Endoscopic introspection…

A couple of days ago a very nice man from Eastern Europe gently took some of my blood whilst asking me random questions about my health and peered into my eyes and ears. He then sent me for some chest and head X-rays (just to make sure that I hadn’t confused my sinus issues with lung cancer or some kind of cranial injury). The blood tests then came back and we summised that I didn’t have a host of other diseases or injuries completely unrelated to sinuses.

Just when I was beginning to lose faith in modern medicine he sent me to the ENT (ear, nose and throat) department where a real doctor probed the innermost sanctity of my mucous membranes with an unfeesibly long (well lubricated) instrument and proceeded to explain very clearly exactly what happens when a cheap airline lands too quickly for cranial barometric equalisation to occur efficiently and the partial vacuum formed in the front portion of your skull gets filled with blood instead of air (via a burst blood vessel). The full and correct diagnosis being acute frontal sinus barotrauma.

So now I have a course of turbo-strength antibiotics (that will also deal with malaria and syphilis saving me a trip to the other clinics I had planned) to zap the infection left by the ‘incident’. Also a barrage of drops and sprays to try and dislodge all the gunk up there. Nice…

Of course normally I’d expect dinner and a movie before allowing a complete stranger such intimate access to my cavities but he did ask very nicely and he promised me a lollipop afterwards…

I didn’t surf today.


  1. keep an eye out for ‘gray matter’ as the contents of your sinus cavity come out to meet the family… you can save it in a jar for a rainy day, should you ever need it!

    1. I’m fairly convinced that having an excess of grey matter could be a distinct disadvantage at times. Maybe it would be better to let it all dribble out…

  2. i hope you are going to go round the airline’s house after all this and give them a good bash on their nose…see how they like it!
    have put a beer in the fridge for you..am told its a jolly good painkiller x

    1. In your case virtually nothing (as the basic function of the sinuses is to reduce the weight of the head). Yours being almost empty to start with you could probably use some extra ballast in there…

  3. Oh my goodness! Eek! A whole new thing for me to sympathise, then become paranoid about!

    (Fascinating about the barometric equalisation.)

    Get well, Mr Penfold!

    1. Jen – there’s nothing to worry about unless you are a surfing, hay-fever suffering asthmatic who works on building sites with a deviated septum… x

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