May 24

Los Rayos-X!

WARNING: Post contains graphic X-Ray images almost too horrible to imagine!

I am apparently getting to that age where little things begin to ‘go wrong’.  A meddlesome pain in my left ear is not, I have finally decided, being caused by nefarious ear imps harvesting wax with which to fuel their tiny machines of war…but if not imps then what?

Setting aside my intense dislike of being prodded by cold, sterile medical equipment I decided I’d better get it checked out before it got worse.  The doctor asked me to describe the pain and I told her it was akin to the feeling one might experience if a minuscule imp or goblin were using a tiny scudding blade to scrape wax from the tympanic membrane.  She stuck a cold, sterile implement into my ear, whereupon she emphatically stated that she was 98% sure that wasn’t the cause.  In fact, the ear looked fine.

We began to toss around other possibilities ranging from a tooth problem (which will seem more likely to you once I unnecessarily show you the facial x-ray I’m about to show you) to TMJ, which stands for ‘TempoMandibular Joint disorder.  I asked why it wasn’t TMJD and she didn’t know.  What she did know was that it would take an x-ray to determine this for sure.

So, I headed down to the lab to have my face bathed in hard x-rays.  They draped a lead apron over my nether regions just in case, and as the particles of radiation began to penetrate my skull I wondered if stray x-rays were what caused XY chromosomes to become XXY (I’ve since learned probably not – thanks Wikipedia!).  At any rate, once the pictures were taken I asked if I could have copies and they obliged me.  Ever wondered what the inside of my face looked like?  Behold!

My head is tilted in the picture, I don’t actually have a second, smaller set of jaws like the creature from Alien.  As you can also see, I receive regular secret CIA transmissions via my many fillings (you can also make out my one poor little wisdom tooth who was too shy to make an appearance with the others)   Does this x-ray indicate I have TMJ?  I don’t know.  Does it indicate I could bite a full-sized apple in half if I had to?  Probably.

There’s a TMI joke buried somewhere in this post, but I can’t find it.



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