Monday, December 27, 2010

A Lifelong Bad Habit Blown Away By One Good Sneeze

An update on the unpleasant but extremely well-timed sinus infection.

It's mostly fine; I'll be back at work tomorrow (almost looking forward to it -- oh, what the hell, it's a 3-day week, what's not to look forward to!).  The weekend's been sublimely dull & boring; sleep caught up on, one good home-cooked meal successfully executed, assorted filing accomplished, cat spoiled extra-rotten, etc. etc.

I have this one habit that goes all the way back to childhood and I have no idea where it originated.  When I sneeze, I shut my mouth and pinch both nostrils closed. 

Yeah, I know.  Various well-meaning souls (Mom, Dad, both husbands, co-workers and complete strangers) have told me what a terrible habit this is.  "You'll kill yourself!" "You'll give yourself a hemorrhage!"  "You'll blow your brains out!" "You'll go deaf!"  "Your head will explode!"

Well, as should be quite obvious, not one of these predictions has come true.

Up until this weekend, the worst sneeze consequence for me has been a really annoying tendency to chomp the side of  my tongue about 50% of the time.  No matter how I might try to prepare, I get that eye-watering shocka pain -- usually when I'm driving on the interstate and can't do nothin' about it.  The nose-holding bit seems to help me avoid that, somehow.

But I guess I'm going to have to take out tongue insurance or something, because my days of nose-held, closed-mouth sneezes appear to be over for good.

The jolt of agony that shot through the left side of my face with that one unexpected sneeze yesterday, driving me blindly down the hall to the bottle of Advil, was one I shall not soon forget.

As the characters on the Saturday morning cartoons used to say, Ouchy-wawa!!

Never again.  You win, Mom.


Kay Dennison said...

I don't know if I'm supposed to be laughing but I am. If I'm not, I'm sorry; If I am, thanks!

Volly said...

Kay, Of COURSE you should!!! You've taught me a lot about how laughter (and a good groooaaannnnn) is the best medicine.

Al Penwasser said...

I'm laughing, too. Thanks for letting us know it's okay to do so. MY worst sneeze episode occurred several years when I was way way sick. The force of the sneeze had an equal and opposite reaction in one of my body's other exits. Let's just say it was good that I had retired my Don Johnson Miami Vice pants.

Volly said...

But Al, at least you didn't chomp your tongue!

Ipecac said...

Wow is this familiar! When I was young I started suppressing my sneezes and I never quite got over it. Whenever I sneeze I can't help but clench the muscles of my face. I've gotten better at letting the sneeze go over the years, but still can't sneeze entirely correctly.

Hope you can learn to do it.