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Hello, I wanted to share my recent experience with a salivary stone in the submandibular gland. I will say my experience with these stones was fustrating and painful. Although it can be excurcitingly painful, there is often no quick solution to it. The first time I experience the problem was about 3.5 years ago. After eating, underneath my chin would swell for 45 minutes to a couple hours. While the swelling was uncomfortable, I don't remember it as particularly painful. I went to a number of ENT appointments and had an x-ray taken, but the ENT was never able to confirm the stone, although we both felt pretty confident it was the problem.
I was put on predisone. I wish the doctor would have gone into more detail about how this medication can affect you. I had horrible side effects, including: headaches, auditory hallucinations, extreme mood swings, chills and general discomfort. The predisone did not seem to clear up the stones immediately, but a couple weeks after taking it the problem did go away.
The gland did not give me much of a problem the next 3 years. It might swell with a single meal every 8-10 months, but nothing of note. This last weekend it began swelling after every meal like the old days. On a Saturday, the fourth of July, the gland swelled and did not go down after eating. I rarely drink and I was drinking that day, I'll personally say that I felt beer very much agravated the stone and was at least partially responsible for it getting infected.
Sunday the gland stays inflamed, over the next 48 hours the beginning of what would be excruciating soreness and pain began. It spread to the other side of my neck/chin, throat, jaw gone, teeth and even what felt to be my ear by the end of it. I also had discomfort and pain when swallowing. I have since come to understand that the lingering swelling was caused by the infection. There was puss coming out of the gland underneath my tongue, which was one clue to the infection.
On Monday I went to the ER and then followed up with an ENT specialist. I was placed on Keflex (antibiotic) and ibprofen, at that point I declined the predisone as I wasn't sure it had done much the last time and it caused horrible side-effects. I was also instructured to suck on lemon drops, drink lots of water, apply a hot compress and massaged inside/outside of the mouth on the gland. I did all of these things as religiously as I could. My plan with the doctor was to regroup in a week after trying these things.
Monday night/Tuesday morning I had extreme pain and started to feel a lot of anxiety about feeling this way for an entire week. I called the doctor Tuesday morning and told her what I just wrote (I was extremely emotional from the pain and lack of sleep). I decided to try the prenisone again and she wrote a script for pain management. I will say calling my doctor was a very good decision, if you experiencing worsening of your symtoms, even if it is mostly increased pain, please call your physician and find a better plan of care. She ordered a CT for early the next week too.
I took the predisone around 2pm this afternoon. I continued with the others instruction (lemon drops, warm compress, massaging gland, etc). Pain seemed to get to a more managable level about 4 hours after taking the medication and another dose of ibprofen (600 mg), still a lot of discomfort though. Well about 6pm I begin pushing a LOT of pus out while massaging the gland, it just kept coming for about an hour. At this point I could finally visualize the stone on the base of gland and was excited because I thought this meant the doctor would be able to remove it. Luckily for me, it popped right out. I could immediately feel the gland relieving some of the pressure and an hour later am experiencing only some lingering swelling (much reduced) and tenderness on the outside of my neck/chin. No pain when swallowing anymore. No pain underneath the tongue.
If anyone is ever dealing with a similar situation, I'd love to answer questions about when helped me. I feel like I was really scared and anxious through this process and I'd like to help others that might be going through it.
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