I’ve wanted to be able to breathe better for years. When I ran* hard and I had to push my nose upwards in order to be able to take in all the air I needed, I wished my nose worked like that in a fingerless modus operandi, at all times.
*Read “ran” as: ran, biked, skied, swam, or anything that got my cardiovascular and pulmonary systems at a level above 80% of their maximum capacity.
As of the last year, I found yet another reason why I wanted my nose to work in a different way. My inability to inhale through my nose left my body only one option, one that I couldn’t control once I fell asleep: breathing through my nose. Unfortunately, silent mouth-breathing was apparently impossible for me, so I snored as loud as a hog.
Sure, that’d happened for my whole life, but I’ve been sharing my life with Kelly… and I have intentions of living the rest of my life with her, so this was something that jumped to the top of my “things to do to make Kelly happier” list. Specially after keeping her from sleeping to the point that she recorded me so I could hear how loudly I snored: Click here to listen!
So that’s how I ended up in the Saint Mary’s operation room on Monday 18th of January of 2010. Doctor Anthony Zamboni took care of me, but it’s not like I remember anything. All I remember is going in the OR with a robe on, breathing through the Oxygen mask, and waking up feeling like I was in Jupiter.
The original procedure I went under was a Septoplasty. This was a pretty straight-forward concept to understand: my Septum was deviated, so the doctor was going to go in and straighten it out. Since I work at a fancy radiology center, I have access to my very own Computed Tomography of my sinuses, so check it out here:
However, when I talked to Dr. Zamboni about how much I wanted him to knock me out and use tiny little knives on and in my face, I explained to him that one of the results I was hoping for was the lack of snoring. He suggested putting me through a small Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, where he would “just take out a bit of the soft palate”. This was only going to add 10 minutes to the surgery, and would greatly increase my air tunnel in the back of my throat. Since I figured that we might as well do all we can to take care of business, I agreed to it.
The recovery process from the surgery wasn’t too bad. This is mostly thanks to the excellent care that my loving fiancee Kelly provided. Lortab made me feel very little pain, and a lot of fun muscle relaxation moments. I’d have to say that the hardest part of the recovery was resisting the urge to pick my nose, which was 100% stuffed with a magically grotesque combination of mucus and blood.
10 days after the surgery, Dr. Zamboni removed the splints that were holding my nose together, and I took my first breath with my “new” nose. What a moment! I had never felt so much airflow through my nostrils, and in that moment I knew that the surgery had been worth the suffering and the $2.5k that I’d saved up to pay for it.
Since then, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying being able to exercise without having to put a finger to the tip of my nose. Additionally, Kelly claims to have been enjoying the more silent lack of saw-logging that used to come from me. Yay!