.dropcap {float:left; color:#4791d2; font-size:75px; line-height:60px; padding-top:4px; padding-right:8px; padding-left:3px; font-family:Georgia}

Google+ Followers


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.
Post a Comment