Thanks to little pixie for the photo.
Recently I was told I had a flat throat. After a sleep study and CT scan, a diagnosis has been made. But I think I would’ve been better off not knowing.
It’s not my enlarged thyroid. It’s not a tumor, narrowed windpipe, or life-threatening congenital deformity of the throat itself.
It’s my damn tongue.
The doctor explains: “You see, your tongue begins farther back than the normal tongue. This causes your throat opening to flatten. When you lie down, your tongue falls back and the opening is even flatter.”
Hearing this, my tongue tripled in size.
“Now, this isn’t bad or good. It’s just the way your tongue was designed. Some people are tall, some people are short . . .”
I finish the sentence: “And some people have freakish mutant tongues.”
He goes on to assure me it’s no big deal. The only issue is snoring, and if I’m bothered by that, my options are surgery, a palate-stretching procedure, or a mouth guard. No, no, and no.
I tell him I don’t care about the snoring and my husband can wear earplugs and can me and my freak tongue just get the hell out of there please?
Driving home, I think about my tongue. What else will I ever think about again? Currently, my tongue takes up my whole mouth. When I swallow, it’s full of tongue. Where does my tongue actually begin back there? What does it attach to? Have you ever thought about that? The root of your tongue? You’re thinking about it now, aren’t you?
How am I going to eat with this tongue jammed halfway down my throat? Or talk? Tongue-y gibberish is the best I can hope for, along with stares of disgust and pity.
I can’t resist the urge to open wide and check out my tongue in my rearview mirror. Wider . . . wider . . . oops! You know, people should really cross at the light. A tongue-obsessed driver could be bearing down on you.
When I went to bed that night, I felt my huge, freakish tongue sliding inexorably back into my throat. But I knew I wasn’t really choking.
My problem is far worse than mere choking or suffocation.
I am aware of my tongue.
And now you are, too.
Peanuts cartoon courtesy of this site