Last week a kindly doctor performed an act upon my body so vile, so heinous, so . . . anatomically bizarre that I can only call it rape. Rape of the nose.
Remember my goiter? Well, my thyroid doctor thinks it may be crushing my throat when I sleep and possibly causing sleep apnea. I beg to differ, but I followed his order and saw an ENT doctor. I expected a quick, painless exam of my E, N, and T, followed by a brisk “Get outta here.”
I’m all set to leave, but then the doc brandishes a nasty-looking instrument. It’s a lo-o-o-ong, flexible tube. He tells me he’s going to use it to look at my throat. OK. I obediently open my mouth. Aaaaahhhh.
No. He wants to insert this monstrosity into my NOSTRIL, where it will snake up and then down into my throat. Why, God, why? When my throat is RIGHT HERE? The human throat is designed for things to go down it (shut up); nostrils are NOT! I don’t even understand how this works. Isn’t there cartilage or something back there? What if he pokes my brain?
Regardless, in and up goes the tube. Just when I think it’s going to be blocked by my nasal wall or whatever. . . gaaaahhh . . . down it goes. The sensation is not painful but so very uncomfortable and so very wrong.
He tells me to close my mouth and breathe through my nose. Impossible, but I do it. He pinches my nostrils closed and tells me to blow. OK, then can I die? Next I have to go “eeeeeeeeee” in a high-pitched voice. Now he’s just messing with me.
Finally the tube is removed. Oh, thank god. My eyeball starts gushing water. I don’t know whether to sniffle or cough or blow my nose or puke. I feel violated. It’s like I had this secret passageway and it’s been breached. I’ll never be the same.
I wait for my “Get outta here,” but it doesn’t come. Instead he’s writing notes. Writing, writing, writing. Shit.
“Your throat opening, instead of being round, like this” (he demonstrates by making an “O” with both hands).
“Is flat, like this” (hands narrow to make a hot dog shape).
Oh, that’s just great. I’m too traumatized by the rape of my nasal cavity to process this information, but later I curse myself for not asking the zillions of questions that have been plaguing me since.
Should I eat only flat food? Are all the kids going to call me Flat Throat? Isn’t it enough that I’m flat-chested—now I’m flat-throated? Shouldn’t I be going to the ER in an ambulance right about now? Is it possible to live with a flat throat? Are my dreams of starring in “Deep Throat 3: It’s Me, JD” totally ruined?
A CT scan will help answer these questions. And you know I’ll do my best to get a picture of my flat throat for you to laugh at.
Next on I Do Things: I Go to a Sleep Center—Yes! Where They Hook You Up with Tubes and Electrodes and Watch You Sleep—to See if I Have Sleep Apnea!