NASA has declared July 2016 the hottest month on record; one and a half degrees hotter than the average since the years 1950-1980. To combat the heat, the extensive staff and entire research facility here at ‘Buzz Central’ would like to inform the public about a silent chiller. Just mention the word ‘chiller’ in the middle of summer around here and you’ve got everyone’s attention.
Spheno Palatine Gangleo-neuralgia can strike with little warning yet there has been no research, no medical funding and worst of all, no telethon.
Not quite a recognized disease studied in medical schools, this malady strikes instantly, although with some warning and leaves almost as mysteriously as it appears. Brief and intense, it hurts and incapacitates, leaving the victim to grimace in pain as they grab and rub their head, throat or neck. This silent chiller will attack young or old cutting across age groups even as it cuts across your brain.
SPG can affect anyone on hot days when they choose to gulp a seemingly innocent Slurpee, Slushee or frappe. Cool relief suddenly turns into pain as Brain Freeze rears its frigid head. You can spot an onset of BF in others by the sudden twisted/pained look on their face.
Brain freeze, also known as ice cream headache is not as popular an illness which one can use as an excuse to miss work or school, but if spoken of by its medical name it can help, as in “Hey boss, I had some Spheno Palatine Gangleo-neuralgia, yesterday and I’m still not right, I’ll be in tomorrow.” They don’t want to admit they don’t know what it is so you’re safe. If you simply say ‘brain freeze’ you can count on getting as close to fired as you can get.
What is ‘brain freeze’?
When something very cold touches the center of the palate, a useless area on the roof of the mouth, it sets off certain nerves that control the blood flow to your head. How did the palate get to utilize such a vital body function such as blood flow to the head?
Pay attention now because your head contains much of the crucial thinking the body uses to function, like when do I eat, sleep and buy things on sale that I can’t afford.
Scientifically speaking, the palate, not strictly an organ, separates the nasal cavity from the oral cavity. In itself, this doesn’t mean much to the average person, but try passing a liquid through your nose as opposed to your mouth and see how it feels. Your palate is like the organic wall which no one has to pay for.
Studies have been done in frat houses across the nation on 3 for 1 Jello shots night as to how rapidly this ‘up-chucking’ can occur. (Also known as ‘hurling’ not to be confused with ‘curling’, a little known Olympic sport you can participate in while drinking liquor.)
Comedians have been utilized to test this theory by telling a very funny joke while the test subject is drinking, say, milk. Some of us have seen this first-hand.
The palate can also send signals of how the body feels and reacts to strange foods like Balut, Surstomming and Paniki. (A quick quiz: which one of these involves a fruit bat?)
Back to the actual ‘freeze’.
This cold rush may be interpreted by the brain as the nerves saying, “Hey, did I just eat an ice floe?” The brain hears this and constricts the blood vessels in the area like an angry parent cutting off your allowance and you don’t know why. When they dilate with increased flow, it causes pain. Not the children, your blood vessels.
This is the kind of pain you’d like to do something about but can’t, as when someone screeches chalk on a blackboard.
Blood flow is as important to brain function as café Cubano is to staying awake in the afternoon.
One interesting note is that the 30th anniversary of DQ’s Blizzard coincides with the onset of millions of cases of Spheno Palatine Gangleo-neuralgia. Does anyone see a pattern here?
People take Nexxium as a preventative when they know they’re going to eat something that disagrees with them, but when you get greedy with the Chocolate Heath Bar Crunch Blizzard® the silent chiller strikes.