Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Bad medicine, good mojo

So I was at the hospital today to talk with an earnosethroat-doctor and get my diagnosis and treatment plan.

It's a "pleomorph adenoma in the parotis which will require a submandibular exstirpation".

In English: I have a benign tumor in a salivary gland ("spit gland") that they're going to cut out. So in August or September there'll be surgery. Under narcosis and being admitted for one or two days.

For you gamblers, here are some odds that I found. Pleomorph adenoma is rare, about forty incidents per million people. 70-80 percent of salivary gland tumors are in the parotis, and the most common is pleomorph adenoma. Now, 25 percent of salivary gland tumors are malign (but mine isn't) and for those the five-year survival rate is 75 percent.

So, another hospital stay for me. Last time was, what, fourteen years ago, for... (need to catch my breath again) acute inflammatory appendicitis with peritoneal abscesses. Or: ruptured appendix with peritonitis. Gutshot. More stitches, I have thirtyfour subcutaneous so far. Let's see... Twelve in the belly from the appendectomy, sixteen in my right hand after a disagreement with heavy machinery (a whisker and a prayer from chopping off three fingers completely), four more in that hand a few years later after removing a complication from the previous injury and two in the chin from falling while very very drunk and experiencing barbecuical trauma. No half-measures for me, I go full throttle.

*Sigh*, you'd think my medical karma was positive. I've done my bit of treatment, assistance and help, and I'm a blood donor, over the years I've given ten liters or 2.6 U.S. gallons. That's 676 tablespoons or seventeen pints and a half-pint. About four and three eights cubic quatloos.

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