Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

September 15, 2014

My Nose

Filed under: Childhood Memories — Janice @ 9:07 pm

This week I am having my nose fixed. I am not getting it fixed cosmetically (at least I hope my nose doesn’t appear changed); I am having the septum fixed so maybe I can breathe again.

I have a vivid memory of the day I broke my nose when I was about 8. Our neighbor boys, Danny and David, were at the house one evening. Mom and Dad were outside with me and my sister and all the kids were on bikes. Danny challenged me to a race and I jumped on my pedals and started around the back drive of the house. At that point I looked back to see how far in the lead I was. Danny hadn’t even started to race, obviously sending me off on a fool’s errand. At that point I hit something and it sent me flying over the handlebars and face first into the gravel drive.

I was wearing one of my favorite dresses at the time. This was back when girls still wore dresses on a regular basis and even played in them, especially after school. I remember Mother and Daddy on each side of me, holding an arm and helping me back to the house. Our playing for the day was over.

But the nosebleeds had just begun. It seems to me I was home from school a week and Mother and I were up ALL NIGHT LONG every night with my nose bleeding. I probably am remembering that part wrong, but I do remember a lot of blood. My nose was also swollen at the time. I remember thinking I was particularly funny when I said that Daddy and I looked more alike than we had before because now my nose was as big as his. I even wrote that clever observation in a letter to my grandparents where I told them about the bike wreck. I recently inherited that letter. I remember writing it very clearly and I know I was “grown up” and in my head I am exactly the same person I was then. But, now, re-reading that letter and seeing the scrawled writing, it is obvious it was written by a little bitty girl.

I think it was a full 10 days before we finally went to the doctor to have him look at my nose. This was the 60s, remember. We didn’t run off to emergency clinics for every scrape. We didn’t even HAVE emergency clinics for those things.

I remember the doctor examining my nose and saying that it was crooked and that if I wanted to, I could have it straightened out when I was 18. He said if we had come in as soon as it had happened he would have stuck a rod up my nose and straightened it out, but it was too late at this point. The way he described how he would have straightened it out, I was VERY glad we had not come in earlier.

For a good long time as a kid I was prone to having nosebleeds. My nose never looked crooked so I didn’t worry about what the inside might be like. When we moved to Austin, Mark’s doctor suggested he get his nose fixed and help him to breathe better. It did wonders. I officially had a doctor tell me that I had a deviated septum and I began thinking about having it fixed.

But, boy, making the decision to have a surgery that a doctor doesn’t tell you you have to have is not easy. But I have met my medical deductible this year so it makes this surgery a bargain for me and I decided I couldn’t pass that up.

In the 3 weeks since I saw the doctor for the initial visit, I have not been able to use Afrin. I was not an Afrin addict and didn’t use it ALL the time, but during some seasons I used it regularly (and way more than the 3 days you are supposed to use it) and quite often I do use it at night just so I can breathe and go to sleep. I have done without for almost 3 full weeks now and it has not been easy. I quite often am not breathing through one side of my nose. I am hoping that the surgery is fast and easy and any swelling goes away fast and I’m breathing deeply by this weekend.

Here’s a picture from about the time I broke my nose. There were no child labor laws yet either.


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