"I'm just looking for polyps," the silver-haired doctor explained.
"Ooooww," I moaned and closed my eyes against the white walls and cramped-in furniture of the small office.
The short, glasses-wearing nurse next to me repeatedly commanded, "Just breathe through your nose."
I tried, but air barely squeezed into my nostrils, and the pain didn't lessen.
"Oh! Uh-oh. You need surgery," the doctor nonchalantly said as he removed the wire from my nose and I gulped air. "Yep, you have a deviated septum."
"Surgery! That sounds scary," I said with a smile, my usual strange reaction to disturbing news.
"My experienced surgical hands aren't scared," he replied. "Do you ever find it harder to breathe out of your right nostril than your left?"
"Um, yeah, I guess so."
"Oh." I pulled on the ends of my long brown hair, feeling fidgety. "So how does this happen?"
"Well, since you said you weren't beat up lately--it probably happened at birth."
Suddenly, a lifetime of breathing problems and chronic sinus infections made sense.
I thought of my sister once teasing me for constantly having my mouth open and was glad I now had an explanation for my doing so.
"You mean, I'll finally be able to breathe through my nose!" I excitedly said. Then, I remembered I needed surgery to get there.
The first surgery of my life. Under anesthesia. My heart pounded, and I pulled harder on my hair.
It was no matter that I learned the surgery would only last an hour. I've been thinking about death a lot lately, and I'm worried I'll never wake up from a medically induced sleep.
My boyfriend told me, "I get it with the anxiety and stuff, but I wouldn't mind doing an operation if I knew it's nothing that could probably kill me. I don't think it's something you should be worried about."
But if I could barely handle a wiry scope up my nose, how could I handle surgery?
So--what I would like from you, dear readers, is a little advice and perspective on the choice I have to make soon.
If you had a deviated septum, would you get surgery? Why or why not?