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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Parotid Duct Obstruction Treatment: Day Five ─ Antibiotic Switch

I had not gotten to bed last night until something like 12:45 a.m. because I had waited for my wife Jack to retire first ─ she was home from Vancouver for one of her overnight stays. I was scheduled with a 9:15 a.m. clindamycin IV drip this morning at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre here in the Whalley area of Surrey.

These drips have been twice daily, beginning with one the previous Friday afternoon at the Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Since these treatments ─ and with the help of an Advil tablet ─ I have been sleeping unusually well at night, albeit with much sweating. But I am comfortable in bed ─ the clammy bedding does not interfere with that at all. I just do not appreciate how cool the bedding suddenly becomes whenever I rise at night to use the bathroom.

Around 6:00 a.m. I became aware ─ I wear earplugs ─ that my wife Jack was talking sleepily, and getting up. Usually, one of her two adult sons will take advantage of her presence to get a ride to somewhere. But since the youngest now has his own car, I suspected that it was Tho, the eldest, robbing her of her sleep.

Tho also has a car, but he is under a driving suspension. He was probably disturbing his poor mother ─ who is a very troubled sleeper ─ to drive him to the SkyTrain so that he could more easily get to work in Burnaby. Selfishly rousting her like this saves him a walk of about a mile to the nearest station, or the bother of having to take a bus to reach a station.

Normally when this happens to her, it is the end of my night's sleep ─ I become too upset and disturbed at this mistreatment. I have had to use that SkyTrain for years before finally retiring, and I never needed my mommy or anyone else to drive me to the station. In fact, for the first couple of years, I even had to bicycle nearly five miles to reach a station ─ unless the Winter weather was so bad that I was forced to bus.

So I resent this 22-year-old's utter selfishness when he does this to his mother.

In my present state, however, I apparently managed to sink back into sleep and was unaware when Jack had returned and rejoined me in bed.

It was just ahead of 8:00 p.m. that I checked the time and ─ with something of a start, as well as a soft outburst of a few words ─  hastily made to rise so that I could have a morning coffee to wash down another Advil in plenty of time to keep that 9:15 IV drip appointment at Jim Pattison a little over a mile from here where I live.

When my wife Jack spoke out, "What's wrong?" I knew that I had not realized that she was also in bed, and so I apologized for further disturbing her rest, and explained that I just wanted to get up for that instant coffee. I asked her to get her rest ─ I would rouse her in a half-hour, as she there requested after my apology.

But only about 10 - 15 minutes later, she had gotten up, evidently unable to relax enough to sleep anymore.

Following the treatment at Jim Pattison, I was also to have a 10:45 a.m. appointment with ENT specialist Dr. Mark Miller, whose office is at #200 - 9656 King George Boulevard. This would be my second visit ─ I had first seen him Friday afternoon.

Dear Jack was most accommodating in driving me to Jim Pattison, and said that she would probably return after some shopping and wait for me in the car while trying to nap. I never thought then to point out that there was nothing but paid parking thereabouts.

Anyway, I went in for my session, but things were to be a little different.

As I was receiving the drip, a Dr. Yaz Mirzanejad engaged with me. He even brought me over to a computer screen to show me the CT scan that had been taken of me Friday afternoon at the Surrey Memorial ─ in fact, he printed me out a copy.

He said that he wanted me to have something done with the swelling as soon as possible, for he was concerned that its infectious contents might soon burst the encapsulation and spread across within my face ─ and of course, the rest of my body, I suppose.

He wanted to schedule some sort of sonic treatment to break up the mass inside the swelling to allow easier extraction.

He then set me up with an immediate second antibiotic drip that he said would only complement the clindamycin that I was just finishing with. This time, I was getting ertapenem; and I would henceforth only need to receive an infusion once a day.

Once this second drip was initiated, I soon went about texting Jack that I would be a little longer than expected ─ maybe a half-hour.

That was okay with her.

So eventually I was finished with. Upon exiting the building, I texted Jack, and she said that she was on her way. It was about 10:30 a.m., or slightly later.

It took the girl about 10 minutes to arrive. By the time she dropped me off for my visit with Dr. Mark Miller, it was 10:44 a.m.

There is always a fair wait, I have found ─ at least a half-hour.

When finally I got my visit with him and related the morning's happenings at Jim Pattison, he was delighted to see the CT scan printout, for he had not yet seen anything of the scan. He asked if he could keep it, so I allowed it.

He dutifully wrote down the name of the new antibiotic (ertapenem), and showed some interest when I told him of Dr. Yaz Mirzanejad's version of the swelling. Dr. Mark Miller felt that most of the swelling is just engorged tissues, and that the infectious pocket within is relatively small.

To that end, he decided to attempt an extraction with an impressive needle then and there, following a topical anaesthetic that he rubbed over the area. I suppose I have had worse needles.

If I remember right, he claimed to have extracted about two c.c.s ─ it was all yellowish pus, with no streaks of blood. He claimed that that had emptied out the infectious pocket, and that the swelling should now gradually subside. I am to see him again on Friday, but if the swelling actually begins to increase instead of diminish, I am to contact him well before the appointment ─ I am not to delay.

He said that he would send some of what he extracted off for analysis, and he asked me if I had yet been seen by an infectious disease specialist.  As far as I knew, I had not.

However, I was later to research Dr. Yaz Mirzanejad, and that is indeed his specialty. I just did not realize it.

Once Dr. Mark Miller was finished and my appointment set up for Friday, I exited the building; and standing facing the King George Boulevard with my back to the building housing Dr. Miller's office, I took these three photos ─ the first two at 11:39 a.m., and the third at 11:40 a.m.:

And so I was done with medical treatments for the day. Home was just over four blocks away, so I never opted to bother my dear wife Jack ─ whom I hoped was perhaps managing a nap. Instead, I hiked home.

But she was in the kitchen, busily cooking, and quite surprised to see me.

It was probably a little after 1:00 p.m. when she finally had to leave to return to Vancouver until her next visit, but at least I got a good hug out of the girl at our parting.

I spent the afternoon working on this blog.

I had only taken a morning ibuprofen, and was planning on taking nothing more today.

The evening arrived, and my younger brother Mark was home around 7:40 p.m. For the previous several evenings, I have limited myself to just one can of beer. But with my evening clear for the first time since last Thursday, it was looking as if I was likely going to have at least two.

Around 9:00 p.m., I started feeling considerable painful pulsations at the site of the pus extraction, and these seemed to become established. The swelling also looked to me to have swollen out from that specific area ─ almost telescopically.

So I decided not to have a second beer after all, and would be taking one further ibuprofen ─ my second of the day ─ to subdue any escalation of pain and allow a better sleep.

I was in bed by 10:59 p.m.


I close off today's post 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 the space I called home in a house located on Ninth Street, and one or two houses up from Third Avenue.
SATURDAY, February 14, 1976

I got out of bed about 5:10 a.m.

I typed up Jean a letter.

Before noon the cold drove me to bed for over an hour where I had a difficult time of it fighting sleep, hovering a couple times right on the verge.

I baked a second batch of granola and finished the final third of my first. Later, sleepiness forced me to lie down ─ coat on ─ uncovered until such time as I sufficiently revived.

I live for my stomach, and nothing else. There's no question.

What a boring day. I wish I had the self-confidence to more easily countenance working. I'll try to retire at 8:00 p.m., though I don't feel sleepy now.  

Well, I wasn't destined for it.

Bill came to take me to the Russell to join Mark & Cathy and Cathy & Al, and possibly a couple other girls.

I grudgingly went after explaining to him I couldn't afford any buying.

When we got there Mark & Cathy were dancing, so we took their seats; the place was packed and people were there actually being turned away.

When the former seat occupants returned, they stood. 

I soon learned Cathy was giving Mark a rough time, and he confided he was about ready to leave; this was decided on, but first Cathy wished another dance.

Bill was then all for leaving when they did, and so was I; of the other 4 people, only Al spoke to me, and this was mere casual conversation. He gave Bill & I the 1 beer we drank apiece.

While I sat there alone after Bill had wandered off, 2 girls came up behind me and began helloing me; I casually looked at them without any recognition, expecting them to realize they had erred in believing they knew me.

But they persisted, coming right to my side.

So I returned the greeting politely to the talkative one, only to have her ask if I didn't remember her. I admitted no, and looked at her; she was very pretty, and had fairly long, nearly blonde hair.

Then I recognized her as Pat née Kerr.

We talked some, admitting we didn't know what to say to each other. She commented on the fact that I was still drinking (she initially got me started). She was quite surprised to learn Mark wasn't married; she has been since September, 1973, in the church near where Mark & I lived with mom at 4th St & Agnes. Rob is scheduled to wed in April. She now lives in the Whalley area somewhere out behind the Dell and Flamingo.      

She & her girlfriend would have sat with us, but we had no free chairs.

Then Mark & Cathy returned. Pat was as interested as I to see if he remembered her, so I asked him while Cathy glared on. He said "No," and seemed surprised when informed who she was. So they exchanged some talk while Cathy blathered away and then stalked away. The girls broke out in a bit of a laugh, seemingly unable to accept that Cathy could be so unreasonably jealous.

Mark begged off, and went after her.

Then the girls said they had better be getting back to their table.

Bill & I left when we finished our beer, he running ahead to catch up with Mark & Cathy, but then noticing they were having words.

Mark headed for their car, while she stood weeping by a car like a fool.

Bill said something to the effect that she shouldn't worry, he girl was married. It was too hard to walk unheedfully past Cathy in her state, but it was no trouble when she screamed out at Bill to go fuck himself.   

I waited for him at his car. He was upset.

We drove into Whalley, he not knowing what to do for entertainment. He decided to buy some chicken as we headed back to town in the rain. Since he was insistent, I suggested Edmond's Albert's.

There we went. He ordered a barrel of 20 pieces for $9.50. We took the food to his place and watched TV. I had 10 pieces.

Later he took me to 7-Eleven near Coquitlam with him before driving me home.

I got to bed after 1:00 a.m.

Pat sure changed. She gained some weight in the legs (she was wearing light blue pants), and is obviously busty. I would never have known her just to see her.

She said I'd changed too, but she did after all recognize me. I wonder if she first recognized Bill, then associated me with him?
The letter I typed early that morning was to an American pen-pal, Jean M. Martin (née Black). 

Sometimes my room was so cold that I had to resort to bed just to find some warmth. 

My old friend William Alan Gill was renting a bachelor suite that was maybe four or so blocks from my room. He drove over to fetch me to the popular beer parlour or pub in the Russell Hotel on Carnarvon Street, near Seventh Street.

It changed its name a couple or more times over the years, and has not been a hotel for a long while now. 

My younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther were there, along with couple Cathy or Kathy and Al ─ I am no longer sure if this Cathy/Kathy is the same one who had been a co-worker of Jeanette's with whom she developed a friendship.

Jeanette could be so darned moody. But when she was her best, she was absolutely adorable and even irresistible.

I remember some of this incident with Pat née Kerr.

Pat had been Mark's girlfriend when they were attending New Westminster Secondary in 1969/1970. Rob Kerr was her younger brother.

Mark and Pat loved to party, and I remember some misadventures. I remember that it was Pat who first got me to taste beer in 1970 ─ no one had ever been able to influence me to try it. I was 20 years old.

Things went awry for Mark and Pat. For whatever reason, she set her sights on me, and I had no chance. The first time she cornered me in the family apartment one late weekend night and trapped me for my first serious kiss, my fists were clenched so defensively that she later admitted that she was concerned I might punch her. 

I was trembling.

I was so overwhelmed with her when she finally worked her mouth to mine that my knees began to give way,.

And I was hers ─ I had never felt so swept up before.

She even introduced me to sex ─ although I never allowed myself to come. I seemed tireless the first couple of times we engaged in coitus, and she was in disbelief that I could continue like I did.

But it was fear ─ Godly fear. I had willed myself somehow that I would not ejaculate because then I would truly have committed adultery.

I was definitely...unusual.

Of course, she was to grow weary of me ─ I had no car nor a job. It was devastating when she stopped coming over. I went to Edmonton to stay with my father in an effort to try and get over her.

To see her like this in the Russell Hotel in early 1976 was something of note, for she was still the first lass with whom I had been physically intimate with, and there as yet had been no one else. 

She left such a lifelong impression upon me.

I had forgotten that she had said that she was living in Whalley, somewhere out beyond the Dell and Flamingo Hotels. Only the Flamingo now exists, but the Dell Shopping Centre was where the Dell Hotel had been located. The Flamingo bar or pub called The Byrd is one of the few around that still has strippers.

As for Jeanette, it is so unfortunate she she kept fallng into these awful moods.

Bill was exceptionally sensitive ─ to be sworn at as happened to him when he was trying to be consoling would have hurt him deeply. We all actually loved Jeanette (and her two little girls).

I guess he and I had a rather late night. We went to Whalley for no particular reason. But then if I am correct about where "Edmond's Albert's" chicken joint was, it had to have been in Burnaby.

The reason I wondered if maybe it was Bill who Pat first recognized, and then worked out who I was, is because he was very distinctive at about five feet 10 inches, and a body-weight of over 300 pounds. He would not have been unrecognizable to her at all; and then she of course could have worked out who I was.
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