by the American College of Physicians to use pain relievers. 




I included that last reference because it does make a distinction. If acute lower back pain ─ even if the pain is not radiating out to surrounding areas ─ persists for three months or more, then I would say that it no longer qualifies as being described as acute. It has become chronic.

Find out why it's there!


Man, I would hate to suffer from severe psoriasis! But I would research everything I could to learn of alternatives to some of the medications that are prescribed.

Here are a couple of rather alarming reports about the latest such medication:



And here is where I will call it a day.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Parotid Duct Obstruction Treatment: Day Fourteen ─ Last of the Antibiotic IV Drips │ The Burden of Caregiving │ Vitamin D and Longer Telomeres │ Is Your U.S. Doctor Taking 'Big Pharma' Payoffs?

Was it 10:55 p.m. when I made it to bed last night? Whatever it was, sleep was somewhat delayed because of my enormous annoyance that either my youngest step-son Poté ─ or else his girlfriend ─ next decided to take a shower in the bathroom immediately adjacent to my bedroom.

Why didn't the bugger take care of this earlier in the evening? It is noisy, even when I wear earplugs; and it aggravates me no end.

And why doesn't she shower before she comes here, if it's the girlfriend?

Other than that, I slept rather well.

I had a 1:00 p.m. appointment scheduled this afternoon at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre to have another ertapenem IV drip, but I was going to have to show up about an hour earlier because they had left me a telephone message yesterday afternoon that I am also supposed to have a 'blood work-up.'

The previous time I was at this section to have blood taken, I had to wait about 40 minutes before my two or so minutes of attention to have the actual blood drawn.

Anyway, I found myself awake this morning well ahead of 8:00 a.m., so I decided to get up and finally do some work on the post at my Latin Impressions website that I started 'way back on February 3. For so many days, I was either too sick ─ or else too involved with medical appointments ─ to get any work done on the post.

The day was somewhat chilly outside, but there was more sunshine than cloud.

It was probably around 11:15 a.m. when finally I set off on the leisurely walk of just over a mile to get to Jim Pattison, but I still managed to arrive there ahead of noon.

No matter. I had the goodly wait before I was able to be needled for blood, and then I reported for my antibiotic IV drip nearby on the same floor. I am getting to be such a familiar face that I often do not need to identify myself to reception.

It was possible that this was going to be my final antibiotic IV drip, but an infectious diseases specialist (Dr. Wong) whom I had seen earlier this week would be seeing me and letting me know for certain.

And soon enough, he sought me out.

This was indeed to be my last antibiotic drip ─ I have been getting these darned things since February 10, but starting off with clindamycin. However, as of tomorrow, I must start a prescription antibiotic in pill form that I take twice daily for a week.

Some research shows that I will be taking Apo-Amoxi Clav 875/125 tablets ─ this is a form of amoxicillin. But at least a catheter's needle is no longer inserted into a vein in my forearm on a semi-permanent basis ─ I am free of the encumbrance at last.

I will give the puncture a day to heal, and actually try to exercise again tomorrow, for I finally have a day free.

However, the abscess cavity where the blocked duct of the left parotid gland that became infected will still require irrigation and dressing.

I am scheduled for that in two days (Saturday) at Jim Pattison, but they are arranging to have the procedure done elsewhere ─ apparently over by the Gateway SkyTrain Station. I will be called on my cell phone if this can be arranged in time for me to have that first treatment done over at Gateway instead of at Jim Pattison.

However, it will be approximately a two-mile walk for me to get there, compared to just over a mile to get to Jim Pattison. It is not entirely a negative, though. The government liquor store I frequent for my strong (8% alcohol) beer is near there; and Surrey Place (Central City) is roughly halfway to there. Thus, should I really feel like it with a hood over my head to hide my bandaging, I could actually do some shopping.

The infection cavity is stuffed with a ribbon dressing which ─ with a piece of the ribbon protruding ─ serves as a wick to allow a constant drip of lymph or some other clear fluid. It soaks the upper parts of my shirts or tops, and keeps the hood wet on that side. I have to sleep with a fleece hood to prevent soaking my bedding and pillow case with this wretched drip.

It even drips all over my pants when I am trying to eat, and will also drip onto anything I might be leaning over. Yes, the wound is dressed and taped over; but the fluid eventually forces its way past the tape and the dripping starts.

I hope Dr. Wong was misunderstood by me, but I believe that he said that this may be something I will have to put up with for a few weeks still.

The dripping onto my pants can be so bad when I am sitting and trying to eat that the wet stain looks just as if I have peed myself.

It is an extraordinary nuisance that I wish would end. I only have one grey fleece hood that I can wear which does not readily display being wet; my other hoods are very apparent when wetted.

Anyway, once more I took no photos today, but Google has yet again created a collage of some past photos ─ this time, from this very day in 2014:

We in this household have had our fill of a most unusually snowy Winter where Surrey is concerned ─ I hope to see no more snowfalls now that we are finally clear of the stuff. It surprises me to see that we had snow on February 23 just three years ago ─ that indicates that we are still not scotfree this Winter.

Here are those original photos ─ one of the front yard, and three out in the backyard:


I never had to care for an ageing parent ─ both of my parents died suddenly and unexpectedly, and nowhere near me. But it bothers me to have lost each of them like that.

People who do have to provide care for a family member can undergo considerable ─ even overwhelming ─ stress. 

The following two reports about this problem focus on the States, but perhaps they offer some potential encouragement for family caregivers in Canada and elsewhere:



That second report is clearly more helpful than the first one that just seem concerned with the details of the study it is reporting upon.


A study of vitamin D has found that people with higher levels of the vitamin in their blood seem to have longer telomeres ─ those 'caps' at the ends of our chromosomes that have a finite ability to divide when a cell divides.

Each time a cell divides, some of the telomere is lost.

Once the telomere has become too short to divide any longer, then that cell will die, unable to reproduce and replace itself. 

These reports speak of the study:



I have never had my blood's vitamin D levels tested, and I doubt that I ever will. Consequently, those cited figures on quantities are obscure and meaningless to me.

That second report is quite wrong about Winter sunlight being able to produce any vitamin D in your skin ─ even if you were naked. However, direct sunlight ─ even in the Winter, ─ does stimulate T cell activity. But that's another matter.

Normally I take 4,000 I.U.s of vitamin D3 daily. But as of a week or so ago, I bumped my intake up to 10,000 I.U.s daily to help fight this parotid duct blockage infection.


This is a good article for those of you living in the States who may be suspicious that your physician is little more than a shill or pusher for the Pharmaceutical Industry:


The article mentions a website where you can check up on your U.S. physician, but there is no actual link to the website. You have to 'copy & paste' the Web address or URL.

Or just click here: OpenPaymentsData.CMS.gov.

Does it actually work? I cannot tell you. As a Canadian who has never had any medical involvement in the United States, I do not know of any American doctors to try it out on.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Parotid Duct Obstruction Treatment: Day Thirteen │ Mouth Bacteria and Infective Endocarditis │ Importance of a Family Doctor │ How IV Vitamin C Kills Some Cancers

On Monday when my wife Jack was last here from Vancouver, she had said that she might be back the following evening because she wanted to go and visit the Thai Buddhist temple (Wat Budhapanyanantarama) in Burnaby on Wednesday (today).

It would all depend on how tired she was.

Well, last evening I was geared up to get to bed well ahead of 11:00 p.m. Jack was not yet here, and it seemed like I was the only person in the house still up. So I went downstairs and locked the front door, and had no sooner come upstairs here to my computer to shut it down when I heard her unlocking the front door and coming in.

There went my plan to get to bed early.

I finally did get to bed when she was using the bathroom, but it may have been something like 11:39 p.m. by then. I donned earplugs, blindfold, and knotted the fleece-like hood over my head to hold in place my left cheek's wound dressing, and to also soak up the clear fluid that keeps dripping from the ribbon dressing stuffed into the infection cavity.

The condensed explanation of what I am speaking of is that since around February 1st, the duct of my parotid gland near my left ear had somehow become blocked, and the resulting swelling soon became infected and had grown to resemble a very large orange embedded in my cheek by the time I sought medical attention on February 10.

The abscess did finally break open at the surface the night of February 15/16 while I was in bed, but I am still getting antibiotic IV drips ever since that first day of medical attention.

I had a session scheduled this morning for 10:00 a.m. at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, so I had wanted to try for as much sleep as possible last night.

However, with Jack home and roaming about the house, it took me awhile to disassociate myself from her presence and finally drop off into sleep. I tend to use the toilet to pee few times a night, probably due to the body's need to keep flushing out the antibiotic and whatever systemic casualties there are from this war against the invading bacteria. That first visit was to be around 1:30 a.m., so obviously my first stretch of sleep was not very extensive.

I managed to get up this morning nicely ahead of 8:00 a.m. I may even have successfully avoided disturbing Jack. She knew of my appointment and would drive me, but I thought that if she was still asleep at 9:00 a.m., I would quietly leave and walk to Jim Pattison ─ it is located a little over a mile from where we live.

Nevertheless, that was not to be. Jack got up about 20 minutes or a half-hour after I did.

I got around to asking her if there was something special happening at the temple that was drawing her desire to attend, and she said that there was not ─ she just wanted to go because it was her birthday.

And then I realized that with all of my suffering this month, I had utterly forgotten that her birthday was nigh ─ today. This has not happened to me before.

Regardless, I do not drive, so I have been unable to do aught but get myself back and forth to medical appointments everyday since the 10th. Besides, I have yet no desire to be getting any more public that is required to walk to or back home from one of those appointments ─ at the age of 67, I feel almost sinister walking about with a hood to hide my bandaged left cheek.

But there would be considerably more attention with the bandaging on display.

So I just go back and forth to my various appointments ─ the only store in between in a 7-Eleven, and that is not somewhere that I would go for a birthday card.

Anyway, Jack got me to my appointment just after 9:40 p.m., but I didn't have to wait unduly before I was called in. Meantime, I think she came back home ─ she was not yet ready to go to the temple.

Once the ertapenem IV drip was over with ─ and this time the procedure was unusually quick ─ I had an 11:15 a.m. appointment to keep with my ENT specialist, Dr. Mark Miller. His office is on King George Boulevard, and roughly halfway home from Jim Pattison.

It was not yet quite 10:30 a.m. when I was back outside of Jim Pattison, so I walked the half-mile or so to Dr. Miller's office as slowly as I could; and then I loitered around outside for a bit.

It was actually rather chilly. When I had taken our garbage bin in from the roadside this morning, the handle was caked with ice.

I probably entered Dr. Miller's waiting room around 10:50 a.m., so technically my appointment was nearly a half-hour away.

But that was not how it panned out. Instead, I was called in early, and he only briefly looked at the wound. He wants me to see him one more time on Monday.

And I was actually on my way home before the scheduled time of today's appointment! You can't beat that.

No one was home when I got back.

I had myself a good first meal of the day comprised of fare my wife Jack had prepared on Monday, and then I was unable to resist having a nice nap.

I was soon to realize that a message had been left on the house phone's answering machine. It was from Irene, the nurse who had tended me today at Jim Pattison. I have my next and hopefully last antibiotic IV drip there tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., but she said that I am supposed to also have a 'blood work-up' first.

I guess they forgot to get me to have that done today, so she said to come in ahead of time to get that done. I had the experience once before ─ it is done in another section. And although all they will need to do is draw some blood ─ a process that takes a total of about two minutes once I was actually seen by someone ─ the wait to be seen was around 40 minutes!

Consequently, I will try and get there very soon after noon tomorrow.

It was almost 3:00 p.m.when Jack returned home. In response to my question, she had enjoyed herself at the temple. As she usually does, she had taken some food; she must have prepared this morning after taking me to Jim Pattison.

She did some further cooking to leave for us, and then she lied down on the chesterfield in the living room to try and rest. Not five minutes later, her youngest son Poté was home from work, and her rest was over.

They had some conversation in Thai. And then just after 4:45 p.m., she had left us to return to Vancouver. I don't know if Poté thought to get her a card at least, but maybe they'll do something together tomorrow ─ she said that she plans to see him where he is getting some on-the-job training downtown.

I sure wish she and I had a better life and marriage than we do. I miss the cheery, funny, and playful woman that I know she can be. But we've just got too many stresses in our lives, with debt being at the root of most of it.

I took no photos today, but Google continues to be active with an album of photos from 2013 containing photos from when Jack had gone home to her family home in Nong Soong ─ approximately a 15-minute drive from Udon Thani ─ to visit her mother and other family members and friends.

Google created this collage to commemorate this day in 2013, but the photos were likely taken on February 23, 2013, for I am confident that Jack's camera's date settings were unchanged for the trip ─ and Thailand is presently 15 hours ahead of us here in our part of Canada:

I will now post the original photos, starting with the column of three at the left. Whenever the timing of the actual photos, there was some sort of celebration taking place. In this first photo, from the left we have Daisha, one of Jack's oldest friends; then Jack herself; and then we have Jack's oldest sister Lumpoon and her husband:

I only learned today that Lumpoon is about 10 years older than Jack.

The young man in this next photo is Mark, Jack's nephew ─ Mark is the son of Jack's only living brother, Santi; the little boy is Daniel, another nephew; Daniel is the son of Jack's next older sister (by about five years) Penn:

In this photo, from the left we have Daisha again; Jack's brother-in-law again; Jack; someone I never met before; and Jack or Jak, another of Jack's oldest friends:

And again from the left, Daisha; the stranger (to me); my wife Jack; and Jack or Jak:

My wife Jack has many Gay friends; she is in fact the only actual woman in that last photo.

Finally, Jack's two nephews, Mark and Daniel:


Hopefully you will never have to become familiar with a condition called infective endocarditis:
It is an inflammation of the inner tissues of the heart, the endocardium, usually of the valves. It is caused by infectious agents, or pathogens, which are largely bacterial but a few other organisms can also be responsible. Before the age of modern antibiotics it was almost universally fatal.

The valves of the heart do not receive any dedicated blood supply. As a result, defensive immune system mechanisms (such as white blood cells) cannot directly reach the valves via the bloodstream. If an organism (such as bacteria) attaches to a valve surface and forms a vegetation, the host's immune response is blunted. The lack of blood supply to the valves also has implications for treatment, since drugs also have difficulty reaching the infected area.
That quote is from the Wikipedia article I linked to.

It has been learned that a common bacteria in our mouths is able to cause this condition which "is fatal if left untreated, but even with treatment, the mortality rates are still up to 30 percent."

A study has revealed just how this specific bacteria is able to cause the disease. Here are three reports if you want to learn about it:




It's great if researchers figure out a means of defeating Streptococcus gordonii's ability to grip onto heart valve proteins; but as that first and especially the last report stressed, preventive measures to best ensure that the bacteria never get into our bloodstream from our mouth is something we must not be lax about.


Would it surprise you to read that people ─ especially seniors ─ who have a regular or family doctor are much less likely to find themselves hospitalized than are those seniors without that medical anchor, and thus who never know which physician they may have to see when it comes time for a visit to a doctor?

These reports tell of the study that bore all of this out:




It is being demonstrated that intravenous vitamin C actually does seem to be able to destroy certain cancer cells ─ specifically, those cancer cells that produce low levels of an enzyme called catalase. Such cells are unable to cope with the hydrogen peroxide that builds up as vitamin C breaks down within the body.

Our normal cells are easily able to handle the hydrogen peroxide because their high output of catalase completely neutralizes the hydrogen peroxide.

I will leave you with these reports concerning that finding:





There is nothing in this for the Pharmaceutical Industry ─ they won't be making money if vitamin C starts getting general use in treating cancer patients. Consequently, I anticipate some sort of sabotage will get worked into this beautiful and inexpensive potential cancer cure.


Just before I close for today, I want to say something about my ENT specialist Dr. Mark Miller.

I saw patient reviews of him, and they are primarily negative. But I have only found him to be effective; and despite adverse reports, a good listener.

He is constantly taking notes, and this is one of the criticisms levied against the man. He is hard at that task when a patient is ushered into his examination room; and he is back again at it while the patient is readying to leave.

But I found him intuitive, and he is undoubtedly caring.

How many doctors today would give a patient his cellphone number? He gave his to me the first time I saw him with the massive swelling at my left cheek.

I in fact did call him one evening ─ the evening when the swelling had formed a large white area about the size of a large fingernail, and when it was clearly threatening to burst open. 

I was unsure if this was a good thing or not ─ to my mind, it seemed possible that due to the size of the abscess, its breach might have merited medical supervision.

Dr. Miller answered my call at the first ring. He assured me that there was nothing to be concerned of; but if it was especially bothersome to me, I should go to the nearby hospital emergency section.

There wasn't any undue pain ─ I was just ignorant on the protocol of the huge abscess breaking open here at home.

So I covered the dressing with a large gauze-like pad, and went to bed with the pad securely affixed to my cheek.  

On another occasion ─ Dr. Miller's day off ─ he phoned me at least four times as he made an effort to set up a local CT scan for me.    

Each time I have seen this man, he has never failed to offer me a firm handshake in parting.

So in my opinion, he merits all stars in whatever ranking system we might be speaking of.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Parotid Duct Obstruction Treatment: Day Twelve │ U.S. State-By-State Commonest Injuries │ Stress Finally Proven to Be Fully Responsible for Heart Disease?

With an ertapenem IV drip scheduled for 11:00 a.m. this morning at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, I went to bed last night with little concern about not having a ride, nor my ability to comfortably be able to arrive there on time without one.

Jim Pattison is a little over a mile from where I live.

Besides, I was hopeful that this was going to be my last such visit. I have been getting antibiotic IV drips since the 10th ─ how bloody long are these to go on?

I had first noticed some sensitivity in the temporomandibular joint area on the left side of my face around the first of the month, When there was a swelling that I could feel to be the size of a quarter (25¢ piece) by the next day, I did some research about TMJ dysfunction, and found sites where people did indeed complain of swelling and pain.

After about three or four days, the swelling had progressed to resemble having a boiled egg embedded in my cheek.

And after about eight days, it had grown to resemble the size of a large orange, or a small grapefruit. My nights were now an abject misery, and at night I started trying to lie on my good side against a wall of bedding because there was no relief stretched out ─ perhaps being horizontal was adding blood pressure to the swelling and causing more pain.

On day nine, it was no longer possible for me to endure the pain, so I took the first of three Advils I was to have that day. But my night that night was as excruciatingly sleepless as the previous two, if not even worse.

So on February 10, I knew that I had to visit a medical walk-in clinic ─ the nearest was at Cedar Hills ─ 96th Avenue & 128th Street here in Surrey ─ roughly four blocks from where I live.

When I was finally seen, it was by Dr. Arun Bhatt; and he correctly assessed my "most impressive" swelling as the result of a blockage of the duct of the parotid gland. An abscess had formed due to a subsequent infection. The man was most solicitous, and was adamant that I not walk the nine or so blocks to the emergency section of the Surrey Memorial Hospital ─ he insisted on summoning me a taxi.

And so were my medical adventures to begin. Between the clinic I had visited that morning, and the hospital itself as well as another doctor's office near to it, I was occupied for something over 11 hours that day. I even had a CT scan, and was begun on a clindamcyin IV drip ─ I was to receive two of these for the next three days until I was switched over to the daily ertapenem antibiotic.

The night of February 15/16 was to see the great swelling ─ which had come to develop a rather large white area about the size of a small thumbnail ─ break open as I slept. It had been covered over with a dressing, so the mass of thick, greyish pus that oozed forth never went anywhere but into my beard.

Thereafter I was to have an appointment with an ENT specialist I had already seen twice previously, and when he saw the opening in the swelling that led into the infection's cavity, he ─ upon injecting freezing into the area with a rather great needle ─ began manually expressing everything that he possibly could from the cavity by changing the positioning of his pressing thumb and fingers, whilst I lay upon an examination table whose sides I were gripping mightily as my booted feet fluttered and kicked from the pain; and I growled aloud ─ even profaning with the 'F word' once.

Today there is not much swelling at all, but they keep the cavity packed with a ribbon dressing that is 'salted' to help draw forth any infectious matter. However, it also weeps a clear liquid like lymph or plasma ─ I have even wondered if it mightn't be saliva issuing from the gland via the potentially broken obstructed duct, for the fluid does a good job of keeping my shirts wet with a soaked swath as much as six inches lengthwise, and a few inches wide.

The liquid output is especially profuse if I have been eating. In fact, the first time this happened a few days ago, I was astonished by what I thought was my sloppiness at slipping spoonfuls of congee into my partially opened jaws. The front of my shirt was soon drenched, yet my moustached and bearded lips were dry ─ I could not understand how I was losing so much of the meal onto my shirt.

Only later did I figure out that my wound was weeping. Painless, but most annoying. So I sleep with a fleece hood knotted under my chin because even the wound dressings do not prevent the fluid from seeping out from under the covering. Better a drenched hood than my pillow and bedding.

Anyway, yes, I had plenty of time this morning to walk the mile (and a little more) to get to Jim Pattison. I was also to be seeing an infectious diseases specialist that I had seen two or three times before.

But it was not to be the same doctor. This morning, it was a Dr. Wong ─ I never saw his name in print, so I have no idea what his first name is.

Unfortunately ─ and remember, he has not previously seen me ─ despite my dramatic improvement, he does not yet want my daily antibiotic treatments halted. I am to come in for two more days, and he will see me on the last day (Thursday). Maybe then I will be prescribed antibiotics in pill form.

I have the IV catheter in my left arm at all times ─ it is the small tube into which the antibiotic drip is affixed to drip into my vein. Certainly it is all wrapped up nicely, but I have no mindset to be exercising with that thing attached, and my arms are ─ as I have said before ─ beginning to resemble those of a frail old man's from this lack of exercising.

At the age of 67, it is going to be a bugger to recapture what fitness I have lost.

So knowing that I cannot get back at it for at least another two days is dispiriting.

And when I was giving my schedule for the visits the next two days, I noticed that tomorrow's session was recorded as taking place at 2:15 p.m. Well, I have an 11:15 a.m. appointment with my ENT specialist, whose office is about halfway the distance to Jim Pattison.

It would mean that I would have to walk the slightly more than four blocks to his office in the late morning. and then return home until well into the afternoon, and then walk past his office and on until I had covered more than a mile for this antibiotic IV drip.

This would truly butcher my day, and I am getting absolutely fed up with being housebound and unable to do anything with my days but hike to bloody medical appointments!

So I voiced my dilemma, and was able to get rescheduled for the IV drip at 10:00 a.m. Provided there is no delay with the antibiotic IV procedure tomorrow, I ought to be out of Jim Pattison by 11:00 a.m. at worst, and able to just barely make my 11:15 a.m. ENT specialist appointment as I head back on home.

Two birds killed with one stone...or walk.

It was good getting back home today. There may have been more sunny breaks than cloudy periods ─ but I am unsure. It was a little nippy on the hands, though ─ not too warm out there yet.

I had a feed of my wife Jack's cooking left over from yesterday; and then I found it necessary to lie down for a good while, enjoying an obviously needed nap. It was actually a little difficult making myself get out of my nice warm bed. I generally find myself unpleasantly cool in the house.

And I was fully clothed in bed.

I took no photos of myself today, but Google has again created a collage of some of my wife Jack's photos from her early 2013 trip back to Nong Soong, Thailand, to visit her mother. The family home is in the rather large village of Nong Soong, which is perhaps a 15-minute drive from Udon Thani.

The photos were probably more likely taken on February 22 than February 21, for I doubt very much that Jack's digital camera had its date settings changed for the trip ─ who thinks of doing that? And Thailand is ─ according to some research I have just now done ─ exactly 15 hours ahead of us here in Surrey, B.C.

But Google knows not that ─ it only knows the probably incorrect data embedded into the photos uploaded into an album from the trip. Here is the collage:

If the photos were taken while Jack and some of her gang were traveling around on a pick-up truck, then the location is likely not Nong Soong...but I wasn't there, was I?

Here are the original photos ─ the chap in the red and black plaid shirt or jacket is Daisha, one of Jack's best friends from her childhood:


If you are American, you might find the following item of interest ─ I am quoting it in full from about four days ago via NewMarketHealth.com:
Data is typically pretty dull, as are most medical records.

But put them together and you've got a painfully complete, if not somewhat amusing, picture of how Americans get hurt. Or more specifically, how they get hurt depending on what state they're in.

For example, if you happen to be in Nebraska, you're in danger of "overexertion." For Washington State, the big risk appears to be "spine dislocation." For the entire state of Texas, they've got insect bites to worry about, while in Maine, it's a broken ankle (from all that snow, maybe?).

But perhaps the biggest head scratcher in this map of pain is a "suffocation" belt of sorts that seems to exist in a large section of the far west, extending from Idaho to New Mexico. The suffocation hot spot was Utah, where it was over three times more common, and Idaho, where it was close to twice as likely, compared to other locales.

The map is the work of a company called Amino, a health-care start up that matches patients with doctors. What they did was to take medical codes, those five-digit numbers your doctor uses to describe why you came to see him, and searched their database just for ones related to injuries.

What they came up with, as they explained it, are the most "disproportionately frequent" injuries in each state. (The most common way people get hurt everywhere are bruises or wounds, the company said).

Another stand out was the fact that New York leads the country in fist fights! New York's "unarmed fight or brawl" data accounts for a whopping ten percent of fist fights in America that result in the participants receiving medical attention.

It all boils down to the fact that it's a dangerous world out there.

So, wherever you are, or wherever you're planning on going -- be careful! 
This would sem to be the source of that report, if you care to check it out:


Even I as a Canadian am rather surprised that 10% of all injuries in America resulting from "unarmed fight or brawls" occur in the State of New York!


So just how bad is stress? 

Well, where heart disease is concerned, if you can believe Dr. Marc S. Micozzi, people need to start getting their doctors to look at things like C-reactive protein levels in the blood, and not cholesterol; C-reactive protein rises as an indicator of inflammation.


It's all good to know. But if a person is stressed through situations no longer in their control, such as enormous debt or permanently lost health, then there is possibly an insurmountable hurdle ahead to do much at all about relieving the stress.

Heck, I don't even like thinking about it.

Anyway, I have usually closed my posts with a journal entry from 41 years ago, but there are none in my journal from now until the next entry on March 6. I became hospitalized after my appendix had burst on February 20, 1976.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Parotid Duct Obstruction Treatment: Day Eleven ─ The Madness of Whimsical CT Scans

My youngest step-Son Poté mentioned last evening that his mother was coming home from Vancouver later that evening, and thus would be available to drive me this morning to my early appointment at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.

I had various information about this appointment, such as that it was booked for either 8:00 a.m. or 8:15 a.m.; and I was to be there early ─ either 7:30 a.m. or 7:45 a.m.

Also it was for an ultrasound and/or drainage of the swelling I have been coping with on my left cheek that is due to a blocked parotid gland that first started bothering me perhaps as far back as February 1st. 

The swelling that resulted from the blockage had become infected; and at its worst, I had a swelling that looked as if a very large orange or small grapefruit was embedded within my cheek.

My wife Jack had not herself alerted me that she was coming home last night, so when 11:00 p.m. was approaching, I decided to just go to bed. It was 11:01 p.m. when I was settled in ─ earplugs, blindfold, and a hood to hold a dressing in place and to also soak up the clear fluid that had been slowly dripping from the site of my wound.

I was still awake when I heard Jack come home, but I remained bundled up as I was and left it to her to decide when she would be going to bed.

I had set my cell phone alarm to 5:45 a.m., for I had considered that I might potentially be walking to that Jim Pattison appointment a little over a mile away from here where I live.

Obviously I was feeling somewhat uptight overnight; and before 4:30 a.m., sleep was essentially no longer possible. Still, 5:45 a.m. snuck up on me ─ I had intended to turn off my phone just before that time so that it would not sound and rouse my wife Jack, but I missed doing so. It gave off two alerts before I stopped it.

At that, my dear Jack piped up that she would drive me, so I was not yet to have to get up.

And the dear girl did later give me that ride, tired as she was.

Apart from that appointment, I had an 11:15 a.m. scheduled elsewhere with my ENT specialist; and a 12:15 p.m. appointment back at Jim Pattison for an ertapenem IV drip. The ENT specialist's office is located about halfway home from Jim Pattison.

I had no desire to be bouncing about between both locations on foot, nor did I intend to abuse my poor wife Jack by having her drive me back and forth. My plan was to try and get the antibiotic IV drip as soon as possible after my very early appointment, since they were both scheduled in Jim Pattison. And then I would hike the half mile or so to see the ENT specialist as I was heading for home.

Well, guess what? 

When I got my turn to be seen for the ultrasound and/or drainage of the infection, the doctor in charge saw no need for either procedure. The pus from the infection has been draining since last Wednesday night, and has pretty much stopped. As I said, only some clear fluid leaks forth from the opening now.

In other words, I did not need to be there. And so he released me at 8:30 a.m.

The antibiotic IV area doesn't even open until 9:00 a.m., but I went there and waited after letting a medical receptionist know why I was there. She had said that they were short-staffed for nurses, but I could take my chances.

Well, it paid off. I was called in around 9:20 a.m. to have the antibiotic drip.

When finally all of that was over with, I hiked the half-mile or so over to the ENT specialist's office, taking my time. Yet even so, it was still not quite 10:30 a.m. when I arrived, and there would be no getting seen early. And so I waited. But first, I texted Jack where I was, and said that she needn't reply because I would be expected to turn off my phone in the waiting room.

I don't know if my appointment was on time at 11:15 a.m. ─ it it was, then it would be for the first time. But the doctor was very impressed with how well the swelling had subsided, and how clear the infection site opening was now looking. 

He seemed quite cheered by my progress, and just asked that I come in again in two days at about the same time. I have what may be my final antibiotic IV drip tomorrow at Jim Pattison at 11:00 a.m., and I will also be seeing during that time the infectious diseases expert who has been treating me ─ both he and the ENT specialist have basically been sharing me as their patient.

Ready to now hike on home, I went outside to text Jack that I was on my way, and that she should just stay home and not bother coming to pick me up. It was only about five blocks, after all.

However, she immediately phoned me ─ Jim Pattison had phoned and said that I was to come in at 1:30 p.m. for a CT scan! I had just had one four days ago, and another before that on the 10th ─ so why this one now?

I called the telephone number that was left, and got very dissatisfactory service from a woman who took the call ─ it was she who Jack had spoken with. She treated me as if I was just another ignorant member of the public, and I had no need to question this CT scan. All she could tell me was that a radiologist I had never heard of had booked it.

I hiked home, and Jack and I fumed about this nonsense together.

So just who had requisitioned the CT scan? I had no idea. In my upset and annoyance, I phoned the ENT specialist's office and lamented on the situation to the medical receptionist's voicemail ─ the office there closes for the noon-hour. However, I never heard back from the doctor. I was hoping that he would back me up, and maybe even look into the situation. After all, he had told me that the earlier fiasco at Jim Pattison should never have happened because I needed neither an ultrasound nor draining.

I killed time here at home, and then Jack finally had to drive me all the way back to Jim Pattison and leave me there.

I went up to the 2nd Floor ─ section 2-B ─ and announced myself. I was handled by a most accommodating medical receptionist who saw the mystery that I saw. Why would I need a third CT scan, when I had just had my second one four days ago, and my two doctors are all seemingly happy with my progress?

Determined to get to the bottom of this, she excused herself and disappeared to speak with the radiologist.

When she returned, she revealed that this was indeed a special scan somewhat different from the first two ─ it was for 'contrast' purposes. And according to her, my ENT specialist had requisitioned it.  

Neither one of us could make sense, then, of why he said nothing to me when I visited him late in the morning! 

She suggested that I could refuse the scan for now, until I had heard from the doctor himself. They would get in touch with him and let him know of my concerns.

CT scans are no light matter. Just one scan ─ depending on how strong its settings are ─ blasts as much radiation as anywhere from 150 to 1,100 conventional X-rays. And this would be my third since February 10?

No thanks!

But not only that ─ according to statistics I read concerning the U.S., it is projected that at least 2% of all future cancers in that country will be directly attributable to CT scans!

So screw that! I am going to have to be practically strong-armed into taking another such scan.

What a rotten day this has turned out to be ─ but God bless my dear wife Jack for being here for me.

And I had decent walking weather. Sometimes it was even sunny, although I always wore a hood to hide the dressing on my left cheek.

Tomorrow may be my final antibiotic drip; thereafter, I might just get issued pills or something that I can take here at home. Or so my ENT specialist opined.

I still cannot believe that he never thought to mention booking that third CT scan ─ if he really did.


Around 4:45 p,.m., the medical receptionist at my ENT specialist's office left a telephone message to say that the CT scan has been cancelled. The doctor agrees that I do not require it.

Someone less informed and questioning than I would have meekly gone ahead with the unnecessary massive radiation risk. That thought upsets me, for there are many trusting souls out there who place all of their faith in the medical profession.

Anyway, I took no photos today, so I am going to post some more from Jack's trip last Fall to visit her mother in Nong Soong, Thailand ─ the family home is in Nong Soong, a very large village possibly a 15-minute drive from Udon Thani.

These were all taken on (I think) November 5, 2016, and appear to have been snapped right around the family home. I have no idea what this plant is in the first three shots:

I think the centre boy in the next two photos is Jack's nephew, the son of Jack's sister Penn:

And now four shots of Jack ─ I don't know who the boy is in the fourth image:

This is Jack's sister Penn:

And I will finish with one more of Jack:


Well, after cooking up some great dishes to leave with us guys, Jack left shortly after 6:00 p.m. to return to Vancouver. She said that depending on how busy she was tomorrow, she might actually come back in the evening, because she would like to visit the Thai temple in Burnaby on Wednesday.

My time now is very limited for this post, so I am going to try and hustle through this closure using 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 my little place in a house located on Ninth Street, and one or two houses up from Third Avenue.

My plan for the day was a hike out to visit my mother Irene Dorosh in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey. The little home she shared with her husband Alex was my main mailing address. And although that little house is no more, its address used to be 12106 - 90th Avenue.

The hike to get there from my room would take about 1½ hours of fast walking.

I had gone to bed the evening prior to this entry at 8:00 p.m.
FRIDAY, February 20, 1976

The first half or more of my night was a distress, due to cold, stomach pain, and clogged throat, which is indeed infected.

I got up nearly 3:10 a.m., my lower right abdomen being especially sore.

I judge that the landlady did not come home last night, so I likely won't be cashing my cheque till Monday.

I feel so abused physically that I dare no exercises beyond my leg raises.

I toyed at getting further sleep before striking out for mom's, but I would like to leave Bill a note and ad re The Holstein smorgasbord; too, Shirley of yesterday's job lead may phone me this morning.

I do feel poor. I'm definitely going to catch a sleep after breakfast at mom's.

On my way there I'll mail for some stamps, and also send off my AMRA resubscription. I'll leave here at 5:30 a.m.
This was to be my last entry until March 6. I hate spoiling any suspense, but my appendix was about to burst this day, if it had not already begun when I did those morning leg-raises ─ if I remember, I performed 400 of them. I had hoped that all I was suffering was an especially bad case of gas cramping, and the leg-raises would work everything loose.

I was expecting a dearly-needed $50 cheque that was predicted by the sender to likely arrive the day before, but my landlady had been away that day. All mail went through the slot in her front door, and she would later sort it and leave anything for me in a receptacle just outside my door into the basement. And now it looked as if she had spent the night somewhere else, and I had no idea if she would even be home this day.

My old friend William Alan Gill was renting a bachelor suite maybe four or so blocks from my room. We both loved smorgasbords, so when I learned of a new one called The Holstien that was cheaper than the one we generally frequented, it was definitely something I knew he would want to try with me. Bill had a car.

The job lead involved a land-clearing project out in Haney ─ maybe two months' work.

I mailed for lots of reasons and thus sent out considerable numbers of letters. Consequently, I usually tried to mail-order for commemorative postage stamps ─ generally a full pane of 50 at a time ─ to use on my correspondence. The definitives were just too drab and commonplace for my liking. 

As for AMRA, this is from Wikipedia's article Legacy of Robert E. Howard:
Amra was a fanzine than began publication in 1959, created by L. Sprague de Camp and George Scithers, and grew to attract material from many famous authors and artists. Named after one of Conan's alter egos, it covered the subjects of Conan, Robert E. Howard and the sword and sorcery genre in general. It continued publication for thirty-three years.
On reflection, February has not been a good month for me, has it? I was in the hospital for many days in 1976 due to that ruptured appendix.