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The Indefinite Article.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

The long road to Diagnosis: Gingivitis-Stomatitis

This is a combination of infections affecting my tounge and the gums. Severe infections (which I unfortunately am saddled with) cause small painful ulcers on the gums, tonsils, foul breath, and bleeding gums. This may be accompanied by fever.

I got this from my son, who i had taken the dr. on tuesday of last week, he had some sores in his mouth that were bothering him. The dr. blamed it on a virus, signed us out and shipped us back home. Those are the worst dr. visits, when the doctor can't even do anything for you. It's on those days when the doctors might as well be your kooky witch doctor uncle or that hippie aunt, who swears by a tequila mouthwash for cold sores.

Well, adolfo thrived that week. Carol noticed that he wasn't eating as ferociously as he normally does, which was prolly in part to the discomfort in his mouth. I was fine, until


I woke up feeling feverish, but not physically hot. Just really strange. Thinking back, i can't remember when I felt the first sores in my mouth. I continued with my day, more because i had to, than because i wanted to. Carol was in Raleigh, NC for the night and was flying back in that evening. I got to work and sat with a resident for four hours attaching arrows to radiological images for a Dr. G's RSNA poster. 70 images with arrows on each one. It was gruesome. I was dizzy the whole time, and even though i know my office was cool i was sweating.

We took a break at 10:15. I ran immediately to the nearest nurses station and had my
temperature taken: 98.7. Normal.

(Diana/Liz: is there a name for feeling feverish, but not actually having a fever?)

I sat back in my office somehow made it through placing arrows. By that time, i knew i was not going to last much longer. I told my boss that i was going to go home early and made all the necessary arrangements. I left the hospital, took the bus to the car (i park the car near the museum and take the bus in when carol is gone), and drove directly home. I napped for an hour and a half and then loaded up the baby and got on the tollroad at 6 headed for the airport. I made it there right at 7:30, when carol's flight was supposed to have arrived. I was sweating in the car. My head was pounding. Luckily, the baby was asleep peacefully in his carseat.

Carol didn't show up till 8:30. My head was pounding and since adolfo iv hadn't seen his mom in a day he cried, the whole way home. I was bent over in pain. Fitful sleep. This first night i am restless. My mouth is swollen and dry with sores, i am drinking water all night. My body is aching with every movement.


I am too sick to get out of the bed. Carol stays home from work cause the baby is not feeling too well either. I am pumping myself full of tylenol, water, and soups. My fever is a constant 100 all day. My sores are beginning to freak me out.

This is the day when every medicine in the cabinet comes out. I am using orajel to sooth my sores; i am taking tylenol and motrin; to get some rest, my mother buys me a new bottle of nyquil. I take it all.

The final blow: i mouthwash with a cupful of Tres Generaciones Tequila. It was smooth and it helped me sleep.


The fever broke this night. My side of the bed was wet with sweat. My sleep was interrupted by applications of orajel and glasses of water taken into my body as if i had never had water before. I drank it over the sink slowly (it was becoming harder and harder to swallow comfortably.)

The sores in my mouth were more bothersome. I rinsed and gargled with salt water. This seemed to help. I stayed in bed most of the day, doped up on motrin and tylenol. It was official: i could no longer 'eat'. All i could do was drink. Somehow, in my sickly stupor, i was convinced it couldn't get worse and i would feel better on sunday.


I woke up at 3 a.m. coughing. I could feel new sores in my throat. There had been an explosion of sores in my mouth. My mouth was swollen with sores, my saliva tasted like blood. My breath could melt glass.

I put on my jeans, and told my wife i was driving myself to the emergency room. She stayed with the baby. My mother wouldn't let me go alone. She drove me to methodist hospital in sugarland. She put the windows down because she couldn't stand the smell of my breath.

I was there for four hours: two in the waiting room and two in the exam room. Everyone who looked in my mouth was visibly shocked (two nurses and one doctor.)

I was prescribed comfort medicine, since this childhood disease is caused by a virus: 20 vicatin pills, 20 antibiotic to prevent secondary infection of the sores, and a substance called 'magic mouthwash' to deaden my mouth. I also got doctor's orders to stay home from work for three days this week because i am extremely contagious.

(my biggest question is if this one of those diseases that will 'bounce back and forth'???)

So i've been in and out of conciousness all day today, with no REAL relief. I'll let everyone know how things go these next few days.


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