Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Harriet The Tear Duct Slug

I have a really disgusting story to share. Common sense tells me to never ever speak of it to anyone. But I decided to share it on the off chance that there might be one other person in the universe who has had a similar experience and is feeling like a lonely freak about it.

Obviously you will want to stop ready now if you have a delicate constitution. Whatever that is.

A few months ago I got a blocked tear duct in my right eye. I pretty much diagnosed myself, thanks to Dr. Google, and in the process I learned a lot about how our tear ducts work and are connected to other stuff in our face.

I always thought our tears came from the tiny holes on the inside corners of our upper and lower eye lids. I've thought that for 48 years. I was wrong...for 48 years.

The little holes we see on our eyelids are not where the tears originate, they are the drain holes for our tears. The tears originate from tiny glads that are located under our upper eyelids. I swear it. This video proves it:


So after diagnosing and educating myself, I also researched ways to eliminate blocked tear ducts. They are quite painful and can become infected. Warm compresses and gentle massaging seemed to be the way to go. I tried this for several days and was unable to make it go away so I ended up at the eye doctor. She gave me some antibiotic drops to stave off infection and some steroid drops to shrink the swelling then asked me to come back in a week.

Shortly after I left the eye doctor's office, I felt something in the back of my throat and assumed it was a sinus thing or post nasal drip since I'm no stranger to either one. Whatever it was worked its way into my throat and out of my mouth where I spit it into a tissue. Those who suffer with chronic sinus problems can relate to how common this is for us.

But this time it was different. I looked at what I had spit into the tissue and was horrified. It looked exactly like a chewed up stick of Juicy Fruit gum...about an inch long, gray and rubbery. I swear I thought I had coughed up a piece of my brain.

I didn't ever want to see anything so disturbing again so I threw it away then went back to Dr. Google to find out if it was possible for chunks of grey matter to break loose and slide down your throat.

I learned that it was unlikely that my brain had broken into pieces but I also learned that whatever it was is not something that happens very often because I only found 2 other references to similar experiences on the whole internet. I deduced that the chunk I had spit out was the infection or whatever that was blocking my tear duct. It was the exact same shape as the little sac that runs alongside your nose and carries your tears into your nose and throat. Basically, I coughed up my infection. This was confirmed when I felt around my eye and nose and there was no longer any swelling or pain and I didn't even need to use the drops the doctor gave me.

Disgusting, right? On my follow up visit I told my eye doctor what happened and I told her my theory that I had hawked up an infection loogie. She sort of smiled, nodded and patted the top of my head. Figuratively of course.

I wrote that off as one of those inexplicable things that our bodies do sometimes and I only told a couple of people about it because ... well ... eww.

My right eye started watering excessively about a week ago and I thought it was allergies because evidently I had blocked the traumatic tear duct infection from my mind. Then a couple of days ago the pain and swelling showed up and triggered my memory. I immediately went after it with the warm compresses and gentle massaging. Or screaming hot compresses and rubbing as hard as I could to make it go away so I wouldn't have to relive the chunky nightmare from last time.

Yesterday was the worst of it and I decided if it wasn't better by today I would go to the eye doctor. When I woke up this morning I immediately felt the corner of my eye and the side of my nose and discovered there was no longer any swelling or pain. Thank you Jesus! I laid in bed for a while, reading email and Facebook notifications as is my usual routine, then I felt a tickle in the back of my throat. I swallowed and felt something long, thin and solid work its way into my mouth.

I bolted from the bed to spit it out before I puked and sure enough it was a gray rubbery chunk just like the last time.

I don't know why my tear ducts get blocked and I don't know if the blockage is from an infection or a foreign body or just one of those things that happens. But I am certain that the weird thing I've coughed up each time is the blockage.

So the moral of this story is...don't panic if you puke up a chunk of something that looks like your brain and instantly cures a tear duct problem you were having.

When this happened the first time I told Jayson about it but he never saw the evidence. Since I wasn't nearly as freaked out this time, I felt like I needed to share with him the mystery that is the human body so I texted him a picture of the yucky chunk:
JAYSON: Thank you for sharing your slug with me. Have you named it yet?

ME: Harriet The Tear Duct Slug.

JAYSON: Make sure you use it in a collage, or maybe as an earring.
Not gonna happen but he knows me well.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

AT&T overcompensates and then I grow a beard.

AT&T is cracking me up. I sent them that email on Tuesday explaining how I felt like they should send me a MicroCell for free, right? Less than 24 hours later, I had the free MicroCell in my hands. Problem solved. I think. I haven't actually hooked it up yet.

Just a few minutes ago I got a call from the manager of my local AT&T store saying he just got my email and would be glad to send me a free MicroCell. I did cc that email to a couple of different people so I can understand the communication breakdown. I don't know who forwarded it to my local store but I really think that was kind of a cool thing to do.

I told him that AT&T already shipped me one and he asked if they credited my account for it. I told him they never charged me in the first place. I felt like I shouldn't have to pay anything extra for cell service that I'm already paying for. He totally agreed and just wanted to make sure that I got what I needed and wasn't charged for it.

I'm not a big AT&T fan, but I am a loyal customer more out of habit than anything else. I'm happy with the results in this situation but definitely not happy with what it took to get there.

It reminds me of the Baby Lock ordeal. After it was all over they sent me an email asking me to remove my negative blog post since the situation was resolved. I refused because even though it was resolved in the end, it was still a negative experience because of how much trouble it was to get to the resolution! Der! 

The other day I was trying to figure out why I run into trouble with companies on such a regular basis. I decided I might be slightly high maintenance and probably bring on some of the trouble myself. I admit that. I wouldn't have had any trouble at all with AT&T if I'd just bought the MicroCell like they wanted me to. I guess most people would have done that and called it a day. But that didn't feel right to me so I made an issue out of it. Because it wasn't right. In my mind anyway. And I like to be right things to be done right. According to me.
This will be me after I get blacklisted by Tweezerman.

Okay fine, I'm a high maintenance control freak and I'm probably on my way to being blacklisted by corporate America so that no one in this country will ever let me buy their goods or services and I'll have to turn into one of those no impact people who lives "off the grid" (aka in a treehouse) and uses leaves for toilet paper.

Even in that situation I'm pretty confident that something won't go the way I think it should, I'll find someone to blame for it, and I'll have to carve my complaint letter on a piece of bark with the tooth I just lost.

That's my destiny.