Saturday, August 4, 2007


Since I have mentioned my little problem with textile-induced vertigo, I might as well also confess another little sensory oddity I have. Or maybe it's just a nervous tic. I call it the "eardrumroll." The name says it all. It's an irritating sensation of having someone play a drumroll on my eardrum.

It happens routinely when a doctor shines a bright light into my eyes. I have no idea how my eyes are connected to my eardrum; I have asked about this, and gotten nothing but funny looks in response.

Unfortunately, this "eardrumroll" thing also happens when I am just plain sick: when I have congested sinus and mucus draining down my throat, and probably an ear infection to boot. Last summer this happened, my doctor wasn't convinced I had an ear infection, so all he gave me was some nasal decongestant. I then suffered through a two weeks of having an eardrumroll every few minutes.

That wasn't the worst of it, though; for several days, I was also "hearing double" in my right ear. Voices and musical notes came at me on two pitch-levels simultaneously. The "true pitch" was stronger, but I also heard a softer version of everything pitched a few steps higher. It was the auditory equivalent of this photograph, in which two images of the same subject are exposed out of alignment, and one of them looks a bit ghostly. Anyway, this wasn't just irritating; it was maddening. It made me want to hide my head under a pillow for a week. Luckily (?) all this happened during my vacation...

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