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"I forget to breathe sometimes"
July 18, 2014 3:46 PM   Subscribe


 
That Reddit thread was probably the most reassuring thing I have ever read on the Internet.
posted by saturday_morning at 3:53 PM on July 18 [7 favorites]


Oh, that high-pitched hum, especially around CRTs.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:54 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


Oh god I just remembered laying super stoned in bed with the first guy I ever moved in with, and mentioning something about being able to hear my heartbeat inside my ear, and he was so stunned and excited that it actually happened to other people and was in fact totally normal.
posted by elizardbits at 3:54 PM on July 18 [4 favorites]


And oh my god fuck the tensor tympani muscle forever, it has ruined my life for about 20 years now.
posted by elizardbits at 3:54 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


So Reddit is definitely the source of everything on the internet now.
posted by subdee at 4:00 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


I have to say that I have never in my life felt such relief as when I found out it was totally normal for an ear to fall off occasionally. I used to sneak away to the bathroom, in class or at the dinner table, to re-attach it with glue every time I felt like it would drop off. Finding out it happens to plenty of other people (Carl Sagan, Barbara Walters, Michelle Obama) really boosted my self-confidence. I still make sure to be diligent about finding and re-attaching it quickly, but I thankfully no longer have a bout of anxiety every time I go to scratch my ear with my foot-talons.
posted by griphus at 4:04 PM on July 18 [66 favorites]


I'd like to know why I can seemingly contract a thin layer of muscle under my whole body but I suspect that's the inner ear muscle contraction feeling cause I get the rushing waves noise too.


I do want to know why eating rich foods sometimes makes my feet, and only my feet, sweat profusely.
posted by The Whelk at 4:06 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


It's because you are a future gout candidate whelkie, sorry.
posted by elizardbits at 4:06 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


Oh and the unconsciously blurting out a noise, sometimes a bark, to dispel an intrusive thought is totally normal and I am not crazy.
posted by The Whelk at 4:07 PM on July 18 [22 favorites]


At least you can tell people IT'S THE DISEASE OF KINGS BY GOD and feel a bit better.
posted by elizardbits at 4:07 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


I only want fancy diseases.
posted by The Whelk at 4:07 PM on July 18 [20 favorites]


I have 8 of the 13. I don't know if I should just feel reassured by the explanations and let it go, or whether I should feel like a freak for having so many of these weird little things that people think happen to nobody else.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:10 PM on July 18


griphus, have you ever woken up with a bad hangover and your ear was missing?
posted by maryr at 4:11 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


(wait instant ramen makes my feet sweat too maybe it's a sodium thing whateve I can still eat whipped cream and berries all day)
posted by The Whelk at 4:11 PM on July 18


So yeah, tonsil stones. When I was a kid, every once in a while I would cough one up and I became convinced that there was a hole in my skull near the back of my throat and little pieces of my brain were falling out of it.
posted by murphy slaw at 4:12 PM on July 18 [11 favorites]


The Whelk: "I only want fancy diseases."

"Mr. The Whelk, I'm afraid you have cachexy and scrivener's palsy."

"Yaayyyyyy!
posted by boo_radley at 4:13 PM on July 18 [17 favorites]


Oh and the unconsciously blurting out a noise, sometimes a bark, to dispel an intrusive thought is totally normal and I am not crazy.

I don't know how normal it is, but I definitely do it. Often it's not just a noise but actual words (like "oh, SHUT UP") and then only after I've said it I'll realize I actually said it out loud. It leads to a lot of exchanges along the lines of "Sorry, darling, what was that?" "Oh, nothing, just thinking aloud!" in my house. Of course, it would be truer to say "trying not to think--aloud."
posted by yoink at 4:13 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


Also I hope your jumanji is getting better.
posted by boo_radley at 4:13 PM on July 18


Floaters can indicate retinal bleeding, for example, and flashing lights could be a sign of retinal detachment.

Oh great thank you article I didn't have enough things about which to be a hypochondriac.
posted by winna at 4:13 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Oh and my SO and I are apparently one of the Few small slice of people who have.a predictable reaction to Critic acid + Ambien, which results in instantly passing out upon ingestion of critic acid.


Ask me how many times we found each other passed out on the kitchen floor before we decided to do something about it
posted by The Whelk at 4:14 PM on July 18 [8 favorites]


scrivener's palsy

The only response possible would be "I'd prefer not to."
posted by yoink at 4:15 PM on July 18 [42 favorites]


Man learning about the precordial catch saved me countless hours of freaking out about having (what I thought were) tiny heart attacks. That shit is scary. Not sure why I never told anyone I thought I was having heart attacks between the ages of 11 and 24.
posted by sonmi at 4:15 PM on July 18 [8 favorites]


Often it's not just a noise but actual words (like "oh, SHUT UP")

I trained myself to do the bark cause it was better than my normal "fuckshitcunt" said all in one word .
posted by The Whelk at 4:16 PM on July 18 [5 favorites]


...Citric acid, Whelk? Or only upon exposure to acidic, biting criticism?
posted by maryr at 4:16 PM on July 18 [7 favorites]


Oh my goodness! Tensor Tympani muscles! I've wondered why I could do this for years and years! This is an amazing discovery for me.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:16 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


Oh and the unconsciously blurting out a noise, sometimes a bark, to dispel an intrusive thought is totally normal and I am not crazy.

This post made me feel soooooo much better. I actually have all sorts of verbal tics. Phrases that get stuck in my head and get repeated over and over, sometimes out loud. It's a miracle that people don't think I'm completely bonkers.

Right? Right?!
posted by brundlefly at 4:16 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


I have never felt less alone in terms of my body than finding out that the precordial catch wasn't just happening to me.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:17 PM on July 18 [9 favorites]


OK, here's an odd one. Frequently when I drink apple juice (which I rarely do because of this), I feel a tenseness in my upper chest, like a fist squeezing my breastbone. It's not an allergy, because I can eat apples (and do, frequently) and I can drink hard cider without the symptom. It only happens with store-bought apple cider/juice.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 4:19 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Brundlefly, the verbal repetition/stutter can get worse if I'm nervous and getting nervous makes them wors cause I get nervous when I have them. The only thing that works reliably in stopping them dead is a one hit of weed and ..ya that's not always an option.

Stupid brain.
posted by The Whelk at 4:20 PM on July 18


yoink: "The only response possible would be "I'd prefer not to.""

Why aren't you in Rome?!
posted by Malory Archer at 4:20 PM on July 18 [4 favorites]


i read the comment about reading a comment about yawning making you want to yawn and then i yawned and i am sharing this with you all because i know it will make everyone else yawn and i like that little feeling of irrational yawn inducing power
posted by elizardbits at 4:20 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


We don't yawn.
posted by The Whelk at 4:21 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Brundlefly, the verbal repetition/stutter can get worse if I'm nervous and getting nervous makes them wors cause I get nervous when I have them. The only thing that works reliably in stopping them dead is a one hit of weed and ..ya that's not always an option.

Exactly the same for me, except I don't smoke weed because... it tends to make me anxious.
posted by brundlefly at 4:21 PM on July 18


My "wait, that's normal?" realization was the hypnic jerk.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:23 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


Yeah, my anti anexity meds gave me ...anxious insomnia.

Sigh, bodies are dumb lets be floating heads.
posted by The Whelk at 4:25 PM on July 18 [4 favorites]


I felt such intense relief (ho, ho) when I realized that the horny-sneezies were fairly common.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:25 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


My "wait, that's normal?" realization was the hypnic jerk.


I get that. At one time it was happening more often and I started worrying that it was a precursor to one of the awful diseases that affect the nervous system. Don't remember when or how I found out what it actually was but boy was I relieved.
posted by Jalliah at 4:29 PM on July 18


Oh and the unconsciously blurting out a noise, sometimes a bark, to dispel an intrusive thought is totally normal and I am not crazy.

Notyou blurts out a noise to push away a bad thought (always a glimpsey recollection of something awful I've said or done to someone else*).

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing. Oh, nothing. It's nothing."

"You sure?"

"Yes. Please it's nothing. I just stubbed my toe."

"Again?"

----------------
*And so many to choose from!
posted by notyou at 4:29 PM on July 18 [9 favorites]


So, tonsil stones.

In my family, we call those clarrs. So many years of looking it up in encyclopedias and dictionaries trying to find out more about the gross little things, but I could never find it!

The origin of clarr:

This is apparently the noise my grandmother makes when trying to rid herself of them. My grandpa thought it was hilarious, so used to mock her by saying clarr! clarr! at her every time the subject came up. My mom and uncle learned of them as clarrs, and passed the knowledge on to their children. My dad grew up with a pretty shitty home life, so probably 80% of those little tidbits you pick up as a kid he didn't learn until he was married to my mom, and picked them all up secondhand from her. My dad was the one who tended to the various personal hygiene needs of my brother and me as kids, and he told us that they were clarrs.

I was probably 16 or 17 before I realized it was a made up word, something I discovered after asking a doctor to please tell me what I should do about my clarrs. Thanks, family.

I was in my 20s when I discovered that ravelin isn't a word.
posted by phunniemee at 4:29 PM on July 18 [11 favorites]


Huh, now that you mention it, I don't think I get the hypnic jerk on my current combo of meds, but I got it all the time when I was younger. How odd.
posted by maryr at 4:29 PM on July 18


I never assumed my precordial catch was a heart attack because it only ever happens on the left side.

No, I had the much brighter theory that one of my ribs came loose and was puncturing my lung.
posted by griphus at 4:30 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


I only want fancy diseases.

You could get the King's Evil, which isn't that fancy, but you can use it as an excuse to get a king to touch you, which might be kind of fancy, I suppose.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:31 PM on July 18


First time I had tonsil stones I was in 7th grade or something. My mom took me to the doctor (small town, only doctor in town) and he told us that it was just bread from the sandwich I ate at lunch.

He was kind of a shit doctor.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:31 PM on July 18 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I've posted an AskMefi about at least two of these.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:32 PM on July 18


precordial catch

I get this. Never knew what it was until now.
posted by goethean at 4:32 PM on July 18


Didn't see it in the reddit thread, but this reminded me to finally look up why my left bicep hurts whenever I sneeze too hard. Turns out I'm not in danger of having a heart attack, which is a relief. So thanks!
posted by rifflesby at 4:35 PM on July 18


I may have to post in there, but I doubt anyone's doing much with it by now...

When I get hungry, sometimes, I experience a crackling in my neck.

My hypothesis is that it's spinal fluid, but then, why, I thought, would spinal fluid be moving when I'm hungry.

After looking it up and realizing that 5-HIAA (a metabolite of serotonin (aka 5-HT))was present in spinal fluid and that serotonin plays a role in appetite, I hypothesized that it had something to do with serotonin's role in hunger. Another interesting thing, I see now, is a mention on 5-HIAA about aggression being linked to low levels of 5-HIAA in the CSF. I now wonder if the feeling of being "hangry" (hungry + angry) comes from this modality of operation.

Furthermore, because of the connection with serotonin and the "crackly" sound it produces in the spinal fluid, I hypothesized that Terence McKenna's "cellophane wrapper crinkling noise" on his description of a DMT trip might have something to do with a massive rush of spinal fluid to produce a surge of Serotonin (that part is a guess), and in this process, while in an altered state, the effect of the sound is amplified, so it's not just a slightly tinny crackling sound, but probably full of reverb and depth as psychedelic are wont to do...

The reason for the 5-HIAA rush in DMT tripping may or may not be the reason it happens (i.e. is it to help push more 5-HT into the brain? I really don't know enough to say, it's just pure speculation), but I have no doubt that there is *something* happening with serotonin and the crackling sound I experience with food, and it wouldn't shock me if it had to do with the DMT crackling as well, and now that I read more, that it might even have to do with the hangry feeling. Hmm...
posted by symbioid at 4:38 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]




I never thought of my precordial catch as a heart thing. It always felt like two sides of one of my lungs were stuck together, because it prevents me from inhaling fully.
posted by sallybrown at 4:39 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Didn't see it in the reddit thread, but this reminded me to finally look up why my left bicep hurts whenever I sneeze too hard. Turns out I'm not in danger of having a heart attack, which is a relief. So thanks!

Wait! Don't leave me hanging! That's happened to me on occasion. What is it?
posted by brundlefly at 4:40 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Boo - jerk of a reply said the following in response to a minithread of other experiencers:
"I replied to another answer just now, but I'll reply to yours as well. Sizzly neck, whooshing sound, cracking creaking neck sound, this happens when your stomach creates low pressure gas changes that are inaudible from outside your stomach, but create an echo of sorts that is heard by your inner ear as a sound coming from the base of your head and top of your c-spine. It legitimately sounds like it could be spinal fluid or a neck issue, but it's esophageal instead, related to gas/pressure in the stomach.

If you are having a lot of these sensations in a row, and you have access to a stethoscope, try listening to your stomach with the stethoscope. You will hear the exact same noise in your stomach just before you hear it in the back of your head/neck!"
posted by symbioid at 4:41 PM on July 18 [4 favorites]


Ravelin

OK thank you yes, it is technically a word, but that is not the word I was raised on.

A ravelin is a small bit of thread coming out of a garment, like from the hem of your t-shirt, that needs to be snipped off. It's the part of your clothes that's...unravelin'.

Obviously.
posted by phunniemee at 4:45 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


The only thing on that list of 13 that I have is the eye noise one but never worried about it. I'm feeling a bit left out of the weird body Olympics.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:47 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


As an anxious child with (never diagnosed, but what I take to be) OCD, I had lots of complicated rituals which involved doing "ear rumbles" i.e. what I just found out is contraction of the tensor tympani. Whenever a troubling thought occured to me I would be compelled to sort of ear-rumble for good luck, sometimes to the rhythm of a tune, in order to negate whatever was the implication of the troubling thought. Happily I grew out of it.
posted by mister_kaupungister at 4:48 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


I have the dysphagia described. I used to get it a lot more when I would eat my daily peanut-butter-on-rye-bread sandwich in elementary school, where they wouldn't let us move from the lunch room table once we sat down, until everyone at the table had finished and we were excused. I'd run to the water fountain for a few quick painful gulps.

I made up an explanation for it, that in a previous life I had worked overseeing slaves who worked in the peanut fields. I had mistreated them by whipping their backs. (Passover story, anyone?) So in this life I felt the pain in my back when I ate peanuts.

Looking back, I realize that first, my schools valued order above all, and second, I was a weird, mystical little third grader.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:49 PM on July 18 [18 favorites]


I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who can sometimes hear phone chargers, or gets random boob pains. Um... does anyone else occasionally get pains in their shoulders/neck (usually the area where they meet) when their stomach is upset?
posted by skycrashesdown at 4:53 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Wait! Don't leave me hanging! That's happened to me on occasion. What is it?

Could be several things, but it's associated with minor back problems such as a pinched nerve or slipped or herniated disk. Can also just be because of extreme momentary muscle tension if you sneeze super-hard or are trying to suppress it.

The article I saw suggested getting it checked out if the pain is particularly bad or takes a long time to go away, but otherwise not something to get up in arms about.
posted by rifflesby at 4:54 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


...but otherwise not something to get up in arms about.

ISWYDD. Also, thanks!
posted by brundlefly at 4:57 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Precordial catch being hereditary definitely makes sense; my sister and I both get it as does our dad.
The ear rumbles are an acceptable side effect of being able to equalize my inner ear without the Valsalva, which is useful when diving or on airplanes.

And yeah, I get the tonsilliths too. Unfortunately.
posted by a halcyon day at 4:58 PM on July 18


I have the eye thing (the one at the end of the list), and it's nothing like floaters or blood vessels or dark spots, and I demand a better guess, if not a better explanation.
posted by unknowncommand at 5:07 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Someone confirm I'm not a lone lunatic:

Almost every time I chew gum, after the first few chews I get a slightly painful burning sensation that shoots through my throat and then goes away in a few seconds. I'm not bright enough to stop chewing gum because of this, so I've experienced it hundreds of times in my life. What gives?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 5:08 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Good to know that precordial catch is a thing and I'm not dying. Apparently it hits kids more than adults (if Wikipedia is to be believed), but I never started experiencing it until I was around 25.

Now if someone can explain the random pains I get when I bend my foot. Or when I yawn and the left side of my neck gets a dull sore that won't go away for hours. Or headaches that only seem to affect the right side and feel like my eye is going to pop out of my head.

Yep, pretty sure I'm dying again...
posted by downtohisturtles at 5:16 PM on July 18


I have the eye thing (the one at the end of the list), and it's nothing like floaters or blood vessels or dark spots, and I demand a better guess, if not a better explanation.

Visual snow! Usually nothing. Sometimes anxiety. Occasionally optical nerve neuropathy!
posted by Justinian at 5:18 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Is this a thing that happens to anyone else? Sometimes during a meal I'll get this weird, intense, crackly needling jaw pain. It feels a lot in type like the ear pain you might get from a plane's descent, but is located distinctly lower, in the curve of both sides of the jaw. It's astonishingly intense and distracting for a random mystery pain. I've noticed it's strongly associated with my drinking white (but not red) wine, though once or twice I recall it seeming to have happened just because I came in to a warm place from very cold weather. ...any thoughts?
posted by threeants at 5:19 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


I feel so relatively healthy after reading this.
posted by The Whelk at 5:20 PM on July 18 [4 favorites]


When I was a kid, I would have sudden spells of lightheadedness when eating starchy food like bread. Dim vision, floaty feeling, ears ringing. It mostly happened when I was eating bread without anything else - a sandwich wouldn't do it but a piece of toast might.

It used to happen all the time but it got rarer after elementary school and now it only happens once a year or so.

PS I do not have diabeetus.
posted by murphy slaw at 5:21 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


According to Wikipedia, precordial catch is a.k.a. "Texidor's twinge" which is a pretty fabulous name.
posted by yoink at 5:21 PM on July 18 [4 favorites]


A couple few times when I was really depressed and walking somewhere, I'd hear a rhythmic ticking in time with my gait. I could sort of feel it by touch as well, somewhere at the back of my neck where it connects to my skull.

Hasn't happened for quite a while. I think it was related to my mood but no way to check now, thankfully.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:22 PM on July 18


Now someone explain pee shivers. Please? It's not just me, right? Although I get 'em a lot less now than I did when I was younger.
posted by Justinian at 5:23 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


( like when I had, for various reasons, genetic and fertility testing done and they where all "wow you're like ...really fucking healthy and super fertile you should like breed." and I was all ...nawwww.)
posted by The Whelk at 5:23 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


I'm also glad to know that it's called gleeking. Often happens when I eat oranges.
posted by mister_kaupungister at 5:23 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Wow, this all inspired me to actually google my thing and now I feel so much less crazy! These people are mostly describing the exact pain I get. Though oddly enough, they seem to all have different mostly-alcohol-related triggers; mine is almost exclusively and predictably tied to white wine but no other dranks.
posted by threeants at 5:24 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


micturition syncope, Justinian?
posted by The Whelk at 5:24 PM on July 18


I can gleek at will. Like a spitting cobra.
posted by The Whelk at 5:24 PM on July 18 [5 favorites]


I was a pariah in junior high gym class because I could not gleek at will, and therefore not participate in gleek fights.
posted by murphy slaw at 5:26 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Okay I'm gonna be honest that was not the only reason I was a pariah in gym.
posted by murphy slaw at 5:27 PM on July 18 [8 favorites]


Does anybody else get an itchy chin when they have a bad cough? I just googled it and people are mentioning it in connection with asthma, which I don't have. Though my sister does, and she gets it too.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 5:30 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


My big thing is getting all lightheaded from unconsciously switching to shallow chest-breathing when talking on the phone. Very rarely in face-to-face conversations, but almost every phone call, and even being aware of it while it's happening it's super difficult to get under control.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:30 PM on July 18


Also costochondritis which I'm sure I will one day finally get used to just in time for me to think "oh this is no big deal" when it happens and it's actually a heart attack, like my body is the boy who cried wolf.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:33 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


Drinking carbonated beverages through a straw makes my eyes water. Google says this is A Thing That Happens To Other People Too but I've never noticed anyone else crying at Burger King.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:37 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


My big thing is getting all lightheaded

Wow, I definitely embarked on a pretty major mis-parse with this sentence.
posted by threeants at 5:41 PM on July 18 [11 favorites]


Does anybody else get an itchy chin when they have a bad cough? I just googled it and people are mentioning it in connection with asthma, which I don't have. Though my sister does, and she gets it too.

Yes!!
posted by threeants at 5:41 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


I'm also glad to know that it's called gleeking. Often happens when I eat oranges.

This is my word to hate. I don't get the people who hate moist, and mouthfeel and stuff, but holy shit gleek is the worst word ever.
posted by emptythought at 5:42 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Dr. Pepper = instant hiccups. No other beverage is so consistent.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:42 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


I sometimes feel a shock in one part of my body (e.g. Leg) and another part of my body will contract (e.g. shoulder) cause me to jerk pretty hard to one side.

Also, my heart skips beats sometimes. I think it may be from too much calcium, but I'm not sure.
posted by persona au gratin at 5:42 PM on July 18


This one actually was a serious issue for me: exercise-induced depression. For years I couldn't run or do any vigorous cardio because 2-3 hours afterwards I'd become terribly depressed.
posted by persona au gratin at 5:43 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Whelk: if we ever meet, we can have a gleek-for-distance event. That is, if you're not afraid of losing.
posted by persona au gratin at 5:45 PM on July 18


I have a gap in my front teeth, you're on
posted by The Whelk at 5:51 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


My friend's scalp -- and only his scalp -- sweats when he eats ketchup. Sparkles and glistenings where hair used to be.

But he doesn't let that stop him.

---------------
Meanwhile, look at we old timers, swapping maladies on a Friday night!
posted by notyou at 5:53 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


The very personal weirdness of this type of thing inspired some pretty grand delusions on my part during childhood, like when I thought that floaters were molecules I had the power to see by dint of some weird property of my glasses.

I also thought that I could see the bending of light by the gravitational wells of small objects if I held them close enough to my face, but that one is harder to justify.
posted by invitapriore at 5:56 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


What's the link between anxiety and visual snow, does anyone know? I have visual snow and mild anxiety issues that I've never bothered to see a mental health professional about, and I don't feel strongly enough about either one to actually pursue treatment. Particularly since the visual snow doesn't actually impede my vision. I've had it as long as I can remember, and it doesn't bug me that much. But if there's some medication or treatment that will magically make it go away, I'd be willing to try it out of curiosity if nothing else.
posted by yasaman at 5:58 PM on July 18


I have a little spot inside my mouth, near my upper lip, that puffs out and tastes kind of like salt whenever I am sad. Yes, the emotion sad. It weirds me out quite a bit.

Also I'm really glad to know other people have the eating-sweet-foods-pain-right-under-your-ears thing.
posted by augustimagination at 6:02 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


I've had visual snow as long as I can remember too (thanks for naming it, Justinian!) When I was a kid, I thought we all could see atoms/particles (very faintly), and then I only figured out that we couldn't because no one knew what I was talking about. It's not particularly distressing, though.
posted by unknowncommand at 6:07 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


What's the link between anxiety and visual snow, does anyone know?

I assume blood pressure but IANAD.
posted by elizardbits at 6:08 PM on July 18


I mean if you have it more when you are anxious I assume it is due to blood pressure.
posted by elizardbits at 6:08 PM on July 18


I am SO RELIEVED to know that other people feel an itch on one part of their body and get a pain somewhere else. When a particular spot on my abdomen itches, my right inner-ear muscle spasms and it makes the most ANNOYING noise, it's happened since I was a little kid. I have been googling this for years with no results because it seems to weird and trivial to ask my doctor. I assume it's just a nerve misfiring but I always felt so alone!

And yeah, I can hear electricity like most of the time and it drives me nuts. I'm always going on late-night hunts to find what appliance was left turned on and is annoying me. This is one reason I love my Nest thermostat ... now I can turn on the HVAC fan to create white noise to try to drown out the electricity sound without having to get out of bed and clomp downstairs.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:27 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Drinking carbonated beverages through a straw makes my eyes water. Google says this is A Thing That Happens To Other People Too but I've never noticed anyone else crying at Burger King.

Your local Burger King must be in a significantly nicer location than mine.
posted by maryr at 6:30 PM on July 18 [14 favorites]


I'm glad the ultrasonic/hearing CRTs thing is near the top of that thread.

I can hear ultrasonic pest repellers, ultrasonic rangefinders, CRTs, some dog whistles and even sometimes the chirping of bats. I can hear the chirps of capacitors in, say, a laptop power supply, even if it's functioning normally. I can definitely hear the rising tones of larger capacitors as found in camera flashes from start to peak/plateau. I can also hear certain levels of infrasonics, possibly as low as 5-10 hz. Cities sound like continual rumbling earthquakes and a sort of high pitched, atmospheric whine to me.

Even trying to mention or assert this this to audiophiles and high fidelity nuts is about as useful as telling someone you can fly or that you're a breatharian and haven't eaten in years. People just don't believe you, and their responses are usually angry. It only usually comes up when trying to talk about esoterics like ultratweeters or the whine/hum of, say, a CD grade digital recording, which I can hear but likely as a secondary harmonic in the 22kHz range.

So I try not to bring it up anymore. But it's very, very useful for tuning sound systems, and I've used it with a lot of success to be able to tune out clashing or distorted treble/highs on fairly powerful sound systems to clean up the sound and reduce ear fatigue to the audience. Seriously, I've had pros tell me they've never heard their own gear sound so good, and it's just because I'm fiddling with a three band EQ and trimming off the distortion and slight clipping harmonics in the upper registers.

(Almost every single large PA I've heard has way too much unneeded energy left in the upper registers, which gives the PA a very harsh, distorted sound. Many/most PA techs don't seem to hear it at all, possibly due to hearing damage from working with pro audio at high volumes.)

I have casually tested my ears with analog frequency generators (even with someone else on the controls, blind testing) and depending on the reproduction device (good reference/studio speakers with ultratweeters or decent headphones) I can probably hear reliably to about 30kHz, if not pushing towards 40kHz. (Ultratweeters can meet or exceed 50khz) Which is, admittedly, weird, unusual and ridiculous, but I've proven it multiple times to anyone that has bothered to try to test it. (Yes, I can hear those mosquito/teenager repelling test tones with ease.)

When I was a kid living in suburbia my entire neighborhood was an irritating din of large screen CRT TVs running basically all day and well into the night. There's a lot less of this kind of background noise in general, now, thanks to CRT displays dying out, but I can also hear the inverter power supplies for CCFL backlights on older LCD monitors, but it's much quieter and I have to basically be right next to the monitor to really hear it.

Having hearing with such a high/wide range is mainly annoying, but it's also kind of a cool/weird real life superhero power.
posted by loquacious at 6:33 PM on July 18 [33 favorites]


This one actually was a serious issue for me: exercise-induced depression. For years I couldn't run or do any vigorous cardio because 2-3 hours afterwards I'd become terribly depressed.

Yes, this too! I thought there was something wrong with me for years because I was supposed to be feeling this elusive "runner's high", when in actuality running always left me feeling emotionally empty and wanting to cry (?!?!). At some point that changed for no apparent reason and now exercise does make me feel good.
posted by threeants at 6:37 PM on July 18


loquacious: " I can definitely hear the rising tones of larger capacitors as found in camera flashes from start to peak/plateau.

While I know I can hear lots of stuff other people can't hear, I had NO IDEA until JUST THIS SECOND that this was not a sound everyone can hear. It's so LOUD! I ... thought this was just part of the noise cameras made.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:48 PM on July 18 [14 favorites]


I used to hear capacitors all the time. I don't anymore, so there's hope for you all.
posted by mollweide at 6:56 PM on July 18


Wikipedia says this about floaters, which blows my mind. They never go away. I assumed they would disintegrate and get replaced, but apparently not.

Floaters are essentially changeless, and the most prominent continue to be seen in the field of vision for a lifetime.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:58 PM on July 18


I don't know loquacious, 30-40kHz would put you squarely in the 'never been recorded in medical history ever' category. 5-10, definitely possible, 22, very rare and pretty incredible but sure. But 30-40? I'd try to convince you to go get a test, but even high-frequency audiometers used to test kids on ototoxic meds don't go that high. Those mosquito things usually peak out under 20kHz.

But I believe you if you say it. Just...wow. I'm not sure if I think that'd be awesome or terrible.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:03 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Well, there are fewer things with capacitors that large in them. I remember when I was in high school someone in the electronics lab built a backpack power supply to drive a laser. The thing was stuffed with like 20 capacitors bigger than my fist and when it charged up I swear I could hear it from almost a block away. BWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

I can also frequently hear a noise in any backlit LCD device, including sadly my insulin pump. I still have a CRT monitor at home, and I put up with the noise for the picture quality.

The weird thing that my body does now that annoys me and seems harmless is when I'm awake and I have a hypnic jerk.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:06 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Floaters don't go away. Mine have gotten slightly worse over time, but not significantly so.
posted by mollweide at 7:06 PM on July 18


Too much sugar --> myokymia
posted by aniola at 7:09 PM on July 18


Once when I was in my 20s, I sneezed and it made my dick hurt. The next day, I was peeing and my nose itched.
Neither ever happened again.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:16 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]




Floaters don't go away. Mine have gotten slightly worse over time, but not significantly so.


If they get bad, the eye doc can zap them with a laser to break them up. If they get REALLY bad, they can even drain the eyeball a bit to get them out. It's basically eye cruft.
posted by percor at 7:19 PM on July 18


I assume blood pressure but IANAD.

That's what I'd have assumed too, but my visual snow stays constant, outside of any factors like how anxious I am or what my blood pressure is. I only notice it getting worse if I've been staring at screens too long or if I'm really tired. I'm not too bothered by it, since I guess it's not too bad for me.

And oh hey, other weird thing: when I get my eyebrows done, I get bizarre referred pain/discomfort in my lower back. It's like a really uncomfortable tingling and restlessness or something. I only get it when I'm getting my eyebrows threaded, and not when I'm in a similar chair that leans back like a dentist's chair or when they wash my hair at the salon. What's the deal with that?
posted by yasaman at 7:19 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Also, I found out what scintillating scotoma is called.

I usually call it a star-hole. Mine has cycling wavy bands of primary colors.
I usually get them when I have bright glare in my eyes, like reflected off a screen or a window, for more than a few minutes.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:23 PM on July 18


Oh and my SO and I are apparently one of the Few small slice of people who have.a predictable reaction to Critic acid + Ambien, which results in instantly passing out upon ingestion of critic acid.

Ooooh trying this tonight. Though I hope the mango punch (aka, slightly mango-flavored sugar water) is citrus-y enough. Really shouldn't have drunk the last of the OJ this afternoon, I guess.

but my visual snow stays constant, outside of any factors like how anxious I am or what my blood pressure is. I only notice it getting worse if I've been staring at screens too long or if I'm really tired. I'm not too bothered by it, since I guess it's not too bad for me.

Mine gets worse if my eyes are dry, better if I use eyedrops. If screens and tiredness make yours worse, maybe you're the same?

Anybody else get the thing of sneezing when they go out in bright sunlight? I heard it's because a muscle by your eyes contracts and it makes...somehow it makes you sneeze. Don't really understand how it works, though, obviously.

I don't have anything on this list, though. Sadly!
posted by rue72 at 7:24 PM on July 18


I have casually tested my ears with analog frequency generators (even with someone else on the controls, blind testing) and depending on the reproduction device (good reference/studio speakers with ultratweeters or decent headphones) I can probably hear reliably to about 30kHz, if not pushing towards 40kHz.

Call me another skeptic at 40kHz. I *can* believe you're hearing the 2nd harmonic at 20kHz, I can still hear TV flyback transformers which are outputting at 15.574kHz. And you're completely right about how too many sound pros have way too much in the treble range.
posted by eriko at 7:34 PM on July 18


Once when I was in my 20s, I sneezed and it made my dick hurt.

I had my dick go numb once. Like when you sit on your leg or arm and it goes asleep. The waking up from sleep appendage tingle is much more disturbing when it's your penis.
posted by downtohisturtles at 7:36 PM on July 18 [4 favorites]


scintillating scotoma

Well holy shit: me too. Very, very infrequently, and usually at the end of a long intense day of coding or debugging.

Mine appear as dancing zig-zags -- almost like cartoon electricity bolts -- in my mid-left field of vision. They fade after a few minutes with no after-effects other than a lingering "well that was weird". And then I promptly forget about it UNTIL NOW.

My father is very prone to migraines; I'm not, but maybe I inherited some aura symptoms.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:36 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Once when I was in my 20s, I sneezed and it made my dick hurt. The next day, I was peeing and my nose itched. Neither ever happened again.

That's some Basho shit right there.
posted by beau jackson at 7:41 PM on July 18 [7 favorites]


mister_kaupungister: "I'm also glad to know that it's called gleeking. "

You can learn to control it by chewing cinnamon gum and trying to blow bubbles with it. When the gum hits a spot about 10mm behind the tip of your tongue on the underside, GUSH!!! Curl your tong back and press the underside of the tip on the roof of your mouth at that point. The mouth-roof-press then becomes the trigger.
posted by notsnot at 7:50 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


I used to be able to hear the high-pitched whine some CRTs made. I'm probably too old to hear that dog whistle anymore, but nobody has a CRT I can test it on.
posted by Camofrog at 7:53 PM on July 18


I was hoping the doctors would explain the weird spasms I get all the time, but no such luck, I guess. (Possibly temperature and/or anxiety induced? Maybe?)
posted by likeatoaster at 8:12 PM on July 18


thought this was just part of the noise cameras made

I think it is? I mean I can hear it and I am partially deaf so I don't think it requires super acute hearing or anything. It sounds like the tiniest laser charging up to pewpewpew.
posted by elizardbits at 8:14 PM on July 18 [4 favorites]


I was hoping the doctors would explain the weird spasms I get all the time

ghost bees
posted by elizardbits at 8:14 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


Huh. I had no clue that everyone couldn't do the tensor tympani thing. I mostly do it when I'm watching TV in company (so I can't just fast forward) and there's some excruciatingly embarassing bit of a show.
posted by tavella at 8:40 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Also, I found out what scintillating scotoma is called.

I remember being fucking ecstatic to find that Wikipedia page because the animation was the first time I'd found a way to communicate it to other people.

Now piss shivers, that's the really annoying one.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:48 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


So yeah, tonsil stones. When I was a kid, every once in a while I would cough one up and I became convinced that there was a hole in my skull near the back of my throat and little pieces of my brain were falling out of it.

Oh, me too! I had frequent tonsilliths, and in my early elementary years I was seriously worried that I was losing bits of my brain and would eventually collapse into a vegetative state. Haunted me.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:51 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Also, this man-parts-specific-ASMR totally happens to me and I assumed I was all alone before I saw that question.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:57 PM on July 18


OK, here's an odd one. Frequently when I drink apple juice (which I rarely do because of this), I feel a tenseness in my upper chest, like a fist squeezing my breastbone. It's not an allergy, because I can eat apples (and do, frequently) and I can drink hard cider without the symptom. It only happens with store-bought apple cider/juice.

Sulfites, I bet.

I am SO RELIEVED to know that other people feel an itch on one part of their body and get a pain somewhere else. When a particular spot on my abdomen itches, my right inner-ear muscle spasms and it makes the most ANNOYING noise, it's happened since I was a little kid. I have been googling this for years with no results because it seems to weird and trivial to ask my doctor. I assume it's just a nerve misfiring but I always felt so alone!

I have a place just in front of my left ear that if I scratch it will cause a sharp twinging pain below my right shoulder blade. One day I was idly scratching my ear, felt the pang and decided to see how many times I could do it before it faded out. I remember getting up to ~150 before zoning out, but I kept going; and then after an indefinite period-- OW! I suddenly had extremely intense pain in my left hand! When I brought it around in front, I saw all my fingers and thumb writhing in a kind of slow dance that made my hand look like a giant flesh-pink spider with really thick legs; I willed it to stop multiple times but it just kept on. Finally I grabbed it with my right and squeezed hard, and in about 30 seconds more it subsided. Five minutes after that I was in the grip of an intense migraine that had developed much faster than usual.

I think I must have at least a couple of demyelinated patches in my brain, one associated with my ear, another with my shoulder blade, and that the nerve impulse jumps across the surface of the brain from the ear patch to the shoulder patch. What happened with my hand, well . . . I attribute the pain anyway to opposing muscles contracting simultaneously as hard as they could.
posted by jamjam at 9:20 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


After looking it up and realizing that 5-HIAA (a metabolite of serotonin (aka 5-HT))was present in spinal fluid and that serotonin plays a role in appetite...

Neurotransmitters are related to neural activity the way notes are related to a song. Meaning comes from the pattern and timing of the components; you can't really say that a C# has a specific meaning absent of context, though you may be able to make broad generalizations about what certain notes or time signatures tend to convey. Serotonin is involved in regulating appetite in the hypothalamus, but there is no simple direct relationship in terms of global activity; likewise with mood, sleep, libido, and all the other things in which serotonin plays a role.

As far as I know, neurotransmitter metabolism does not vary significantly from moment to moment. They're continually being synthesized and broken down, but this is not related to neural activity except in a very broad sense--e.g., MAOIs decrease serotonin metabolism and tend to reduce depressive symptoms, but only in terms of long term statistical trends.

I'd guess that being "hangry" is more likely a manifestation of mild hypoglycemia.
posted by dephlogisticated at 9:31 PM on July 18


I have a little spot inside my mouth, near my upper lip, that puffs out and tastes kind of like salt whenever I am sad. Yes, the emotion sad. It weirds me out quite a bit.

This is a fascinating one; it's hard for me to see what it possibly could be other than a bit of lachrymal gland tissue which ended up in your mouth instead of behind a tear duct in one of your eyes where it was supposed to go.

That it tastes salty points up the fact that your saliva doesn't, presumably because salt is filtered out of saliva to enable us to judge better the saltiness of foods and water.
posted by jamjam at 10:12 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


I vividly remember my excitement at finding out that tonsil stones were a known thing with a name you could look up on Google to find out how to deal with the damned things, followed closely by the disappointment of discovering that most of the search results were obvious bullshit hucksters, strongly implying that there was no real effective methods of treatment.
posted by straight at 11:03 PM on July 18


Every once in a while my ears will get painfully hot and bright red. Hard to pin down what food might trigger it, if any.

My sneezes often smell weird. Like apple cider vinegar, my wife says (it isn't pleasant to be in a little car with me when I sneeze).
posted by argybarg at 12:00 AM on July 19


Sometimes - not always, it happened more when I was younger - when I close my eyes (especially as I'm going to sleep) I see shapes and colors. Sometimes it's like a tunnel I'm traveling through. Sometimes it's like watching little nebulas flare up, expand until I "reach" them, and then disappear past my peripheral vision. It's black otherwise, and the objects/colors aren't bright - they're transparent, more like.

I distinctly remember talking about this with the other kids in preschool - we all could do it, apparently. One kid said, "When you hit red you're real deep in your brain." One of the few clear memories I have from when I was that age.
posted by cmyk at 12:06 AM on July 19 [9 favorites]


My sneezes often smell weird. Like apple cider vinegar, my wife says (it isn't pleasant to be in a little car with me when I sneeze).

That isn't good, argybarg-- it's a pretty clear sign of a sinus infection, in fact.

Fruity odor is characteristic of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections, and those can be pretty dangerous.

I think you should find a good ENT specialist and be thoroughly evaluated, and my friends who live there tell me they don't know of such a person on the island you've mentioned previously as your home.
posted by jamjam at 12:43 AM on July 19 [5 favorites]


I've always been able to hear CRTs, and I don't think I've ever met another person who can. It's weird, though, because my hearing overall is not great and I've got (I think) occasional tinnitus.

Scintillating scotoma I am very familiar with, because for about 25 years it's been the precursor to my migraines. Luckily, though, the headaches & nausea lightened up over time, & now I only get the aura - no migraine headache/puking. Yay!

Oh, and back when I did get the throbbing headaches and intense nausea, my throat would prepare for vomiting by producing a kind of bitter/acidic foamy saliva.

But here's something I haven't seen mentioned yet here or on the Reddit thread: when I was a kid lying in bed at night with my eyes closed in the dark, I would push on my eyeballs & "see" a glowing whitish/greenish "eye" "behind" or to the side of my eyeball, though it was peripheral & I couldn't see it directly. Just tried it, doesn't seem to work anymore.
posted by univac at 1:11 AM on July 19


from the article:

"I constantly have a weird static in my vision... it's mostly visible in the dark, but in light I can still see it (or if not directly it, perceive some kind of motion as what I assume to be an effect of it). I've asked other people and they have no idea. It's been there my whole life."

Persistant positive visual phenomena of migraine

Ten patients with migraine developed persistent positive visual phenomena lasting months to years. The complaints were similar in their simplicity and involvement of the entire visual field and usually consisted of diffuse small particles such as TV static, snow, lines of ants, dots, and rain.

My take:

There are a couple of different types of physiological (i.e., non-pathological) sensory phenomena:

-- Amplification and/or distortion of a real (exteroceptive or interoceptive) sensory experience that is either usually ignored or not felt to be particularly intense. Examples include sensitivity to light (glare, flickering, certain spectra of natural light including, for some, cloudy days) or noise or smell, sensitivity to motion / position (which can include all sorts of chronic mild dizziness and malaise that comes on with walking around, sensitivity to movement in the vision (which can include "busy" visual scenes), sensitivity to normal internal physiology (hearing or feeling the pulse, unpleasant awareness of digestion, etc), or heightened sensitivity to abnormal sensations (which may be related to various forms of chronic pain). This is presumably related to some failure of the "gating" phenomenon common to the normal sensorium: at any given moment, you are not aware of the vast majority of the sensory information your body is monitoring, but you can "tune into it" if needed (if you doubt this, are your feet sweaty? And were you thinking about your feet right before you read that?)

-- Creation of a sensory experience with no clear internal or external correlate. These are effectively hallucinations, but not the sort of well-formed and potentially psychologically meaningful hallucinations associated with some psychiatric disorders. For vision, this can involve sparkling lights, zigzag lines, vibrating dots or squares, shimmering mists, fogging or blurring and other experiences often described as part of a migraine aura. There are other similar experiences in other sensory modalities: paresthesiae (a tingling, hot/cold sensation usually described as "like freezing coming out"), vertigo (an illusion of motion while at rest, without hearing loss or other features to suggest an inner ear disease), and even olfactory hallucinations (distinguished from olfactory seizures because the smells are usually less noxious -- one guy told me he smelled pencil shavings -- persist for hours, not minutes, and are not associated with fear/disgust or other features of temporal lobe epilepsy).

As a neurologist, I see so many people who are experiencing benign physiologic sensory phenomena (without evidence of a causative structural lesion to explain the phenomena, even after MRI, nerve conduction studies, angiograms, etc) that I take them to be more or less normal experiences, or at least, to be the kind of thing that can happen for no particular reason to normal people.

These experiences are often associated with migraine, particularly with migraine aura (another physiologic experience hardly ever associated with damage to the nervous system) -- which often includes vertigo, motion sensitivity, paresthesiae, and stimulus sensitivity of various sorts, along with the more famous visual symptoms.

Migraineurs make up most of the patients I see who can feel their pulse in their head (I rule out aneurysms, dissections and AVMs), most of those who see visual static everywhere they look (especially in the dark), and most of those who have tingling over half their body (almost always the left or non-dominant side) despite repeatedly normal MRIs and otherwise reassuring test results. If I draw the net wide enough -- current or previous pattern of typical episodic migraines, current or previous pattern of frequent headaches attributed to some other cause ("sinus" headaches, etc), strong family history of migraine, childhood migraine equivalents like cyclic vomiting, other forms of central sensitization like motion sickness or chronic pain -- I can pull most of them into that group.

In general, these patients also tend to be a little anxious, or at least high-strung and vigilant. I don't tend to think that these symptoms are "caused" by anxiety, but I believe there's an association, either with noticing the experience in the first place (being vigilant, "tuned in") or with reporting it and seeking a doctor's opinion.

I don't get migraines (yet) but I do remember being able to see "static" in the dark as a young child, maybe ages 5-8, when I'd wake in the middle of the night with a fever (and "my hands felt just like two balloons").

If it happened to me, it must be normal, right?
posted by Plasmon at 1:24 AM on July 19 [6 favorites]


Top 10 Human Reflexes and Natural Instincts. The pee shiver is at the top of the list.
posted by bryon at 1:44 AM on July 19


Is this a thing that happens to anyone else? Sometimes during a meal I'll get this weird, intense, crackly needling jaw pain. It feels a lot in type like the ear pain you might get from a plane's descent, but is located distinctly lower, in the curve of both sides of the jaw

I get this when I first start chewing something sometimes. I'm told it's basically your salivary glands kicking in.

Almost every time I chew gum, after the first few chews I get a slightly painful burning sensation that shoots through my throat and then goes away in a few seconds.

I think this is also the salivary gland thing.

I also have the "tinnitus, but not really tinnitus" thing mentioned in the Reddit thread, where you hear a high-pitched ringing noise in very quiet environments, but otherwise have normal hearing (can hear CRTs and such).

For a brief period in my early 30s I would occasionally get a thick black hair somewhere on my face. I always found the hair much easier to pluck than a normal hair.

Naturally, after looking up all this on WebMD, I discovered that I have everything cancer, and I probably should have died when I was six.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:46 AM on July 19


I had my dick go numb once. Like when you sit on your leg or arm and it goes asleep

One labia. ONLY ONE. It's a horrible sensation while it lasts, which thankfully isn't very long.
posted by goo at 3:16 AM on July 19 [3 favorites]


I get the precordial catch, but only when I yawn while in the shower. And this never happened before the bike accident I had a few years ago, in which I injured my phrenic nerve. Weird.
posted by caution live frogs at 4:08 AM on July 19


Plasmon: Migraineurs make up most of the patients I see who can feel their pulse in their head

That explains a lot, as does the rest of your comment. It's nice to know I get some benefits to these kill me right now headaches.
posted by cmyk at 7:05 AM on July 19


I've had the pre cordial catch for awhile. Nice to learn about. I also get the tachycardia or ventricular contractions and yes usually from caffeine where I cough to make the feeling of chest discomfort go away. I only cough because I learned it was recommended during a heart attack and figured it was like my own internal defibrillator. My family history for heart disease is "you will die of a heart attack" so I have a nice hypochondriac toolkit for chest pains including niacin, garlic, potassium, coenzyme q10... I did end up in the ER recently and they were like "we aren't saying there is no problem but we can't find it today and it's probably mostly your anxiety, but also consider taking Prilosec errr day despite the black box warning."
posted by aydeejones at 7:46 AM on July 19 [1 favorite]


Good gracious, I have so many of these. Maybe it's because I'm a doctor or a former hypochondriac that I notice them all. I do have a pretty weird one that hasn't been listed, though, and I will share it in case there are others out there.

I have a condition called brachioradial pruritis, which just means itchy forearm. It took a lot of informal consults with medical students and then residents and then real dermatologists to finally put a name to the condition, and as far as I can tell, I was younger than the youngest recorded patient when it hit me (16).

Every summer, my left arm itches. And I don't just mean a little itch here or there. I mean an itch so intense that it is overwhelming. I have about 8 places on my left arm where I have recently scratched until I bled, even though I know that scratching only makes it worse. It only occurs in sun-exposed forearms and is most commonly found on the drivers side arm, so mostly on the left in the US and the right in South Africa. There are some hypotheses as to the cause, but no one really knows much about it. Ice packs help tremendously but just this morning I woke up and there was blood on the sheets because I guess I was scratching last night.

The silver lining is that it tends to burn out over time, and indeed my case is less severe than it was 15 years ago.
posted by robstercraw at 8:02 AM on July 19


Migraineurs make up most of the patients I see who can feel their pulse in their head

Yeah, this definitely delayed diagnosis of my Meniere's and other ear-related issues. My migraines started at about 5-6 and were well-established when the Meniere's showed up so for ages all my doctors were like NO IT'S JUST VESTIBULAR MIGRAINES WE SWEAR. And when the tensor tympani shit started it was always "oh you're just feeling your pulse in your head, totally normal."

human bodies are terrible i want robot parts
posted by elizardbits at 9:41 AM on July 19 [2 favorites]


ghost bees

This is worse than The Game.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:06 PM on July 19


Top 10 Human Reflexes and Natural Instincts. The pee shiver is at the top of the list.

You are awesome. I am normal, you hear me? NORMAL.
posted by Justinian at 12:30 PM on July 19 [3 favorites]


Since I was a child, when I looked into the distance of an uninterrupted horizon I would see a faint inwardly falling (away from me) kaleidoscopic pattern of what looked like black rice. I knew what I was seeing was endoscopic but I wondered what the hell it was.

As a teenager and young adult, I noted I'd almost always see the pattern after exercising (5-10 miles at 7:30 pace).

Decades later, one time I accidentally noticed that if I closed one or the other eye, the pattern would disappear.

Having worn glasses and (later) contacts since grade school, I was no stranger to optical effects cause by differences in stereoscopic vision, but this was a whole different thing.

Experimenting some more with one eye then the other, looking at neutral backgrounds closer and farther, I discovered what I was seeing was the x-ray-like outlines of blood flowing through my retinal (?) capillaries and that when I opened both eyes, my brain was interpreting the stereo-endoscopic capillary flows as a moire pattern that appeared only on suitable backgrounds.

WTH eyeballs?!
posted by mistersquid at 4:11 PM on July 19


I see colors slightly differently in each eye. Colors seen through my left eye are slightly shifted toward the cyan side.
posted by winna at 5:46 PM on July 19 [4 favorites]


Oh, and this was another weird thing that I thought only happened to me:

"The nasal cycle is the (often but not always) unnoticeable alternating partial congestion and decongestion of the nasal cavities in humans and other animals."
posted by murphy slaw at 7:02 PM on July 19 [6 favorites]


Sometimes I'll get a terrible pain in my chest. If I push the bottom or sides of my sternum in hard enough (which makes the pain worse), I'm sometimes able to get it to make a loud pop and the pain immediately goes away.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:16 PM on July 19


My husband can gleek at will. Oddly enough, while I initially found it intriguing and amusing, eventually it resulted in my developing an involuntary arm movement which causes my hand to hit him on the back of the head when he does it.

Explain that, medical science!


Ask me how many times we found each other passed out on the kitchen floor before we decided to do something about it

OK, I'll bite. More than once? Less than 50?
posted by BlueHorse at 8:47 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]


cmyk: Sometimes - not always, it happened more when I was younger - when I close my eyes (especially as I'm going to sleep) I see shapes and colors. Sometimes it's like a tunnel I'm traveling through. Sometimes it's like watching little nebulas flare up, expand until I "reach" them, and then disappear past my peripheral vision. It's black otherwise, and the objects/colors aren't bright - they're transparent, more like.

Oh man. I had completely forgotten about that. I used to pretend I was an astronaut, and I'd explore the universe that only appeared when I closed my eyes.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:22 PM on July 19 [3 favorites]


I'm sometimes able to get it to make a loud pop and the pain immediately goes away.I'm sometimes able to get it to make a loud pop and the pain immediately goes away.

Like a joint pop? A knuckle-cracking pop? Mine does this too, it is very satisfying when it happens although I don't get any buildup pain beforehand.
posted by elizardbits at 8:59 AM on July 20


Yeah I also get a lovely satisfying sternum pop when I yawn and stretch sometimes. I wish I could do it reliably, because I am a joint-cracking fiend.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:05 AM on July 20


elizardbits: "I'm sometimes able to get it to make a loud pop and the pain immediately goes away.

Like a joint pop? A knuckle-cracking pop? Mine does this too, it is very satisfying when it happens although I don't get any buildup pain beforehand.
"

Yeah, a joint pop like cracking my knuckles. Very painful but the relief is great.

I used to crack my neck all the time by stretching it hard to one side and then the other. I could get four or five pops on the left side and three on the right. Then, starting shortly after I turned 40, I couldn't get it to pop at all. I've given up trying for fear of breaking my neck and paralyzing myself. I'm actually kind of glad that I broke the the habit. I was never allowed to do it in front of my wife because it squicked her right the fuck out.
posted by double block and bleed at 2:22 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


I also sneeze violently in bright sunlight. Fortunately, as a programmer, that doesn't happen too often.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:27 PM on July 22


I see colors slightly differently in each eye. Colors seen through my left eye are slightly shifted toward the cyan side.

This has been discussed on AskMe before and appears to be relatively common.
posted by unknowncommand at 7:00 PM on July 22




I also sneeze violently in bright sunlight. Fortunately, as a programmer, that doesn't happen too often.

Do you have blue eyes?
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:24 AM on July 25


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