When I first got ill with one thing after another, I didn’t know how to find out more. I went for years just doing whatever doctors told me to do. As it started to sink in that I had lots of weird medical problems, I would go to the library or read obscure and boring stuff at the independent living center. When I joined a real, live lupus support group in Vermont, it changed my life. There were people just like me! That’s when I started buying specialized books. I bought one through the support group on lupus by Dr DJ Wallace. Wow! A whole book about me!

Then, as the years went on, the internet came along. It cost me $5/hour to surf, but it again opened up a whole new world. It was pretty darn exciting when AOL started unlimited dial up internet. There I was, in my underground house, back in the woods, but connected to the whole world instantly. It has come a long way since then. There are LOTS OF resources. Medical journals, organizations, support groups and ebooks, among others. No longer do I have to pull out a book and try to figure out the body atlas. If I get a funny pill, I just google the imprint. When a doctor tells me I have xyz and here, take this and I will see you in 6 months, I am no longer left wondering what the heck is going on. I can LOOK IT UP!

My doc finally emailed me at 11 last night. Of course he either got a garbled message from the secretary or interpreted it his own way. He thought I was complaining of pain in my larynx. Nope. I explained that under my tongue and under my chin was extremely painful and swollen. More swollen on the right, but on both sides. The underside of my tongue was wicked owie and the roots of my teeth hurt and my ears ached. He didn’t write back 😦 The pain was too intense to go to sleep.

I started Googling. What was under the tongue? I found out it was called the submandibular salivary gland. I typed in that and some of my symptoms. Many were related to Sjogren’s, which I have. I was starting to vaguely remember this stuff from before. I started trying things. One page suggested massage. That made it hurt a bit less. Another suggestion said to suck on a sour lemon candy. I remembered that a long time ago I had gotten a tin of grapefruit candy at FNB. It was in my messenger bag. I popped one under my tongue.

OH MY GOSH!!!!!! I felt like I was drowning in spit. When the candy was gone, I massaged under my chin and along my jaw line. There were a couple more squirts of saliva. I was astounded! In a matter of minutes, the swollenness under my chin was almost gone! The excruciating pain was barely a pain at all. But then I started aspirating saliva and choking. I was wondering how to turn it off! After maybe half an hour, it slowed. It was easier to fix a gland than a muscle! Yes!

I went to bed and slept. Ahhhhhhhhhh…… When I woke up, my gout hand was stuck in a claw and the right side, under my chin was more swollen and tender. I massaged both. Now all I have to do is imagine I am sucking on a sour candy and I start salivating. That takes down the pressure. I hope that’s all I need to do until I go back to the ENT’s office for my speech therapy. Oh, and in the email, he said the name of the grant paying for therapy. I looked it up. Some rich people left grants and scholarships for school and treatment of people being studied. NIfty 🙂

I feel yucky, but better than yesterday’s yucky. My butterfly rash is still red. I still have a slight fever. But….my belly wound is way better 🙂 I am loving this aloe goop. It has healed more in a few days than I have in months.

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