The topic of this column is going to make some people feel like they're having an episode of déjà vu, but hang with me for a little bit. This is nasal surgery, take two.
Just a scant few weeks ago, I reported on going to New York for nasal surgery to correct a deviated septum from an old domestic situation dating back 20 years. This surgery was to be my closure on the whole thing and put it to rest, forever.
Forever was very short-lived.
The surgery was being covered by the Face to Face foundation, www.facetofacesurgery.org, part of the Educational and Research Foundation for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS Foundation). Doctors donate their services to repair anything from the neck up that was caused by domestic abuse. The only stipulation for the patient is that they have to show they are well out of the living situation that caused the need for surgery.
Everything was going swimmingly. I wrote the column early and filed it so that there'd be no interruption, describing what was going to happen that day. While I was recovering, all four million readers would be checking out the latest adventure.
I arrived in New York, didn't eat or drink a drop the next day and was at the surgeon's office, with the I.V. in my arm, drifting off to sleep.
That's as far as I got that time.
As it turns out, I have a "unique" physical structure, and it was impossible to intubate me, which means the anesthesiologist couldn't get a tube down my throat and felt it was best in a non-hospital setting not to press the point.
Imagine what it's like to be awakened and find out nothing was done. It took a couple of days, a sore jaw and a scratchy throat for it to really sink in that nothing happened, yet.
So, here we are on the verge of the second try to have a septoplasty and a turbinate reduction. This time it's at Northwestern Hospital, where I was operated on twice for cancer, and the surgeon will be Dr. Douglas Sidle, a plastic surgeon who specializes in noses. The anesthesiology department has a heads-up and is prepared with the right equipment. They assure me the likelihood of any further surprises is very low. I'm a little gun shy ,but I'm writing this column anyway.
I'm on the prayer lists, just in case, and I'm prepared for what I'm told will feel like a bad head cold and an internal nose splint for about six days. That's followed by some swelling before the real pay off, which I have waited a very long time to experience.
I'll be able to breathe deeply through my nose and put a certain time of my life more permanently behind me. Of course, I'm also hoping to be able to exercise more easily, and I've already joined a gym in anticipation, plus found some slow runners and looked up a few 5k's in my area.
I'm ready for this big change and it's some good news after a year that included an involuntary move or two, plus facing cancer, twice. I'm not saying I'm due, there's no such thing, only that I'm feeling a different kind of anticipation this time.
Frankly, I've lived with this and all of the memories attached to it, for two decades, and I'm wondering if when I can finally breathe deeply through my nose again I'll recognize the sensation. Like some small pieces of me from a younger version that hadn't seen quite so much, will, at last, come home to roost, once more. I'll let you know. More adventures to follow.
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