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THE MONTH-LONG (AND CONTINUING) SEEMINGLY NEVER ENDING SAGA OF THE MOUTH FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL

By

Carole Bellacera

Okay, if you’re squeamish, you might not want to read my newsletter this month…because I’m the first to admit it’s not a pleasant topic of conversation.  But I need to vent—and if I can’t vent to y’all, then what’s the point of having a newsletter?  So, please, if you can just indulge me…

I remember exactly when it began—May 23rd at around seven o’clock in the evening.  Well, that’s when I first noticed a strange, metallic-like taste in my mouth.  I was sitting at the computer, working.  Little did I know that I was entering into a nightmare of such proportions that my sanity would be tested for the next eight…and counting…weeks.

The bad taste in my mouth grew steadily worse each day—to the point that I could no longer taste foods normally.  I remember buying a Payday one afternoon, and when I ate it, it tasted like I was eating…well, the wrapper.  The texture was there, but I couldn’t taste the salt on the peanuts nor the sweetness of the candy center.  It was at that point that I knew I had to see a doctor.  When I can no longer taste one of my favorite candy bars, I know I have a serious problem.

I suspected that my malady was caused by a recent change in my thyroid medication—Levothroid, which my doctor had prescribed for me because of an under-active thyroid.  Just a few days before my “sewer mouth” began, he’d increased my medication from one tablet to one and a half a day.  So, I figured it was either the increase or the fact that I had to cut a tablet in half that had caused this problem.  But he said no, he’d never heard of Levothroid causing a metallic taste in the mouth.  (Metallic taste sounds so innocuous; let me tell you, it’s not to the person suffering it.  It tastes like something crawled into my mouth and died there.) 

So, I went to the doctor.  She was clueless.  Completely at a loss.  Even though my mouth showed no signs of a fungus, she gave me this “swish & swallow” anti-fungal medication to try.  Desperate to get this god-awful taste out of my mouth (which also now was making anything I ate taste just like it), I tried it.  The stuff was hideous.  It tasted worse than death, and did absolutely nothing to improve my problem.  I quit taking it after 48 hours.  Back to the doctor I went (this after going to the dentist for a cleaning; she found absolutely nothing wrong.)  The second doctor I saw was as befuddled as the first one.  All she could do was give me a referral to ENT.

So…for going on two months now, I’ve been cursed with this slime mouth that no one seems to know what’s causing.  After talking to my pharmacy, they agreed with my doctor who said the Levothroid wasn’t the culprit—that perhaps it was the Deconamine I’ve been taking for over three years (for allergies) without a problem.  So, I quit taking my Deconamine.  I also quit taking my Levothroid.  And guess what?  My problem started improving.  No, I never quite lost the bad taste in my mouth, but it got to a point where I wasn’t thinking about the problem OBSESSIVELY for every minute of every day, and I could kind of taste my food again.  But then I did something stupid.  I started taking the Levothroid again (because I got scared at not taking it) and here I am again, my mouth as dry as a bone, but yet with this hideous, disgusting, bittersweet taste.  And I feel like I’m losing my mind.

In the four weeks before my ENT appointment, I tried numerous home remedies to get rid of the taste:

  • Listerine (one day, I was rinsing almost every two hours with this hideous stuff)
  • Warm salt water wash
  • Biotene mouthwash
  • Brushing my teeth every two hours
  • Rinsing with Tabasco sauce & water
  • Rinsing with peppermint extract & water
  • Chewing gum (Can one overdose on chewing gum?)
  • Sucking on lemon drops/peppermint candies/butterscotch candies

Nothing helps for more than a couple of minutes!!!!!

Finally, the day arrived for my ENT appointment.  I went there, hoping they’d know what was wrong, and better yet—have a miracle cure for me.  Guess what?  Clueless.  The ENT doctor scheduled me for an MRI…which isn’t scheduled until July 24th.   He wouldn’t tell me what he suspected, but the sudden onset of the problem seemed to concern him.  I got the feeling he thinks it might have something to do with my brain.  Scary stuff!  I’m determined not to worry about it, though.  I just feel in my gut that it’s nothing serious.  But whatever it is, I want it fixed.

I can hardly remember when I had a normal mouth, even though it was only eight weeks ago.  I’m terrified that I’ll never have a normal mouth again. (One day, the taste was so bad that it actually made me feel nauseous.)  I want to taste food again—because…believe it or not…I really enjoy eating.  And it would be really nice if my saliva didn’t taste like battery acid. 

Enough, already…I know that’s what you must be thinking.  Okay…moving on.  Congratulations to Wilma Frana from Calmar, Iowa, my June website winner.  I’m changing this month’s contest a bit.  I’ll still be giving away a hardcover copy of UNDERSTUDY, but I’m also going to give away an original necklace or bracelet from Beautiful Evening Beads.  So, stop in at www.CaroleBellacera.com and enter.  Oh, and when you go to my website, you’ll notice my new design.  I figured it was time for an overhaul.  So browse around, and let me know what you think. 

Carole

July 2008

 

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