Thursday, September 4, 2008

Doctor, My Tongue is Blue

Image by beate

I'm a real sucker for any new product that has the words dry mouth on it's label, so when I spotted a new mouth wash type product that promised to re-hydrate my mouth, I grabbed the biggest bottle that was available. 

Mmmm. Minty fresh, yet soothing. A magically moist mouth didn't materialize, but then I'll take relief for oral dryness even if is for just minutes at a time. I found myself swishing then spitting several times a day. 

This morning, as I looked in the mirror, yawning and bleary-eyed, I did a double take. Something looked very strange. A blue tongue? Yes, a bright blue tongue!  Since my brain was still asleep, it did not occur to me for a full two minutes of panic that my newest oral hygiene product was the culprit. 

I can only imagine Dr. S's reaction if I would have frantically e-mailed her before my morning cup of coffee kicked in: 
Dear Dr. S:

I am very concerned about my tongue. It has turned a strange shade of blue. I have reviewed my anatomy and physiology books from nursing school, granted they were printed in 1975 but anatomy is anatomy, after all. I am certain that a blue tongue is not normal. In spite of feeling otherwise fine, I believe that this is definitely a pathological symptom that requires immediate treatment. Should I proceed to the nearest emergency room for what appears to be hypoxia of the oral cavity? Or should I simply call 911?

Dr. S. is fortunate that my laptop takes a few minutes to fire up. That delay, along with a jolt of caffeine, saved her from reading an email from an idiot. I would deserve this response:
Dear Julia,

The fact that you are able to turn on your computer and type indicates to me that your condition is not critical at this time. 

As far as I know, the only creature capable of producing a blue glossopharyngeal surface is the Australian blue-tongue lizard. Unless you have developed a taste for fungi, insects, and slugs, it would appear that this unique symptom is a result of something not life-threatening. 

Dr. S.
Thank goodness for Folgers. 


Charlotte said...

Hi Julia,
very funny post - it's good to keep a sense of humour about these things! Will you carry on using the mouthwash? I think I'll stick with gum, myself.

OTOH, that lizard's tongue looks like mine feels. Maybe there is a connection...

Vicky said...

LOL Hilarious! Have you ever thought about stand up comedy as a profession? Afterall Laughter is the best medicine!