April 8, 2008

Take two sourpatch kids and call me in the morning

For the past few months, we here at the Childsplayx2 household have been battling (and often losing, I might add) germs and viruses that will not… go… away.

But during that time, I have actually managed to avoid the worst parts of the colds.  With the exception of one very heavy cold, I’ve only had a little congestion here and a little phlegm there.  Overall? Good.

And while the white blood cells inside me were busy fighting off toddler germs (which are, scientifically speaking, the most virulent germs known to mankind) I could tell I was fighting them off because the glands in my neck would become a little swollen from time to time.  Since I went to school with some very fine doctors, I knew that the swollen glands weren’t much to worry about and I just went along my merry way – talking trash to the germs that my swollen glands were pushing aside.

But then… One day, last week, the gland on the left side of my neck swelled up to the size of a golf ball.  Even my pea-sized brain knew that this could not be good.  But it quickly went away and I forgot about it.  And then it happened again.  And again.  After a number of days of this, it started to freak me out.  I started thinking I had lymphoma or some other awful disease that would require major surgery - like removal of my neck – which I knew that I would probably miss.  Finally, yesterday after eating lunch, my neck immediately swelled up again.  I looked like I had swallowed a small rodent and it was hiding in my neck.  It was then that I realized that the common denominator with my swollen neck was eating.  Whenever I ate something spicy or salty or sour, my neck would become swollen.

So last night I got home, explained to Beautiful Wife my predicament (which I had only casually mentioned a month or two ago because I don’t want anyone to worry about me or my swollen neck) and she immediately told me to call the advice nurse through our insurance company.  Which I did.  (Because my wife’s brain, unlike my own, actually has the ability to use reason.) After speaking with the nurse, she basically told me to get my swollen neck to the Urgent Care because, really, if your neck is swollen to the size of a golf ball, isn’t it kinda urgent?

So I go.  And all the way to the urgent care, I’m convinced it’s cancer.  I’m going to die and my little ones won’t know their father.  I’ll need to stop off at Best Buy on the way home and buy a digital video recorder so I can start a video log for my kids in my final months to live.  I wish I was joking.

The place isn’t crowded and I am shown an exam room pretty quickly.  After my vitals are taken I await the doctor.  She shows up soon enough and after I explain my symptoms, she sticks her fingers into my mouth and fishes around.  She finally announces with a fair air of certainty what she thinks is my affliction…

Apparently, I have a clogged salivary gland.

And that is it.  My mouth cannot salivate properly, so the saliva is backing up into my neck.  I already have an appointment with my regular physician for next week so she says he will refer me to a Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.  She prescribes some antibiotics for me to take since ENT’s want to make sure I don’t have an infection before working on me.  And then she prescribes something I never thought I’d hear a doctor prescribe.

“Do you like sour candy?” she asks.

“It’s not my favorite but I can manage.” I reply.

“Good.” she says.  “Pick up some sour candy at the pharmacy.  It will help stimulate the salivary glands and might dislodge whatever is clogging it up.”

So, I sit here tonight knowing that I won’t die from cancer anytime soon.  I am a little sick of lemon drops and sour patch kids but it’s a small price to pay.  I just cannot believe that things like this happen to me.

Lemon drop, anyone?


  1. Aye Dios Mio!, Oye Vey! and a Good Grief! and a little chicken soup wouldn’t hurt.

    Comment by Grandmother — April 8, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

  2. I don’t believe I’ve heard of a clogged salivary gland before. I’m glad it is something that seems to be easily treated and not threatening to your overall health. And anything with a candy cure is okay in my book!

    Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    Comment by debra — April 9, 2008 @ 12:01 am

  3. Ooh ooh! That happened to me a couple of years ago! I had never heard of it before, either. You’re the only other person I’ve heard of that it happened to. It really freaked me out at the time. But, as I recall, the antibiotics did their thing rather quickly and I stopped looking like half a chipmunk within a day or so…

    Comment by Liz — April 9, 2008 @ 3:17 am

  4. Yum, I wish my doctor would order me to eat some candy. I love the sour straws. Oh and sweet tarts.

    Comment by Someone Being Me — April 9, 2008 @ 8:46 am

  5. Really? Wow, today I was told I can’t have any candy for the rest of my pregnancy…or any other obvious sugar for that matter. So, well, I guess I envy you. :) Just kidding, I hope everything clears up promptly and I’m glad you don’t have cancer.

    Comment by Equipoise — April 9, 2008 @ 10:14 am

  6. I just adore you! Some days your beautiful words have me crying and other days, like today, you have me rolling on the floor laughing.

    Comment by Andi — April 9, 2008 @ 12:07 pm

  7. Oh, how interesting. This post made me laugh though. You’re always able to make these things hilarious.

    Comment by Julie — April 9, 2008 @ 2:44 pm

  8. So you have a doctors note to eat sour patch kids?? My mouth is actually salivating just thinking about them. May have to go to the drug store right now & get some.

    Comment by Chadwick — April 9, 2008 @ 5:13 pm

  9. Can I get a Rx for SweetTarts? I ate so many of those things in college that my tongue blistered. I still love ‘em.

    Okay, I am SO VERY GLAD you’re not going to drop dead anytime soon… you get a pass on scaring the crap out of all of us because the idea of a clogged salivary gland is pretty funny.

    Comment by Deanna — April 9, 2008 @ 7:09 pm

  10. this was hilarious, so glad it wasn’t serious :)

    Comment by mamma knows — April 9, 2008 @ 7:41 pm

  11. I’m so glad it wasn’t anything too serious. I can only imagine that the sight of a swollen gland in your neck can be quite frightening (for some reason the face of Eddie Murphy as the Nutty Professor comes to mind–must be the thought of the swollen neck). How much better can your illness be when the doc Rx eating candy as a cure?! Hope you get better soon! BTW, when your neck was swollen did Swee’Pea and TheMonk poke at it? I know Da’Gorgeouses would be having a heyday if it were me!

    Comment by MamáChanga — April 9, 2008 @ 10:47 pm

  12. Glad it was nothing serious! I have Sjogren’s Syndrome, an otherwise boring autoimmune disease that kills off the salivary glands, so I always have dry mouth. The hard candy thing is what all the doctors tell me, but be sure you get the sugar free kind (unless you already did not, and are loving what you have!). But, without enough saliva you are at increased risk for cavities because the sugar hangs around longer.

    Enjoy the lemon drops! (Mmmm! I love lemon drops. Maybe I need to go to the store now too.)

    Comment by Annie — April 10, 2008 @ 6:45 am

  13. They still make Sour Patch Kids?

    Comment by Above Average Joe — April 10, 2008 @ 9:32 am

  14. That’s a relief. Now if I could get a prescription for beer and pizza all would be well.

    Comment by Whit — April 10, 2008 @ 10:45 am

  15. Sounds like a reward having to eat candy…


    Comment by AdventureDad — April 11, 2008 @ 6:52 am

  16. Glad you’re okay!

    And I’ve never heard of that ever before ever. Wow. You’re a medical marvel!

    Comment by samantha jo campen — April 11, 2008 @ 11:17 am

  17. Have never heard of anything like this in my life. But thank God that’s all it was.

    Comment by Amy — April 11, 2008 @ 6:39 pm

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