Injuries after preventive medical checkup – Part IX

While having these weird symptoms in my mouth, I was also pretty tired. I felt like energy had been drained from me. I’m not exactly sure when it started that I felt constantly tired. In my journal on March 26, 2005 is the entry that I had been pretty tired for the past few weeks. This condition stayed with me for quite some time while the symptoms in my mouth got worse.

At the end of April 2005 I spoke with my cousin in Vancouver, and we talked about my symptoms in my mouth. Over a period of four months the discomfort in my mouth had developed in stages:

Dry mouth, less saliva, metallic taste, taste of bitterness on gum.
Outbreak of rash in my mouth.
Dry mouth, salivary function lost; I wasn’t able to produce any saliva the natural way for at least 2-3 weeks.
Producing very frothy saliva, constantly extreme salty taste in my mouth for at least 2-3 weeks.

While the physicians just told me that they didn’t know why I had these problems in my mouth, I informed myself on the Internet. When I didn’t produce any saliva anymore and nobody cared to examine the source of this problem, I was pretty desperate. On the Internet I had read the following:

– Oral dryness is usually accompanied by a severe reduction in the secretion of unstimulated salivation. The severity of dryness can vary depending on the amount of salivary function lost.
– Saliva is essential for digesting foods and fending of infections. It also prevents the development of caries.

The remedy for this condition was either to use artificial saliva to moisten the mouth, or to promote salivary flow by chewing sugar-free chewing gum if residual salivary function is left.

For a few weeks I was constantly chewing gum until my salivary glands were restored to function again without external stimulation.

In May of 2005 I had no doubt anymore that my salivary glands had been damaged. Therefore the question was, why and when had it happened? I had not undergone any radiation therapy, but I had been exposed twice within a month to x-rays. Shortly after I had undergone the preventive procedures of mammogram and DEXA scan, radiation symptoms appeared (burnt nail in January, unusual tingling sensations in mouth beginning of February). Therefore I believed that I had received an overdose of radiation during at least one of these procedures.

While I had these symptoms I talked to several people about this. I also spoke with a friend in Germany who had studied medical technology. She told me that if the x-ray machine is not operated properly, a person could enter a higher radiation dosage. And if the machine is not calibrated properly, a higher dosage can be given, too.

During that time I consulted with different physicians who just shrugged with their shoulders and said they didn’t know what had caused these symptoms. There was a lack of concern to find out the source of the problem, and nobody cared to refer me to another physician who perhaps could have helped me to deal with this situation another way instead of just having my blood checked for metal poisoning and a brief saliva test at the beginning of this ordeal.

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