Friday, February 15, 2008

Medical Issues

Does anyone else find that they sneeze when they look at a bright light?
I do. It sucks.
Many a year ago I remember hearing Dr Karl discussing it on Triple J.
It happened to me today and I thought that you'd all be completely captivated by this debilitating condition known as Photic Sneeze Reflex. Or as some retards have backronymed it: ACHOO (Autosomal dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst syndrome.)
As you can probably deduce for yourself the Photic Sneeze Reflex is caused by sudden exposure to bright light. Basically scientists posit that it's caused by the nerves that prompt sneezing receiving impulses from short circuiting nerves nearby, which are usually optic, olfactory or involved in gustation.
And I can vouch for this.
If I look at bright light: Sneeze.
If I chew certain types of gum: Sneeze
It's not that I spend all my time sneezing. In fact, I don't sneeze much at all. It's just that sometimes if the light hits my eye at the right angle, I sneeze almost instantly.
It's interesting to note that between 17-35% of the population is affected by this condition, yet everyone I tell about this hasn't got a clue what I'm talking about.

Then again, I have all kinds of weird syndromes like this. For example, if I'm really hungry and I eat too quickly, I get a really dull ache behind my nose.
Or if I'm walking and start chewing some Airwaves eucalyptus and menthol gum, every time I exhale it makes my eyes water. I think is more to do with the strength of the mint though.
Also I have one leg. Not really.

Whilst it's fascinating to learn all of this stuff, I wouldn't recommend using the internet to solve your health problems.
I've had stacks fo sporting related injuries. The worst is probably the 7 or so concussions playing football. A couple of these required ambulances and hospitals, once I couldn't see or hear properly for a couple of hours and others were just quick blackouts and some nausea. (Possible link to forgetting of passport etc?)
I've dislocated fingers, torn hamstrings and torn ligaments in my ankles on 3 occasions, all through football and netball.
The ankles were particularly painful and always looked awful. Exactly like the photo below. For reals.

There was one occassion on which I'd hurt my ankle badly. It was looking similar to the above image and I was in all kinds of pain. I thought I'd have a bit of a dig around online to see if I could determine whether it was a break, sprain, strain or foot-herpes.

Somehow I ended up on Yahoo Health. On Yahoo Health there's a symptoms checklist where you can see possible diagnoses for your ailment.
They ask all kinds of questions, like 'Is there swelling?' or 'Do you have the full range of moevement?' both of which are fine. Then I came across the one that brought all their good work undone.

Yes, that's exactly the problem. I hadn't realised before but it appears there's a jar stuck on my foot. WTF!?
This raises alot of questions:
1. If your foot was trapped in a jar, wouldn't you assume that the jar would be the cause of the pain, thus excluding the need for internet research into it?
2. If you did find that your foot was trapped in a pipe, how would you get to a computer to find out if that was actually the cause of your pain. I mean, pipes by their very nature generally aren't mobile. Maybe you'd just happen to have a laptop on you and there'd be wireless near the pipe? Not likely.
3. Toy? What in the hell kind of toy do you get stuck on your foot? A football? No. A matchbox car? No. What then!??
4. Why would you want to put your foot in a jar? I know sometimes it's hard to scrape that last bit of jam out because you can't get the knife into that little ridge around the top, but do you really think you'll get it with your heel? No. And if anyone asks 'Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?' I say look for the guy with the jar on his foot.

Fortunately for me, I didn't have my foot stuck in a toy, pipe or jar. I'd just torn all the ligaments in my ankle. It fixed eventually.

Anyone else have any weird ailments? Elephantitis? Mange? Lack of arms?


Andrew said...

I ain't saying what causes me to sneeze three times in a row, but thanks and it isn't bright lights. It would seem it must be short circuiting nerves.

Fever Dog said...

My Dad has that same light/sneezing thing, maybe you two could form a gang together?

I can imagine looking up symptoms on Yahoo for foot pain without realising the pain is actually caused by the jar one's foot is stuck in. Ticking off the symptoms, until "jar" and thinking "hey, that might be it!". But it would be wise to seek medical advice as well, make sure a doctor thinks it really is jar-on-foot syndrome. Could be it's a psychosomatic jar.

As for me... I'm not allowed to give blood any more. Our story begins in the early years of the 1980s, about the time Margaret Thatcher was ruining this country and people were worried about eating beef, because someone had thought feeding diseased cows to other cows would be a good way to save money on food.

I was very ill and in hospital for a long period of time. In an attempt to find the source of my pain, it was decided that "exploratory surgery" would be the best course of action. And short of the fibre optics and mini cameras they have today, this meant just making a very large hole and having a root around with a stick.

Somewhere along the way they figured it would be as good an idea as not to take my appendix out, and a blood transfusion was needed.

Some years later, having been merrily donating blood for some time (not in one long session, I hasten to add) I received a letter. It told me that some people in the 1980s and been given contaminated blood, and there was now a chance I could have the degenerative brain disease CJD -- but because of the incubation period and there being no way to test for it, they couldn't say for sure, so in the meantime please stop giving blood.

Also, the scar on my stomach often itches. I think they left a stitch in.

Anonymous said...

That's a sprained ankle! I've had one like that... 15 years later I found out I had fractured a bone. No wonder I was swearing at my mother when I was made to walk around Bankstown Hospital to try and find some crutches! It wasn't a normal "sprained ankle" dome-of-the-tallus fracture. Nooooooo. The second sprain 15 years later took several years to completely recover.
As you get older it takes longer.
Sux really!
I'd link to a pic, but I can't be bothered, it's 10:30 pm and I'm ready to go horizontal and pump out the zeds.


Anonymous said...

Oh, and I'm not allowed to give blood any more, either.
SVT put paid to that.
(SVT = Superventricular tachycardia)

"making a very large hole and having a root around with a stick."

Don't kid yerself, feverdog, they'll still do that, if they want to have a really good look. With a stick!

G'nite all.


jiminycricket said...

Andrew: And I aint speculating! I'm assuming it's grass clippings.

FD: Haha... Psychomatic jar! Awesome. Tell your dad we'll meet in the clubhouse. And to bring a torch.
I feel bad though for making light of my pissy faux conditions when you've been through something like that...
Itchy scars are shitful hey! I have some on my back that do that.

Kae: I hope mine aren't messed up. I still have the swelling from some of the sprains. But no ongoing pain. Also I hope this stick you speak of is sterilised. Or at least has the bark scraped off it.

kiki said...

i sneeze when i look at the sun. so i guess i suffer ACHOO too
(i'd recognised / known about this for a while, but never given it the time of day)

i, too, have had my fair share of footballing injuries.
the worst being tearing my hamstring off the bone (or numerous concussions, depending where you're coming from)

i also have no carteledge in my left knee, once dislocated my thumb so bad that it completely broke the skin and shredded it back like a banana peel

i have also dislocated my shoulder fallilng down the stairs at Bimbos (if you're from melbourne) and wrecked all the ligaments in my ankle jumping off snad dunes after consuming a cask of nikov vodka (now banned in australia))

the boy who likes to... said...

Whenever the missus has a trapped sneeze I tell her to look at lights as I've heard the same thing.
It doesn't work for her, she just things I'm a bit crazy.
Although I did have one friend who always done this, so when I seen him staring at a light looking as if he is about to sneeze I'd shout his name.
It's really annoying when your about to have a good sneeze and some distracts you.
Theres a Yahoo Health, thats it, no more visits to the docs for me!

jiminycricket said...

Kiki: The banana peel dislocation and the detached tendon sounds nasty...
The stairs at Bimbo's are killer. I don't know how they can do such cheap pizzas and still pay the insurance costs
Also with the vodka, you had me at cask.

Rob: You're a bastard! Denying a man his sneezing is tantamount to treason.
Yahoo healh is scary. Never take medical advice from someone/somewhere that's name ends in an exclamation mark. It can only be bad
What's the prognosis doc?
Congenital drarfism!