In June, after extensive evaluation with brilliant doctors at Vanderbilt, I was handed a list of standard ENT operative procedures and roughly HALF the list of procedures was check marked for me. Oh yeah, and to add an element of mystery to the process, I was told that I have nasal valve collapse which requires reconstructive surgery. I would still have ‘my nose’ but a version that would actually be able to breathe. I was given a folder containing about 20 pages with titles like ‘What to Expect after
According to the specialists, I have never really been able to breathe because of my nasal anatomy. Until lately, I have found ways to function around the issue and perform at a relatively high level. In 2007, I had a newborn baby and a kindergartener, took my growing consulting business independent, and served as Board Chairman of one of the largest Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the world (during a period of record growth). It was both exhilarating and exhausting. I roared through 2008 & 2009 with equal gusto and somewhere along the way I got really tired…. really, really tired. I thought that it was my body telling me to slow down and take it easy, so I did… I cut out every extra activity possible on my busy agenda… amped up my workouts… but I was still exhausted. And I suddenly noticed that I was working and playing and managing the family through daily headaches and nasal conjestion and a general, miserable fog.
In May 2010, I was ending a very large, high profile project and decided to take a month off. I took three amazing young boys to Disney World for eight days as my last spur-of–the-moment hurrah and then visited Vanderbilt’s ASAP program to get an allergy/sinus assessment on May 21. Fast forward exactly four months later and here I sit- breathing freely through my nose for the first time ever in my life. Tears of joy to say the least!
More detail below if you are interested; I wrote this because there is very little info out there for folks in my condition and I hope this will help someone. Below is a post-surgery journal and an expanded explanation of my condition and the road to treatment.