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Between the Eyes

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Today was the big appointment with the ENT on the Great Polyp Issue. While I had hoped that it would be an actual procedure day, it was instead just a consultation, because up until 12:59 p.m. today, he’d never heard of me. So it’s probably good we just spent the next 45 minutes going over my CT scan, shoving various devices up my nose, and discussing what needs to be done.

But after the first 25 minutes of reviewing my case and going frame-by-frame through the CT scan on the computer, the doc looks at me and says, quite frankly, “well, your sinuses look really clear and good, but it’s the stuff between your eyes that’s all messed up.”


Tomorrow, I imagine, I’ll make the call to schedule surgery. What it will involve is a veritable laundry list of action items on my head, and the doctor was jotting down everything that needed to be done on his menu-like sheet which he would take back to his office either late this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

I’m a little disappointed that the call I got to announce the results of the reading of my CT were so…simplified and sadly incomplete. But I imagine there’s a point where the nurse calling simply to prompt me to call in for a follow up appointment just wants to hit the highlights and get on to the next call.

But here’s what I get to do…Or have done, as it were:

I’ve got a deviated septum, deviated actually into an ‘S’ shape, and that has blocked my right nostril by 60-70% just on its own. That will be “corrected,” which makes it sound more like a stern talking to rather than an actual surgical procedure involving cutting and stuff like that.

I have several polyps of varying size in the nasal passage on the right side of my head, and one that appears to be wrapping around to start showing up in the back of the left side of my nose. Those get removed either by laparoscopy or an hour-long binge on high-volume Barbara Streisand tunes, presumably.

Two of the three sets of sinuses in my head are nice and clear, but the set around my cheeks either have their drainage routes either completely blocked by something or are almost completely blocked. Please note, this was the first and only usage of the term “booger” by the doctor. It’s always good to have things broken down into their simplest terms by a specialist. Knowing I’ve got a monumental loogie hanging out somewhere between my nose and my eyeball is always reassuring. At least he didn’t cringe and say “ew! Gross!” when he found it.

The third set of sinuses, more on the inside of my head way at the back of my nasal passage has one mostly clear sinus and the right one which is completely full of…something. It could be polyps, or “fluid,” or cherry yogurt for all I know. Because as the doctor pointed out, the CT scan doesn’t really differentiate fluid from tissue.

That last one is the part of the procedure that I’ll admit kind of freaks me out a little bit: that’s a good four or five inches inside my head. Isn’t there brain somewhere near there that could get in the way somehow? And I know medicine is amazing these days, but it’s really impressive that this guy says that the whole job will be done in about 90 minutes and will be done through my nose. Even though I’ve seen videos of laparoscopic surgeries before, it’s still amazing to think of the dexterity required to cut parts of another human being through narrow tubes…Oh, and suck a bunch of those parts out through those same tubes.

So that’s what I’m facing. He’s talking about a week out of work with a splint in my nose (I keep wondering where they’ll hang the sling, but then I’m reminded it’s my nose and not my arm having the surgery). And then after a week, a follow up visit to get the splint out and then the ultimate decision about whether I can go back to work. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure why I’d be out for a full week, especially since I’m not exactly in a job with a lot of physical contact. Or, say, checking. Or punching. Or full-on lip kissing.

Yeah, don’t ask.

I guess it’s a good year for me to hit my five year anniversary at work, with the bonus week of vacation and all. All I know is I’m looking forward to breathing out of the right side of my nose.

See you tomorrow.