So a few months ago I was taking a victory selfie with my dog. Naturally.
Cap was at work, the kids were asleep, and I was doing a parade lap because the house was marginally clean and I wasn’t drowning in work for the first time in a while.
I settled behind my gigantic 110lb lap dog for a quick pose, and extended my arm as far as it would go, all the while picturing the caption: “We got this.”
Of course my dog’s massive noggin blocked my puny head effortlessly and I scrambled to make my arm longer and put my face more in frame.
Rolo panted excitedly (he loves photos) and tried desperately to resist chasing his tail. I put my arm around him and reached out even further to get….that…damn…shot…
The next few moments presented a complex choreography:
Rolo shifted on his paws.
I lost my balance.
Rolo rethought his participation in the shoot.
I went careening towards the ground.
Rolo decided that was the exact moment for his exit and threw his head back with gusto to jump to all fours.
There was a large crack.
In the surreal moments that followed, Rolo was somehow on top of me displaying great concern, and I was listening to someone’s yell echo in my ears.
Oh wait. That was me yelling.
I was holding my face like it was about to peel off. My eyes were watering like crazy and I couldn’t breathe because there was— oh balls. That’s blood.
I stood up reeling.
Victory, my ass.
Rolo looked at me happily, his gigantic bacon tongue hanging over his teeth, and I glanced from him to the mirror.
Well, it wasn’t that bad. There wasn’t that much blood. It was barely a trickle. And I have a mushy nose, so yeah it looked a little bigger than normal. And there was a weird purple line on the bridge. And my eyes were a little swollen, but whatever.
Maybe it was the adrenaline or the fact that I’d binge-watched the entire Rocky series earlier that month, but I just assumed I’d taken one hell of a South Paw (HAAAAA! See what I did there?!) beating, and I’d be fine if I took a couple Tylenol and iced my face for 5 minutes.
The next morning. my head was pounding and my face ached. My front teeth were numb.
“Oh. It’s a bit crooked isn’t it…”
Turns out that impact had caused what looked like a fracture and a deviated septum, which, looking back does explain the vacuum-like suction that one of my nostrils helplessly flapped against every time I took a breath in.
Of course as soon as we identified that there was something wrong, I proceeded to get smashed in the face not 1, but 3 different times by my cherub-faced yet aggressively back-arching son. Back-of-head to bridge-of-nose contact.
I was referred to an otolaryngologist (ENT) and a plastic surgeon, and ended up in the capable and super professional hands of Dr. Stephen Mulholland and his team at SpaMedica.
I couldn’t figure out why that name was familiar to me but it turns out that I passed by their offices on a regular basis and I’d seen him in pretty much every magazine and TV show including Cityline, BT, Today Show, and The Doctors.
You can read about him here, because I’m more convinced that he’s a superhero. He’s won a GEMINI for Crissakes. Yes. For real, as in for television. Which means that he is not only a top surgeon, but he’s played one on TV. HA.
His vast experience didn’t stop me about totally freaking out of course – I kept thinking I was going to go in and get my breathing fixed and come out looking like MJ gone wrong in the process. I don’t know. The brain goes to weird places. Happily that never happened.
Dr. Mulholland and his staff didn’t ever sell me anything, pressure me, or leave things unexplained. Our consult actually almost moved me to tears. I have no idea how I lucked out, but he seemed to intuitively understand my autoimmune conditions, and my concerns with recovery. He got it. I didn’t have to tell my story a gazillion times.
We booked the day surgery for septorhinoplasty a month later.
I was under general for the procedure, and it really wasn’t too uncomfortable in the days that followed although I made sure to stare at Rolo through my swollen eyes to make him feel extra guilty. (Yeah, I know. It wasn’t his fault. Damn selfies.)
On Day 4 Post-op, when I had my packing removed (that’s what feels like a gazillion yards of gauze taken out of your nose- like clowns from a car) I could breathe better than I could remember breathing at any time IN MY LIFE. Even with all the swelling.
Remember the oxygen bar craze of the early 2000’s? This was like that except much more exclusive. My quality of sleep improved immediately…Well that and I was getting high from breathing.
So far its only been 3 weeks, but the staff and facility have rocked. I still have quite a while until swelling goes down (it can take up to 1 year for swelling to completely recede) and it’s still tender, but I know I’m in good hands.
The moral of this story is multi-pronged:
- Dogs make terrible Directors of Photography.
- Never take a selfie with a dog that weighs more than 30 lbs.
- DO consider protective headgear when your child starts moving into toddlerhood and/or when taking selfies.
- DO absolutely use protective headgear when taking selfies with my dog.
- Don’t get cocky at the end of a parenting day.
- Don’t let Rocky Balboa be your doctor.
- Do check out SpaMedica. Seriously.
I’ll be keeping you up to date about what happens next, and yes, at some point when I’m fully healed I’ll post some pics of the progress arc.
And just in case you were wondering?
Not. Even. Sponsored.