Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A lost art

The list of things that are wrong with me is long and includes everything from my inability to keep clothes anywhere besides a basket in the middle of the hallway, to hands that are so inhumanly icy that happy babies cry when I touch them. But this thing in particular is relatively imperceptible, and you would never know unless I told you. Or spit on you.

My head and neck are disproportionately small (disproportionate being the key word here), so it was easy to notice the lump just below my jaw line. It’s actually been there for a few years (cue gasps from the diehard hypochondriacs – I get you because I’m like you, except I rely on the internet for both diagnosis and treatment). I ignored it like the financially challenged are wont to do, and got along fine. Until recently, when I discovered that that lump in my neck, when pressed, can now trigger a projectile stream of spit that leaps out of my mouth in a fountain-like arc. Sometimes it doesn’t even need triggering; it happens on its own. Which is worse. Especially if you are around people you don’t know. Or people you do know, for that matter. Because it is weird either way.

I guess this is what the kids call gleeking, only it is a mutant form of Olympic gleeking that must be stopped before it gets worse. Also, sometimes my neck hurts.

The ENT recommended a type of x-ray only done by one radiologist in Omaha. “How cutting edge!” That’s what you’re probably thinking right now. No. It’s only done by one radiologist in Omaha because everyone else has moved on to more advanced procedures, like CT scans and leaches. Said procedure is called a sialogram, and I expected something involving a dull razor… maybe eye of newt. Definitely spells. I was sort of nervous.

And it didn’t help that, when I got to the hospital this morning for said procedure, the techs, and even the radiologist himself, were waiting, grinning, tapping their fingers against the cold metal x-ray table in baffling anticipation.

"I haven't done one of these in years," one of the nurses said as she slipped a heavy, red flak jacket over her head. At that point, I considered running away. I could live with the lump in my neck, and I bet the gleeking would help me gain inroads with the show-and-tell set.

But I stayed. And after a dozen x-rays and a mouth full of saccharin dye, it was over. I'm still not sure what all of the fuss was about. My only guess is that rarity, and even more so the threat of extinction, can make anything fascinating - Western Lowland Gorillas, Eames loungers, tan M&Ms, even sialograms.


Lady said...

Once removed, I hope you keep the lump in a jar, a glass one, and travel with it. It will be especially good to show small children when you're really really old. And if it makes a rattling sound when put in an old, rusty can, you can join my band and be the neck lump rattler. And I love you.

nacho_supreme said...

SO much fucking cooler than my tonsololith. I'm jealous. Do you think you could possibly wait and check the Guinness Book of World Records for gleeking before you get rid of anything?

Anonymous said...

I loved me some tan M&Ms...


Catherine said...

Lauren, I don't think they can remove the lump - only make it disipate. But I'll have them remove something so I can jar it and join your band. And I love you too.

Annie, I'm going to check on the GBWR thing. Anything to join the ranks of those two fat twins on motorcycles.

Cort, I think if you tried them now, they'd taste like the early 90s.


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