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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

☠ 💀 Advice for Anyone Confronted with Surgery │ The Melanoma Misconception │ Vitamin B12 Deficiency Is Widespread

Despite being reasonably eager for bed last evening and settling myself under the covers just ahead of 11:00 p.m., initial sleep resulted in the usual fragmentation during the latter half of my night. And I was awake well before 6:00 a.m.

However, even though I was prepared to rise, I opted to wait until 6:15 a.m. in order to give my step-sons time to vacate the house and go to work. I wasn't sure of youngest step-son Poté, though ─ I seldom know what his shift is going to be, nor in fact if he is even going to be going to work.

As it happened, both he and his older brother Tho were out the door by 6:20 a.m. ─ and one of them even locked it. I was able to come downstairs to make my morning's mug of instant coffee in peace.

It had not snowed ─ I had gone to bed with the weather report in mind that we could expect around two more inches of the stuff overnight.

I had a 10:15 a.m. appointment at Home Health, located on the 13th Floor of the high-rise attached to the Gateway SkyTrain Station here in Whalley. Since February 25, I have gone there daily, but for one day in which I had an appointment elsewhere with my ENT specialist.

Back around March 31/February 1, I began to experience sensitivity due to what has been diagnosed as a blockage of my main left parotid gland's duct.

By February 9, my left cheek had ballooned out until it resembled having a very large orange embedded into it ─ an abscess had formed due to infection. I was also in very dire pain, finally resorting that day to Advil.

When my night thereafter was at least as miserable as the one preceding it, and the pain worse than ever, I decided that I needed to seek medical attention on February 10.

Eventually the abscess was to break open, and my ENT specialist painfully squeezed everything he could out of it.

And ever since, I have been slowly healing. The purpose of going so often to Home Health has been to have a Mesalt ribbon dressing removed from the infection caviy; then an irrigation of the infection cavity; and finally a new Mesalt ribbon dressing inserted into the infection cavity.

Then the whole is bandaged over with an absorbent pad that I usually have to replace once or twice a day because clear fluid leaking from the wound drenches the pad with the consequence being that the fluid then will drip down into my shirts, or start dropping off onto anything I might bend over.

I have been told by nurses that they will be soon placing me on alternating days for these visits, and I have been very much looking forward to reducing the frequency. Home Health is almost two miles from where I live, and I walk to get there, and back home again.

I am coming to resent this daily imposition.

Anyway, after having that morning mug of instant coffee as I worked upon the edit of an old post that I have underway at my Siam-Longings website, I had a fairly quick bath and shaved my neck and cheeks. But in doing so, I dislodged the ribbon dressing from the infection cavity.

So I just laid it over the wound and bandaged it all back up ─ I didn't know if the nurse who would see me today would want to view the ribbon dressing or not. The dressings soak up infectious matter and reveal how much discharge is still happening.

It was exactly 9:15 a.m. when I set off for the appointment, giving myself lots of time to walk as slowly as I might like. Too often, I have not allowed myself sufficient time and I have had to put on a considerable hustle ─ I do not like being so rushed.

I found it to be very lightly snowing. If it had been rain, I would have just described it as an inconsequential sprinkling. But it was nippy out there on my bared hands.

I arrived at my appointment with a least 15 minutes to spare, figuring that at least I would have lots of time to warm up.  

When I was summoned, it was by nurse Grace ─ I have been tended by her at least twice before, so she is quite familiar with my situation. Thus far, I have had five different nurses minister to me. But at this point, I prefer having one well familiar with my wound so that she can best determine when I am suited for a schedule of alternating days and thereby free me up from this daily grind.

Grace had a student who was going to be doing most of the tending ─ young Sylvia.

Well, things took quite an unexpected turn. According to Grace and Slyvia, the wound's opening has now closed up so much that it is no longer possible to insert a ribbon dressing into the infection cavity.

Yet they could see the clear fluid still squeezing out from the pin-prick of an opening.

So this is what I am faced with, according to Grace. There really is no further need for me to be attending these wound dressings. All that can be done now is for me to be vigilant, and watch to see if the wound closes right up and then swelling again commences.

She said that my body might be able to resorb the clear fluid in such a case; but if not, and swelling starts, then I need to let Home Health know. I am also to be on the lookout for increased inflammation, and maybe even an increase in the hardening of the tissues adjacent to the wound opening.

I have a tentative appointment for 8:15 a.m. next Sunday morning. But on Friday, I have an appointment with my ENT specialist. Nurse Grace said I am to find out from him if he thinks that I need to visit Home Health anymore. If he is happy with the look of the healing of my wound and feels the appointment on Sunday is not required, then I am to phone Home Health and alert them that I do not need to come in.

So this development has been utterly unexpected, and I now suddenly find myself with free days that I never imagined were going to be mine so very soon.

On top of all of that, I was on my way home by 10:06 a.m. ─ well ahead of the 10:15 a.m. at which my appointment had been scheduled.

Once outside, I found that it was still very lightly snowing, but soon it began to look like it had reduced to that very inconsequential bit of rain I earlier described. And before I was home at 10:47 a.m., even that had ceased.

I had considered doing some local grocery shopping before coming home, but I decided that since I now have the next two days all to myself with no walks scheduled to be going anywhere, I might as well at least get that much of a walk tomorrow. After all, as much as I have disliked having to get out every darned day to walk somewhere to a medical appointment, it has been a boon where the activity of daily walking has been concerned.

It seems a shame to just suddenly drop off from walking and to start holing up here at home once more, becoming a virtual shut-in.

But I must hope that my cheek's wound heals without complication as cautioned by nurse Grace. She even counselled that if the wound does close over so that even the pin-prick opening is gone, I ought to massage the area around it and possibly force any fluid build-up to break through the superficial heal; for the healing cover of the wound opening will be very slight initially, and quite easily ruptured..

*****

What a foul devolution I have orchestrated of this day of potential hope!

Instead of napping after composing the above description of my morning ─ or celebrating with some exercise, since I have avoided any the prior two days ─ I steadfastly applied myself to utter dissolution here at my computer, burning out my poor, tired eyes with several hours of unholy scrutiny of worthless displays here on my computer monitor.

Meantime, I see that we are undergoing a thick fall of large snowflakes. I am mostly unconcerned, however, since temperatures are only expected to climb. Whatever sticks will soon enough be melting away within the next couple of days, I estimate.

But I am so disgusted with my weak self. Why cannot I ascend above the mire, instead of so eagerly wallowing in it as I do periodically?

I need more substance ─ I pray for it. So why does God not provide the deliverance I sorely need and plead for?

Deliver me from myself.

Regardless...let us move on to other matters.

Concerning the wound in my left cheek, I see that a parotid duct obstruction qualifies as a type of parotitis, according to Wikipedia:
Blockage of the main parotid duct, or one of its branches, is often a primary cause of acute parotitis, with further inflammation secondary to bacterial superinfection. The blockage may be from a salivary stone, a mucous plug, or, more rarely, by a tumor, usually benign. Salivary stones (also called sialolithiasis, or salivary duct calculus) are mainly made of calcium, but do not indicate any kind of calcium disorder. Stones may be diagnosed via X-ray (with a success rate of about 80%), a computed tomography (CT) scan or Medical ultrasonography. Stones may be removed by manipulation in the doctor's office, or, in the worst cases, by surgery. Lithotripsy, also known as "shock wave" treatment, is best known for its use breaking up kidney stones. Lithotripsy can now be used on salivary stones as well. Ultrasound waves break up the stones, and the fragments flush out of the salivary duct.
I was told by the nurses at HomeHealth that the pocket of infection in the cavity that has almost entirely cleared up is likely due to a Pseudomonas bacteria.

Now, if that was also the cause of the original abscess, then I am fortunate to be living in these modern times. According to Medscape.com's article Parotitis:
The mortality rate for bacterial parotitis was 80%. 
That was before the advent of the 20th Century.

I have never taken any photos of the wound ─ only a number of photos of my face when it was swollen before the abscess broke open.

I took two selfies of the healing opening this afternoon at 4:11 p.m.:



I have never actually looked at the wound when it was at its worst ─ this is the first I have seen of it, for it was always bandaged over.

It will be interesting to see if I end up with much of a scar.

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My younger brother Mark and I watched perhaps the first three episodes of Training Day, featuring the late actor Bill Paxton. I remembered him from his stint of several episodes of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

So it caught my attention when I saw an article a couple or so weeks ago reporting his death ─ this is one such article, but not the one I had read:

NYtimes.com

The following related article offers some cautionary advice for people who may be facing surgery:

HSIonline.com

We cannot always trust our bodies ─ sometimes they will fail us in the most disappointing fashion, such as did mine when my parotid gland's duct somehow became blocked.

I feel myself to be much healthier than my younger brother Mark, but he has never needed to have any kind of surgery. I had this failure of my body, and back in 1976 my appendix busted open and required an emergency mopping up.

I have also had an in-office surgical procedure back in 2003 or so to remove a tumour from a salivary gland in my neck, just below my jawline.

Yet Mark has somehow avoided any such failures of his body leading to any kind of surgical procedure.

Good luck to him! I hope his good fortune in this regard never runs out.

💑💑💑💑💑💑💑

Do you use sunscreens, and feel concern in the Summer about the potential of ever developing skin cancer from too much Sun?

Well, if so, you need to see these reports:

Medscape.com

DrMicozzi.com

💑💑💑💑💑💑💑

I feel that I have a pretty darned good digestive system ─ heartburn (indigestion) is no longer a factor in my life. I used to be plagued with it as a young man, but I was often gluttonous because I could not afford to eat well regularly. Thus, when the opportunity to eat well was presented, I could not help but glut.

One of the vitamins people have a hard time absorbing enough of is vitamin B12. According to the following article, 40% of Americans are deficient in it ─ and I don't really see why folks here in Canada or most any other country would likely be too much better off:

LifeSpa.com

I would like to spend more time on this topic, but I have wasted far too much of my day.

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I close now with an entry from my journal of 41 years ago, back 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.

I had undergone emergency surgery a couple or so weeks earlier that was required to deal with a ruptured appendix. It was serious enough that I was not released from the hospital until my 12th day there.
SUNDAY, March 7, 1976

Because I felt bored, tired, and cold, and because I was rather expecting Bill to come over, about 2½ hours after getting up this morning, I spent about 4 hours lying in bed; I sure hope this doesn't interfere with my sleep tonight.

Well, Bill cane over at 4:00 p.m. to take me shopping, as I'd hoped; we went to O'Farrell's where I purchased $11.60 worth of groceries.

Then we went to his mother's, who gave me a glass of milk and a grapefruit.

Next it was to Mac's for ice-cream and a blueberry pie; I contributed a mere 70¢. But I put about 45¢ towards 6 small beef pies Bill fed me at his place preliminary to dessert. I am not doing my flabby midsection right.

I watched TV with Bill till 9:00 p.m., then left afoot for home.

I would say there hasn't been any cloud about the entire day.

I should be in bed by 9:45 p.m., about 12½ hours after arising this morn.
My dear old friend William Alan Gill was renting a bachelor suite, maybe four or so blocks from my room.

"O'Farrell's" was, I believe, a supermarket that existed in the Scott Town (or Scottown) shopping centre ─ 96th Avenue & Scott Road (120th Street) in Surrey.  

Bill's mother Anne Gregory was renting part or all of a house off in Maillardville. She was really a good ol' girl ─ I quite miss the best of her.

Bill had a colour T.V., and maybe even cable-vision. I only had a smaller black & white T.V., and relied on my T.V.s rabbit ears.

I sure miss having good people in my life ─ friends. Spending all of my time by myself day after day only leads to decay. I need a life ─ I need to be free of my thralldom to this computer and my longstanding futile effort to try and earn a second income to augment my retirement pension.

As I have been saying of late, perhaps my online presence is going to come to an end this Summer. I am achieving nothing by wasting my years here at this computer.

As I have also said, sometimes this blog just seems like an extremely long suicide note ─ nothing more.

At least tomorrow will be a good day, and I will exercise in full after having skipped three consecutive days.
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