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I Have a Tonsil Cyst. Wanna See?

If there’s one thing that’s been rattling around in that cobwebbed attic of yours you call a brain, I’ll bet you’ve been wondering how my last dental visit went. Fine thanks.

Except for one thing.

The hygienist says to me, “Oh you have large tonsils. I’ll bet everybody tells you that.”

Actually, no. Nobody has ever told me that.

So I go home and I look in the mirror and I see one big-ass tonsil. One big-ass yellow marble tonsil. Wanna see?

 

tonsil, tonsil cyst, tonsil cyst pictures, tonsillar cyst, tonsillar cyst pictures

Ahhhhhhhhhh!

See that yellow marble there on your left, my right?

Well it doesn’t hurt or anything, so I wait until my husband has badgered me 437 times before I go to the doctor, who presses down on my tongue with two popsicle sticks and says, “Huh. I’ve never seen one of those before.”

He knew what it was, a tonsillar cyst, but had never seen one in a patient, I guess.

I also had him look at the thing on my hand. Remember when I showed you that? That thing on my hand that I figured was a ganglion cyst that Doc Martin on the BBC sitcom bashed with a Bible?

“Yup,” my doctor says. “That’s a cyst, too.”

Apparently cheerleaders get them, for what that’s worth. My doctor specializes in sports medicine, so maybe he sees a lot of pompom girls bouncing through his exam room, I don’t know.

Three days later, I’m at the Ear Nose and Throat guy, who looks in my mouth and says, “Ohh yeah, look at that.” Only he draws out the “Oh”, like the beginning of a fire engine siren: “ohhhHHHHhhhhh”.

Then he says, “I wanna spray the back of your throat to see what happens.”

“When you do what, exactly,” I whine, my gag reflex already revving its engine at the thought of whatever long and pointy-grabby tool he wants to shove down there.

“I want to feel it.”

That spray stuff numbed my throat and I couldn’t feel myself swallow, which I didn’t like. Although, it did taste like banana, which was nicely distracting.

Then he went in for the kill, holding the back of my head while shoving his fingers in my mouth and presumably feeling the yellow marble and squeezing the crap out of it and while he was in the neighborhood, probably drilling up my nasal cavity since it was all numb and banana-flavored, until I finally gagged.

It’s a funny and involuntary thing, gagging. While I was well aware of gagging, I was less aware of the fact that I had also cowered back and grabbed his arm to pull it out of my mouth.

Then he did it again and I did it again. I felt like a disobedient six-year-old, but he didn’t seem to mind. I wonder how many people he gags in a day.

So for all you people who Googled “tonsil cyst” or “yellow marble for a tonsil”, the ENT guy says it’s a mucus-filled cyst. And we’ll just have to learn to live with each other.

Oh sure, he could have stuck a needle in there and sucked all the juice out, (the non-graphic term is “aspirate”) but he said it would probably come back again. And he said it could very well go away on its own.

So, yeah. I have a snot ball in the back of my mouth.

Sexy, right?

The question is, how am I going to get back there and whack it with a Bible?

 

[UPDATE 11/28/2011: So, one day, about a month or so ago, my cyst just vanished. I didn’t notice when it happened. I looked in the mirror one day and it was gone. Like magic. Maybe I ate a big stabby tortilla chip or something, or maybe I coughed really hard, who knows? Anyway, I just wanted to let you know what eventually happened.]

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112 Comments

  1. Shiggity says:

    jesus christ, that’s a tonsil cyst, all right.

  2. […] the pictures I debate posting –  you wouldn’t believe how many people want to see photos of tonsil cysts and palm ganglions and severed limbs. And some day I’m going to have a severed limb to show […]

  3. Sgandy4711 says:

    Oh wow. I once had a tonsil cyst probably about as big as yours. About the time I told my husband about it and started googling trying to figure out what it was it disappeared! Just gone one day. Like magic. That was a few years ago. Now I’ve noticed that it has come back. Nowhere near that large (yet) though.

    1.  I can only hope mine never comes back. Although I guess I won’t worry about it, knowing it can just disappear one day. I hope yours disappears soon too!

  4. Sue says:

    My left tonsil looks exactly the same…it started sept 2011, got some antibiotics from doc…took the yellowness and swelling down but my tonsil was now sort of misshapen, but back to being pink, just about two months ago I looked in my throat and noticed it was back again.  Went to the ENT today April 11/12 and he is taking a chunk out in two weeks and sending it for a biopsy…kinda worried of course but your picture helped me, because it looks exactly the same and it did go away before with Suprax, so maybe it’s just an infection or puss filled cyst like yours (hopefully)

    1. Hi Sue,
      I hope I did ease your mind some, and I hope it’s the same issue as mine. I wonder why your doc didn’t just aspirate it, if it is a cyst. Maybe you can ask him about that the next time you see him. I wish you a positive outcome from all this.

  5. Helenellerton says:

    Just like to say I have had exactly the same, booked in to have my tonsils out 13th March, but just looked in the mirror and it’s gone. DOnt know where and don’t know why, but I can’t explain how happy I am. your posting helped loads x

    1.  That’s great news, Helen! The tonsil gods are clearly smiling down on you. Congrats on losing the cyst. Does this change whether or not you still have to have the tonsils removed?

    2.  Sorry for this late response, but I’m so glad to hear your tonsil cyst disappeared. Did you still have to have your tonsils out or was that cancelled?

  6. Kimbally says:

    I have one of these! This looks exactly like mine…i have an ENT appointment next week, I want it gone :-(

    1. I hope you get rid of it and never see another one again. If they do decide to “get rid of it” for you, just know you can get that numbing stuff so you won’t feel a thing. Good luck, Kimbally. I hope it all goes well for you. :)

  7. Tahoekc22 says:

    I too have a tonsil cyst(s) and my doctor also said “oh, I’ve never seen one of those”.  However, he did suggest that since I have allergies and had quit taking my allergy medicine that perhaps I should start taking it again.  So I did, and it immediately it started to shrink.  It’s been less than 3 weeks and it’s now gone…I don’t notice it at all anymore when I swallow.  I’m guessing that it had everything to do with my chronic congestion from year long allergies.  FYI, I took an antihistamine (24 hour generic claritin) every day and decongestants (generic psuedophed) every 4-6 hours, and benedryl (antihistamine) at bedtime.  Hope this helps anyone else out there.  I was initially very scared when my intitial research pointed to throat cancer…not a pretty site!

    1. Tahoekc22 – Thank you so much for your comment. I hope it helps someone out there, too. As it happens, I’m on allergy medication every day already for the last few years, so while it wouldn’t have helped for me, it could help someone else and I’m so relieved for you that it helped you. And, a couple of months ago, my cyst magically disappeared.  I meant to update this post and your comment reminded me to do it, so thank you!

  8. Guillermo says:

    Pleasssss Someone help me i have. A feeling in my throat im not sure if its gas acid i dont know if i havr heart burn but it makes me feel like im chocking im a 14 year old kid and my pearants. Are very stubern they will very rearly take me to the docter please i need reliefe it doesnt hurt me but it does make me gag and have a chocking feeling i also have a tonsil infection currently i am fighting with antibiotics but right now im in agony some one help me

  9. Guillermo says:

    Pleasssss Someone help me i have. A feeling in my throat im not sure if its gas acid i dont know if i havr heart burn but it makes me feel like im chocking im a 14 year old kid and my pearants. Are very stubern they will very rearly take me to the docter please i need reliefe it doesnt hurt me but it does make me gag and have a chocking feeling i also have a tonsil infection currently i am fighting with antibiotics but right now im in agony some one help me

    1. Timpaintings says:

      Guillermo—go to the store and buy like 5 pounds of ginger. Then take the ginger and JUICE it–yes…JUICE it. Once you have all the juice in a container, take one to two teaspoons of the pure ginger juice until the container is empty of juice. After that, your heartburn will be gone forever.

  10. Imjess1978 says:

    I just had a mucus cyst exactly like that drained yesterday.  The ENT numbed my throat with the same spray, then pricked it every so lightly with a needle.  Within a few moments it was completely drained and i was done.  I was also worried about it coming back and the doctor said it shouldn’t, but to call if it does.  I’m surprised the ENT you went to didn’t drain it.  I was ready for that thing to be gone.

    1. I’m so glad you told me about this. He said he could drain it if it was bothering me or in the way, but I swear I don’t even know it’s there. I can understand if you would just want it done, and if I wasn’t such a freak about medical procedures, I’d have jumped at it. I hope they suck the stuff out somehow. I imagined that they poke it and let it drain down your throat making you gag as you swallow it. Ick. Sorry, that’s so gross. I suppose I could have asked him about that too if they take care not to do that.

      But you telling me about it makes it sound like no problem, so it makes me less nervous to think about it if I ever do have it taken care of. Thanks so much for sharing your experience here. :)

      1. xochitl says:

        So did you ever get it drained???

        1. Not only did I not have it drained, I haven’t even looked at it and don’t even know if it’s still there! I guess that means it’s still not bothering me. :)

  11. LILJULIEA1980 says:

    My daughter has one of those on her tonsils, she has had it drained twice took about four months before it came back,, she is going to have surgery to have it cut off next month…

    1. Here’s hoping it stays away for good!

  12. Mariam says:

    hahaha i love wht u wrote… i have the same thing inside my sinus and my doctor told me to ignore it (live with it) and i was like Oo

    im much relief now that me and you will live with those creatures inside us

    1. Yikes! Well, now that you’ve called them “creatures”, that just adds a whole new dimension to it, so thanks for that.
      :)

  13. Ginger says:

    I cant believe I am just getting round to seeing this. Ewwww! I get your posts by email and the picture didnt pop in the mail (I actually said a little prayer of thanks cos I knew it was going to be icky worthy). I was just checking my inbox and I saw the mail and I was like I never commented or commiserated on this post. yeah click.
    Yeah ick!!! Thank you. I am so happy I don’t have to kiss you!

    1. I’m pretty sure you’re in a long line of people now who don’t relish the thought of kissing me either – LOL!

  14. J. Bear Savo says:

    LMAO @ “I wonder how many people he gags in a day.”

  15. I wanted to write something about the puss, but when I started to spell it, it was a dirty word about a woman’s anatomy… is that right??! So I will just write “puss-like” but now I forgot what witty thing I was going to say about puss. How very “cysty”… how is that?!

    1. Your brain sounds like my brain. I think pus only has one S to start with, but still, if you wanted to have a Y at the end, you’d be forced to put in the 2nd S and then…you’d end up with just a dirty word. :)

  16. psychochick says:

    errr… thanks for the graphic picture… O_O

    1. You are very welcome! It’s a free service we provide here.

  17. My computer was dead for a while. now that it’s fixed, I take no better pleasure than being able to visit here and see your tonsil cyst. Thank you. thank you ;)

    ps- does this mean you are a cheerleader? just wondering.

    1. Woo hoo! tj’s back online! Since I was never a cheerleader, I wonder how this doc ever accepted me as a patient.

  18. Oh. My. Gawd! You poor thing. That did not sound fun (although Ihate to admit you had me laughing). I say your doc is lucky he lived to tell the story but if he’d done that to me it would have been curtains for him.
    Hang in there. xo jj

    1. Well, as gross as this whole ordeal sounds (and looks), I did it to make people laugh, whether you laugh with me or at me.

  19. Rusty Hoe says:

    Yet another reason to thank god I am not coordinated enough to be a cheer leader’s left butt cheek. That is impressive, but I now have an overwhelming urge to squeeze it. Can you imaging the mucus explosion? It’d crap on those “grossest pimple popping” youtube videos. Gross medical stuff is the best.

    1. Awesome. When I debut the explosion of this bad boy, you can bet it’ll be on YouTube!

  20. Laural Out Loud says:

    I’m a hands on kind of girl. I get tonsil stones and do home surgery every few months with the handle of my toothebrush. It’s so SATISFYING. If I had a cyst, you bet I’d be all up in there with a needle or sharp tweezers! Though the thought of it draining down the back of my throat is actually pretty gross. Oh, and tonsil stones STINK. I’ve never smelled anything so disgusting in my entire life, including my children. I wonder if your cyst juice would stink, too?

    1. Blech! The thought of cyst juice running down the back of my throat makes me shudder. And I’ve heard tonsil stones stink. I know someone who says a waterpic (sp?) works well on them.

  21. Jotter Girl says:

    As my first visit to your blog I would like to report that you made me giggle. I feel a little mean giggling over your juice filled cyst but you made me do it. I’d like to suggest a Lilliputian bible to solve this issue. I’ll be back!

    1. Jotter Girl – Yay! I’m glad I made you giggle. It makes the humiliation of putting my insides out there worth it.

  22. Me-Me King says:

    You owe me a bacon & egg burger.

    1. I’m sorry about that. Here, would you like a napkin to help clean that up?

  23. DorianTB says:

    That dentist sounds like a lazy slob to me! I’ve known folks who got their cysts aspirated, and they didn’t come back. Don’t despair, hon – get a second opinion, hon!

  24. Timmy Boyle says:

    That’s a beaut. How do you get food past it?

    1. Thank you, Tim. You’re the first person to attempt to restore the snot ball’s self-esteem. It was really accumulating body issues there.

      Also? LOL to your question. :)

  25. Liz says:

    Doctors making you feel like a novelty is never a good thing.

    You are more patient than me; I’d have him suck that baby dry right away.

    Good luck with your mucus marble.

    1. I’m too chicken to ask someone to stick a needle down my throat. If I can live in denial that a big ass thing is in my throat, I’d rather do that.

  26. Liz says:

    Doctors making you feel like a novelty is never a good thing.

    You are more patient than me; I’d have him suck that baby dry right away.

    Good luck with your mucus marble.

  27. JunkDrawer says:

    OMG, Margaret. I have to leave now. I’m sorry. I just can’t be in the vicinity of that thing anymore. I did stumble it though. Maybe some other freaky people would like to see that. Moooog, pass the gun.

    1. Now why does everyone always assume Mooooog is the one with the gun?

  28. EEWWW!!! That’s just nasty.
    No seriously, I’ve seen those before when I worked for an ENT doc years ago. I’ve even assisted in the office during an aspiration – it doesn’t hurt too much.
    Hope it goes away soon.

    1. You and me both, Lorie!

  29. Lanita Moss says:

    Hmm, when a doctor says, “Huh. I’ve never seen one of those before.” It might be time to walk out of his office. Not a good statement to instill trust.

    1. I know! This man is going to be the death of me, I swear.

  30. Lanita Moss says:

    Hmm, when a doctor says, “Huh. I’ve never seen one of those before.” It might be time to walk out of his office. Not a good statement to instill trust.

  31. Kate says:

    Hope you’re not kissin’ when the snot ball bursts!

  32. Kate says:

    Hope you’re not kissin’ when the snot ball bursts!

    1. Aaaack! I should probably ask my husband if he fears that. He’s been suspiciously quiet on that front.

  33. Just stumbled onto your blog and am excited to see gross medical oddities (no offense) and the phrase “I have a ball in my throat” appear first. I’m in.

    P.S. Why are medicines ever flavored with banana? No one really looooves banana. Why aren’t they flavored “margarita?” Jezus.

    1. Hey, thank you for stumbling on NGIP. And reading it!

      No offense. I’m totally aware of how gross this is. And that it’s a medical oddities based on my doctor’s response and the lack of decent pictures on the internet (which should, theoretically shoot mine right to the top of the Google results page).

      And yes, I vote in favor of margarita-flavored medicine. Or, in your case, perhaps martini-flavored?

  34. Warren Amole says:

    Well, TweetDeck blew up 3 times while I was trying to read your post so I wasn’t the only one to get nauseous! You must feel sooooo proud – a cheerleader no less….

    1. You can read blogs from TweeetDeck now?

      And yes, I am going to tell everyone that this is a cheerleading injury. And then wait for the dirty jokes to fly.

  35. Owen says:

    It could actually be an inseminated goat ovum that was artificially implanted while you were sleeping one night, and you are now a surrogate (surrogoat) mother-to-be… so what is the gestation period for goats, anyway. Please be sure to have a video done of the birth…

    1. Yikes! But I love that idea.
      Surrogoat! Good one!

  36. Nicky says:

    All I can say is Wow. Awesome. I didn’t know you had it in you Margaret. Seriously. :-)

    1. Ha! So that makes two of us that have 2 things. Which is more than one. Or something like that.

  37. That’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen. How am I supposed to eat deep fried cysts now that I know what they are? THIS SHOULD HAVE SAID SPOILER!

    1. OK, and I thought what I said was gross. Deep fried cysts? Ewwwwwwww!

  38. Di@InthePowderRoom says:

    All I could think of when I saw the photo was “Wow – what nice teeth!”
    But then, I’m British…..
    Margaret, I think this post sounds like the start of one of those urban myths – any day now that cyst will pop and HUNDREDS OF TINY SPIDERS WILL CRAWL OUT! OMG!!

    1. Ack! Spiders!

      The funny thing is, my teeth are crooked and crowned, but maybe with the distraction of the big yellow marble there might also be some sort of optical illusion happening.

      So nice to hear from you, Di. I’m going to get my ass to London again someday if it kills me.

  39. You forgot Extraterrestrial Implantation as a possibility for both of your afflictions… http://www.google.com/search?hl&q=extraterrestrial+implants&sourceid=navclient-ff&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS350US350&ie=UTF-8 (Well, you did say conspiracy theories were welcome! hehehehe…) :P

    1. I believe I have been known to welcome conspiracy theories, so thanks for that. Also? I wish I’d thought of it first!

  40. Yikes, woman! I’m glad it’s not painful. But still. That would freak me the hell out – and, I would have requested immediate surgery to remove my tonsils completely!

    1. I’m am too chicken to request any kind of immediate surgery. It would have to be the lesser of two evils before I considered it.

  41. Linda R. says:

    Yep, that is gross, and quite often cysts do go away on their own. I have a terrible gag reflex myself, so I’d probably just deal with it until it bothered me too much…but Ewwww.

    1. That’s pretty much my plan of action. Non-action, that is.

  42. moooooog35 says:

    That ‘bang’ you just heard was me shooting myself in the head for just reading this OMG WOMAN WTF.

    1. By OMG WOMAN WTF, I assume you mean to comment on the literary excellence of my latest post? ;)

  43. LOTGK says:

    Then he says, “I wanna spray the back of your throat to see what happens.”

    “When you do what, exactly,” I whine, my gag reflex already revving its engine at the thought of whatever long and pointy-grabby tool he wants to shove down there.

    “I want to feel it.”

    That spray stuff numbed my throat and I couldn’t feel myself swallow, which I didn’t like. Although, it did taste like banana, which was nicely distracting.

    ————–
    God, that dialog was straight out of a Jesse Jane movie.

    1. Are you gonna make me look up Jesse Jane…oh….hey, is that a porno reference?

  44. MIkewj says:

    You need one of those Bibles engraved on a grain of rice. Then you could tape it to a stick and whack away.

    By the way, you owe me lunch. I threw mine up when I saw the photo of your new friend.

    1. Dude, it’s the new throw-up diet craze I’m starting. Wait until you see tomorrow’s post! (That wasn’t a plug. I just realized that sounded like a lame plug)

  45. FreaKeroppi says:

    AAIIIEEEEEEEEEE!!!

    Gross, man.

    1. Good. Then my work here is done.

      :)

  46. Anonymous says:

    Okay, I’m hitting myself with a Bible right now because I’m SO GROSSED OUT!

    Might I suggest a faith healer/exorcist…?

    ;-) A.

    1. Yes, you may. I know it’s gross! I can’t believe I did this. On the other hand, I’ll do anything for a laugh. Or a vomit sound, I guess.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Are you kidding? I totally would have done, it, too!!

        Hope all (else) is well with you!

        XOXO

        Anna

  47. Nezzy says:

    Wow girl, that’s on honkin’ thingy on your tonsil. I’m absent of tonsils but i have the smallest adult mouth in the world. Just ask my dentist!!! Heehehehe!

    I’m glad it’s nothin’ serious!

    God bless and have a beautiful Spring Day sweetie!!! :o)

    1. Thanks, Nezzy! I have a small mouth too! They have to use children’s size thingies for the X-rays.

  48. Thomas C. says:

    I am so glad that I had my tonsils removed when I was six years old, because now that I know that these things exist, I don’t think I would be able to sleep anymore.

    1. Yes, it’s just like your almost cancer scare isn’t it? I wonder how odd it is for me to even still have my tonsils. Let alone for it to have friends.

  49. Surfie says:

    Holy crap. That would drive me crazy. Can you feel it in your throat when you swallow or anything? My brother went to the doctor recently because he’d had what he thought was a sinus infection for 3 weeks. Turns out he had a nasal polyp. Apparently they hurt pretty bad, so I’m glad your snot ball doesn’t bother you!

    1. You know this thing doesn’t hurt at all and I can’t feel it. I had no idea it was there until my hygienist told me, so who knows how long it’s been “hanging around”.

      Oops, I just realized I misspelled hygienist. Gotta go fix that.

  50. Oh my! I’m eating cheesy puffs while reading this! It didn’t stop me eating them, but…… Yuck!

    1. Ha! Yeah, my husband said I should have probably warned people at the top not to be eating while reading this.

      Missed you at the Saturday slumber party, Babs!

      1. I had guests come to stay, and couldn’t get online at all, not even to say hello and goodbye!

  51. Margaret, Honey, I’m sorry. This is awful. I hope it goes away. And I really hope you don’t talk about it or show any more pictures of it. I’m going to say a novena for your tonsil cyst. That should help. In the meantime, breathe through your nose.

    1. Aw, thanks, Linda. I think once you’ve shown a picture of your icky nasty grossness of your mouth, which, let’s face it, isn’t all that attractive in the first place, it won’t matter if I show it again. I’m not sure though if someone walked up to me on the street if I’d open my mouth for them. This is embarrassing enough.

  52. Pricilla says:

    Thank you.
    I am going to go throw up now.
    Through all four stomachs.

    Gah

    1. All four stomachs – HA!

      Yeah, sorry about that Pric. I knew I’d be grossing out a few folks, but it’s my annual public service to those suffering from a similar ailment.

  53. Mine isn’t as good, but I’ve got a ‘tonsillolith’ (I had to look it up on Wikipedia, the ultimate source of universal knowledge) which my doctor found when he gagged me with his popcicle stick during my check up. He told me to gargle hot water when I showered to get rid of it. No luck so far. Yours looks much more impressive! I’ll bet you could get your picture in Wikipedia for all the world to see under ‘tonsil cyst’.

    1. As gross as it is, and as potentially embarrassing as showing it off to the world is, I feel like I am indeed doing a public service for those similarly suffering as myself.

      A tonsillolith? Really? Now you’re going to make me look that up! :)

      2 seconds later —> Ohhhh, tonsil stones. I’ve heard of those. Because my husband kept getting them. He got a tonsillectomy last year and they haven’t appeared since. So, if you really want them to stop…

      By the way, gargling with hot water is an interesting one. My husband did an enormous amount of research and concluded that there was nothing you could do about them.

    2. I have an update, Karen. Hubby saw this and said that water picks can work on them. If they’re in a place where you can see them.

  54. Lisa says:

    Oh my god that was so gross.

    By the way my husband is your hand ganglian cyst twin. I diagnosed it by way of Nanny Goats in Panties, which is highly scientifical and recommended by four out of five dentists who chew Trident.

    Smiles,
    Lisa

    1. It was gross, wasn’t it. I thought about putting up a warning first thing, but I thought the title might have been enough of a warning.

      Also, it’s good to know about the 4 out of 5 dentists thing, because now I can put that at the end of all MY commercials. :)

      Let me know f you bash your husband’s cyst with a bible and if it works. I’m sort of hoping I bash it accidentally. I’m too chicken to do it on purpose.

      1. Lisa says:

        Welllll, I don’t know. The only bible we have is a Gideons that my grandmother stole for me from a hotel in Las Vegas when I was 10. She also got me a 1,000 dollar bill shredded and stuffed in a pen. Maybe I should just stab him with that. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  55. Shieldmaiden1196 says:

    My doctor, who is famous for saying things to me that make me want to drop her on her head, once told me I had ‘unusually large tonsils for a person of my age’ and that if they bothered me I was ‘a good candidate for laser surgery’. Um, bothered me? I never even thought about my tonsils until she mentioned them.

    1. laser surgery??? They have that for tonsils?

  56. Anonymous says:

    I have one of those little bitty bibles people stalk Wally World parking lots to hand out to the sinners..err…people of Wally World. It might be able to reach.

    Do they know why you get them?

    1. A bite-sized bible just might work!

      Well, supposedly the one on my palm might be caused from repetitive motion, so I’m guessing the one on my tonsil means I blab too much?

      Actually, he didn’t have a cause for it. one of those, “it just happens” things.