[continued from above]
Doc's skepticism began to swell as he whispered to his colleague, "Do you see that? That's interesting. It goes all the way into..." [Uhh Doc, I can hear you] "Um, yeah, we're gonna have to go deeper than we thought. It looks like it goes deep into your throat." The room began to spin. This meant more needles, more time on the table and now a full-blown hyperventilating crying fit. Most of the professional caretakers in the room seemed surprised. "What's wrong? Are you in pain? Why are you crying?" I felt like I was at the mercy of these people who know nothing about ME. I don't let anyone get that intimate with me. I felt out of control and I wasn't prepared to be out of control.
They calmed me down [HA!] and continued cutting and scraping. Doc said the substance wasn't quite the fluid he expected - as if it had crystallized (my description). When he finished he stitched me up and tried to rush me out [since the procedure took double the time he was now backed up for surgery] I asked if I could see it - like we'd talked about. He said, "Oh, we got rid of it." Then he apologized for not remembering to show it to me and ran out the door.
I felt violated. He poked, prodded, took some of me and left. But I figured, "Well, it's over. No more earaches."
About a month later (July 2002) I got a call from an Ear Nose & Throat surgeon, asking when I'd like to make an appointment to come in to discuss my TUMOR. I listened to the message a few times trying to makes sense of it. Within a few minutes, Doc called to tell me they had biopsied the substance - you know, the stuff he "got rid of" - and reports showed it's a benign parotid tumor. He never would have known that because apparently these tumors usually show up in the cheek, in front of the ear. Mine's in a peculiar place (go figure).