That Sounds Made Up

On a holiday Monday, when your face suddenly swells up on one side and Benadryl doesn’t help, you end up at the ER.

I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something, but Benadryl didn’t make the swelling down and I realized it hurt.  When I tried to eat dinner it became excruciating.  My first thought was What the hell is wrong with me now?  Allergic reactions don’t hurt!

Sure enough, I ended up at the ER.  When I went through triage, the nurse told me it was probably an abscess.  When I got back to see the doctor, who was hilarious and it hurt like hell to laugh, I learned that your saliva glands can get stones (like your kidneys and gallbladder).  The medical treatment, gently massage face once in a while and eat sour foods…

First, a saliva gland stone sounds like a fake thing.  However, my symptoms were spot on for it and I had to eventually just accept that I was a freak.  Second, the doctor was surprised it was my first one ever… having Sjogren’s Syndrome is one of the risk factors as is having dry mouth from medications (and I take Clonazepam which causes chronic dry mouth – this is why all my teeth are breaking on things like pudding). Third, treating it via hyper-salvation that happens when you eat sour things and facial massage, doesn’t sound like a real treatment for anything.  Finally, the doctor recommended sour candies and sauerkraut.

Feeling the need to understand what the hell a stone in the saliva gland was. and how it was going to come out, I googled it. I DO NOT recommend this.  Images pop up and they aren’t pretty.  Turns out it is totally real and the recommended treatment is to make yourself hyper-salivate and massage your face to try to get the stone out… when it’s in your cheek like mine is.

And after reading up on it, even I’m a little surprised I made it 37 years without ever having one before.  Saliva glands that do not function fully or properly (like with Sjogren’s) creates an atmosphere where calcium solidifies and becomes a stone… As I write this, I’m trying to convince myself to eat a cranberry/spinach salad with balsamic dressing because it was tart and that’s what I was trying to eat when I decided I absolutely needed to see to be seen for the pain.

The good news, they didn’t tell me that a urinary tract was the cause of my face swelling up.

One thought on “That Sounds Made Up

  1. Honey,I feel your pain..Tonsils grow back, hot flashes can come back to haunt 10 yrs post menopause if you are somewhere hot enough and dealing with em for going on 4 yrs of their we’re back phase isn’t fun.. The stones can make you think of mumps, which is also something that can come back heaven forbid have in one side as a kid and other as an adult. you’d think that extra calcium would be nice but not when it’s in the wrong place..unlike a kidney stone they can’t break it up because all the bone teeth etc in the area they may break up more then you want.. You tube has some gross vids, but it sounds like a small surgical opening and removing it would be best if the salads don’t work and frankly they may not..the nice thing is they are generally smooth and not barbed like kidney stones,but nothing makes then fun no matter what.. Hang in there.. and try salt with lemon swishes that gives you the sour and salivation, and if hubby says your breath stinks don’t kill him.. just strike it up to male foot in mouth syndrome..


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