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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.
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