April 8, 2007

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, No, It’s a Black Hairy Tongue

Ah, side effects. Every medication has a side effect, but do you ever really notice the side effects or care about them when you’re in the doctor’s office feeling like crap? And those beautiful drug commercials where the side effects are given at the end of the commercial in one of three ways: in fine print smaller than the human eye can see, told to us by some super sonic speed reader or gently flashed at the bottom of the screen while a woman in a bikini runs above to avert the commoners’ eyes.

But have you ever seen this side effect?
And no, this is NOT my tongue.

One which looks so gruesome it could be used in a midnight B movie on the Sci Fi Channel with some title like, Attack of the Killer Tongue or The Mutation Project.

On Saturday, I was prescribed penicillin for a cold and throat infection. After a few days, I finally decided to peruse the side effect sheet, you know the one that is on the medication bag and is consequently stapled shut from every angle. It stated, “Although uncommon, you may develop a black “hairy” tongue while taking this medication. This effect is harmless and usually goes away after treatment. Maintain good oral hygiene and brush your tongue with a soft toothbrush twice a day.”

“Stephane,” I yelled, “what the hell is a black hairy tongue? Quick, look at my tongue. I don’t want hair on my tongue!” I must say, I was not handling it well.

My husband grabbed the flash light and peered into my mouth. “I don’t see anything. What is it supposed to look like?”

“I don’t know,” I whined, “they call it a black hairy tongue so I guess it looks like a black hairy tongue.”

“I don’t know what a black hairy tongue is?”

“But do you see any hair on my tongue, any at all?”

“Well I don’t think so but I really don’t know what to compare it to?”

I run to the mirror in the bathroom and stick my tongue out as far as possible. After ten minutes, I concurred that I did not thankfully, have the dreaded black hairy tongue.

A week later, I am happy to report, I still do not have any kind of hair on my tongue. But it may be due to the fact that I have brushed my tongue more times than I can count - all to avoid looking like a space alien or monster from the deep. I did notice my husband hasn’t kissed me much this week. He says it’s because I have a horrible cold but I wonder?

I mean really, the sheet said it’s harmless. I shouldn’t worry - so you would think? But tell me, if your tongue turned out like the one in the picture, would you say to yourself, “Oh well, it’s completely harmless,” and then saunter off to work with your business suit and your black hairy tongue. I think not.

It may be physically harmless but nobody wants to be known as the Black Hairy Tongue Girl. Can you imagine how many of your friends would no longer let you taste any of their food because they can’t get that visual out of their mind? It's social suicide I tell you. On the other hand, it would make a great Halloween prop.


Anny said...

Hi Deb,

As usual, very good stories! Keep up entertaining us!


Anonymous said...

lol this mad me laugh! dealing with the same situation right now and was hoping I wasnt alone! :-)