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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ouch! My Sternocleidomastoid Hurts! (most likely...)

Sternocleidomastoid is not a curse-word in some foreign language. As a licensed physical therapist, I promise you it is a real body part... a muscle in your neck. Mine is in spasm.

Today was the day for my parotid tumor biopsy. While we were off to a great start this morning with the kids all getting ready and out-the-door on time, DH and I had a grueling ride made twice as long due to GPS fail... actually it was "me" fail. I foolishly entered the name of the hospital rather than the address... and this took us to the center of the Old City. I'm not joking. If you have ever driven a minivan through the streets of the Old City, Jerusalem you would surely NOT be laughing right now. We stopped to ask a cop what to do... he had no clue. I called the hospital and (this part you can laugh at...) the secretary said, "Don't you know how to use a GPS? You enter the address..." - and she gave me the address.... and promised me I would be just on time... even though I was clearly going to arrive 20 minutes later than planned.

By the grace of GPS my DH got us to the hospital only 5 minutes later than my appointment. I won't go into too many details. I hate being held down and told not to move - that freaks me out more than the anticipation of pain. The senior doctor obviously knew what he was doing and was also educating a younger doctor how to perform a biopsy. With my head and neck immobilized and being held down via the ultrasound head, the doctor injected lidocaine and then exclaimed, "Oh damn! I just made a mistake!" WHAT??! and I whimpered and he said, "No, not on you, the computer."

Anyways. It's not a fun procedure but it wasn't painful. The pressure and noises the equipment made inside my neck was just... well, that part was really gross and made me squirm. The doctor had a difficult time getting the bleeding to stop too and I wonder if that wasn't caused by taking 800 mg. of ibuprofen for a throbbing headache I woke up with. Oops.

I asked the doctor what he thought. He said it looks like a tumor. In his opinion it's most likely a pleomorphic adenoma which is most likely benign and will most likely need to be surgically removed. I most likely hope that the doctor most likely knows what he's talking about. He also informed me that the area will most likely be sore and tender for the next few days and I shouldn't "make mischief".... Huh?

DH, Baby E., and I headed out for coffee and a treat straight afterward. DH had hot apple strudel with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and I had cheese cake that was almost worth it and most likely made the whole ordeal less horrible. As the lidocaine wore off I began to feel the muscle spasm. You can actually see the ropey sternocleidomastoid standing out of my neck. I'm sure it's most likely just a protective muscle spasm and I hope it goes away quickly. I am left with a gloom and doom kinda feeling about people who really are sick and have to endure far worse... they deserve our prayers.

I'll have results from the biopsy within 10-21 days which, I need to pick up in person. Coffee date anyone?

Wish me luck.


  1. Would love to meet you for coffee :) That is a long wait for results!Assuming that this will all most likely be benign, will it need to be removed surgically?

  2. TO I'd love to meet you for coffee someday...
    The wait is long! You'd think there was a button they could push to speed things up, I know!

    My understanding is parotid tumors should be removed benign or not.