First, Marshall got off on his trip to Florida around 9:00 this morning and he is having a great time. Every time he stops, he is surrounded by people admiring his bike, wanting to talk about it and taking pictures of it. Very cool. He stopped for the night near Amarillo, Texas.
After he left, I went to my new ENT doctor. She says it is definitely a problem with the submandibular salivary gland. She does not think there is a stone and she does not think the lymph nodes surrounding the gland are malignant. But she does think that perhaps the salivary gland needs to be removed. The side effects are a little scary (damage to a facial nerve causing numbness, damage to some large blood vessels, etc.), so she said she could try something else first. She says she can dilate the duct that enters the gland and see if that releases some of the pressure and might resolve everything. She also suggested massaging the gland at meals and drinking tons of water every day and applying a hot compress several times a day. I go back on October 18th for the dilation procedure. Ugh.