What it’s like to live in your particular physical body
January 31, 2018 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Instead of The Political Thing tonight, I’d like to know one specific thing about what it’s like to live in your particular physical body On Twitter, Helen Rosner (newly-minted New Yorker food correspondent) asks about people's experiences in their own bodies - "It can be good or bad or neutral! about joy or pain or aesthetics!" The responses are funny and startling and sweet and sad, but they are all sincere and fascinating.

Bonus: a bunch of people ended up reading Atul Gawande's The Itch for the first time, which, oof - content warning for body horror and compulsions.
posted by carbide (196 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
 
My right eye is myopic to the tune of -7.75 and my left eye is myopic -5.5 - without any external device to assist me, I can't even focus clearly on something close up, so I don't tend to do any eye makeup. Had they both been the same number, I might have found a distance to work with.

Otoh, with weaker muscles, I can send one eyeball to the nose and be half cross eyed, half normal ;p I don't need to cross both my eyes ;p

tl;dr I'm paranoid about losing my sight so I'd never go for laser correction. I've practiced blindfolded as a kid so my kinesthetic sense is well developed.
posted by infini at 7:45 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


If I squeeze my thumbnails left to right (like, pinch them, put finger and thumb on either side and squeeze), it hurts with an electric pain of surprising severity. If I hit my thumb from the top, like hitting it with a hammer while pounding nails, no serious pain. If I hit the side of my thumb, I feel like I'm going to pass out.

I have never been able to determine whether anybody else experiences this pain but me. I do have unusually thin, soft fingernails.
posted by penduluum at 7:55 AM on January 31


I have eczema/atopic dermatitis and patches can flare from my neck down to the top of my feet, so I'm basically always itchy in one way or another, especially in winter.

Likewise I've had stomach issues forever so I am basically always nauseous to one degree or another.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:55 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


I've been slowly reading that thread all day, and there are both some very lovely moments and some moments that aren't lovely, but are intensely relatable in a weirdly reassuring way. I'm glad that we all have weird, lovely, terrible bodies.
posted by mishafletch at 7:55 AM on January 31 [6 favorites]


Constant pain in my legs, never really comfortable. Living in my body reminds me of a quote by Thomas Ligotti: "Consciousness has forced us into the paradoxical position of striving to be unself-conscious of what we are—hunks of spoiling flesh on disintegrating bones."
posted by SPrintF at 8:00 AM on January 31 [23 favorites]


I do life modeling around Connecticut and at Burning Man.

If you've ever wanted to step out of your comfort zone and discover your body's limitations, this is a good way to do it.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:00 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Two things:

I don't need a chair to change a light bulb.

Short people with umbrellas are really inconsiderate.
posted by adept256 at 8:01 AM on January 31 [25 favorites]


The older I get, the smaller my feet get. I was a consistent size 9 from adolescence to about five years ago, now one foot is a 7.5 to an 8 and the other is an 8, which makes shoe shopping fun.
posted by heurtebise at 8:02 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


A dentist once said "You have a magnificent jawbone into which to implant things."
posted by Hypatia at 8:10 AM on January 31 [29 favorites]


I've got a quarter-sized lump on the side of my left shin that I'm always vaguely aware of. The skin is mostly numb and it feels sort of weird to palpate it (which my wife likes to do because she is into medical oddities). It's probably just scar tissue from an ATV accident (at least I think that's when it first appeared), but doctors have always been intrigued by it because it doesn't exactly feel like "just" scar tissue.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:20 AM on January 31


I've felt ear wax forming in my ears a couple or three times.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 8:23 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Oh also I have almost un-shoe-ably wide feet (so does my father), and a vestigial third nipple (so does everyone descended from my maternal grandfather).
posted by penduluum at 8:32 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


After two surgeries for herniated discs in college (one from a fall compounded by trying to ignore it until lifting a heavy stone bench, the second from a violent car accident which re-ruptured the disc, and a healthy MRSA infection after the first surgery), and my own idiotic failure to follow up on my rehab and stretches, I've managed to not have a pain free day in the last twenty years. I have more good days than bad, but I can't sleep more than six or seven hours at a stretch without my back telling me to get out of bed.

I'm used to it. This is what happened, but I can't lie and say that I don't, every once in a while, rage against my stupidity and failure to follow through with the therapist's instructions.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:34 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


I am so clumsy that when I was a teenager, I'd change into safer shoes (like with laces or straps) if I was going anywhere with friends because I was worried I would fall over and get left behind. The safer shoes became just normal as shoes, but I still manage to injury myself horribly on a regular basis.

It's apparently just dyspraxia I never grew out of, according to my doctor, but occasionally it is also an enormous fear of getting hurt again doing normal life things.
posted by carbide at 8:39 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Three years ago a very heavy piece of bakery equipment landed on my big toe, almost cutting it completely off. Once in the ER, the doctor informed me that most of the bone in the toe had 'exploded' (so comforting). They stitched me up and a couple of years later despite my boneless toe I can walk and run without pain. However, the nail falls off every year only to be replaced by a new one.
posted by mikemacman at 8:43 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


I've had a weird lump on the side/back of my neck for my entire life. After reading that thread now I'm worried that it's my absorbed twin, or something.
posted by TwoStride at 8:44 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Occasionally all sound will fade away from one ear. Once it's silent I'll hear high pitched ringing sound for twenty or thirty seconds. When the ringing stops normal hearing will fade back up in that ear.
posted by dustsquid at 8:45 AM on January 31 [31 favorites]


I have a nasal polyp the doctor called "impressive." Until I get it taken out next month I can stick my finger up my left nostril and poke it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:51 AM on January 31 [8 favorites]


My jaw doesn't line up w my face right so I have to remember to actively hold it in place when people are looking at me otherwise they think I'm making a face, or having a stroke.

Also I was very afraid of rollercoasters as a kid. Like my gut very strongly insisting we not do that crazy dangerous thing. After I lost my virginity I wasn't afraid anymore and really enjoyed rollercoasters. Then I became a born again virgin and my gut is back to being afraid again.
posted by bleep at 8:53 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


The MRI done before my back surgery discovered that I have an extra lumbar vertebrae, the L6, which only about 5% of people have. This explains why I'm so weirdly proportioned; I'm 6'2" but have relatively short legs and a really long torso. So I only wear 32" inseam pants but my shirts are always too short for me and you really don't want to sit behind me in a theater.
posted by octothorpe at 8:54 AM on January 31 [15 favorites]


Hah these are great. Like infini, I'm heavily myopic, to the tune of -5.75 and -6. My natural focus point though is about six inches from my nose, so even though presbyopia is setting in, I still have the most amazing close up vision, and can read the tiniest of texts—I just have to peer over my glasses. It's my superpower.

I've been over six feet tall since I was fourteen and have worn the same size clothes since then—34 years ago. It's beginning to feel a bit strange.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 8:58 AM on January 31 [6 favorites]


one of my ears is noticeably lower than the other one, which means that glasses sit at a weird angle until i specifically adjust them to look straight, and hairdressers sometimes take a minute to get my sideburns looking straight because just making them the same length on each side doesn't work.
posted by murphy slaw at 9:02 AM on January 31


My left foot is wider than the right. My right foot is longer than the left. Not enough to be obvious to the naked eye but enough to make it near impossible to find stiffer or more form fitting shoes or boots (think dress shoes, snowboard boots, etc) where a pair will fit both feet without causing discomfort.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 9:02 AM on January 31


A blood technician once told me I have extremely juicy veins. I try to give blood often, and nearly every time the needle wielder is delighted by how easy my blood is to access - but juicy veins is the comment I remember most fondly (vampires take note: I also consume a lot of garlic).

This is a great ffp topic and thread - thanks for posting, carbide!
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:03 AM on January 31 [15 favorites]


Oh! I can touch my tongue to my nose (and, if I'm honest, get it just a bit into the nostrils). My wife can't, but my daughter can.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:05 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


I had/have, 20/10 vision. Unfortunately I had a 2 inch growth spurt in my late teens that my eyeballs did not keep up with, leaving me very slightly near-sighted (and hasn't ever changed) but a lens corrects me back to 20/10 vision again.

So far I've been 100% impervious to getting sea sick. I've been on a few ships and other rollicking machinery (helicopters and planes in turbulence) when everyone was getting sick and I was a-ok. Carnival rides, natch. I once was on a ship during a North Sea storm and everyone, including some of the sailors, were puking, and I was just like "Eh! Bring me more eggs and bacon!", a reference to James Herriot's Russian trip that nobody got, probably because they were busy throwing up. So I'm that person in the back of the plane going WHEEEE when there's super bad turbulence; everybody hates me. (I really do love turbulence and would totally be the person laughing in this video - NSFW language).

All in all, I'm convinced I should have been born centuries earlier and should have been on a sailing ship in war or something. Or been a hot dogging pilot. Now I just spot fossils way before anybody else does. And wildlife. And cars doing stupid shit on the highway. AND DOGS.

OTOH, due to a awful accident when I was younger that resulted in a lot of nerve damage in my foot, about once a month the message to move my foot doesn't make it through, I think I've stepped but haven't, and thus fall flat on my face - which leads to the occasional broken wrist and some interesting unpredictability in daily life.
posted by barchan at 9:10 AM on January 31 [11 favorites]


Oh! I can touch my tongue to my nose

Long tongue or long nose?
posted by pracowity at 9:11 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


I experience synaesthetic pain although I'm not an amputee. If someone stumbles, stubs a toe, walks around gingerly while barefoot or I even think of any of these things I experience sharp, almost electric pain from the knees downward. This was a painful post...
posted by jim in austin at 9:20 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


I have a single eyebrow hair which is much stiffer and grows to be longer than the rest of my eyebrow hairs. I regularly yank it out using a pair of needle-nose pliers.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:20 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


Long tongue or long nose?

I think it's mostly a long tongue, and maybe a slightly-short distance from mouth to nose. I can also just about reach the bottom of my chin, and can come startlingly close to licking my elbow.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:24 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


My left eye is quite comfortably nearsighted, at 3.75, and my right is the opposite almost exactly. I had surgery as a child for the right one, it refused to stay still. Later, it was discovered after many failed turns around doorframes that my right eye sends the signal at a bit of a lag to the brain. There was an attempt to correct this with a super cool not at all socially isolating eyepatch around 8 years old. Didn't do much (patient was non compliant)
Now, as an adult, I can read extremely quickly with or without vision correction (which I only generally wear in lefty). However, if I read with my left eye closed, my reading speed, comprehension, even letter and numeral identification are at a noticeable delay. I can't see most 3D movies, Magic Eyes are impossibles, reverse projection creates a blinding shower of rainbows...but if I Really Look, I can see shifting, glowing ghost doubles of everything. Most of the time I ignore it, but it's my cozy happy place. Vision is weird.
posted by zinful at 9:24 AM on January 31 [8 favorites]


I have single, gossamer-thin blond hair that is about 3" long on growing from my shoulder: an exuberant body hair. It's so light and thin that even lovers have never noticed it, but I distinctly recall first discovering it when I was in grade school (gym class) and am fond of it to this day. There's something oddly reassuring about looking down and seeing it.
posted by dendritejungle at 9:39 AM on January 31 [13 favorites]


but it's my cozy happy place.

yeah, no glasses on is my real world Monet
posted by infini at 9:46 AM on January 31 [6 favorites]


I can touch my elbows together behind my back (but only by lacing my fingers together, not...uh...freehand).
posted by zeptoweasel at 9:48 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I learned yesterday that I'm very slightly red-green colorblind. I've never noticed in 30 years, and it's very minor, but I just have a hard time seeing green. (I did one of those tests where there are numbers written with green dots inside a field of red dots and couldn't say what they were).

This isn't unusual, but it really weirded me out for some reason.
posted by dismas at 9:52 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


it feels like living in a hand-me-down jalopy that i didn't particularly care for in the first place, which is why i haven't cared for it.

i mean, i don't mind it because it still gets me from point a to point b, and it's reliable, so there's that.

but it seems like--who knew?--there's a possibility of custom mods now, even if it'll never be a tesla?
posted by anem0ne at 9:53 AM on January 31 [6 favorites]


I broke my left kneecap playing broomball on an outdoor rink 8 years ago, almost to the day. There's still some wire in there so I can't kneel on it comfortably. It's always numbish and funny feeling.

That said, as a Canadian, I was struck by the number of tweets that noted how not having health insurance has had a long-term impact on employment choices and quality of life. My knee got fixed in a timely and competent way, and when I broke my collarbone last fall, that got fixed too, and, in a practical sense, my life trajectory has not been affected.

Right now there's a steel plate holding my collarbone together, and the plate is stuck part way into my shoulder, to keep it down and in place. So I can't sleep comfortably on that side. And I can't reach all the way around to my opposite shoulder to scratch any itches there. Oh well. Life is hard.
posted by kneecapped at 9:54 AM on January 31 [7 favorites]


I've been extraordinarily lucky to get a body that has for the most part worked just fine despite my lack of effort in maintaining it. Not that I've abused it particularly, just that I've gone about my life without paying overmuch attention to things like exercise or a careful moderate diet.

Unfortunately, as I approach my 60's I'm having to deal more and more with minor aches and pains and eyesight that requires trifocals and a stomach that can no longer take whatever I happen to throw at it. And frankly I resent it.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:02 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


I have a few small bumps of scar tissue(?) that feel like permanent scabs. Occasionally they get really itchy, I scratch, they come off, and then end up regrowing. The one that's stuck around the longest was from a tick bite on my scalp when I was a kid, and it may be related that this bump is in the middle of what is essentially a crater in my skull. Probably caused it by scratching a lot before my skull had fully set.

I also used to generate so much wax it would regularly form in to balls and then fall out of my ears unprovoked, but that's mostly stopped.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:16 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I'm kinda deaf in my right ear. The ear parts work, but my brain doesn't decode the info right. I describe it as -20dB and a hard cutoff above 1kHz. However, for notes I can hear, I have perfect pitch in that ear - tuning to 440, not identification.

Also my bite plane is about 5 degrees off horizontal when my head is upright. Consequently, an unforced smile (my lips are not crooked) looks like I'm sneering.

My shoulders are out of pitch alignment (taking the long axis of the body to be the roll axis). So I can put one arm back further over my head, and the other can go farther back, down low.
posted by notsnot at 10:20 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


When I was about 4 years old, my two front teeth became loose and then fell out. New ones were coming in. My parents were like, "That's not supposed to happen for another few years..." so they took me to the dentist.

Turns out I had two full sets of top teeth in my mouth and a partial third set (all of the not-molars) as well. That's why I was starting to loose my front teeth way too young. So I went back and they knocked me out, removed all of my upper baby teeth, removed the second set of non-molars, and pulled the third set down so that they could grow in somewhat naturally.

I ate baby food until the teeth started growing in. I remember it being painful, but mostly I remember that my right front tooth came in before any of the others did. And, since it was an adult tooth and I was a 4-year-old, it was really big. For a while I had just that one big ass tooth in front. My dad called it "old chomper" and made jokes about me using it to open pop cans.

And yeah, I got a HUGE payday from the tooth fairy. I got to keep all of the pulled teeth. There were, like, 20 of them.
posted by Elly Vortex at 10:25 AM on January 31 [50 favorites]


My sleep dentist told me that I have an 18mm range of front to back motion in my lower jaw, which is quite a lot.

I have benign snapping hips. One snapped real loud during a massage and the therapist was terrified she’d broken something, but in fact it feels amazing. (Current status: sitting at my desk waiting for a hip to be ready to snap again; there is a refractory period like cracking your knuckles.)
posted by clavicle at 10:28 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


I get that crazy shooting electric feeling in my thumb joints and toes whenever I'm near any kind of outdoor heights (I'm okay inside.) It also happens when I'm seeing "heights" in movies/tv. Like, any scene on a roof, near a cliff, or on a ladder, whatever.

It feels like my nerves are very literally fraying. Like, my body is going "hoooo no, no no no no no" even if I'm not actively afraid or thinking about it.
posted by functionequalsform at 10:33 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


I am always tired. My whole body feels constantly exhausted. No doctor has ever been able to pinpoint a cause.

I have to drink an absurd amount of water to stave off dehydration. It’s a huge hassle. I’ve honestly thought about buying bags of dry chemicals to make the WHO’s recipe for rehydration fluid.

Probably for related reasons, I am absolutely miserable if the temperature rises above maybe 80 F. I just sort of shut down and stop functioning. I love cold weather.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 10:37 AM on January 31 [7 favorites]


It's near impossible to draw blood from me. I'm frequently sent away from doctors' offices after multiple phlebotomists try and fail to get blood from any of my proffered appendages. They make jokes like, "Hey, you forgot to bring your veins today!" and then give me Starbucks gift cards as a consolation. It's awful and I hate it.

I'm sure it's related to the fact that I have super low blood pressure and I'm cold all the time. I use chemical hand warmers every day (to the point where my hands get sore from clenching them) and I have electric blankets and space heaters at home and at work. I get tired of explaining to people that it has nothing to do with the weather outside, and that the coldness comes from *inside* of me.

In preview, I sound kinda cranky. I think that means it's time to turn on my illegal office space heater.
posted by kinsey at 10:38 AM on January 31 [18 favorites]


After chemo I got somebody else's body back instead of my own. Not only do certain things that used to taste strong now taste bland and certain things that used to taste mild now taste over-powering, but my defective thermo-regulation is now defective in a different way, so that I can be so cold that I have goosebumps and so warm that I am sweating simultaneously. (This is happening now repeatedly every day.)

And speaking of my defective thermo-regulation, during a cancer related MRI they discovered that I have a congenital cyst in my brain, called a Rathke cleft cyst, right at the brain stem, optic nerves and pituitary. This cyst means that I can't thermo-regulate properly, and am normally always too warm, but also why I have no peripheral vision, is probably a large part of why I get migraines from light, and why I continue to lactate 21 years after I weaned my youngest.
posted by Jane the Brown at 10:38 AM on January 31 [14 favorites]


Elly Vortex, you reminded me of the time my Biology teacher said I was a mutant because I had two full sets of submolars come out
posted by infini at 10:39 AM on January 31


Metafilter: the coldness comes from *inside*
posted by hanov3r at 10:48 AM on January 31 [22 favorites]


Like zinful, I grew up nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. Laser surgery eventually got me to 20/20 but I never did develop proper binocular vision or depth perception. There was a brief glorious period when I could watch 3D movies, but the technology must have moved on. If I don't touch the pipet tip to the container sometimes reagents end up on my lab bench. I can drive (in decent light and after years of practice) but backing into a space will never, ever be a thing.

I also have a benign cyst on one shoulder that has been there forever. A few weeks ago, under so much stress I could not move my neck, I got a massage. She put so much muscle into it that the cyst moved from where it had been for decades and that has really been weirding me out.
posted by Flannery Culp at 11:10 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I had a lump in my tongue. The morning I had a biopsy was 9/11/01, which kept me from going to work at WTC1.
posted by slogger at 11:40 AM on January 31 [98 favorites]


I can't burp. If I drink a bunch of pop or something my stomach and throat will emit a low intermittent growling sound for a couple of hours which I guess is the gas escaping slowly, but I never have like a belch.
posted by IAmUnaware at 11:43 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


When I got my IUD put in they said "your uterus is the perfect size."

When I recounted this later a friend asked what that was supposed to mean, and I said "I guess there's no womb for improvement."
posted by little cow make small moo at 11:44 AM on January 31 [136 favorites]


My previous dentist took mouth measurements when I had my first visit there. They told me that I had the second biggest mouth they'd seen in 25 years at the clinic.

I still have my wisdom teeth, a diastema, and my jaw is somewhat large but mostly proportional to my also massive head.
posted by sauril at 12:00 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


My eyes are -13, so I’m pretty near-sighted. It’s too bad for Lasik so I’ll have to get cataract surgery to get them fixed.

When I was little and riding on my dad’s shoulders I decided to get off. He didn’t catch me before I hit the ground, and I hit the ground with my chest and then my forehead. When the plates of my skull came together, my forehead came together with a bit of a peak instead of a flat join. You can’t see anything but you can still feel it. Basically just like a Klingon.

Lastly, appendicitis didn’t hurt worse than cramps, so it was about a week before I went to the hospital and about another week before I had it out. I had infection through a lot of my torso.
posted by stoneegg21 at 12:03 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, one of the stories mentions a radiologist commenting on the person's unusually long lungs after a chest X-ray, and I've gotten that too. The radiologist said to me "are you a swimmer? Because you should be." Maybe this explains why whenever someone says "take a deep breath... now let it out," I'll be like wait, I'm not done breathing in yet! Either that, or I just breathe slowly.

And yet somehow I can't hold my breath for more than like 10 seconds.

(I don't like the feeling of being in water and I haven't swum in probably 15 years.)
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:06 PM on January 31


Occasionally all sound will fade away from one ear. Once it's silent I'll hear high pitched ringing sound for twenty or thirty seconds. When the ringing stops normal hearing will fade back up in that ear.

This is actually not that uncommon -- it could be caused by a hair cell tuned to a specific frequency dying.
posted by clockzero at 12:10 PM on January 31 [17 favorites]


Bad: my knees make a sickening grinding sound when I go up or down stairs and have since I was 12 or 13

Cool: I can see my pulse on my left wrist bumping up and down
posted by potrzebie at 12:15 PM on January 31


I can hear electricity. My parents always used to question me over why I'd be sitting reading in the dark, and look at me crazy when I said "the lamp is too loud". I can also tell, for example, when a TV is on even if the cable box is off and the screen is black. I'm generally sensitive to loud noises and there have been periods in my life where I wished I'd go deaf. Obviously not for real, but if I could switch hearing on or off at will that would be really spectacular!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:19 PM on January 31 [16 favorites]


One ear is deaf, so on Spring mornings I can roll over on that side and drown out the sounds of birds. Doesn't work for low-frequency noises though. I have temporal-lobe epilepsy that manifests as seizures which feel like deja-vu and feature recurring visions. These are triggered by certain locations or songs but can also occur randomly. I'm tall and athletic for 42, lucky to be strong and have no active pain, except for flat feet, which makes hiking painful. My hips are beginning to go and hurt when I'm sitting. I like my body and consider myself extremely lucky, though a little anxious about what's in store.
posted by klanawa at 12:27 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


I have phantom thumbs.
I also have real thumbs.

Opposite my real thumbs, like by my little finger, I feel a real full sized thumb. I drop stuff a lot because I try and hold stuff with non existent thumbs.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 12:37 PM on January 31 [40 favorites]


I feel like my body is pretty boring with the exception of the parts that are broken. I have sleep apnea, not terribly, but if I try to sleep without my cpap machine now it's terrible. My gallbladder went haywire last year and I had to have it out. I have very common myopia and also my eyes are near-sighted. I have semi-permanent athlete's foot which is probably the most athletic thing about me.

This cyst means that I can't thermo-regulate properly, and am normally always too warm, but also why I have no peripheral vision, is probably a large part of why I get migraines from light, and why I continue to lactate 21 years after I weaned my youngest.

In a better world this stupid cyst would have given you telekinesis or something at least.
posted by GuyZero at 12:40 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


In case anyone cares, after writing up my Extra Teeth Story I found a picture of me with Old Chomper. Other teeth had grown in by the time the picture was taken, but it's clear which tooth is Old Chomper.
posted by Elly Vortex at 12:42 PM on January 31 [45 favorites]


I'm 44, my wisdom teeth never came in, and the rest of them are apparently made of diamond because I've only had one tiny cavity since my adult teeth came in (and man, was I upset about that when it happened a couple of years ago). This despite having my eaten more than my fair share of sugary treats over the years (although much less these days) and no dental hygiene routine beyond brushing twice a day and flossing...when I remember to.

Being a rather hirsute gentleman, my navel regularly accumulates what I believe to be an extraordinary amount of lint, no matter what I'm wearing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:45 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I can hear electricity. My parents always used to question me over why I'd be sitting reading in the dark, and look at me crazy when I said "the lamp is too loud". I can also tell, for example, when a TV is on even if the cable box is off and the screen is black. I'm generally sensitive to loud noises and there have been periods in my life where I wished I'd go deaf.

Have you had your hearing tested? I've always been able to hear lamps and TVs and stuff, and apparently I have, or at least used to have, incredibly acute hearing. I've had tinnitus my whole life (probably due to a series of ear infections as a small child), but I got my hearing tested when I was 20, and the audiologist said "you could hear a pin drop on felt."

That was 12 years ago, though, and I feel like I've noticed some hearing loss in the past few years. But honestly, there were periods in my life when, like you, I wished I couldn't hear so well. If I have lost some of my hearing, it's probably just as well (as long as it doesn't get too much worse).
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:56 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


I don't think this is particularly unusual - but I can feel my own heart beating constantly. Don't have to take my pulse or put my hand on my chest. I've always had this and was surprised when I found out that everyone didn't have the same.
posted by BigCalm at 1:05 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


There was an attempt to correct this with a super cool not at all socially isolating eyepatch around 8 years old. Didn't do much (patient was non compliant)

I was also non compliant: I was only supposed to wear it during stuff like watching TV, and I did! but my parent's didn't remember *which* eye I was supposed to wear it on. So it wasn't very effective.

I used to be fascinated by Magic Eye stuff and try really hard to make it work. It was sort of freeing when I realized that my eye stuff meant it was never going to, and I could just stop trying. It was also nice when I figured out that the appropriate word to describe things was stereoblind. My depth perception is mostly fine - there's a lot of things that go into depth perception that aren't stereopsis. It was frustrating to have depth perception and stereo vision treated as synonyms and not have the right language around that.

If I flip back and forth from one eye to the other, the colors are very subtly different.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:06 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


However, the nail falls off every year only to be replaced by a new one.

That is not a conclusion I was expecting.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:10 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Both of my feet point outwards (slightly for one, an almost 45 degree angle for the other) when my knees point forward. I've had x-rays done; it's just the way my skeleton is formed.

The impact on my actual life has been limited; it pretty much just means I physically can't ski, and have some hip complications to consider when weightlifting. It was a distinct advantage back when I used to fence, though.
posted by Itaxpica at 1:12 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


(Careful) high-fives to my fellow stereoblindeys! I had that same thing about never being able to make Magic Eye things work and so much relief when I figured out why.

Don't know if this happens for anyone else, but I have a thing where e.g. in a 3-D movie, I can sometimes get it to work just for a minute, and then it slips away again. (I figured this out in Avatar - there were two scenes where the 3-D worked for me, including the dandelion seeds floating out over the audience.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:47 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


My eyesight changes depending on whether my blood sugar is under control. The weird thing is, when my blood sugar is elevated (not go-to-the-ER dangerous, but problematic over time), my eyesight seems to get better.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:48 PM on January 31


my horrible flesh prison is a mobile garbage fire of constant pain and on the rare occasions when the pain is absent i assume i might be a ghost. it's great i love it.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:50 PM on January 31 [31 favorites]


I had three wisdom teeth come in at age eighteen. My doc cut them out and was stunned when the fourth wasn't anywhere to be seen. I'm forty now and still waiting on that last one. I'm sure it'll be an epic battle, when it finally deems me a worthy opponent, like a Bat-tooth come to avenge its relatives.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 2:39 PM on January 31 [10 favorites]


(Careful) high-fives to my fellow stereoblindeys! I had that same thing about never being able to make Magic Eye things work and so much relief when I figured out why.

This thread led me to google stereoblindness because I, too, have never been able to make Magic Eye things work. I came across some little test, and did it, and found that I am not stereoblind. That said, I really don't know how much stock to put in this. Or maybe those Magic Eyes are just a big hoax and we're the only ones courageous enough to tell the truth.

I am a little colorblind and someone once guessed that to be the reason for my lack of Magic Eye ability, but I'm not sure what the connection would be there.
posted by breakin' the law at 2:48 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Do 3-D movies work for you?
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:55 PM on January 31


I have a big bony ridge in the bottom of my palate. I learned very late in life it's called mandibular torus. It doesn't really do anything except make the dentist use the kid x-ray wings when they check for cavities and I've been asked a few times if I am from Europe when I'm not so there's a teeny chance it affects my accent. (I have a terrible ear for accents.)
posted by typecloud at 2:55 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


I can chew with my wisdom teeth, they all came in so well. There's something lucky about my teeth or jaw that dentists have called colleagues in to admire ("perfect end-to-end "... something. Mandibular occlusion?) They aren't specially pretty but I can chew really effectively.

My only cavity came in on a new wisdom tooth, though.
posted by clew at 3:00 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


My teeth are indestructable. No cavities, no braces, and a dentist discovered in my mid-teens that I had no wisdom teeth (it's not that rare; about 35% of people never get them). He lamented that he would "never make any kind of real money" off of me.

I used to be cursed with inordinately oily skin, but in my early 30s some kind of second puberty took place, one of the results being that my oily skin was healed! On the down side, I now have chronically dry skin. After trying pretty much everything, I've found raw coconut oil does the trick.

My fingers can bend back almost to the backs of my hands.

Facial hair does not grow out of my cheeks, and only grows sparsely under my jaw. It does grow fine in the mouth and chin area, but I'm not a big fan of the Padlock (aka the Donut, or the Bluto) on me, so clean-shaven it is for me.

I have a lazy left eye that makes me look like a drunken cartoon character all the time.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:21 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Like a few of you I'm stereoblind, and not just a little. There is no form of 3D that I can see-not the red-blue anaglyphs or the Magic eye stuff. I would never even bother going to a 3D movie. I was supposed to get this surgically fixed when I was a child, but I had an anaphylactic reaction to the anesthetic, so I just wear glasses and now it's too late-my brain is wired for this kind of vision.

The most interesting thing is that I don't really look out of both eyes at the same time, I'm constantly subconsciously switching which eye I'm looking through. When my optometrist figured this out she was able to remove the prism from my prescription.
posted by codex99 at 3:23 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


There have been a few reported cases of adults recovering from stereoblindness. See: stereopsis recovery.
posted by dephlogisticated at 3:58 PM on January 31


Mostly living in my body is an awkward, uncomfortable and downright painful experience. I feel both excruciatingly embodied - I cannot forget it - and yet completely alienated from it. I feel sorry for my poor body; it tries its best and after all, it's not its fault that I have spent most of a lifetime not looking after it properly.

On the other hand, there are some things it does amazingly well, most of them related to sex so no details. Those times are pretty awesome, not just because my body is feeling better than it usually does, but because for a little bit I feel like my body is me. And of course I realise that without my body, many of the things I enjoy would not even be possible - listening to music, for example, would not happen without ears.

Also I have just learned that I am stereoblind, which explains why I could never get Magic Eyes to work.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:21 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Which is really super weird because I did not think I had problems with depth perception, and can see 3D stuff. But that test with the dot and your finger - nope.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:24 PM on January 31


I'm also stereoblind! High-five misses to you all! .-)

In my case, my brain treats my right eye as a spare, and only engages it for things my left eye can't see. I have, at times, lost things right in front of my nose -- like, literally, my nose is blocking it from my left eye and my right eye hasn't engaged yet.

For me, it's something I can control to some extent with concentration, so I can sometimes get the magic-eye things to work if I'm very well-rested and try hard enough. It's exhausting, though; I often can't read for a while after forcing myself to use both eyes. For a while I was doing vision therapy exercises and it became a bit less tiring, but seeing anything in 3-d (including reality) still took a LOT of concentration. There have only been a handful of times when my 3-d vision has spontaneously engaged, and those times were so amazing that I remember each and every one: the wire in the corner of my bedroom, the lenticular grid on my Jack and the Beanstalk book, ...

For the most part, sizes and shadows and focal distances are all enough to compensate for my lack of stereo depth perception. The only real challenge for me is walking downhill (or even down stairs) when the light is not casting good shadows. If I don't have a stick while hiking I'm utterly petrified coming down because I feel like I can't gauge the slope. Otherwise, it's not really a deficiency I notice.

I did, however, get into a knock-down, drag-out fight with my dad when I was about 10 years old when he insisted that photos were "flat." What??? What do you mean flat?! They look just like the real world! Can you imagine how impossible it is to explain to a stereo-blind child (whom you don't know is stereoblind) that the world looks 3-d? And do you know how maddening it is to have someone insist to you that there's some sort of "depth" that is not the same as the shadows & depth-of-field effects of a photo that you're supposed to be seeing, when you have absolutely no idea what they could possibly mean? My father and I were so frustrated with each other that we were yelling in tears by the end. It wasn't until much later, the day I saw the wire sticking out of the wall, that everything clicked.

Anyway, because my right eye is usually not engaged, I am able to find my left eye's blind spot really easily without closing my right eye. I amuse myself in boring meetings by making people's heads disappear.
posted by Westringia F. at 4:37 PM on January 31 [18 favorites]


I have Saltzman's nodules along the tops of my corneas. They aren't far enough down to interfere with my vision, and make eye doctors very happy -- I gather they don't see them very often? Somewhere out there an optometrist is giving lectures using photos he took of my corneas.
posted by sarcasticah at 5:14 PM on January 31


For the most part, sizes and shadows and focal distances are all enough to compensate for my lack of stereo depth perception.

I think this is true for me as well. I can judge the distance to any static, or relatively static, object just fine. My problem is judging the distance of things moving toward me. I have to literally concentrate on grabbing my card from the barista at Starbucks when she is handing it back through the drive-thru window. If you throw something at me, or even casually toss it, there is a very good chance I be able to won't catch it
posted by codex99 at 5:37 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


I have around -6.75 in both eyes (along with some other fun issues), chronic back/hip issues, eczema, and possibly pmdd. I'm basically constantly in pain and/or itchy and my eyes regularly cross or I have double vision. My life is unending discomfort.

Weirdly though I really love my body. I like how it looks, I like how it feels when it's not being a piece of crap, and let me tell you I love the feeling of wind in my leg hair.
posted by polychromie at 5:47 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


I have very short legs, given my height. I can swap trousers with my partner, who is 175mm shorter than me. Makes things like bike sizing a bit odd.

My right eye is largely along for the ride and does something like 20% of what it should. I don't think I'm stereoblind, but a 3D movie is pretty much wasted on me. I am reasonably accident prone and I wonder if the two things are related.

Like Barchan I am utterly and totally immune to motion sickness. This would be great apart from the fact that my partner gets seasick just looking at water, so sailing trips with her are not on the cards.
posted by deadwax at 6:06 PM on January 31


I am another person who was born without wisdom teeth (thank you for those genes, mom) but I am also missing an adult tooth on the bottom right. The baby tooth is still there. Every dentist I've ever had has said something to the effect of "oh! Look at that! It's still hanging in there even with no root!"
I am 34 and this still makes me feel oddly proud, like heck yeah look how awesome that tooth is
posted by janepanic at 6:20 PM on January 31 [6 favorites]


Do 3-D movies work for you?

I'm not sure, because I've only been to two. One worked, as far as I can remember, but it was a long time ago. One - which was just a couple of years ago - didn't really seem to, but I mentioned this the friend I was with and he agreed so maybe it was crappy 3D (or he's stereoblind too)?

Westringia F.'s comment does not sound like me, either, for what that's worth. I've never thought pictures looked just like the real world and I don't have any problems walking down stairs in the dark (my night vision is actually pretty good).

So, um, inconclusive.
posted by breakin' the law at 6:43 PM on January 31


First, thank you all for sharing your funny and weird and unfortunately, sometimes painful experiences / conditions.

I had spinal surgery back in 2003 or so (ACDF @ C4-5) and my left (dominant) arm never really recovered--it's like half the size of my right due to muscle wasting, and I've had constant low-grade pain ever since. Just recently, it's gotten worse, along with back pain in a spot that's pretty much a tell-tale marker for C5 nerve root issues, and I'm terrified it's radiculopathy or something else related . . .

Anyway, it's just good to read that others are bearing crosses with varying levels of grace, and I'm again thankful for everyone here--for this thread, but also for being a locus of sanity in a world that feels unsteady and sociopolitically bleak . . . I may be getting a little maudlin, so I'll stop there.
posted by exlotuseater at 6:49 PM on January 31 [7 favorites]


Heh. Good to see she still has the drawing I did as her background. Unhinged moon-bat. Still makes me giggle.
posted by klangklangston at 6:58 PM on January 31


I'm deaf, for one thing - the way I hear is emphatically not the way other people hear from discussions I've had, but it's hard to describe. Even with hearing aids there's a chunk of life experience and audio stuff that's very deaf specific. For example, I can't hear anything through your garden variety earbuds that isn't bass, even when held against the microphone on my aids. And there's a perpetual derealised disconnect from reality that gets worse the more I lipread at a time, and exhaustion is always a factor.

Without glasses the world beyond arm's length is a smeary blur, but within that distance I apparently have extraordinary vision. I think my brain had to pick and ditched far sight for lipreading, honestly.
posted by E. Whitehall at 7:03 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


August 29, 2007: My bike tried to kill me (FB)

I had a bit of excitement that morning: whilst I was riding my bike at a good rate of speed, the handlebar failed and I went shoulder-first into the ground. My left clavicle broke into three major pieces and many bone splinters [picture 1].

The ER folks said I wouldn't need surgery, but my orthopedist said "Sure it'll heal on its own, but you'll never be able to play guitar standing up again." Right, let's put in a Rockwood clavicle pin, then. It stayed in for five months and I now have a souvenir [picture 2] (although people don't usually react well when I say "Hey, do you want to hold something that was once inside my body?").
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:02 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


Sometimes when I am standing at the toilet peeing the bottoms of my feet get very very hot. It's peculiar indeed.
posted by hippybear at 8:03 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


my orthopedist said "Sure it'll heal on its own, but you'll never be able to play guitar standing up again."

Could you before the crash?
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:21 PM on January 31 [6 favorites]


As long as I wasn't chewing gum.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:25 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Sometimes when I am standing at the toilet peeing the bottoms of my feet get very very hot.

You need to develop better aim, my friend.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:26 PM on January 31 [16 favorites]


Like, I nearly put a second sentence in my post because that joke is always made.

This is like, hot from the inside. Some kind of weird nerve activation that nobody understands. It's just a thing that is weird about my body.
posted by hippybear at 8:27 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


I’m also super nearsighted (-7.5, give or take) and use my microscope eyes to look at tiny things. But now I’m also developing middle-age presbyopia, so my focal point has shifted outward a couple inches and my microscope eyes don’t work as well as they did. Bummer. But being so nearsighted, I developed enough spatial awareness to get around well in the dark or with my eyes shut.

I apparently have a bit of synesthesia because I picture the months of the year like the hours on a clock. I also have an eidetic memory, which was extremely useful when I went back to college, and is also handy when I have to wait without something to entertain me. The down side is being able to vividly recall all the negative crap just as easily. It takes a long time to get over, say, breakups or embarrassing moments when I can re-experience them all over again every time it crosses my mind. Memories are meant to fade, Lenny.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:42 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


This has been a really fascinating thread to read through, thank you so much!

I went for a massage last week and got told to "take better care" of my body. I live a pretty active lifestyle and I'm stronger than I look; I wasn't sure what she meant, so I asked. She only said, "your body's very tired." Oops. Guess the lack of sleep is showing.

I am one of those people whose joints snap, crackle, and pop. It's especially prominent with my ankles but I'll hear it from my shoulders from time to time too. It doesn't hurt and I've always been this way, even when I was a child, so I assume it's just the way my body is. It surprised my physiotherapist and mostly is a little embarrassing during a quiet yoga class. Cr-cr-cra-pop!
posted by invokeuse at 9:00 PM on January 31


About seven years ago, I suffered a herniated L1 disc. Although I'm almost entirely recovered from it, I now get occasional massive excruciating leg cramps in my right leg which I've been told are the result of that injury, and they always happen at the very best times--for instance, when I'm trying to get out of a kayak or when I'm kneeling at the altar during Eucharist.
posted by filthy_prescriptivist at 9:00 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


I started getting migraines when I was 19. It was normal for me to get maybe 2 a year. In 2011, a doctor prescribed me Xanax for anxiety-induced-nausea, and I started taking it all the time (because I was, and still am, mildly nauseous all the time - that's a whole other issue). Thanks to insurance problems (like, I had none), I couldn't go back to the doctor, and my prescription ran out after a couple months. I had to quit cold turkey, which if you don't know, is a really, really bad thing to do with that drug. I seem to recall that it can kill you.

Fortunately, I had been taking a low dose. I didn't die (obviously), but starting a day or two after my last pill, I got brutal migraines every day for a full month. For the next five years I got migraines 3-4 times a week, at least. Then they suddenly dropped back to 1-2 times a year. Previously-unknown long-term effects of Xanax withdrawal, or coincidence? (Probably the latter, because I've started getting them more often again.)

Lots of people on my dad's side of the family have migraines. I think my grandfather was actually classified 4-F in WW2 because he signed up for the Navy, then got migraines for a month straight and had to be hospitalized.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:06 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Like, I nearly put a second sentence in my post because that joke is always made

Well, I've never been one to pass up an obvious joke.
*What's it like to live in my particular brain
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:48 PM on January 31


Dude, we've hung out. I know. You are to the obvious joke what cortex is to the pun or the somehow obsessively recursive artwork that has me worried all work and no play makes jack a dull boy
posted by hippybear at 9:56 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


I have single, gossamer-thin blond hair that is about 3" long on growing from my shoulder: an exuberant body hair. It's so light and thin that even lovers have never noticed it, but I distinctly recall first discovering it when I was in grade school (gym class) and am fond of it to this day. There's something oddly reassuring about looking down and seeing it.

I have one of these, too.
posted by Orlop at 10:47 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Thanks to a car accident in which I was a passenger half my life ago, and the ensuing surgery, I am minus the supraorbital nerve on my right. There’s a numb spot under the scar, but sometimes the space around it gets itchy/achy in that inside-the-skin spider-bite Voldemort-must-be-nearby sort of way.

Also pretty myopic (-5.75/-6.5 contacts; closer to -7.00 in glasses?). Between this and nerve damage eyebrow plucking can be an adventure — it’s actually easier without corrective lenses, but then I can’t find the damn tweezers.

ADHD and three significant TBIs (one in the same auto wreck) have made many things interesting and occasionally scary.

I don’t handle pain well. Cry like a baby over a curling iron burn or a finger-smash. Periods can be brutal. Tylenol and aspirin and ibuprofen are placebos, I’m convinced, and so are some stronger things. I can absolutely understand how people get addicted to opiates. If I were bolder or craftier...well, there but for the grace of God go I. The runner’s high does seem to exist in my world, so that’s something.

I have the photic sneeze reflex. I have learned to drive in rush-hour traffic during an unstoppable sneezing fit.

Lately I can’t digest anything quietly or predictably.

I blush all the time and I can’t focus on complex rules, so poker is right out. I always have bruises I can’t explain.
posted by armeowda at 11:04 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


what cortex is to the pun or the somehow obsessively recursive artwork that has me worried all work and no play makes jack a dull boy an obsessively recursive pun.

FTFY.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:10 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Focusing on my top three medical issues, I've got chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and chronic migraine. So living inside of me feels sleepy, foggy, painful, and sometimes extra-special painful.
posted by bryon at 11:21 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


I also have no binocular vision! I can switch between eyes consciously (use one for reading, the other for distance stuff) and was really happy to see other people in the Twitter thread mention that colours look slightly different in each eye as well.

In my case it’s a genetic condition which causes a few other things too, like not-great visual acuity and very low tolerance for bright lights, so I wear sunglasses a lot. (At least we THOUGHT the last one was because of the eye condition until a recent episode of ST: Discovery, I now have a new working theory.) A doctor who was a little too excited about it once explained it as “so maybe part of your brain is missing!” although he went on to reassure me that it couldn’t be that important a part, probably.

Also when I was pregnant and very sick I could smell and taste water. It was unpleasant.
posted by Catseye at 11:24 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


When I got my IUD put in they said "your uterus is the perfect size."

When I recounted this later a friend asked what that was supposed to mean, and I said "I guess there's no womb for improvement."


A friend of mine who is among the world's best punsters responded thusly when I shared this:

"Should we throw a huge party for your perfect uterus or do you think that would be an ovary-action?"
posted by Orlop at 11:37 PM on January 31 [17 favorites]


My face, arms, and hands sometimes get the feeling of pins and needles (like when you get up from having sat on your foot) after I talk to people animatedly, usually new people. No idea why this happens.

I can't round my spine forward very well, but backwards is fine. Combined with my anterior pelvic tilt, I was made for the Edwardian era.

I also can't burp, IAmUnaware! Instead, in the last 2-3 years, I've started making creaking sounds from the esophageal area when gassy, in addition to my lifelong fartiness. This creaking relieves the gassy feeling a little bit, and sometimes I can get it to happen by twisting towards my left side and arching my spine.

I've started getting dyshidrosis. The downsides are that my fingers itch / crack / bleed; the upside is that eventually it all heals and I get to peel off a thick, dark piece of skin. I'm always so proud -- I grew it myself!
posted by batter_my_heart at 11:44 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


My hands also do this thing where they lose all strength sometimes, usually when just about to sleep or just after waking. I can’t make a fist and I can’t grip things and if I try to pick up anything with weight to it it will just fall out of my hand. Sometimes it comes on just before a migraine too which is a useful warning. I Googled it once and found a few people talking about it, but no explanation.
posted by Catseye at 12:18 AM on February 1 [4 favorites]


I was born with congenital emphysema and had part of a lung removed. Apparently the remainder just stretched to fill the space.

I'm short sighted in one eye and long sighted in the other. My left eye is really bad but my right eye isn't that bad. I can see 3d in movies and at the optometrist but can't do magic eye puzzles.

I have been gradually gaining motion sickness as a thing. As a kid I could happily read a book while in the car going over mountain ranges but now if I look at my phone it can set in very quickly especially if I'm hungry. Sitting backwards on a bus or train has a 50/50 chance of me feeling sick by the end of it.
posted by poxandplague at 2:26 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Occasionally all sound will fade away from one ear. Once it's silent I'll hear high pitched ringing sound for twenty or thirty seconds. When the ringing stops normal hearing will fade back up in that ear.

Me too! I assumed it happened to everyone!

If I eat/drink certain things, most notably extra-strong mints, I get a nasty aftertaste at the back of my tongue. Not refreshing at all.

The first few times in the year that I expose my arms to sunlight, they get furiously itchy with a flat red rash. The first couple of months of cooler weather each year, going for a (sensibly-clad) walk outside brings out a different itchy rash on my legs. Then, in both cases, my body adjusts and it stops happening till the same time next year.

I've always known I'm sensitive to noise, and I've never liked being around things like vacuum cleaners and fan heaters, but I learned this month that if that kind of noise goes on and on, after a little while it actually triggers some sort of panic reaction. Trying to research this on the internet has led me to all sorts of advice along the lines of "use white noise to cover the sound of an open-plan office!" which, combined with the way my colleagues are *not* repeatedly having to flee our new office and its loud aircon, tells me that there is something very odd about the way I'm wired.

On the happier side of sound sensitivity, I'm someone who experiences ASMR.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:02 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Wow that Atul Gawande article... *twitches*

Occasionally all sound will fade away from one ear. Once it's silent I'll hear high pitched ringing sound for twenty or thirty seconds. When the ringing stops normal hearing will fade back up in that ear.

Me too! I assumed it happened to everyone!


Me three!
posted by Ziggy500 at 3:10 AM on February 1


I have anti-ASMR. I think a lot of people do.
Anything ASMR like makes me super tense and stressy. My feet curl, my hands clench, my teeth grind. I hate it hate it hate it, even just thinking about it.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:42 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


My hands do that too, Catseye! The strength comes back slowly -- I'm usually able to curl my fingers by the time I'm out of bed, but gripping things at breakfast has at times been enough of a challenge that I've put off eating because "my hands aren't working yet." I've convinced myself that it's due to my sleeping on top of my arms -- I like to curl both under my head as a pillow -- but I have no idea if that's true.

More hand related: I have not one but two visible palmaris longus tendons in my left wrist. Spare parts!
posted by Westringia F. at 4:05 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


I had butt-length hair until I turned 21, and I've still got a few defensive mechanisms meant to protect myself from hair accidents. I'll often sweep my (now much shorter) hair over my shoulder when sitting down so I don't sit on it, especially in bathrooms or when sitting in chairs with ratchets in the back. I'm still bad at estimating how much shampoo is needed. BUT, years of ballet mean that I can put my hair in a bun like a champ, even in its shortened state.

When I was in Côte d'Ivoire, I learned that I have much more visible arm hair than most Ivorian women, which meant that small children sitting next to me in our truck would sometimes entertain themselves for hours by playing with my arm hair and trying to pull out individual hairs.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:11 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


I used to drink about a liter of whiskey every day. Then I quit, cold turkey. For about a week, literally everything that I ate tasted profoundly sweet. Not even like there was sugar in my food... it was a perfectly agreeable sweetness, like all food was a sort of ambrosia, and my brain was trying to reward me, or locate something wonderful that wasn't there. I was aware that it was mental while it was happening, and that did not stop it from happening. It was disturbing and poignant.
posted by heatvision at 4:21 AM on February 1 [11 favorites]


I have a lot of astigmatism in my right eye and hardly any in my left. I noticed my vision deteriorating over the years but it wasn't til I tried and failed to renew my driver's license that I had to do anything about it. That was a fun visit to the optometrist.

He covers my left eye and shows me the chart of Es. "Read the second to last row."

Trying not to sound freaked out, I tell him I can't make out any of them. "Ohhhkaay, how about now?" He flips eyes. Suddenly everything is clear, literally and figuratively.

One side effect of this is I didn't have much depth perception, because my brain just didn't have enough information to make that happen. So when he put some test lenses on me and asked me his they felt, and I looked over to one of his instruments with a cage arm bending toward me, the best I could get out was "Whoa, that looks *very* 3D."

For like the whole first year of wearing glasses, every time I put them on I had this feeling that I was warping into the third dimension. It was like VFX you might see on a SciFi show when they go faster than light. IT WAS SO COOL! Big fan of glasses now.
posted by brett at 4:26 AM on February 1 [5 favorites]


There are a number of spots on my body that are connected in such a way that when I press or scratch one, I'll feel a sharp pin-prick sensation at the other. The one I can find most reliably connects my navel to a particular spot in my ladybits, but there are others as well. The farthest pair connects my lower leg to the tip of my shoulder. They're not symmetric; touching the pinprick spot never refers anything anywhere else. The pinprick sensation is quite uncomfortable but somewhat amusing; triggering them is always a surprise.

The, ah, intimate nature of my strongest pair has always led me to wonder if other people have this and just keep mum about it, or if my bits are ***magic***.
posted by Westringia F. at 4:29 AM on February 1 [12 favorites]


If I push downwards with my toes, the top joints of all eight of my smaller toes bend in the opposite direction to normal, so it looks like I'm gripping the ground. If I had gecko skin, I'd be able to walk up buildings. Also, I have unusually short legs - if they were more in proportion to my torso, I reckon I'd be about six inches taller - my 11 year old son has longer trousers than I do. And I can flatten my tongue so that it's wider than mouth.
posted by pipeski at 4:30 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


At 47 years old, I am simultaneously falling apart and mending.

At 17, I was diagnosed with RA. I am fortunate in that I have fairly long periods of remission between flares. Some flares leave me bedridden for a week or more. Some are over in a day or two. Some are so mild as to not be recognizable as a flare except in hindsight. Most of my days are spent with a low, rumbling pain in the background of my life.

Needing to find zero impact exercise, I took up bellydance. My joints are cantankerous, but my muscles are strong, and I can make my ass do tricks.

My eyes used to be -6.75 in one eye and -5.25 in the other. They are now both -3.25. But now I have cataracts and have a hard time differentiating between different shades of colors. At night, I see halos around the streetlights and headlights of oncoming cars. (I don't drive, but I'm often out with the husband.) The cataracts are coming out in the next couple months, and after the intra-ocular implants are in, my vision is expected to be 20/20 or close as dammit.

I used to have many, many scars. Most of them are gone now, including the one from my brain surgery when I was 12. The ones that remain are very, very faint, except for the thumbprint sized burn scar on the underside of my left forearm - it's a lot smaller, but it's still really visible.

Fifteen years on Lexapro has done wonders to heal my mental health.
posted by MissySedai at 5:11 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


My body is generally pretty healthy (despite about a decade of utterly not taking care of it in any way), which I am incredibly grateful for, and am hoping to keep up with a strong yoga practice.

Some cool things, though:

When I was getting tattooed on my ribs, there was one spot, right in the middle of my ribs, where when the artist was working there, I felt it *very* strongly in my elbow. It was super-cool, and super-weird. Also getting the edge of my back tattooed tickled!

I have a tattoo that wraps around my thigh. I had expected that the inside of my thigh would be the worst part, but I legitimately almost slept through it. The worst was the curve from the top of my thigh going to the side, where my quad(?) pops a bit if I flex. Breathtakingly painful. I *think* this is due to a big-ass nerve running down there alongside my IT band, but I invite corrections from people with actual medical knowledge.

I had a minor accident a couple years ago that avulsed the skin on the inside of my wrist several inches up my arm, but left the underlying everything pretty much intact. (If I lost more than a few tablespoons of blood, I'd be amazed, and most of that was from the nurses washing the wound out. It meant I could see all the tendons and muscles and things! They looked like cooked chicken. (This is also where I learned that if I go a bit shocky, I get very calm and am very good at thinking things through. Also I now have a HILARIOUS story about walking back to where I and a friend were staying, fairly covered in blood and clutching my injured wrist, and being thoroughly ignored by the good people of the Peak District.)
posted by kalimac at 5:42 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


There is a spot on my left thigh which, when touched, causes my right eardrum to spasm and flutter. Mostly it's whatever, but over the years I've gotten rid of a few pairs of pants where the seam was right on that spot and constantly "activating" it. Sometimes when my kids are on my lap I have to shift them around a bit because their bony butt is making my ear spasm. I've always been sort-of curious about exactly what the nerve wiring is there.

Like a few other people in this thread, I can hear electricity (and I do have extremely acute hearing, and my children hate it because they can get away with nothing). I also have freakishly long tooth roots, which always pleases dentists, who sometimes call over the other dentists in the practice so they can all admire my X-ray.

I ... think my eyebrows might be going gray before my head-hair? I'm a little concerned about it, anyway.

After 3 C-sections I have an area on my lower abdomen that has almost no sensation (along the stacked scars), sometimes I like to poke it because I can't feel myself poking and it's weird.

"" My eyesight changes depending on whether my blood sugar is under control. ""

Probably due to fluid retention? Happens to pregnant women, their fluid volume skyrockets during pregnancy and the shape of the eyeball changes due to the increased fluid pressure, fucking with your vision.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:51 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Stereoblind party! I’m going to spouse all of you later. I have exotropia and I had surgery on one eye when I was a smol clavicle. Couple years ago I read about stereopsis recovery, it is tough when you have had an eye muscle cut but I saw a little improvement from a couple of rounds of vision therapy which were expensive but fun. I did not advance to the stage where you suddenly start seeing double, which is the big indicator of recovery in progress, but if I really concentrate I can converge my eyes on a point. My bad depth perception makes me a not awesome driver with a bad sense of direction, and I also have the thing where colors are a bit more saturated through one eye.
posted by clavicle at 7:01 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


This seems like a great way to collect tons of personally-identifying (and otherwise largely quite private) information about someone . . .
posted by aspersioncast at 7:19 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


I have an unusual amount of hypermobility in my knees . My knees hyperextend by 9 degrees. The average, according to my physical therapist, is about 5 degrees.
posted by chara at 7:20 AM on February 1


OH

The most important thing I had to say is

The trick to high fives is to track the path of the other person’s elbow. Life-changing!
posted by clavicle at 8:17 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


One note to all the stereoblind folks: Do be sure and get it checked out, turns out mine was a symptom of Retinitis Pigmentosa, which can lead to blindness. I still see a flat world, but the disease has abated (dunno why) but I now have tunnel vision in my left eye and when my optometrist freaks out, I can calm them down, and tell them the terrifying stories of being being diagnosed thru migranes and being clumsy.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:56 AM on February 1


oh i forgot to say: i have an impacted canine that never came in, so it still has a baby tooth in its place, and that tooth is basically fine. I get the canine checked out every year to see if anything weird is happening but it seems to be okay.
posted by dismas at 9:02 AM on February 1


Last March I cracked a bicuspid and lost a bit of it. I have a great fear of the dentist--more out of the sense of invasiveness and fear of financial ruin than any fear of pain--and this crack didn't hurt, so I didn't go to the dentist. Within the next six months it continued cracking, and most of it is now gone. Still didn't, and doesn't, hurt.

In November a crown fell out and, since I figured that was something the dentist could actually reasonably repair, I went to the dentist to get it screwed back in (which was accomplished successfully and relatively cheaply). She spent most of her energy on that particular operation but looked a bit alarmed when she saw the bicuspid hole. I told her, it doesn't hurt, and it never hurt. She told me that probably the nerve in it had calcified so, in essence, my body was protecting me from being hurt.

I was so weirdly moved by this that it almost brought me to tears, and still does whenever I think of it. I have a dicey relationship with my own body, and the idea that it actually did something, all on its own, to protect me from pain was striking and surprising. I felt warmer and kinder toward it than I have in a very long time.
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:38 AM on February 1 [31 favorites]


I don't have any canines, but an awful dentist (yay childhood poverty) pulled the babies, so now I just got no teeth there. People hardly ever notice, but I'm super self-conscious about it anyhow. I suppose it keeps me from getting too big for my britches.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:00 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Stereoblind party!
Also MetaFilter: I can make my ass do tricks.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:04 AM on February 1 [6 favorites]


Somehow, my lower vertebra/hips area is partially fused, and it's combined with my tibias bowing out slightly, so my center of gravity has been thrust forward. I've compensated by toe walking for pretty much my entire life, so it means I have killer calves, but my hamstrings are insanely tight. I have barely been able to touch my toes, and I never got the Presidential fitness medal because I couldn't do the front floor stretch far enough. I also look pretty funny doing Pilates. This also means I can't wear standard calf-high boots, and "straight leg" pants almost look like skinny jeans.

I'm not allowed to run recreationally any more, but if the air temperature is cool enough while I exercise outside, I get a super-intense histamine reaction as my muscles heat up. My quads start itching, and it's annoying enough that I mentioned it to a doctor. They suggested taking benadryl before outside activity, but that's not going to happen.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 11:11 AM on February 1


I ... think my eyebrows might be going gray before my head-hair?
posted by Eyebrows McGee


Nominative determinism, or eponysterical?
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:21 AM on February 1


When I have a particularly bad itch, I hear a whirring/grinding/crackling sound in my head. I didn't realize no one else had that until I got to college.
posted by catwoman429 at 11:41 AM on February 1


I smashed my right pointing finger when I was 16 and it turned slightly blue. Not so bad that the nail fell off but it's forever been slightly off colour and the nail that grows on that finger always grows more slowly and slightly off. I've even had it checked and our doctor just shrugged.
posted by Fizz at 12:40 PM on February 1


Back around Easter I was walking barefoot on a beach and got stung by a bee (I think) on my second toe. That toe is now slightly darker than the rest of my toes but otherwise seems to be fine.

Also, my big toes naturally point up, something I inherited from my mom. We poke holes in our socks at a wasteful rate, and it always gets me in trouble with coaches and trainers who think I have my weight positioned incorrectly and am lifting my foot...
posted by TwoStride at 12:55 PM on February 1


Many substances stay in my system a lot longer and/or stronger than they seem to in other people. As a result, I can't take almost all antihistamines because their sedative effects are unusually strong in me, and I can't have caffeine because it gives me migraines. The last time I traveled to a place with legal pot edibles, I felt the effects of a low 'starter dosed'-gummy for a full 36 hours.
posted by umbú at 1:15 PM on February 1


I can pop my upper right arm out of the shoulder socket without even pushing against a wall. I used to do this all the time when I was a kid ’cause it made a big cool divot at the front of my shoulder and a satisfying (gross) meaty sound. As a young adult I realized I might be damaging the joint (though it never hurts) and stopped doing it voluntarily—but it still dislocates by accident pretty easily.

I also (relatedly?) have loose ligaments in my feet, so you can move my toes around like a paper fan if you’re so inclined. (I never am, though that doesn’t hurt either.) It seems like this should give me super swimming powers but all it means is unpleasant & painful arthritis in my toes.

I also can see colors through the bottoms of my feet, which *is* a superpower albeit not a very useful one and has more to do with my brain or peripheral vision or something
posted by miles per flower at 1:26 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Reynaud's, which does not alas make me foxy -- when my hands get cold a particular nerve gets miffed and shuts off all blood supply to the ends of my fingers, so they turn really pale and get colder.
posted by clew at 1:27 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


I’ve got lots of mildly weird things going on, but the one I really can’t figure out is that when I am in an extremely emotionally tense situation I get the shivers uncontrollably. It has only ever happened in a few very specific situations: the first time I kiss someone I have a huge crush on (but it’s happened every single first time), when I’m having a conversation and I feel an intense connection with the other person, when my son was born, and every fucking time I go to the symphony.

It’s embarrassing and has freaked out every boyfriend I’ve ever had. When my son was born I was shivering so hard that I almost couldn’t hold him!
posted by lollymccatburglar at 2:11 PM on February 1 [7 favorites]


On my left hand, and only my left hand, if I bend my thumb to a right angle, my forefinger also has to curl into a hook. If I put resistance on the bent thumb even just by lightly holding it down, my forefinger will uncurl. So I was always disappointed when I was young that I couldn't do that disappearing split thumb trick bc my finger got in the way.
posted by greta simone at 2:12 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


I can vibrate my eyes.

I've only ever met one other person in the world who can do this: en ex-boyfriend. We'd just sit there and vibrate our eyes sometimes.
posted by millipede at 2:19 PM on February 1 [7 favorites]


my big toes naturally point up

We used to call those Don Martin feet.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:26 PM on February 1 [6 favorites]


Periodically I get irregular humming noises inside my head like a lawnmower about to take off-- and that I can perceive as a non-sound.

(i'm deaf)
posted by lineofsight at 4:17 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Huh, not to pathologize y'all's bodily experiences, but some of the things mentioned above make me want to, like, diagnose a thing. I am not a doctor, of course.


I have super low blood pressure and I'm cold all the time. I use chemical hand warmers every day (to the point where my hands get sore from clenching them) and I have electric blankets and space heaters at home and at work. I get tired of explaining to people that it has nothing to do with the weather outside, and that the coldness comes from *inside* of me.

This reminds me of a friend's description of his Raynaud's disease. I of course know nothing about whether you have other symptoms that would correlate with that.


My eyesight changes depending on whether my blood sugar is under control.

I thought the same thing as Eyebrows McGee did on this one. Your vision could be improving when your blood sugar is mildly out of control because fluid retention or leakage is affecting the curvature of your corneas. See also: diabetic retinopathy.


I can't burp. If I drink a bunch of pop or something my stomach and throat will emit a low intermittent growling sound for a couple of hours which I guess is the gas escaping slowly, but I never have like a belch.

I also can't burp, IAmUnaware! Instead, in the last 2-3 years, I've started making creaking sounds from the esophageal area when gassy


This throat tightness sounds a lot like what can be attributed to laryngopharyngeal reflux disease, which I suspect I have (but refuse to go through the super obnoxious tube-down-the-nose testing to diagnose, especially considering you can just buy over-the-counter medication for it now). Other things that go along with that include occasional acid reflux that just immediately hits the back of your mouth with little provocation except, say, bending over; continual postnasal drip; and the nose itself dripping frequently (which other women in my family also experience). As I was reading the stories here (haven't even read the ones in the link yet, 'cause I'm much more interested in you guys' weird things than other strangers on the internet's weird things) I creaked a little myself. I actually can burp properly too, but a lot of my burps are exactly that sort of slow creaking sound. At one point I realized that my husband thought I was sighing at him or something when it happened, and I had to explain that no, that's just my body.


The older I get, the smaller my feet get. I was a consistent size 9 from adolescence to about five years ago, now one foot is a 7.5 to an 8 and the other is an 8, which makes shoe shopping fun.

My feet have just gotten bigger. Mine have grown almost a size and a half as an adult to finally be the same size as my mother's. It makes me wonder if in my case, there's something hormonal at play, as my vocal range has expanded, my hair has turned a bit more reddish and wavy, and certain food scents (ketchup left on a plate after a meal) bother me now in a way they never did before. Of course, I've also gained weight for the same hormonal reasons, but it seems like my feet are actually longer than they were, not just bigger.


Occasionally all sound will fade away from one ear. Once it's silent I'll hear high pitched ringing sound for twenty or thirty seconds. When the ringing stops normal hearing will fade back up in that ear.

I get this fairly often. I thought the brief attenuation and associated ringing were both tinnitus. I'm intrigued and a little horrified by the notion that this is happening when individual hair cells die. I had about an hour-long period of the attenuation part of that recently when I started an antibiotic that has hearing loss and tinnitus as possible but rare side effects, which completely freaked me out. I immediately reported it and I'm no longer taking that antibiotic, heh. (That was doubly interesting to me because some studies apparently suggest that this antibiotic can have otoprotective effects, but I guess that's more in the case where there's some possible mechanism of ototoxicity.)


I can also tell, for example, when a TV is on even if the cable box is off and the screen is black.

If it's a CRT, you might be hearing the flyback transformer. If it's an LCD, it might be the power supply. I can also hear stuff like this, though not every mosquito ringtone. You know what gets me? Tiny bubbles popping in a soda can. I'll hear it vaguely on the edge of perception for a while (like just now) before realizing what it is. I also always hear bugs and mice before I see them; trying to fall asleep sometimes, especially when I'm otherwise anxious (e.g., after a recent break-in), can be excruciating with house-settling and attic sounds. I have to run a fan at night, even in the winter, to even out tiny sounds in the background so I can sleep.


Anything ASMR like makes me super tense and stressy. My feet curl, my hands clench, my teeth grind. I hate it hate it hate it, even just thinking about it.

Crackling wrappers make me feel this way. I realized how much I hated it when I was at a conference in the fall and people were eating during sessions. Not only did it make it difficult to hear when there was no mic, it also just felt like nails on a chalkboard. Yet I do experience frisson, great waves of it sometimes, when listening to good harmony in music, large groups of people singing together, when a breakdown or chorus or drop hits hard in a song, etc. I just get it from music, not weird sounds.


I have single, gossamer-thin blond hair that is about 3" long on growing from my shoulder: an exuberant body hair. It's so light and thin that even lovers have never noticed it, but I distinctly recall first discovering it when I was in grade school (gym class) and am fond of it to this day. There's something oddly reassuring about looking down and seeing it.

I have one of these on one of my shoulder blades. I was pulling this hair that was under my shirt one time and then realized oh, that's attached to me.

Bodies are fascinating!
posted by limeonaire at 6:26 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


My feet have just gotten bigger.

Mine too. I'm up to a 14 mens in athletic shoes these days. I don't even bother going to shoe stores.
posted by octothorpe at 6:59 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


I also keep a running list titled "weird body things" and add to it when I find out the name of traits and conditions I have, whether inborn or acquired. Not all the things on the list are actually weird, per se, but most of them are relatively uncommon.

• frisson
• cilantrophile
• genderqueer
• dimples of Venus
• cusps of Carabelli
• torus palatinus
• photic sneeze (photoptarmosis)
• grapheme-color synesthesia
• dermatographism
• autoeczematization
• excoriation/dermatillomania
• occasional petechiae
• occasional minor palilalia
• depersonalization
• PTSD/startle response
• migraines
• scintillating scotoma
• tinnitus
• myopic astigmatism
• scapular dyskinesis
• bruxism/mild TMJ
• PCOS
• suspected LPRD
• have noticeably thin hairs
• can diverge eyes
• can feel myself salivate
• can hear tiny sounds
• allergic/react to 3 antibiotics
• allergic to 3 other chemicals

Then there's stuff I've had that's mostly in the past, or soon will be, but that I guess I'm still prone to having experienced.

• stenosing tenosynovitis
• plantar fasciitis
• mild bursitis
• recurrent ankle sprains
• confluent and reticulated papillomatosis

I am an odd kind of human, but being human is still super cool!
posted by limeonaire at 7:44 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


I can pop my upper right arm out of the shoulder socket without even pushing against a wall.

I'm amazed anyone can do this casually. My right shoulder joint is unstable and subluxes about once a year--meaning it pops out of the socket for about five seconds and then rolls back in on its own. It hurts, but the pain isn't what makes it so awful. The sensation is profoundly disturbing, as if some primal part of my brain is screaming "WRONG! WRONG! THIS IS WRONG! FIX IT FIX IT FIX IT!"

It's such an awful feeling that I feel anxiety if I move my arm a certain way, since it tends to sublux during a specific type of movement. In sports medicine, they call this apprehension and it's a diagnostic marker.
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:31 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Hypatia: A dentist once said "You have a magnificent jawbone into which to implant things."

Are you sure that was a real dentist? And how is your magnificent jawbone?

In high school bio, in teaching about gene dominance told us to look at our knuckles. He told us that we would either have hair on all our second finger segments, or we wouldn't, due to gene dominance. I was excited to see I had no hair on the second segment of my pointer fingers, but hair on the rest. "Wow," I thought, "I'm weird!" Years later, I looked online and found that on the middle segments, there is wide fluctuation with apparent familial and racial tendencies. Bwa-bwaaaa (sad trombone)

Later in life, I realized that my eyes see perceive different tones - the world looks more blue-toned in my right eye, and more red-toned in my left eye. This, too, is somewhat common. I also have some distinct eye floaters that provided hours of distraction as a kid.

And due to what I can only guess are some weird wear patterns in my pants, the outside of my leg, half way down my calf, are hairless. There's stubble on my shins, and my inside legs are hairy. Bodies are indeed weird.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:58 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Like someone upthread - I also can't burp. I read sometime last year that it may be due to an overactive....whatever muscle in your esophagus is supposed to regulate food going down but still letting air back up.

I also have a tangle of burst capillaries on one of my shins that's been there for years. Some doctors have asked me whether it's a bruise, I say "no", they ask if it bothers me, I say no, and they say "....well...okay then" and that's it.

My inner ears are unusually sensitive to sinus congestion, to the point that if I have a bad cold, I also get the kind of weird woozy dizziness you get after heavy drinking. My father has that too - it took him about five visits to his doctor for dizziness, thinking he was having a stroke or a heart attack, only for his doctor to finally point out that "You know, you always seem to do this when you also have a cold" for them to figure out that that's what was going on.

My eyesight is 20/20 in one eye and 20/10 in the other. But I'm old enough to require reading glasses more often now. I stubbornly keep them at the lowest possible strength, though - usually exaclty 1.0 does it, which is the lowest possible strength and is kinda hard to find.

I'm prone to cysts; mostly they've showed up on skin (some on face, some on back), but I've had a couple of "I have a breast lump" scares which sent me to my doctor, who sent me to get a sonogram and a mammogram. I had had two mammograms already by the age of 32. In both cases they found that the big lump that freaked me out was just a cyst, and my doctor then sat me down and said "okay, you know that whole monthly breast self exam thing we tell you to do? ...I think we need to change it in your case." Now, I check myself for lumps, but if I find one, I am to wait a month and see if it goes away on its own. If it does, it was just a cyst.

The OB/GYN realm, speaking of cysts, has been quirkiest. It was a cyst that did this to me. I've had only one ovary since I was 26. My doctor after the fact told me that this also meant that: since women's ovaries take turns ovulating, since I only had one, I technically would only be fertile every other month. So since I was 26, every other month I basically was firing blanks. (It may have also contributed to the earlier-than-my-mother perimenopause, since I had less of the hormones.)

And even when my organs are behaving themselves, they're apparently in unusual places. I had a gyno visit where - with my permission - the doctor let a med student give me the exam for practice. But she was looking in the usual places for where everything was supposed to be, not finding it, and quietly freaking out:

"So, student, just look straight ahead and you should see the cervix."
"um...it's...uh....it's not there."
"What do you mean? Just look straight ahead."
"....I....I am. It's not there."
"That's ridiculous, let me see - oh. Oh. Huh. That's weird. Where is - ohhhhh, it's over to the left. Oh, okay then. So now that you see it, just look right on the end and you should find the os for the pap smear."
"um...it's...not there...."

I knew my bits were weird, so I was more amused than anything else. I think I patted the student's hand and apologized.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:53 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


my dentist once told me that I have "the craziest, weirdest shaped molars".

when I went for a consultation before getting laser eye surgery, I was told I have extremely thin corneas. an explanation of what this meant followed, but as a woman who has always been overweight and has never felt comfortable, I didn't hear any of it - I was just delighted to know some part of me was thin! (it's now a running joke between my mom and I, her being jealous of my thin corneas.)
posted by gursky at 6:03 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Oh, a dentist told me once that my bottom teeth grew in a perfect half circle, which he doesn't see very often. I have gone through my life with people thinking I had braces and I never have. I've always been grateful for this.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:12 AM on February 2


A few things.
1) I have partial paralysis on the left side of my face, due to some nerve pinching when I was born. My left eye doesn't close on its own; only if I close both eyes at once will it close, and even then I've been told it doesn't always close all the way. This means my left eye is always dry and tears super easily (in wind, bright sun, dust, when I'm tired, when I'm excited, you name it). It also means wearing eye makeup is tricky...you try getting your eyes to match when you have to close both of them to do the left side. I don't usually wear eye makeup, and if I do, its super-simple.
Also, the left side of my mouth droops down, so I look upset when I'm not smiling, and like I'm sneering when I am smiling. Its great! (its not great)
2) I have a lot of moles on my body, and skin tags, and other things. They're always changing (though a few big ones stay the same). I've had moles removed, but honestly there are so many of them that unless they're seriously getting in the way I just leave them be. I'll probably get skin cancer and never notice.
3) As I get older and my eyes change, I find that I no longer need glasses to read or work on the computer, or anything close up. Still need them for anything at a distance. Sort of the opposite normal people who either start needing glasses for the first time, or need stronger prescriptions.
4) I have super low iron, its a family thing, and supplemental iron only helps a little. I cannot give blood because of this (they won't let me, its dangerous). I'm also immune to Magneto.
posted by sandraregina at 12:28 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


When I was in my mid-20s, I had a bad bout of iritis in my left eye. I should have got it looked at earlier, so it got worse than it should have. When I finally went to the hospital, they got it resolved with lots of anti-inflammatories. (The paradox of iritis is that bright lights make your eyes hurt, but the doctor needs to shine bright lights in your eyes to diagnose it. I went to a teaching hospital, so lots of interns shone bright lights in my eye!)

However, the swelling and inflammation left a ring of pigment cells from my iris fused to my lens. Under certain circumstances - particularly raindrops on my glasses at night - I can see the shadow or reflection of the synechiae.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 1:02 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


....Multicellular, you've behooved me to add another "what is it like in your body" thing - this may not be physiological so much as it is psychological, but for me, reading or seeing anything detailed involving damage or illness to eyes gives me total flip-out body horror wiggins. I wince and shudder and sometimes even flail like I'm trying to drive away bats.

Like I Just did when I clicked on that Wiki link you left us. *gah*

About a month ago I tried watching Un Chien Andalou for the first time, that was tricky
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:38 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


(The paradox of iritis is that bright lights make your eyes hurt, but the doctor needs to shine bright lights in your eyes to diagnose it. I went to a teaching hospital, so lots of interns shone bright lights in my eye!)

oh yeah I had iritis - twice. It's a nightmare not the least because of the threat to losing your vision. The second time it took forever to go away and I was seeing my ophthalmologist every couple of weeks and had to get my ocular pressure tested every time, which involved being poked in the eye. I usually get better at stuff like this but nope. I have never gotten better at being poked in the eye on purpose.
posted by GuyZero at 1:47 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


filthy light thief, we might be brothers!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:48 PM on February 2


Since we're talking eyeballs, my contribution to this thread is I developed severe and worsening myopia as a kid at a rate that alarmed people to such an extent that I had to learn Braille, and it just got worse through the years. Every six months or year meant a new prescription and thicker bottle-bottom lenses. At its worst, my vision was measured in both eyes around -13.75. Yeah.

Until I started taking natural thyroid hormone replacement (I was on synthetic T4 for a while previously with no change). Went to my trusted optometrist with blurred corrected vision and corresponding headaches, and my vision had suddenly and pretty fucking dramatically improved -- about 5 spheres. The effect leveled off and I'm still very nearsighted, but at least back into the "normal" range of myopic, which is so much easier to correct with lenses.

My optometrist has still never seen anything else like it.
posted by vers at 5:34 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


When I was in my mid-20s, I had a bad bout of iritis in my left eye. I should have got it looked at earlier, so it got worse than it should have.

Oh man, I had really bad iritis a couple of times about five or six years ago. It led to some really crippling headaches. When I finally saw a doctor about it, he sent me for a blood test.

Turns out I have the HLA B27 antigen, which is associated with all kinds of inflammatory things. Like iritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Thankfully, so far so good, other than the occasional bout of weird joint inflammation. Although my wife just pointed out that my right eye has been super red for a few days so...
posted by uncleozzy at 5:44 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


My weird physical quirk is that when I am getting sick my big toe will beat the shit out of the toe next to it. I do it completely subconciously, and it's often the first sign I get that stuff's really going wrong.
posted by yellowbinder at 6:54 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


That's a fascinating a story vers, and with yours as a guide I was able to find a similar account:
I am nearsighted (myopic with astigmatism) and wear eyeglasses; I got my first pair when I was 10 years old. In my teen years, my prescription continued to worsen, and my glasses got thicker and thicker each year until I finally switched to contact lenses in high school. Back then, lenses were made of glass or plastic (polycarbonate or high index did not exist), and high prescriptions resulted in thick, heavy, unflattering lenses.

In the past few years, my prescription has been decreasing in power, and my lenses are getting thinner each time I get new glasses. Both eyes have dropped 2-3 diopters in power, which is significant. The spherical correction in my right eye has dropped from -8.0 to -5.75, and my left eye from -7.5 to -4.5. I wondered if thyroid levels could affect the eyes, and sure enough, there were some interesting studies. One study[1] on children said: “In all thyroid conditions the eyes of the patient show some abnormal condition. In the hyperthyroid we have the exopthalmus [bulging of the eye] and in the hypothyroid child there is usually found myopia [nearsighted] with or without astigmatism.”

Another study[2] found an association of progressive myopia in children with hypothyroidism. That describes exactly what I had growing up! These children looked completely normal, but had a low basal metabolic rate. Their eyes were healthy (no glaucoma or other signs of disease); they just got progressively more nearsighted each year.

My eye doctor said that most who are nearsighted become less so as they approach the age where they need bifocals, but the change in their prescription is usually much less, not the 2 to 3 diopters I’ve experienced. I think getting on a physiological dose of thyroid hormone (both T4 and T3) has helped tremendously. Pictures of me from just a few years ago, when I was taking about 2 grains of desiccated thyroid, look a little wide-eyed (a deer in the headlights look). Lid retraction is a hyperthyroid sign and could be a sign of overmedication.[3] I may have been taking too much T3 for me at that time, because I have since lowered the desiccated dose and added some T4 to better match normal thyroid gland output, and my eyes look normal now.
By my mid-20s my myopia had progressed to -10 in each eye with no astigmatism, but my thyroid function was high normal.

Note that he or she was also taking natural thyroid.
posted by jamjam at 11:41 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I can often detect very subtle scents (roses, chemicals that others think have no smell) with the roof of my mouth.
posted by unearthed at 2:09 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


While I'm overall super happy to have gotten my vision surgically corrected, there are times when I miss the amazing close-up vision I used to have. Also, while glasses/contacts were a hassle, there were times (like when I had a headache) when taking them off and letting the world be blurry was relaxing, like being in a darkened room. I could take a little mini vacation from having to see the world, and I can't do that anymore.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:35 AM on February 3 [3 favorites]


Yes, I always liked looking at the Christmas tree lights without my glasses as a kid. I can't unfocus my eyes enough to get the same effect now.
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:09 AM on February 3 [5 favorites]


Hey dustsquid, I've had that all my life too, except as I've gotten older the pitch of the high-pitched sound has lowered. I don't think it's a coincidence that I can no longer hear frequencies above 12kHz.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:24 AM on February 3


I have one pointy ear.

I am tallish and top-heavy--longer legs than torso. I have high archeswalk on the outside of my feet. I like to think that this is why fall down a lot, but honestly, I think it's because I overlook the stairs, roots, curbs and thresholds.

I have extremely complicated, immersive plot-heavy dreams. I remember a lot of them, even years (even decades) after the fact. They are rarely, if ever, nightmares. And sometimes, I definitely have agency within them.

Sometimes (and this has happened since I was a child), usually in the morning or right at twilight, I am suffused, scalp to soul with a feeling I can't descibe--it's the kind of gorgeous, ennervating, anticipation, as if I'm on the brink of falling madly love or about to have the greatest thing happen to me. It doesn't last long (even the actual marvels of my life rarely conjure such feelings), but in those moments, which can occur even when I'm sick or depressed or otherwise miserable, I feel poistively sublime.

I have an overactive imagination so I have a lot of benign hallucinations .

I'm an atheist, and very much not a Stevie Nicks and Fairies sort of girl, but sometimes I think I can smell magic.
posted by thivaia at 10:28 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


For like the whole first year of wearing glasses, every time I put them on I had this feeling that I was warping into the third dimension. It was like VFX you might see on a SciFi show when they go faster than light. IT WAS SO COOL! Big fan of glasses now.

That was also my experience when I got my first pair of glasses when I was thirteen. One eye was much weaker than the other, and while the improved stereovision was noticeable within the store, when I stepped out onto the sidewalk... whoooooaaaaaa.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:52 PM on February 3


I know I’ve told you folks about my leg a few times, but have I ever shown you a picture?

That was taken right as an infection was setting in; it’s usually more purple than pink, and it doen’t really give a good sense of the whole leg. The spot covered by the bandage is the grossest; it’s where the bugs get in to cause the infections - I actually think my knee is kinda weird-cool, but only from my angle. Looking from the front I don’t like it as much. That little adhesive dressing is what sets off the TSA’s porno-scanners so now I usually have to take my pants down to get on the plane.

I bitch about my leg a lot, but one cool thing about having all those extra blood vessels is that the toes on my right foot stay warm long after my left toes have gone numb from the cold. I know it’s really time to stop playing in the snow when my right toes are cold. Pretty handy when you live in Minnesota!
posted by nickmark at 5:19 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


I love this thread! So many vivid examples of the variations possible with the human body. And I'm grateful we're discussing this now, and not, say, 1689, so I won't have to report any of you to the Witch Council.
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:15 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


I only ever get sick when I am on my period, which is miserable, but also kind of convenient because at least all the grossness happens at one time.

I don't have any wisdom teeth. I also still have a baby tooth (I'm 28) that doesn't have an adult tooth underneath it. 12 years or so, I had a freak fragment of tooth (a long, thin piece of tooth that looked unpleasantly like a slivered almond) start growing sideways out of my gum on the other side of my mouth from Absent Adult Tooth. The oral surgeon who removed it kept it to show his students, so I guess that was kind of cool.
posted by coppermoss at 4:01 AM on February 4 [4 favorites]


I can, on occasion, crack my sternum.
posted by donpardo at 9:19 AM on February 4 [4 favorites]


I have GERD and am mostly unwilling to admit it to anyone in real life. It means that I'm constantly nauseous and my stomach will growl particularly loudly when I'm having a chat with a differently-gendered person than myself who I find attractive.
posted by 3lliot at 3:31 PM on February 4


I have the unfortunate combination of flat feet/pronated ankles and bow legs--I with my ankles together my knees are a good 5 inches apart. I get a lot of cowboy jokes.

This has led to no end of lower-extremity woes, including countless rolled ankles, surgeries on both knees and the resulting arthritis decades later.

At 45 I'm still very active, but my knees click, pop and swell constantly and randomly. Running hurts too much and hiking downhill without trekking poles is murder.

And I'm the world's biggest fan of foot massages.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:23 AM on February 6


I am standard issue sedentary with a baseline of good health I'm sure I don't deserve (must. move. body.) Age is coming for us all, and I know that staring at screens for my last 10 years of work has affected my vision. Nothing has ever made me feel too far out from the norm - I only had vestigial wisdom teeth, I have giant boobs which means back pain to say nothing of scars from a lifetime of underwire bras, I have possibly the world's shortest hamstrings (wave at your toes, don't touch them!) but nothing extravagant.

Chiming in instead with my partner's various weird things. He has what I call muppet ankles, which roll at the slightest opportunity (being mere layers of felt stapled together). He has constant foot cramps. He broke his collarbone as a kid and has a giant lump.

When we had been together only a short time he had open heart surgery - aortic insufficiency, lifelong, that was suddenly acute on his 30th birthday. I'm pretty sure the EMTs who came over thought there was some weird drug situation since I was all dressed up to go out and he was all grey and twitchy. His artificial valve clicks with every heartbeat, most noticeable at night when we are quiet.

The more recent ailment is called mycosis fungoides, and it's cancer. But a weird cancer. A cutaneous lymphoma that generally does not progress beyond how they stage it when you come in, and manifests as flaky patches. The typical presentation is called "bathing suit" because the patches are distributed on the thighs and lower torso. It looks enough like a generic dermatitis that it often goes unrecognized, but you can't moisturize your way out of it. We are at the point where we forget for long stretches that it is cancer, but new patches develop and remind us (I generally find the new ones while giving backrubs and the like and it's always a bit of a jolt). The doctors were like "We wish we did not have to call it cancer in cases like [partner's] because it acts like it's just a rash, but one that never goes away."
posted by Lawn Beaver at 10:55 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Like klanawa, I have temporal-lobe epilepsy, it manifests as seizures which feel like deja-vu except they come in through my sense of smell and it was totally freaky and I thought I was going even more nuts than I've always been (manic depression over here) until a friend who also has manic depression and temporal lobe epilepsy told me what was happening to me. Except then I lost my sense of smell, by going for a long, long time without oxygen (long story) and, while I suspect I'm still having those wacky seizures, I don't know for sure. I sortof miss them; they were pretty cool, once I found out that they weren't me sliding into cuckoos nest psychosis through my damn sense of smell.

Related -- I've only ever found one anti-depressant that's ever worked for me -- welbutrin -- but it also caused me to have more seizures (I read up on it and you're not supposed to even be in the same neighborhood as welbutrin if you're epileptic) but I damn sure didn't care because it's way better to have more wacky seizures than horror show depression. I have never told my shrink or my regular doc -- and I never, ever will -- never told them that I've got temporal lobe epilepsy and that welbutrin caused those seizures to ramp up because I don't want them to get all fussy about me taking welbutrin and I'm pretty sure they would. (Plus I've got a sister who has full-blown epilepsy, and if they even knew about her they'd probably start getting all hand-wavey.) And it doesn't matter anymore anyways, since they've disappeared along with my sense of smell.

Also, the shortest I've ever been is tall for my age. I'm a galoot, 6'6" tall since I was 13. And stayed that height up until the past five or six years when I started to lose height, down now to 6'4" -- if this continues at this rate, if I live to 80 I'll be able to hide behind a boot.
posted by dancestoblue at 12:27 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


My right ear sticks out. When I was 8 my parents asked me if I wanted it pinned back. I decided against it as “I don’t care and if other people care about my ears then that’s their problem”

8 year old me was the wisest me.
posted by gnuhavenpier at 11:13 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


I told y'all about my clavicle pin but forgot to mention my bionic dick! (NSFW video on the page [not of me!]). After radical prostatectomy and radiation, my poor bits were too pooped to, er, pop; the nerves were too damaged to respond to Viagra or Cialis. Injections worked, but left me extremely uncomfortable afterwards. Nobody likes an aching dick, even after good sex.

The implant works well, although my penis feels different than before. It took us both a while to get used to it, and now it's the new normal. Having a controllable erection is extra-useful because one of my depression meds gives me moderate anorgasmia—it takes a while but eventually arrives.

Anyway, here's a surgery video (NSFW or L [not of me!]) for the intellectually curious.

TMI?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:18 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


Oh, if someone I don’t know that well is kind to me I have a very strange sensation in my head. It’s almost like pins and needles. I used to get it all the time (I remember a neighbours grandma giving us some chocolate biscuits and the minute they dropped into my hand the sensation was triggered.)

Mixed in with the pins and needles feeling is an even stranger feeling or extreme lightheadedness. As though my head is a helium balloon. It always reminds me of the time I went to pick up what I thought was a brick but which turned out to be a discoloured foam fishing net float.
posted by gnuhavenpier at 11:29 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


I seem to have rather small internal parts. I burst my eardrum a few years ago and doctors could only really see what was going on using pediatric instruments. Likewise when I had a colonoscopy. Woke up to the doctor telling me that the reason it took a bit longer was that they had to go get children's instruments. Had an MRI and the doctor described his fascination with my tiny tiny blood vessels. I'm 42 and 5 foot nine, with a regular old skin organ covering miniature parts...
posted by recklessbrother at 7:42 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


I've got 1: a perfectly straight vertical black line growing through one thumbnail
2: had my orthodontic surgeon confirm that my tooth enamel is in the top 1% of hardness; and
3: unusually resistant to hypothermia - I've fallen through the ice more than once and been able to hike back home every time with no ill effects, beyond a distrust of ice fishermen.
posted by LegallyBread at 12:41 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]


-When I watch people climb or think about it, my palms and soles tingle and get warm/ increased blood flow.
-I dropped a watermelon on my left pointer finger working at a grocery store and now when it's really cold, that finger goes cold and blue much faster than the others.
-I have a moderate case of face blindness
-Used to get every cold and flu, and just thought my immune system was bad. Then I spent a year really sick- epsteinn-barr virus, h pylori infestation in my stomach (the bacteria that causes ulcers), inexplicable rapid tooth decay, and constant nausea and gut pain. I kept a journal of how frequently I was having bouts of vomiting, and had blood and stool tests, etc. Changed my diet to gluten free, and finally solved the problems. But I'll never know if it's celiac disease, because the test looks for signs of it's damage, meaning I'd have to eat gluten and suffer for months to know for sure
-Related, I used to be lactose intolerant, but that turned out to just be a symptom of gluten-caused intestinal damage. Now I can have all the cheese
-I also used to not be able to use fingerprint readers because my hands peeled and wrinkled so easily
posted by Warmdarksky at 9:17 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


There are lots of wisdom teeth comments. I think nature is slowly getting rid of them.

My father had no wisdom teeth. I thought I was lucky, until I was in my 40s, and two decided to grow in. (I think my dentist always knew they were there, waiting to grow out). They grew in normally, but kept cutting my cheeks, so I decided to have them pulled.

My kids both have four wisdom teeth, so this nice DNA alteration seems to be lost in our family. Come to think of it, I have no idea if my relatives or their kids have wisdom teeth. I'll have to ask.
posted by eye of newt at 10:51 PM on February 10


My teeth are pretty mutant. I have never had a cavity, but my teeth do seem to break randomly, so I have lots of fillings from the times when I spat after brushing and half a tooth fell out. I also was missing four teeth genetically (one back from my incisors, and one of my incisors itself grew in back-to-front, which I like). The missing four teeth meant there was plenty of room for my wisdom teeth, so I still have those and they've never caused problems.

There is a spot on the back of my scalp where if I press it or scratch it, it causes a stinging pain on my left forearm. That's kind of cool.

Otherwise I think my body is within normal operating parameters.
posted by lollusc at 5:28 PM on February 11


Oh, and I never got travel sick (or any kind of nausea, really - had never vomited in memory, although my parents said I did as a baby) until I went on a five day trip on a tiny yacht about 10 years ago. I got seasick on that trip, and since then I get nauseous at the drop of a hat, so I guess I permanently broke something. (I still don't actually vomit, though.)
posted by lollusc at 5:31 PM on February 11


I'm developing Dupuytren's contracture because it turns out in old age, that's where I'm a Viking.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:28 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


I see what you did there
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:16 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]



-Used to get every cold and flu, and just thought my immune system was bad. Then I spent a year really sick- epsteinn-barr virus, h pylori infestation in my stomach (the bacteria that causes ulcers), inexplicable rapid tooth decay, and constant nausea and gut pain. I kept a journal of how frequently I was having bouts of vomiting, and had blood and stool tests, etc. Changed my diet to gluten free, and finally solved the problems. But I'll never know if it's celiac disease, because the test looks for signs of it's damage, meaning I'd have to eat gluten and suffer for months to know for sure


I have celiac disease, and I went on to develop pernicious anemia, which is not an uncommon trajectory according to my hematologist.

I am extremely Doctor-averse, and by the time my partner and my most recent ex were able to wrestle me to the ground and force me into an appointment, my hematocrit had fallen to 10.

The scene at the doctor's office was actually pretty comical from my point of view: the doctor took a blood sample early in the appointment and sent it to a lab in the same building, and as my partner and I were getting into the car to go back home, a side door facing the parking lot burst open, and the doctor emerged waving a sheaf of papers and shouting "Blood! Blood! You have no blood!" as she ran toward us across the lot. And when she got there, she jerked the car door out of my hand and knocked me off my feet into the passenger seat as she simultaneously demanded that we go to a nearby ER, and that I sign some kind of medical release form.

At the hospital, they confirmed that I did indeed have a hematocrit of 10, and also measured an LDL of 4330.

After I was installed in the ICU, the head nurse there informed me that their previous low hematocrit was 17, and my hematologist told me he had a number of patients with double my hematocrit who never walked again. Yet I somehow came through unscathed, and though he ran a bunch of extra tests to try to figure out why -- he had been a researcher before becoming a clinician -- my hematologist could never figure out how I did it. The last look I remember on his face was a frown of frustration.
posted by jamjam at 1:58 PM on February 12 [8 favorites]


I don't get brain freeze!
posted by danb at 8:04 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


A few years ago, I had rocks in my ears. Every time I looked up and to the right, I would get profoundly dizzy and need to lay down. Additionally, rolling over in my sleep would wake me up due to the spinning and I'd have to cling to the bed for safety. Eventually I went to the doctor after it lasted too long for a sinus infection and I was diagnosed within a few minutes. Apparently your eyes damn near spin in your head trying to find center while the rocks move about in your inner ear.

It eventually went away.
posted by teleri025 at 12:51 PM on February 13


One of the most fun parts of Pilates teacher training was my whole class discovering physical quirks ("Look at Claire's tiny scapulae you guys!") Like my clavicles being really high-set; between them and my short T-Rex arms, I can't undo a bra from the back. I also have the crackliest right ankle you've ever heard - it's been known to give exercise class teachers a start.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 2:36 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I also (relatedly?) have loose ligaments in my feet, so you can move my toes around like a paper fan if you’re so inclined. (I never am, though that doesn’t hurt either.) It seems like this should give me super swimming powers but all it means is unpleasant & painful arthritis in my toes.

I wonder if it's what's technically called "ligamentous laxity".

My body's pretty vanilla. I've got the Bailard eyebrows coming in, and the Bailard scalpline slowly making room for them.

Also, I'm vegetarian and allergic to peppers and mushrooms. If I go to one of the franchise burrito places it's like the only blasted thing I can reliably eat is the tortilla. <sotto voce>Ok, I get it that they put the damn peppers into the grilled veggies and all eighteen of the salsas, including, notably, the pico de gallo. But why did they put peppers in the rice too?!?</sotto voce>
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:20 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


at 50, I have never had a cavity. My sweat is acidic enough that all of my lovers have experienced itching as a result of intimate contact. Periodically, I must dilate and patch one of my eyes while I dose it with massive amounts of steroids in order to arrest autoimmune inflammation and to prevent permanent blindness. I do not have any apparent male-pattern baldness. It seems more likely that I do not have ankylosing spondylitis than that I do have it, but the jury's out, I guess. I have no mobility impairments due to various arthritic pains and growths. I appear to have an atypical pain response, which may be what underlies my mobility retention.
posted by mwhybark at 11:42 PM on February 19


Every so often I experience sharp pain in my fingers when typing or working outside or with tools.

When this occurs I'll examine them and 95% of the time I'll find a long forgotten cactus spine has worked its way up to wards the surface of my finger and needs a bit of help to come out.

I've grown cacti and succulents for 30 or so years. Over that time I've ended up with hundreds of spines disappear into my hands and then re-appear - sometimes months later.

The strangest thing is that they often end up re-appearing in different places from where they first went in. A particularly large spine went into my thumb (I couldn't extricate it, so I disinfected it and bandaged it until it stopped hurting) but ended up working its way through into my index finger a little while later. I was able to get it out from there.

I've rebuilt our cactus and succulent garden at home a couple of times, whenever I do I can't do much with my hands for about a week afterwards, and have ended up with really poor temperature detection in my hands - some days I can pick up hot things unthinkingly with no real issue, other days I struggle with a cup of tea. It is strange.
posted by chris88 at 6:37 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


I don't seem to be capable of getting a hangover. Ever.
posted by PearlRose at 8:49 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


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