The Phoenix

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Fun Fact 3: I Got A Bigger Uvula Than You Do

So it's 4:30 AM and I am gagging, nearly throwing up. I woke up suddenly with a very dry mouth and the sensatioin of something golf-ball sized stuck in the back of my throat. At first, I thought it was phlegm. I coughed, trying to hack it out. But it wouldn't come up.

I got a small flashlight and looked in my throat...

And that's when I saw it.

That little ball-hanging thing in the back of my throat was as large as a thumb!

What the hell? That's when I started to gag. Was I dying? Did I have throat cancer? I wanted to call 9-1-1 or maybe rush myself to the ER. My head was spinning. What's wrong with me?

So what did I do? I got on my computer and did a Google search. Here's what I found:

That little ball-hanging thing in the back of your throat is called the Uvula. Doctors aren't completely sure what its function is, but they believe it helps prevent choking. Sometimes, it can get swollen from a bacterial or viral infection. But most often, dehydration is the culprit. If you've been out drinking the night before, your throat will get dry and you'll probably snore. The dryness and the uvula slamming around in your throat from the snoring is enough to make it swell up. Many times, sinus problems can also inflame your uvula.

It's a weird feeling. It's like like having a piece of food stuck back there. And when I think about it, it makes me want to barf.

What to do? Drink tons and tons of water. You might want to gurgle with salt water. I drank a bunch of ice water, and the coolness felt good against my throat. After drinking what seemed a thousand glasses of ice cold water, I've been going pee every 10 minutes now. My uvula is still swollen, but it doesn't feel as bad. Or maybe I'm just getting used to it.

So if you ever feel like something stuck in the back of your throat, and you find your uvula's so swollen that it's touching the back of your tongue - don't worry. You're probably not dying. Some people are born with an abnormally large uvula. One professional singer even said that it helped with his vibrato.

You think other singers have uvula envy?

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Blogger ozymandiaz said...

Something similar happened to me tho other night. I woke up gagging, felt like I had swollowed a dust bunny or something. Looked in the mirror and I could kind of make out something in the back of my throat. So I caughed a few more time and my cat flew out...

4/13/2007 9:37 AM  
Blogger Carmel said...

Oh that's interesting, mine has never been swollen, but if it does get that way I won't panic. I sure hope that you get better and soon!

4/13/2007 10:01 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Um, nasty.

Hope your uvula is better now. That just sounds all kinds of wrong.

4/13/2007 10:27 AM  
Blogger Eve said...

My hairdresser just got her's REMOVED?! It was messing with her sleep?! I'm not sure if I havea big one or not?! ~snicker~ Shall I go look????

4/13/2007 12:49 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

hate it when that happens. can't tell you how many times i have *junk* in my throat... nuff to gag a maggot off a gut wagon!

i've had sore throats but never a swollen uvula, in fact, didn't even know i had one in the first place! {grin}

hope you get better soon. :o)

4/13/2007 2:13 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

It sounds like a line from The Simpsons - My uvula hurts!

I'm just gagging on drip lately. I hate this time of year - it wrecks my sinuses right up.

Feel better!!

4/13/2007 3:03 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Um... is there a critical length of time for swollen uvulas? Like, if your uvula is "swollen" for more than four hours should you seek medical attention?

4/13/2007 7:30 PM  
Blogger On My Watch said...

you're in good company.

In one of those Lewis & Martin movies, Jerry had an allergic reaction to girls and it would cause his uvula to swell. funny!

actually, that happened to me went away within a day. but it hurt like hell because it felt like you were swallowing it and it was hanging on to the roof of your mouth for dear life. :)

4/13/2007 8:06 PM  
Blogger Reiki 4 Life said...

so, was heavy drinking involved the day before??? ACtually, that happened to my sister...she had strep throat or something, but she said it was terribly disgusting. Perhaps you can just lie around and watch the snow today?

ummm, never happened to me, but i did get a bad infection that ate through parts of my tonsils so they look like those honeycomb cereals...

~be well.

4/14/2007 8:10 AM  
Blogger Mr. Shife said...

Wasn't this an episode on Seinfeld? Oh wait that was vulva. Well I gotta run and go look at my uvula in the mirror. I hope I have good-sized one.

4/15/2007 10:33 AM  
Blogger goddess said...

hmmm that's kinda cool. I wish I could see it.

I've learned not to google symptoms and stuff or I convince myself that I'm pregnate or dying.

4/15/2007 10:36 AM  
Blogger Orhan Kahn said...

Nasty, indeed!

4/16/2007 4:42 AM  
Blogger Mr. Friendly said...

Dam Sam! Now you got me thinking about my throat and uvula. Ahem, cough, ahem!

I. hate. you.

4/16/2007 7:57 AM  
Blogger KC said...

Hope you're better soon! Goddess' comment made me laugh so hard I shot coffee out my nose.

4/16/2007 11:22 AM  
Blogger cube said...

When will you learn? It'll behoove ya, to take care of your uvula.

4/16/2007 11:43 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I have sinus problems, so I feel your uvuala pain.

4/16/2007 7:18 PM  
Blogger Haley-O said...

I totally get how you felt this morning....But, I think I have an average sized uvula. Very interesting stuff, though. Look, I learned "uvula"! Coo.

4/16/2007 9:14 PM  
Blogger Phats said...

Well I am glad you're alive! :)

4/17/2007 11:50 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

Once when I was training as an opera singer at university, in a vocal pedagogy class we watched a video of a camera on a tube go up a guy's nose and down the back of his throat to show the larnyx as it functioned, and all the while he was singing "Streets of Laredo." I asked the teacher "is that the place babies come from?"

The larnyx is ugly - trust me - don't go there!

4/19/2007 11:43 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

So you were on a drinking binge the night before and snored like a madman for a few hours until your uvula enlarged? Shame on you! Cut back on the Jack Daniels, will ya?! :)

4/20/2007 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

I've got to tell you, I was pleased to come across this post as I sit here with a damn golf ball for a Uvula. Im on a submarine - I've drank alot, but this has never happened, so when I woke up with the worlds largest uvula today, I was freaking out; good to hear that its my own stupidity (likely), and nothing else... last night was a liver-killer

1/20/2008 9:29 AM  

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