Monday, July 20, 2009

I think I'll just go Full Bionic

Check this out:

(Click to enlargenate.)

It's the CT scan of my skull. I know you can't tell at this resolution, and also because you don't know how to read the thing either, but what you're looking at, apart from a massive brain cavity, is a deviated septum.

You guys remember my sleep study and CT scan. And now the verdict is in: deviated septum, most likely from my ice skating accident, although I guess it could have been a bike wreck I had on my ninth birthday. (That was epic. Biking down the biggest hill in my neighborhood as fast as possible, then dragging my feet to burn the rubber off my sneakers. I had just learned about friction and wanted to see it in action. I lost control, nearly concussed my fool self, and had some dental damage I'll be carrying with me forever.)

After my doctor visit this morning to look at my scans, I know a lot more about how all this works. The process goes like this:

  • My deviated septum blocks about 80% of the airflow in my right nostril.
  • To compensate, I breathe more heavily through my mouth when sleeping.
  • The air dries out my mouth instead of flooding into my nice mucousy sinuses.
  • My throat compensates by gradually creating more saliva glands. (That explains why I had to constantly clear my spit valve in my marching band days)
  • To make room, my soft palate grows.
  • The larger soft palate flops back when I'm lying down, and rattles as the airflow through my mouth goes by. That rattling comes out as some impressive snoring.

The part that's more serious than getting elbowed into silence at night is that all this blockage drops my blood oxygen level to about 84%. That's not too bad, but they don't like it to get below 90%, and this issue has a tendency to get worse with age. A lack of oxygen in your blood can lead to legions of other problems (including heart attacks and strokes).

So it looks like there's more surgery in my future. The doctor will straighten my septum and cut away the floppy part of my palate. I won't be able to snore if I wanted to. Not sure when yet. Either as soon as I can arrange it or after Dragon*Con.

Or maybe, as Skepchick Elyse Anders said, this is all a ploy to keep my hetero life partner Tim Farley interested. But Tim stood me up for dinner last night and is now considered a fickle bitch.

But just in case I have the option, I need advice in picking the next model nose. I'm considering something sporty, like the 2002 Punky Brewster. I am sick of the 1984 Steve Perry I've been driving. Or maybe a classic model, like the '62 Peck (Special Mockingbird Edition).

So I'm looking forward now to the Fall Procedure. I'm going to guess appendicitis. Anyone know where I can get some liquid adamantium and a big syringe?


krelnik said...

Hey, I had a choice between playing Wii Bowling with my adorable 6 year old nephew, or having dinner with you and the rest of the skeptics for the second night in a row. I think I'm comfortable with my decision to stick with family. Nyah.

The Man Version said...