Saturday, May 31, 2008


Last Sunday I awoke to find the left half of my face swollen to twice its normal size. That - I think understandably - caused me some alarm, and I ran off to find the doc.

Turns out I had a stone in a salivary gland, same sort of thing as getting a kidney stone. Only this one had clogged up the works and become infected. Apparently these stones are almost unheard of in people my age, and are usually brought on by dehydration. If there's one thing living down here does to you, it's dehydrate. Doc put me on a course of antibiotics and sent me on my way.

I tried to eat some cereal for breakfast, but my jaw was too swollen to chew, and hurt a lot when I tried. I gave up on the solid food and decided to try a glass of orange juice. I should have though that one out a bit more, because as soon as I took a sip, the gland tried to do its job, and - because it was clogged by the stone - swelled up quickly and painfully.

For three days I couldn't eat anything that required chewing or tasted good. Because of the antibiotics, I couldn't drink either. Not an ideal condition to be in for all the parties which inevitably accompany the monthly two-day weekend. Ah well, at least the infection was being taken care of.

Monday I woke up at 4am doubled over with a stomach cramp. Side effect from the antibiotics. Doc put me on a series of other meds to try and fix things, all of which came with a warning not to stray too far from a toilet. DSL doesn't have a toilet (or any sort of plumbing), so I ended up stuck in the station for the better part of a week.

Up until last weekend, I had walked to DSL and back every day since my arrival. Being cooped up in the station, even for only a couple of days, I started to go a bit stir crazy. "Toasty" in polie-speak. I don't know how the people who never go outside deal with it.

A couple of days on the meds, and I'm back to normal, enjoying food, drink, and the commute once again. The moon (which had resumed its role as floodlight through the latter half of May) set during my down time, and it's now wonderfully clear and dark out. I halfway froze my fingers off snapping photos on the walk this morning.

Glad to have things back to normal. Well, "normal".


desert tortise said...

WOW. I survived a gall this spring. I can't imagine your agony. Glad you are on the mend.

Debbie said...

Hello. I found your blog as I was wandering around the blogosphere. I really like the photos. I tried for three years to get hired by Raytheon as a support person for McMurdo, but no luck, so I went to S Korea instead. More pictures of the Milky Way, please. I used to live in the desert in AZ and we could see the Milky Way clearly each night. Can't see the sky here... Thanks for your blog.