At five years old, I was high up in the crow’s nest on a wooden pirate ship playground at Point Lookout, on the south shore of Long Island. I fell face first to the wooden deck below and broke my tiny, still forming nose. It’s my earliest memory, actually. If I close my eyes, I can remember the screaming (my mother’s) and my palms filled with blood.
My mom and the plastic surgeon did the best they could to set it right, but it was never really right again. I’ve had a deviated septum my entire life and in recent years it’s been shifting. This spring, my ear nose and throat doctor told me I essentially have a collapsed right nasal passage. My breathing has gotten more laborious, my sleeping has been affected and my voice has gotten progressively more nasal.
After shrugging this condition off for the better part of three and a half decades, I’ve decided that it’s time to correct it. This morning, as you read this, I’ll be going through endoscopic sinus surgery to fix the deviated septum and clear out the blockages.
Since making the decision to do this, I’ve heard from at least a dozen people who’ve undergone the procedure at some point in their lives. The consensus seems to be that the surgery itself is no big deal (you’re put under, after all), but that the recovery is hell on earth. I’ve heard some stories about a sneeze that produced a pint of blood, about gauze being packed into people’s faces up to the brain, etc.
I take most of this stuff with a grain of salt. I’m sure it will suck to not be able to breathe or sneeze and have difficulty sleeping and all the rest. But as a lifelong crohn’s disease sufferer, I’d guess that there are degrees of “hell” and that this one is a of a lesser caliber.
But still, it sounds like it will be some rendition of hell as I heal up, so it’s possible you’ll only be hearing from me sporadically over the next few days. But I’ll be back in action before you know it, so don’t forget me 😉
Cheers and have fun this week. I won’t!