Five years post-op, I finally took time off to visit my ENT doctor today to discuss a couple things that have been bugging me. He’s highly intelligent, quite literal, and very no-nonsense except when the jokes are his own. If you’ve ever heard me refer to my nose as “decidedly not very Anglo”, you can thank this guy for that expression because he randomly muttered it while examining my nose at my first appointment. Visits to his office are always lively for one reason or another, whether it’s because of the commentary or the post-op splint removal. (Want to watch a horror story? Google “septoplasty splint removal” and feel badly for me for having had to go through that BS.)
The doctor’s “lazy”–his word–front desk staff rescheduled me for the wrong day and never called to notify me that according to their schedule I was supposed to see them on Monday, so I asked them to try to squeeze me in since I’d already taken time off from work, driven across the city when I didn’t feel well, and dealt with their crummy parking situation for an appointment I thought had been scheduled for today. That parking situation, by the way, involved someone ahead of me in the one-way parking garage blocking traffic by trying to squeeze into parking spots then slowly, so slowly, reversing in stops and starts before proceeding to try yet another spot.
Important data points:
1. They repeated this routine FIVE times while I was there to witness it.
2. They were driving a Corolla.
3. Those spots were at least 90s model Camry sized.
4. Yes, Toyotas are a unit of measurement.
Then I spent 40 minutes in the doctor’s waiting room with a very loopy Valium-ed man who loudly, and repeatedly, announced that he was “VERY HIGH!” and “reeeeeally looking forward to [his] sinuplasty” while the office staff talked nonstop about chocolate Rice Krispie treats, cake, and how much they want to lose weight but they hate walking. When it was my turn to be seen, the ENT doctor inserted various metal instruments into my very runny nose and declared that I “look great!”. Then we discussed some things.
C: So that uncomfortable bump under my nose…
Dr: It may be a nylon stitch working its way out.
C: Can it be removed now?
Dr: It’s not moving, and I don’t want to do surgery for it.
C: No, I don’t want surgery. What if I take a painkiller, like the guy in the waiting room did, and you make one tiny incision just to remove that stitch?
C: My left sinus makes a popping noise several times daily and my left ear is frequently stopped up, even when I take antihistamines. This has been going on for at least a year. Should I be concerned?
Dr: Let’s order a CT scan. *points to diagram and explains theory*
C: Okay, what if your theory is true?
Dr: It wouldn’t be an awful surgery like your first one. I’m doing a balloon sinuplasty right now. *points to the room next door, pauses, then laughs* Well, not RIGHT now… but anyway, if we find out that you need one, they’re easy and the downtime isn’t what you experienced before.
C: Okay, I’ll agree to the CT scan to find out. Then we’ll negotiate.
Dr: *stares, applies hand sanitizer, scratches nose*
*thinks this doctor would probably be a good interrogator*
*realizes she’s probably just bad at being interrogated*
*refuses to scratch nose for the remainder of the appointment*