Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Just a Few More Details

So! The party was beautiful. My sister lives in a cozy, antique, hidden house, and always lines her front walk with luminarias for the party. I made those this time, and they were lovely as usual, showing guests the way to the house. Sis had baked about a ton of different kinds of cookies and made several different kinds of soup (perfect for the California cold), and served everything with all sorts of breads. She also devised a Christmas cocktail and had a little naming contest, which people liked. Her place was all decked out for Christmas, and the dogs were there, which is always fun. It was great to see folks I see only once a year at my sister's house. My parents also came, as well as some of my sister's colleagues, and it was nice to put faces with some of the names I've heard so often. Of course, Suzy had a grand time being petted and held by various people, and even fell asleep for a while next to my mom. :-)

The thing with my salivary gland was/is totally weird. It just suddenly swelled up the day after the party and kept getting bigger, to the point that I looked like I had half a case of the mumps. Oh, I see now via Google (why did I look up the images? why??) that MUMPS IS AN INFECTION OF THE SALIVARY GLAND! Ack. Do I have the mumps? Well, I didn't have a fever or any other symptoms, and apparently other things can cause the parotid (salivary) gland to become infected, so...hmm. I'm on antibiotics and applying cold packs as advised, and the gland (right under the ear and behind the jaw) is much less puffy today, so I guess everything's gradually getting better. At times like this, I just thank God for Western medicine, as uncool as that may sound to some. ;^) I was plenty anxious about the whole thing, and am still a little uneasy about it. Wouldn't you be so if one side of your face and neck suddenly started to swell? I thought so!

On almost getting overcharged at the walk-in clinic: We were told the fee for a basic office visit, and told that any labs, X-rays, etc. would cost extra. Okay. So we waited for the doctor, who finally came in and spent about 90 seconds in the exam room. On our way back out, we went to pay the bill and it was twice the fee for a basic visit. We asked why the fee was double, and the receptionist didn't know because there was nothing informative written on the bill. We asked her to please go back and ask the doctor why he'd charged us double, since there were no labs or blood draws or anything. She did, and returned looking like she'd gotten somewhat chewed out. The doctor had told her that in "all [his] years" of working there, that's how much he'd been charging, but he did adjust the bill and we paid only the basic fee. I guess he's been overcharging people for years and no one has ever asked about it!! Oh, and the doctor looked like Santa Claus and wore a Santa tie, but boy, was he was grumpy. ;^) I'm so glad I was with my sister for the whole doctor experience. The pain and initial mystery regarding the swollen gland, and the difficulty (and subsequent long wait for the explanation) regarding the bill, would've been much more difficult to handle if I'd been alone. Just one more reason that I want to move closer to family.

Anyway, tonight my son is once again coughing. Longtime parents assure me that kids get sick less frequently as they get older and their immune systems develop, but it saddens me to hear the little guy coughing when he's trying to sleep. I gave him cough medicine, turned on the steamer and elevated his pillow, but he's still coughing. This morning he was coughing, so I had him blow into the flow meter and his numbers were just fine. I'll try again tomorrow and if the numbers are significantly low, off to the doctor we go. *sigh* I'm really hoping this time it's just a regular cold that will resolve soon.

Maybe by Christmas we'll both be all better. Doggone it -- yes, we will!