Vail Daily columnist Linda Stamper Boyne: No’ze not what you think
April 24, 2013
I want to go on record right here, right now, to quash any rumors before they start circulating. I did not have a nose job.
Don’t listen to my dear friend and colleague who’s telling everyone I’m MIA this week because I’m “having a little work done,” followed by a swipe of her nose with a finger and then placing her hands along her hairline and stretching up her face, just for comedic flair. She’s a big fat liar who lies!
Well, I did have a little procedure done yesterday, and it did involve my nose. But it was purely for functional reasons.
Aesthetically, I am perfectly happy with my nose. It is completely unobjectionable. It fits my face just right. I would never say it is my best feature, but it doesn’t stand out as my worst. But behind the perfectly fine nose, it gets ugly. The thing just doesn’t work well at all.
As you are reading this, I am knocked out on painkillers following sinus surgery. I really hope they are the same meds they gave me during labor that made me thank the nurse over and over and tell her how much I loved her. Those were awesome.
After the startling realization last winter that I hadn’t been breathing well for years, I went through extensive allergy testing and discovered that I’m allergic to, well, the world. We’ve been treating the allergies hard core: shots, steroid sprays, irrigation and a staggering array of antihistamines, decongestants and other prescription and over the counter remedies.
I started feeling like my grandma with her pill bottles lined up on the bathroom counter. While the allergy symptoms were improved, I felt like I was always on about day five of a cold, stuffed up and run down.
So Dr. Allergy sent me off to get a CT scan and to see the otolaryngologist. You know I like things fancy, but we’ll just call him Dr. Ear Nose Throat moving forward. His assessment: chronic sinusitis, deviated septum and inflamed turbinates.
I suddenly felt broken. I have faulty turbinates that don’t contract after they clean and humidify the air as it comes in. I have sinus openings that are too small and a wonky septum that is displaced to both sides. I basically have scoliosis of the septum.
Dr. ENT prescribed a new cocktail of pills and sprays to try for a month and failing that, surgery. And here we are.
In his very matter of fact description of the surgery, he said he’d straighten out the septum, clip off the bones at the entrance of each sinus to open them up and essentially perform liposuction to my flabby turbinates. Holy cow. Ow!
Dr. ENT said the recovery is a miserable week, but assured me his patients who had these procedures were his happiest, most satisfied patients, often telling him they had no idea how much their conditions had been affecting their quality of life.
This sounded good to me. I decided I would put my nose in his capable hands. So to speak.
In the weeks leading up to the surgery, I focused on the end result, not allowing myself to think about the reality of what was to happen and that miserable week. I occasionally had glimpses of recovery through talking with others.
One girlfriend pointed out that I might not feel like eating much in the first few days. Now, I love my food, so startled and confused, I asked why.
“Well, because you’ve just had surgery, you know, right there where all the food goes in,” she pointed out. Fortunately, I now will think of that and laugh when I don’t feel like eating.
I intentionally didn’t Google Doctor the procedures and recovery details for fear my overactive writer’s imagination would take over. Until this past weekend. And then I got a little freaked out.
My most practical friend got me back on track, encouraging me to change my focus. Her straightforward advice: “When all sorts of weird substances are draining down your face, just think, ‘Soon I won’t be stuffy anymore.'” Vivid. And point taken.
So, just to clarify again, I did not have rhinoplasty. I did, however, have septoplasty, so there were some plasties involved. I don’t know if my nose will look different when all is said and done. Dr. ENT said it shouldn’t, but if it does, don’t judge.
At least I’ll be able to stop buying my Kleenex by the case at Costco.
Linda Stamper Boyne, of Edwards, can be contacted through editor@