17 September 2014

My eureka moment with the surgeon today: It’s not that somehow shrinking the tumor will promote bone regrowth; it’s the other way around. Bone growth is always happening. Keeping the cystic tumor drained will allow the bone regrowth in my mandible to push on and thus shrink the tumor.

16 September 2014

Today and also a few days ago, a car drove past my building while playing obnoxiously loud music that the whole neighborhood could hear, something I find reprehensibly rude, but it was hard to be angry when the song playing (both times!) was “That’s Amore.” ⚞🚗⚟

Last modified 17 September 2014.

12 September 2014

• I am elated to announce that I do not have an ameloblastoma but was instead diagnosed today with a benign keratocystic odontogenic tumor! Although I will still need major surgery to remove it, especially as it is so extensive, and I may even lose some teeth, my mandible does not need to be resected!
• Even though I was told it would be there for six to eight months, the drain was nevertheless removed today as it was apparently not doing its job very well. Today’s surgeon said that the next step would have to be “decompression” whereby I think she was referring to marsupialization. Although I’m not looking forward to that either, the drain was quite the nuisance.
• I also saw the sleep specialist today. After briefly examining me, he determined that my obesity and neck circumference are only borderline problems, and that the primary cause of my obstructive sleep apnea is micrognathism, an abnormally undersized mandible. Can you believe it? I am scheduled for a sleep study after the High Holidays.
Shabbat shalom.

12 September 2014

About my biopsy on Thursday, the 4th, and subsequent follow‐up appointment with the surgeons on Friday, the 5th

• I was only expecting a consultation Thursday and not the biopsy.
• One of the surgeons asked me questions and felt around inside my mouth.
• He suggested having the biopsy done that very day and I consented.
• Another (apparently Jewish) surgeon asked if I were Muslim.
• Multiple photographs of my face were taken from various angles before and during the procedure.
• The affiliation with a school of medicine meant there were plenty of surgical trainees observing the procedure at all points.
• The biopsy was a surreal experience: I was awake and relaxing with my hands comfortably folded on my belly and my legs crossed at the ankles as the mass that has been on my jaw for years was painlessly cut open while faces hovered over me that used multiple Latin anatomical terms with which I was unfamiliar.
Lots of dark brown fluid, about a square centimeter of soft tissue and a minute bit of bone were taken away from me.
• A surgical drain about which I was not informed ahead of time was sewn into me and will be there for six to eight months, so long as the mass is what they think it is.
• My tongue and lip were numb thereafter but I was thrilled the hard bulbous mass had become more of a soft pillow.
• There were many loud and annoying children in the drug store while I waited for my prescriptions to be filled as the anesthesia wore off.

• When I was back at the hospital the next day, the overhead examination light that descends from the ceiling was not working so a penlight and a smartphone light were used to peer into my mouth.
• I learned I would need to irrigate my neoplasm with salt water through the drain three times a day for six to eight months. The surgeon demonstrated and it was fairly painful, like more water was being pushed into a balloon or bladder than it could comfortably hold.
• Another oral surgeon summoned me into his office to discuss the extensive bone loss and tooth resorption I have suffered. He was the second surgeon to suggest to me that the bone loss had made my jaw very fragile, and he asked if I participate in any rough‐and‐tumble sports that might result in a broken jaw.
• That night, I went to the local gay men’s discussion group and told them my story in far more detail than they probably wanted to hear.

Comments of mine on Facebook
• It is definitely associated with the wisdom tooth, and the mass extends from the wisdom tooth down my mandible to the further side of my chin. The surgeons think it’s likely a KCOT, although only the biopsy and CT scan results will tell for sure.
• It definitely needs to be surgically removed. The delay of six to eight months is to give some time for the mass to shrink in the hope I’ll have some bone regrowth as a result.

10 September 2014

This week in the story of my health care

☑ Tuesday: Dermatologist visit. Got some good topical prescriptions.
☑ Wednesday: CT scan of my mandible as ordered by my oral surgeon.
☐ Friday morning: Another visit with the oral surgeon whereat I should finally get a proper diagnosis based on the biopsy and CT‐scan results.
☐ Friday afternoon: My first visit with the sleep specialist.

5 September 2014

Written 4 September.

What with registration, consultation and a biopsy, I spent three and a half hours at the hospital today, then over an hour at the pharmacy waiting for my medications. I also now have a drainage tube in my gum that should be there for the next six to eight months. Details to follow, whether you want to read them or not.

5 September 2014

Written 29 August.

My day so far today
✓ Got a cleaning from the dentist.
✓ Got my first appointment (on Thursday) with oral surgeon number two.
✓ Got my first appointment (on 9 September) with the dermatologist.
✓ Even managed to participate in a Jackson Heights/Elmhurst food tour.
✓ Now I’m preparing for Shabbat and an underwear party. שבת שלום.‏

27 August 2014

As a lover and collector of old music, I am saddened that Yehezkel Braun, Sandy Wilson and Peret all died today!

22 August 2014

For those of you who had expressed concern about the apparent poor handling of my case by the hospital clerical staff

Yesterday, I went back to the hospital to talk to a friendly and cooperative supervisor who apologized for the misinformation I’d been given two days before and for my being turned away and told to get another referral. However, my dentist had nevertheless left out the clinical information on the paper referral and needed to add it, so I visited her and, while I waited, she and her assistant faxed the completed forms to the hospital. This morning, the hospital phoned me to confirm receipt of the completed paperwork, so things are moving. I should soon have an appointment with an oral surgeon.

Also of note, my health‐related posts apparently triggered the Facebook algorithm to show me all my friends’ health‐related posts. I didn’t know we were all in such bad shape. 😉

(Last modified 5 September 2014.)

20 August 2014

At the Secular Humanist Society of New York event last night, one of the organizers called on me to speak by addressing me as “young man.” 😀

(Last modified 6 September 2014.)

20 August 2014

I always overestimate the capacity of my stomach at the buffet, but there were enough sexy guys there that I didn’t mind staying a while. 😋

(Last modified 6 September 2014.)

19 August 2014

What I did today, for those concerned with how my time is occupied by the minutiae of my health care

✓ Had a follow‐up examination by my primary care physician who said my test results were good, that I am not diabetic and that my blood pressure is lower than my prior visit.
✓ Had my dermatology referral changed to a doctor in Elmhurst from one in Forest Hills.
✓ Received the necessary two‐day emergency referral form from my dentist to see oral surgeon number two (along with a prescription for chlorhexidine and an appointment for a cleaning and examination on the Friday after next).
✓ Went to the hospital to be told they cannot give me an appointment with an oral surgeon for over two weeks so my dentist needs to get another referral authorization but for a longer period of time.
✓ Returned to the dentist who was understandably a little angry at the hospital for not being able to see a patient with an emergency referral in the allotted amount of time. Nevertheless, she told me to return tomorrow for a referral with a longer duration.
✓ Filled the chlorhexidine prescription with the very handsome pharmacy worker, marking the first time I have had to pay any money for my treatment (a one‐dollar copayment).

(Last modified 6 September 2014.)

18 August 2014

Health update: I have an appointment with my primary care physician tomorrow, when I should also receive the authorization information from my dentist (in the same office) to see the next oral surgeon. I also have an appointment with a sleep specialist next month, and I want to try to switch dermatologists to a local one, at which time I’ll make an appointment there too. All of a sudden, I’m a busy guy. ☺

17 August 2014

I think the lady walking erratically with her dogs had just been informed by her companion that the people walking behind them were trying to get past when she exclaimed “Send them back to whatever shit country they came from!”

14 August 2014
🔗 “Lauren Bacall Dies at 89; in a Bygone Hollywood, She Purred Every Word”

Lauren Bacall, the actress whose provocative glamour elevated her to stardom in Hollywood’s golden age and whose lasting mystique put her on a plateau in …

לורן באקול ז״ל، תרפ״ד–תשע״ד.‏

📰 Enid Nemy with Emma G. Fitzsimmons, “Lauren Bacall Dies at 89; in a Bygone Hollywood, She Purred Every Word,” The New York Times, 12 Aug. 2014.

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