I got a nose job!

On Monday, July 20, 2015 ... I got a nose job!

Or a septum job. Whatevs, right?

When the ENT went in to fix my septum, he realized it was in way worse shape than he thought it was in. To repair it ... he grafted cartilage from my ear onto the defected septum. 

If that doesn't sound yummy, I don't know what does!

Very quickly after waking up from surgery I began to question people who get real nose jobs. For the life of me, I will never know how anyone willingly subjects themselves to such horrific-ness!

Pain, pain, pain! Throwing up. Debilitating headaches. SO MUCH PRESSURE ON MY ENTIRE FACE I asked the nurse to chop off my head. Apparently more than once. Ha. 

During the surgery they put plastic stents into your nostrils. Never mind that nothing should ever be that large in your nostril! The pressure they produced cannot be compared. I was sick EVERY single day {that was 11 of them!} until they came out. Debilitating, laying on the bed, cannot move, want to throw up, ice pack on my head sick! 

I counted down the days until they came out. And never mind that the day before I was supposed to get them out the doctor called and said he wanted to leave them in for three more days! I about broke down and sobbed. 

As soon as they came out, I began to understand why people are okay living life again. :) 

I am still not out of the clear. The first two weeks are the most crucial to ensure the septum isn't disrupted, but it isn't until about six weeks that it is pretty safe to say a slight swat to the face won't break my nose and make me repeat the entire process ... and that's if they graft takes. 

That's right, the graft might not take! But when the ENT took out my stents he said it was looking SO good. So, that's what I am still banking on! I will know more on the 21st of August when I return to Ogden to see how it it going. 

Until then ... I do smell my own nose again. BUT! I am stent-free and all seems to be going well! Fingers crossed!


An ENT who NOSE.*

I've been told more than once that I haven't updated in xx amount of days.

There is good cause for this. 

And this post will begin to explain why. :)

I mentioned previously that I went to the ENTs in Logan for some answers regarding my nose. They were great for the soul purpose that they helped me stop smelling my own nose. For that, I will be eternally grateful. 

But other than that, they weren't too helpful. Things actually became so sketchy with them that I felt as I had no other option to get a second opinion outside of the valley. 

I opted to go to an ENT in Ogden. 

While there, I couldn't help but notice the irony of my t-shirt of being "home" while at yet another doctor appointment. 

This ENT was FABULOUS. He cleared up all the sketchiness from the Logan ENTs and provided a lot of answers. He discovered that my septum was deteriorating. After looking at some previous medical tests that had been done on me he determine that the vessels in my septum likely burst when my entire body became inflamed and was hospitalized.  This resulted in the deterioration of my septum and the constant nose bleeds. The deterioration of my septum likely caused an infection, which resulted in the never-ending sinus infection.

And voila! The mysteries of my 1.5-year-long nose problems were discovered!! 

This ENT also came up with a game plan to correct the deterioration of my septum through nose surgery, which would take place in 10 days from my appointment. Nervous, yet excited to finally have some answers and solutions! At least one item would be crossed off my bucket-list of autoimmune discovery! 

* Yes, I meant to be punny with my title. Thought shalt laugh. 


Where's Waldo?

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen people participating in contests at basketball, football games or similar events and thought, "Not in my long-legged life would I ever participate!"

Yet, here I am, at the Freedom Fire show on the third of July participating in a dang dumb contest. 

And for why?

So that I could get early entrance into the stadium and save a handi-man* seat for my brother and the surrounding seats for my family so we could all sit together. 

Some say I am the best sister in the world. And those some would be right. ;)

It must be said, that the little four-year-old in the patriotic dress to my left beat me. And every other adult and human in our group. 

Also, some say that I look like Where's Waldo? And those some also would be right. 


* Handi-man is a term coined by my brother. He received all royalties earned on the use of this word. ;)


The row of seats ...

Here in Logan, Utah we celebrate the the fourth of July ... on the third of July. 

Well, we have our huge firework show on the third and still do everything else on the fourth. So, it's like we celebrate for 48 hours straight, party time, chumps!

Today wasn't particularly stressful. Yet, at one point, as we prepared for the day's festivities, I broke down and cried.

I cried because there isn't anything in this world I wouldn't give to have tonight be EXACTLY like it was last third of July ... Where we sat in a Church parking lot with the fire alarms going off, eating Little Caesar's pizza and watching the fireworks from afar. 

I sat in a camping chair with my older sister and nephews by my side. And Steve too. We laughed as the fire alarm was distracting us from the fireworks and at the scene that played out with fire trucks and firemen. 

It was not an ideal situation at all, but it was just so good. And now, looking back, it was great. Because all five of us were there together and the other five not present, were safe and sound elsewhere on this earth. 

I cried because even though it was a nutty experience in celebrating the fourth, I'd give anything for that EXACT same experience today and every third of July for the rest of my life. I'd give ANYTHING to glance down a row of seats and see my Shtev. 

I wasn't able to do that today. And I'll never be able to do it again in this life. But I was able to glance down that row and see his wife and two sons smiling. And if I can't have Steve here with us, I'll take those smiles until he can be.


What is the exact opposite of fun?

This is. This is the exact opposite of fun.

The good news, I don't have cancer!

The bad news, I don't have anything ... err, at least the extremely invasive surgery/procedure proved to determine what we already knew - no one has no idea what is wrong with me or why my body is falling apart. 

How can something be so good and so bad at the same time?

On the plus side, after four days of a clear liquid diet only, a saltine cracker tastes like gourmet cuisine! I had never in my long-legged life, tasted such a FABULOUS saltine cracker as I did following the procedure. 

I then followed that up with raspberry, white chocolate chip with cream cheese drizzled pancakes. And a turkey steak, fries and six Maddox rolls. Yeah, six. Oh, then, a cream cheese brownie, naturally.

Here's to the two doctor appointments outside of Cache Valley over the next two weeks to see if they have any answers! :)


Textbooks without tears

One of the most difficult things in college was always the extra expense for textbooks. As if handing over your last dollar for tuition every semester wasn't enough, you have to find a way to fork out several hundred dollars more for textbooks!

And then, to top it off, when I would return my textbooks to the book store {because hey, what am I going to do with an atmosphere and weather textbook for the rest of my life???}, you get the smallest percentage of the book - IF they even take it back!

Fortunatley, the days of awful textbook purchasing and rentals are over! This is because of CampusBookRentals.com

With CampusBookRentals.com you can rent your textbook {don' worry - you can still highlight it for studying and notes} and save up to 90% off of bookstore prices! This is truly so perfect for those textbooks you don't intend to keep - but if you do - you can pay the difference of the rental price and the buying price too!

One other thing I love about this company is that they have flexible renting periods. This means, if you rent one book for fall semester, then realize you need the same book for a different class in spring semester, you can just rent it longer!

And if this isn't all wonderful enough, for every textbook rented, CampusBookRentals.com donates a portion to Operation Smile, where medical volunteers travel to third-world countries to repair cleft lips and palates of children. 

So, what are you waiting for? Rent away, friends!

I was compensated for this post by providing my honest and sincere opinion. 


When your body wants to resign from life ...

I have been to so many doctor appointments lately and have so many scheduled for the future, that ... it kind of seems that is what my summer break has turned into. One big doctor fest. I am not saying it's horrible. Oh, wait. I am. 

I was really hoping that after a visit to the ENT and the gastroenterologist that I would have some concrete answers. My biggest fear was that I would go and there would be just more questions. And that, my friends ... that's exactly what happened. 

I have been in pain every day since May 26th. And don't get me wrong, this isn't my normal autoimmune disorder pain that comes every day ... it's in addition to that. My entire digestive system is on downward spiraling train track, waiting for its inevitable careening out of control and crash! 

On this day, if I sat down and pressed really hard where my gallbladder is, it felt okayish for a bit. 
About a week after I went into the gastroenterologist, some tests that they took came back. And they came back positive ... which, is exactly what we didn't want to happen. 

Because of these positive results I "get" to go in for an extremely pleasant procedure in two weeks. It's so "pleasant" that I am not even going to tell you what it is. You're welcome.

I am really, really hoping I pass several days prior to this procedure so I will have no recollection of it whatsoever. And don't even worry about that this type of procedure is recommended for people two decades older than myself. Whatevs. It's cool. And by cool I mean totally and completely uncool. 

And maybe ... just maybe it might provide some answers so my body doesn't end up resigning its position in life without my permission. 

Oh, and my nose? Yeah, CT scan for that and hopefully that yielded some information, which I will find out on Tuesday. Like I said, it's a party. Anyone want an invitation??


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