More Than You've Ever Wanted To Know About My Nose

When I was about 7, I hit an unknown object (stationary, not flying) with my bicycle and flew over the handlebars, hitting my nose somewhere in the process. For months after that, I remember being able to move my nose slightly to the left and right. And for some reason, I didn't tell anybody about being able to move my nose. I don't remember if I was embarrassed by it or what.

Nearly 30 years later, I'm going under the knife. No...I'm not having a nose job! I like my face the way it is, thankyouverymuch, and I think Jennifer Grey's first nose was part of her beauty. What I am having is a surgery called septoplasty. Septoplasty is the surgical correction of a deviated septum. Although this isn't a picture of my nose, this one is close to the way mine looks (the middle, crooked part):

When the one side of your septum is bent in some direction, the opposite side will often grow outward in response. That's why the "deviation" is shaped more roundish than curved. And that's why having one side closed off doesn't mean you can compensate by breathing real good through the other side.

In all probability, that bicycle trauma when I was a kid caused this problem (even though I can't move my nose around anymore). So, last winter, when I made my first visit to an ENT (otolaryngologist) to consult about the problem, I learned that the blockage on my left side was over 90% and that the other side wasn't that much better. Then and now, I've been plagued with chronic sinus problems, the inability to breathe very well through my nose (especially when exercising), and lots more ear infections than most adults.

Despite the fact that the doctor measured my blockage on the left to be so high, he wanted me to try several months of Nasonex and the semi-famous sinus rinse before considering surgery. First of all, obviously, the Nasonex didn't work because a tiny, light mist sprayed into the left side of my nose isn't going anywhere but into the sink. The sinus rinse is awesome and worked well, for the most part, but about one-out-of-five times the liquid would shoot through to the insides of my ears, causing extremely sharp pain (and an hour-or-so of me saying, "Huh? What'd you say?").

So now Eric has a friend working in the same ENT practice. I consulted with him today and we decided to go ahead with the corrective surgery early next month. Although it sounds nuts, I'm very excited!! I really want to get rid of these sinus headaches and ear infections (and some other general grossness).

But you know what?!?!? Eric said I should ask Dr. G. to remove the bump from my nose while he's operating. (Despite the common belief, getting a nose job as part of your septoplasty is not the norm or easy. People with noticeably-crooked noses will have a better look, but even bump removal turns simple septoplasty into a major ordeal, including the swollen face, black eyes, and such associated with rhinoplasty.) Anyway, I told Eric that maybe he should ask someone to remove the blinding reflection coming off his head.


Anonymous said...

Just for humor's sake, I hope when you come to that the doctor comes up to you and pretends to steal your nose.

TTHBTK said...

Ha! I'd love a doctor with that kind of sense of humor!!

heidi said...

The tiny pixels in your profile photo suggesting the cuteness of your nose tell me that you MUST NOT change your nose any more than can be helped:)

I hope you heal easily and have wonderful air flow after surgery.


TTHBTK said...

HOW SWEET! Thank you. :-)

Blair said...

Okay, random stranger here (I'm Oncee from 304 Blogs' fiancee)

So, I had a septoplasty about four years ago, and I feel compelled to give you insider tips.

1. Use the saline spray more often than you think you need to. Trust me on this one. Stuck splints are NOT FUN.

2. Get one of those chairlike pillows because you will not be able to sleep lying down.

3. You also will not be able to taste anything for a week or so. It's sort of creepy.

4. Getting the packing out SUCKS but getting the splints out is a huge relief.

I had mine done on a Thursday and tried to go back to work on Monday and it was not enough time. I wound up taking off Tuesday and going back Wednesday. So.. if you can, two days on either side of a weekend would be good.

TTHBTK said...

Thanks, Blair! Those kind of tips really help (and knowing more about what to realistically expect).

Anonymous said...

Next month???? What will that do to your scrabble trips to Michigan? We are counting on you for Pontiac, Fenton, and Ortonville.
OSC: RHINOPLASTIES has an anagram

TTHBTK said...

Siggghhh. It's like you don't even know me. ;-)

I've scheduled the surgery for the day after I return from Pontiac (two weeks before the next tournament). From what I've read, I can take short flights (like to Detroit) one week after the surgery. Just in case, I'm going to double-check with the doctor.

There is no way I'm missing any of my scheduled Scrabble in Michigan.

TTHBTK said...

OH! And I forgot....



Brad Mills said...

Geez, when did you start studying the 13s?

TTHBTK said... know. When I finished the 12's. A week or so ago.