Friday, July 9, 2010

Robert and the Crab Knocker

My face is a work of art – by Picasso. My chin is recessed. I have a severe overjet (my upper jaw sits much farther forward than my lower jaw) and overbite (my upper teeth completely cover my lower teeth). My bite is deep – my lower, front teeth touch the roof of my mouth. (Read that again if you need to. Can't figure out how that's possible? Well, it is.)

When I was little, my cousin, Robert, hit me in the face with a wooden crab mallet. It really hurt at first. I stood in front of the long mirror that was built in to our hall closet. I moved my nose from side to side and wherever I put it, it stayed. It was broken. But it stopped hurting and my parents never noticed. And that was that. Like most kids, I didn't put things back where they belonged and I ended up with a severely deviated septum.

I met with my ENT, Dr. Stacy Gray at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. She was great. She examined me with a scope that looked exactly like a meat thermometer that she inserted completely into my nose. (Got it? Picture that?) She very tactfully told me that I have "quite a few structural abnormalities", "a lot going on with my nose", and "a complicated septum." OK, that didn't sound tactful, but those statements are taken out of context. Her opinion was that my snoring is largely structural. My recessed chin, deviated septum and congenitally smaller sinus are the perfect storm for obstructive sleep apnea despite the fact that I am "otherwise thin." Yes, she desribed me as "otherwise thin." Seriously, it made my whole week.

She referred me to a maxillofacial surgeon and a plastic surgeon.

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