Septoplasty I Underwent to Correct Nasal Breathing

Because of my having moderate non-smoker’s CODP (more common than most people think), my pulmonologist told me that I should have my sinuses checked out by an ENT doctor (Nose, Ears and Throat Specialist), to make sure I didn’t have something like sinus drainage at night, which can build in your lungs and cause a worse morning cough. Just to make a definition clarification – “adult onset asthma” is when you have some lung obstruction that is at least to some degree “reversible”. That just means that when they administer a bronchodilator during PFTs (pulmonary function tests), it will open up some of the obstructed breathing. During my tests, mine only improved by about 1% after bronchodilator and the percent of reversed obstruction, needs to be about 12% to diagnose lung obstruction as “asthma” (with fairly strong confidence).
This is not an absolute however, and different spirometer normal values (breathing test machines), use different sets of numbers, due to a patient’s weight/BMI, etc… What the ENT doctor found regarding me, via a head-only CT scan, was that I had a “deviated septum”, requiring an operation to correct it for better breathing through my nose (septoplasty). The “deviation’ seen on the tests means it was pushed too far to one side and needed straightened back out. When the middle of this cartilage in the nose is pushed to one side, which can be the case at birth or from injury at some point, it not only makes kind of a bulge toward one nostril, cutting off partial or all breathing on that side but if the deviation is in the middle of it, it can make an “S”-shape, partially cutting off breathing to both nostrils. Mine was pushing mostly to the right side, so much so, that on CT x-ray, it looked like an arrow or a vertical “V” pressing my right nostril outwardly a bit and not allowing much air to come into it. This caused me dry mouth with exercise and when sleeping at night.
Proper nose-breathing is important because it better exchanges the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs. It’s possible that mine occurred or was worsened if present at birth, when I was injured about 13 years ago (in year 2001), when my son and I were topping trees at a mobile home park we managed in West Oklahoma for 2.5 years. We were unloading a full-size U-Haul truck full of large limbs, when like an idiot, I pulled on one to dislodge it and it hit me smack in the nose! The impact was such that Zac and I found by glasses about 20 feet behind me. I held my nose and told him “don’t look….don’t look!” because I could feel sticks protruding from my nose and thought it was broken bone or cartridge. His main concern was to keep asking me “It’s not your eye is it dad?!” I kept telling him it was only my nose but when I got home, I had to dig 3 pieces of stick out of the flesh of my left nostril. Also like an idiot, I didn’t go to the doctor at that time and it left me with a notch on the rim of my nostril, that needed sewed up (you can barely see it today) but the main damage was inside my nose.
I feel this may have…actually very likely did contribute to my nose cartilage problem – my deviated septum. My operation went well but left me with a little more pain than I expected and lots of bleeding, with need to change bandages a lot (I know gross!). That’s why I didn’t take a pic of it because it was also stitched-up and I had two splint type devices – one inside each nostril that was taken after one week. I didn’t even show my wife Jan, the nose when not bandaged because it was slightly pugged, so I looked different. I told her I look like James Cagney when he plays a gangster in the old movies “Mmmm, you’re the guy that got my brother, now I’m the guy who’s gonna get you – mmmm”. So, that’s my nose job story, which was performed on me 08/18/2014. I have since recovered from the operation with moderate satisfaction in nose-breathing.

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