Saturday, November 11, 2006

Nobody Nose the Trouble I've Seen...

I blogged, earlier, about a chronic earache I'd been having, and instructions from the doctor to blow air through my ears. It didn't work. I was referred to an ENT (Ears/Nose/Throat) specialist, whom I saw yesterday.

After a hearing test, poking and prodding of every orifice in my head ensued. Then the doctor pulled out a little spray gun, and informed me he was going to numb the inside of my nose. And then a different spray gun (I hope) to numb my throat. He warned me, "this stuff doesn't taste very good." It sure did not; I couldn't keep myself from shuddering and spitting the word "Gyak!"

He left the room for about 5 minutes to let that rat-poison numbing crap take effect, leaving me to wonder WHY we were numbing things up.

He returned and took another peek up each nose-hole, and then tapped around on my teeth and tonsils with a few instruments. I was innocently thinking "well, that was nothing! I'm pretty sure I could have tolerated that without all of this numbing stuff! Sheesh."

It was then that he said "I'm just going to put this light down your throat and take a look."

I opened wide: Ahhhhh....

To my surprise, he inserted a cord into my NOSE, as he said, "this is just a little light."

"Wow," I was thinking, "that must be one bright light. You put it in my nose, and it lights up my entire head so much that you can see my throat? Well. Ain't technology grand!"

But he kept pushing that thing further and further in, all the while talking about my throat, and it finally dawned on me: "Holy shit. He is going to snake that thing through my head!!!" And he proceded to do just that, until I felt it poke into my throat.

For the record, it is quite unsettling to feel a cord winding right through a bypass in your head in which you had never been physically aware. So unsettling that I didn't even think of getting a photo of it for my blog!

Please say "eeeeeeeeeeeee" the doctor said.

I made some a guttural noise that sounded more like "cckkkkkkkkkkeeeehhhhhhhhhh" than "eeeeee" but he said that was fine anyway.

And then the retraction, which was just as creepy as the insertion, but at least it was over.

And here's the final diagnosis:

I don't have an Ear, Nose, or Throat problem.

I have TMJ: Temporo-Mandibular Joint dysfunction. I actually had therapy for this some years ago, and haven't had problems with it since then. Until now. Essentially, the jaw joint on the left side of my face is so inflamed that it's give me one hell of an earache, for 4 months.

I walked away with a prescription, and instructions to see an oral surgeon if it doesn't cause any relief.

In summary I've had 3 doctor appointments, $90 worth of co-pays, one roto-rooting through my head, and I got a prescription for:


Wish me (and yourselves) luck that I don't blog about this again.


  1. You also got a very interesting post out of it.That must have been an unsettling experience, you could have just taken ibuprofin but now you know why you need to take it.

  2. classic photo!!

  3. Hi Gnightgirl

    I went to an ENT once when the side of my face swelled up because the little canal/gland that is in the inside of my cheek (and leads to your ear) got blocked. It was just so much fun because he had about a dozen residents there who all had to take turns looking inside my mouth. Finally he prescribed Lemon drops for me, Yes, after all the money my prescription was candy. Apparently the Lemon makes the little gland open and close clearing the blockage (pleasant) and it worked too...

  4. June: It's true, and least i know how to move forward, and feel bettah.

    Paul: That's the photo on my driver's license.

    Dagoth: "my prescription was candy." I howled when I read that...and I'll repeat it at happy hours. Thanks for contribuing to my brilliant conversation-al-izing.

  5. Oh good heavens!

    "Here. Have some Advil."

    Darlin', I could have subscribed that to you for free!

    Maybe you might need a mouth guard or something?
    My girlfriend has something very similar, and I believe that's what she's lined up for.
    Good luck, sounds really unpleasant.

  6. When I had emergency gall bladder surgeryyears ago - right before the operation 5 nurses walk in at once (I knew it meant trouble, just not what)

    They hold me down all at once and shove a hose up my nose/down my throat. I thought - why couldn't they wait until I was out? Or even have given me a 'numb-er'

  7. after reading this, I'm going to be grateful that I only have to go to the dentist... great writing

  8. Sounds like a terrible day! I hope the Rx works... and that you feel better soon!

  9. Lol ! What an experience, I think I would have thrown up with that in my throat and through the nose ! Hopefully your new medication helps !

  10. That sounds pretty grim! Made me shudder just thinking about it.
    I was checking your blog as I'd tracked back through your items game.... Which I was starting to play too.

  11. I hope the 57,000 Advils worked and you're feeling better!

    From now on, I must attend all of your doctor's visits so that I may properly document them for blogging...


  12. Tai: The doc suggested that mouth guard, before oral surgeon. I bought one before, but they're $25, and you have to Make it Yourself; if you do it wrong, it's $$ down the drain.

    Barry: Exactly; why take care of that ahead of time when they're going to knock you out anyway?

    Sage: I'm no fan of the dentist either, but I guess he is the lesser of these 2 evils.

    Wendy: So far so good!

    TopChamp: I'll keep an eye out for you!

    Momo: Definitely, come to all doc appts. from now on. Maybe we can re-anct this with a licorice whip or something!

  13. Oh my sweet lord! I want a conflicting opinion! That's just ridiculous. Don't laugh: you should try acupuntcure. I've had several experiences that tell me when regular doctors have no clue and can't do sh!t acupuncturists go "Oh, here's the problem." A couple of appointments later you're cured. Give it a shot. It can't be worse than Ibuprophen not fixing the problem.

  14. shannon12:52 PM

    oh god, i can't stop squirming, thinking about them sticking that thing in your nose. they'd have to SEDATE me to do that to me.


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