My Nose Job

I have always had a big nose by just about anyone’s estimation. I won’t declare that I’ve worn it with pride, but what’s a feller to do.

It’s a good conversation piece with my grandkids. I’m glad I don’t get my feeling hurt easily. You know those little rascals can be mighty direct sometimes. Once when when I went to have lunch with my grandson Nathan when he was in Kindergarten, and he’s been out of school for a few years now, a little boy sitting across the table says “Mister, you got a really big nose“. It had very little impact on me, even though I still remember it almost 20 years later, like it was yesterday.

A big sensitive hose is really good for sniffing out nice aromas, but there is the other side of it. I can smell a gnat fart from 50 yards away.

As a child I had nosebleeds more often than normal. As a teenager I had way too many bloody noses as well. But that was generally from smartin off and getting punched. You can only get punched so many times until things grow back crooked and your nostrils don’t work properly.

When I was in my early 30s, my ENT and I decided I needed to have a little work done. Now this wasn’t one of those cosmetic deals. Back in those days the surgery to correct such a malady required a gash right under your nose, and more or less laying your nose up on your forehead. Then the surgeon could trim away malformed cartiledge and open up the sinus passages. After that was all done, everything was pulled back into place and stitched up. Well actually there was a little more to it than that.

During the stitching up process it was necessary to insert some splints in each nostril to hold them open during the healing process. There wasn’t actual splints made for this purpose so the doctor made a couple of them beforehand from a plastic coffee can lid.

He inserted them up each nostril, then sewed them together right in the little flap of skin at the bottom of my nostrils.

He packed what appeared to be several feet of gauze in each side. I knew that a few days later when he started pulling it out. He said he didn’t want it to stay in too long, to where the skin would start growing to the gauze. Something made me think he misjudged how much healing was going to happen. It sure was painful and bloody. After being a mouth breather for several days it was nice to once again draw some air through my nose.

But for the next few weeks I still had those coffee can lid splints up my nose. Every day they became more and embedded in skin. The day when it was time to extract the plastic splints, I went in the doctors office. There was a huge stack of towels at the ready. He carefully clipped the suture and pulled it out. I was thankful for the delicate way he handled that.

Then suddenly he picked up a pair of needle nosed pliers and in a very fluid motion stuck them in one nostril, grabbed a plastic splint a jerked it out. You could tell it had already became part of me during those weeks since the surgery. The big stack of towels were needed. It was a mess. It had all happened so fast I wasn’t sure what had happened. Then his famous words: “okay we got that one side and now we can do the other”.

I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be able to withstand the second one. There were a few anxious moments while he got ready. A quick jerk and the other one was out. I couldn’t get out the door of that office fast enough, vowing to never go back through that again.

As we were talking about waxing nose hairs, the horror of my nose job some 35 years ago. I see no reason that I’m going to go thru a nose hair waxing.

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