Monday, June 20, 2011

ENT, He's Dynomite, ENT, He'll Win That Fight!

Just imagine that the title comes with the music to ACDC's TNT.

Ha ha, I went to the ENT today, and we had a conversation that was very similar to one that I've had with this same ENT before. When I went in today, I had a lot of swelling in my nose, so much so that the ENT could not see up into my sinuses. Even after he put the medicine in my nose to stop the swelling, it was still there. Even after he put MORE of the medicine in my nose and I waited for an hour (I managed to read an entire National Geographic magazine, learning much about dinosaurs and feathers and poppy production in Afghanistan and artificial reefs off the coasts) it was still swollen inside. At least on the right side where it's recently been bleeding a lot. The other side would be normal if not for the running. TMI, I know, but you should all expect it by now.

This runnyness is where my conversation today began to mimic one I had about a year and a half ago. A conversation where the ENT asked me why I thought my nose was the way it was and my response being... allergies.

This story is not verbatum-
I went to the doctors  on Dec. 1st, 2009- the nose doctor specifically- because my nose had been stuffy for.... two? almost three years? Since the summer after I got my tonsils out anyway-
I wandered into the doc and he does all these tests that I'm not exactly sure what they proved. Some really weird stuff like shutting the lights off in the room and having me put a lit lightbulb thing in my mouth (probably to see my sinuses or what not) and I tell him that when the problem first came about I thought it was just bad allergies- bad allergies that wouldn't go away and no allergy medicine in the world would touch.
He thought that was slightly weird and decided to take a look up in my nose just to see and, lo and behold, he couldn't. I have stuff going on in my nose that this doctor, a doctor who has specifically done nothing but nose, throat and ear stuffs for 30+ years, has never actually seen before.
But at this time I don't know any of this.
So the doc turns and starts pulling out some instruments, turning on this machine thingy which he uses to spray some weird stuffs up into my nose. After he does this he hands me a tissue and says, "This should numb your nose"
These are an approximation of my thoughts. "What are you going to do that my nose of all places needs to be numbed?" as I'm thinking this he pushes my head back so it's resting on the chair and he shoves this spreader thing into my nostril and then takes some tweezers with a cotton piece and shoves that up my nose.
OH GOD DOES IT BURN. But being me, I can show no fear. I take it like a woman and eventually the burning stops. Just in time for him to do the same thing to the other side.
Now, I have no idea what's going on here. I've got cotton shoved so far up my nose I swear I can feel it tickling my brain.
This is when the odd questions start.
"Have you ever broken your nose?"
"Any trauma?"
"Have you ever been in a fire?"
"Not that I'm aware of, but I haven't always been around to monitor what I've been doing."
He kinda frowns and then decides to explain to me exactly what's going on.
"Well, it seems you have a serious amount of scarring going on in your nose- scarring to the point where the outside of your nose has grown into the septum," great, well, that explains why I can't breath through my nose. "Unfortunately, this means I can't see up there well enough to figure out if anything else is going on, so that cotton will hopefully shrink the scars enough so that I can." This is where this doctor, who is not unlike Dr. House but less likely to insult me, get's kind of excited. "I've never actually seen this before, but I've heard of it happening."
"But all those people had been in fires"
"This is the type of scarring you get when you have burns in your nose-"
At this point I'm trying to remember if our house has burned down in the last three years or so (it hasn't) and trying to come up with some other reasons as to how I could have scarred my nose so bad in the last three years (this is the same doc that took my tonsils and he checked my nose before I had the surgery).
"When you thought you had allergies, did you take anything?"
"Well, I took the over the counter allergy stuff- I also tried some of those nose sprays that my doc perscribed, but they gave me bloody noses so I stopped..."
"The allergy medicines gave you bloody noses?"
"Yes... is that not normal?"
"The only thing I can think of is the nasal spray, which the nosebleeds are a side effect of, a very small side effect, only about 15% of people experience it small side effect, caused the skin of your nose to scar and grow together."
"We're going to have to fix this problem."
At this point I am kind of leery as the doctor is now happy, smiling even, like he's excited.
"We'll have to remove the scars and put some plastic stuff (he didn't really say plastic stuff, he used the real words for it that I can't remember what they are) and then put a splint in your nose to keep the scars from coming back."
He pulls the cotton out of my nose and tries to look up there again, no luck, so he then proceeds to jab at the scars with more of the medicine. I thought my eye was going to pop out or something. Weird feeling. By this time my nose feels like it's gone to sleep and is all tingly, but I can still feel the poking. What's worse is it's pushing stuff back down my throat and ******* (Ommitted for grossness)**********
"Let's go sign you up for surgery!"
"..."I signed away for a surgery, another Christmas surgery. Weird. Almost three years to the day that I got my tonsils out, same doctor, same clinic. I am just that good.
The best part was, when I finally got over the shock of how fast all this happened I looked at the pre-surgery instructions and noticed that number two on the list is. Don't pick your nose. Really? They have to tell me this? But anyway, that's the doctors visit that began me on the Wegner's path. After I had the scars removed my ENT decided to run some blood to check for an autoimmune disorder and I came back slightly ANCA positive.

I am almost certain that the only reason I keep getting told by this ENT that I need to come back and see him is that I present an interesting case. Granted, when my symptoms were being caused by some unknown nose eating invisible monster, my case was much more interesting. Now that it's Wegner's.... well, I'm still an interesting case, but part of his curiosity is sated.


  1. If he is curious I guess that means he will work hard on your case. At least I hope so!

  2. @ The Reverend: Hey! You're my first commenter! Yeah, he's funny to go see. He's cranky with everyone else, so I feel kind of special. I would highly recommend him, though, if you ever need any ear, throat or nose work!