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blocked salivary gland

(25 Posts)
exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 10:45:14

Please help me - i am in such a state. I have a swollen salivary gland and it is very tender and sore. I went to the doctors this morning expected to be told that its OK and will go away by itself. But she has booked me in for scan(s). I am terrified it might be cancer - i have health anxiety (im lucyellensmum so you all know how neurotic i am). So i am in a complete state - the doctor said she wasn't worried about that really, but wouldnt be pinned down to say it wasn't either. Please please please don't post post if you think it might be, i need reassurance - she said it could be "stones" and asked if i had kidney stones before, ive had gall stones, but stones in the salivary gland? That is what she said the scan is for, and that its non-urgent. But i am so scared. We have had a hard time of late and i can't take much more - now this. I just want to get on with my life, be a mummy to DD and now im terrified that she isn't going to actually have a mummy. Please, please help me.

exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 10:49:01

desperate bump - anyone, please

becklespeckle Wed 08-Oct-08 10:52:46

Hiya! My Mum had a swollen salivary gland years ago and she had all the same worries that you do. It turned out to be blocked (don't know how as I was quite young at the time) and it was removed. She had no further problems after that! Hope that helps!

exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 10:56:06

it has and it hasn't, im terrified of hospitals I am honestly so scared just now i don't know what to do.

exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 10:56:34

but thankyou - anyone else, im really scared?

exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 11:13:32

any doctors out there can help with this, my fingers are hovvering over the google button

BOOkleSpookle Wed 08-Oct-08 11:13:33

Sorry sad

Probably won't help but the treatment Mum had was over 20 years ago so I am sure things have changed an awful lot since then. I just wanted to reassure you that it is not necessarily bad news. Also the fact that your GP thinks it is 'non-urgent' is a great sign x

exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 11:22:02

don't be sorry bookle, im just paranoid, i am really wanting a second opinion i suppose, im going to go back tomorrow, i'm not questioning the doctor at all, but i want more reassurance. Im petrified, i can't stop shaking. I have to go out with DD now because im just ignoring her, poor wee thing.

girlandboy Wed 08-Oct-08 11:22:50

I had one about 15 years ago. I am one of those people who can't leave anything alone, and I kept fiddling with it and pressing it. I must have either dislodged it or broken it up because all of a sudden there was a huge squirt of saliva (I was looking in the mirror at the time, and it not only hit the mirror but filled my mouth up as well). The lump disappeared and that was that.
I'm really sorry about all the graphic details there, but I want to reassure you that it could be nothing more than what I had.
Apparently if you suck on lemons, this can dislodge a stone. It stimulates the salivary gland to produce more saliva and this sudden rush can pop the stone out. Massage can also help, which I suppose is what I was doing with my endless fiddling about.
Hope you get on ok - don't worry, and go and buy a bag of lemons!!!

exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 11:24:40

thanks girls and boys, there is no swelling in my mouth though, its in my neck, under my ear - i keep prodding it, it just hurts.

girlandboy Wed 08-Oct-08 11:31:45

Yours sounds like a stone in the parotid gland. Again, this can be a little stone - just a bit further back than mine. Apparently massage can again dislodge it. Your gp will tell you, but please don't panic. Again the advice seems to be to eat something so tasty that it makes the gland go berserk and unblocks itself.

exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 13:03:25

Yes, she said the parotid gland, she didn't say anything about lemons though Why do they need to scan for this? Thats what worried me, if she said, oh, thats a blocked salivary gland i would have been OK, but its the need for ultrasound that im really scared of. Is this quite common - i daren't google or i will be in the funny farm by tea time.

exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 13:28:23

anyone else, i am going to go mad between now and the scan

girlandboy Wed 08-Oct-08 15:09:22

Sorry, I had to go out.

I expect the scan is just to check that there is a little stone in there, how big it is and exactly where it is positioned. If it's a non urgent scan then that's exactly what it means - "It's not urgent!" If the gp had anything else in mind then she wouldn't have booked you in for a non urgent scan.

When my gland "popped" I didn't notice anything pop out, but I had obviously cleared the blockage somehow. The tender lump I had developed was basically a back up of saliva - lovely!!!!

Is your lump too tender to massage a bit??

Pendulum Wed 08-Oct-08 15:31:26

exasperated mummy, please try not to worry. It really does sound like salivary stones to me, these are relatively common and not at all serious, although they hurt like *&%$5$. I have had them several times. The scan is to check the stone's location and size- based on this the docs will recommend your treatment.

Twice I managed to dislodge the stones myself (like girlandboy)- it came right down into the front of my mouth and I had to fiddle around for a while to get it out. The first one though was in my neck (well under my jaw really) like yours and I had ultrasound treatment to break it up. My SIL also had a stone and had it removed surgically in a minor outpatient op.

Hope that reassures you. (BTW I know how you feel- when DD1 was a baby I had a breast lump and oculdn't sleep for days before the scan imagining her growing up without me- luckily it was a benign cyst.)

Pendulum Wed 08-Oct-08 15:33:11

I still have the little stone somewhere (found it grimly fascinating somehow). It is sharp and jagged and it's not surprising it hurts so much stuck in a narrow gland.

exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 16:18:12

Thanks for your replies everyone. Knowing that this is relatively common is reassuring. The doctor asked me if i had stones before, meaning kidney, i said no, but i have had gall stones. But surely that doesn't predispose you for salivary stones - i didnt even know you could get them!

Pendulum, what you say about the reason for ultrasound is reassuring as i thought, why ultrasound if you think its a stone. I was scanned for my gallstones. Made the mistake of googling and convinced myself i had pancreatic cancer blushsad.

I have a little pot full of gallstones in my cupboard, i had lots of little ones and it was mighty painful, in fact the worst pain i had ever experienced. Bit worried i might be prone to kidney stones now though - ive heard that is even worse So will definately be asking to keep mine if thats what i have. Not sure i really wanted to start a collection though - how big was yours?

The lump in my neck does seem to have gotten smaller today (wishful thinking?) despite my constant prodding and poking, i can be almost OCD like with this. I am climbing the walls though as i am already on two sets of anti depressants for anxiety disorder (mostly health related) so this is nearly pushing me over the edge. I can't think straight, i keep looking at my lovely DD and thinking how the hell will she cope without me.

Pendulum Wed 08-Oct-08 16:23:32

It will most likely go up and down depending on your saliva flow, mine used to be worse just before a meal or if I was eating something very sharp or salty (like lemons, tomatoes or anchovies). If you think about it the saliva starts to flow in anticipation of a meal but the stone blocks its passage and it builds up, causing the lump.

My stone that came out was only a few millimeters, a tiddler really. The larger one was broken up by the ultrasound into tiny pieces.

herbietea Wed 08-Oct-08 16:27:01

Message withdrawn

NomDePlume Wed 08-Oct-08 16:27:57

Stones are very common

exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 16:28:39

where was your lump, just below the ear at the jaw line? Would the doctor have had to tell me if there was a possibility that it might be something sinister. I asked her and she said i shouldnt worry, it was just a blocked gland. I then asked her if she thought it was cancer and she said "i shouldn't think so". I know im being pathetic as no amount of worrying is going to change what it is. It is just that i have always had a feeling i wouldn't see DD grow up I lost my dad to lung cancer when DD was 8 weeks old, he didn't even know i had a baby because he was so ill with alzheimers angry

NomDePlume Wed 08-Oct-08 16:29:17

Some info on Salivary Calculi

exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 16:31:16

thanks ndp - might this scare me?

NomDePlume Wed 08-Oct-08 16:32:11

No, it's far from life threatening

exasperatedmummy Wed 08-Oct-08 16:44:26

Thankyou so much NDP - that was just what i needed to read. I was too scared to google in case it suggested something sinister. I really appreciate all the replies, as i say, i am completely neurotic about anything to do with my health. I wouldn't say i am 100% relaxed but that is more to do with being scared to think things are ok, because this will somehow make them not be ok - yeah i know, thats mad.

Thanks again everyone - i might be able to sleep tonight.

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