A Shocking Experience

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble breathing through my nose. The problem is especially bad in my left nostril. Over a decade ago, I had surgery back to cut back my turbinates, but didn’t get a deviated septum operation as my insurance company at the time denied it the day before the operation. (They claimed it was cosmetic only.)

Last month, I went to an ENT specialist concerning my nosebleeds. I was getting them on a daily basis and they were really troubling me. Now when I say nosebleeds, I don’t mean a bit of blood coming out of my nose, I mean a gush of blood necessitating constant pressure for 10-15 minutes. The nosebleeds always came from the same nostril, the left one. Yes, the same one that I can hardly breathe through.

Last month, the ENT packed my nose with special gauze to help my nostril’s blood vessels heal. This worked for a week or two. Then I got a nosebleed. The next week, I got another one. Then they started coming every 2 or 3 days.

Meanwhile, last week, JSL had strep. When I developed a sore throat (and heard that a few of my co-workers had sore throats), I wondered if I was getting strep as well. So I went back to the ENT, figuring I’d find out about the strep at the same time that I talk with them about my nose. They didn’t think I had strep, but did a culture just to be sure. (Results will take a few days.) Then it was time for my nose.

The nurse practitioner took a look in my nose and said that it was time to go for electrical-cauterization. They got their tools ready and here’s the intrument of torture:

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First, they soaked a cotton ball with some numbing solution. They shoved this up my nostril, causing numbing stuff to run down my lip and into my mouth. YUCK! After it had a few minutes to work, and after B took JSL out of the room, they began the cauterization. Think of the static electric shock you get from time to time when you touch a light switch. Multiply that by 10. Now put that shock inside your nostril. Yes, it was painful. Very painful. And, even worse, I could smell my nostril burning. (This burning smell would persist for hours afterwards.)

As a side effect of this procedure, I can’t breathe through either nostril now. (Not going to go into any more details since I think I’ve already strayed into TMI territory.) Last night was spent passed out for an hour, then up for an hour hacking and coughing and trying to, somehow, get comfortable enough to sleep.

I know that, in the long run, this will help me avoid nosebleeds. It was also a prerequisite for even considering any form of surgery on my nose to correct my breathing problems. Still, in the short term, it was quite the nasty procedure. I’m hoping to be able to rest a bit more today so I can go back to work tomorrow. (Not to mention being able to breathe a bit better.)

Project New Me: Week #10 or At The Halfway Mark #newme

Weight: 192 lbs (up 1 pound)

Average Hours of Sleep: 6.6 hours

Total Workout Time: 0

Total Calories Burned: 0

So here we are at the halfway point of my 20 Weeks/20 Pounds challenge. Currently, I weigh 192 pounds. Since I began at 207 pounds, this means that I’ve lost 15 of my 20 pounds, or five pounds over where I projected I’d be. Despite being two thirds of the way there, I’ve still got some hurdles to clear.

First of all, the last five pounds can be the most stubborn. I could easily hit a plateau now and not leave it until the challenge nears its conclusion. Secondly, Passover is coming up. With all the complications of life during Passover, I don’t need to add “counting points”, so I’m giving myself a Points-Free-Week then. This doesn’t mean I plan to engourge myself, but it also doesn’t mean I’m going to examine the box for calories/fat/fiber before I crunch into a piece of matzoh with cream cheese. With luck, I won’t gain too much during those eight days and I’ll still be able to complete the challenge.

Project New Me: Week #9 or Halfway Point Approaches #newme

Weight: 191 lbs (down 3.5 pounds)

Average Hours of Sleep: 6.2 hours

Total Workout Time: 0

Total Calories Burned: 0

Last week, we were dealing with JSL running a mysterious fever that we couldn’t keep down. Due to that, my normal routine of planning dinners ahead of time went out the window. Plus, we’re gearing up for Passover and that means buying less non-kosher-for-Passover food and trying to reduce the pantry stockpiles that we have. (What to do with assorted cans of beans, diced tomatoes and soup?) Even with all of that, though, I managed to drop 3.5 pounds. I’m now only four pounds away from my goal (total lost: 16 pounds) with just over half of my “Project New Me” time ahead of me. I’d say I’m doing quite well.

Illness-Related Blog Draught

I’ve been going through a bit of a blogging drought lately and it’s all JSL’s fault.  You see, he’s been sick recently.  101 fevers and screaming that his hair/head/ears hurt.  It makes it hard to blog when you’re worried about your little one.  And if he’s bunking in your bed, waking you up every so many hours, well the exhaustion that sets in doesn’t help.

Luckily, though, JSL has had some happy moments in between sickly complaining.  For example, last night I was sitting in bed trying to get him to sleep.  JSL saw my Twitter Feed and saw a tweet from ThinkGeek. Since ThinkGeek’s mascot (and Twitter icon) is Timmy the Monkey, JSL shouted "Da Da, look! Ooh ooh ahh ahh on Da Da’s computer!"  I told him that was ThinkGeek and we got him to say it.  I neglected to get it on video, but I just rectified this mistake.


Yes, he’s my little Geek-In-Training!  And hopefully, JSL-Geek-In-Training will get better soon.  Meanwhile, I’ll work on posts bit by bit.  They’ll just come out slower than I’d hoped.

Project New Me: Week #8 or Will-Power, or Lack Thereof #newme

Weight: 194.5 lbs (up 1.5 pounds)

Average Hours of Sleep: 6.6 hours

Total Workout Time: 0

Total Calories Burned: 0

I did very well this week until our little trip. You see, my nephew was born last Sunday which meant that this Sunday would be his bris. This meant driving to Buffalo, NY and the temptation of lots of good food. I would like to report that I sucessfully fended off all such temptation and stuck rigerously to my diet. I would like to report this, but I’d be lying. The truth is, I’m not so good when it comes to food-based temptations. I’ve gotten better over the years, but show me some bagels, cream cheese and good quality lox and my points-notebook gets tossed aside. Oh, and if there’s tasty rugelach and hamantashen to boot…. well, you get the point.

That said, I didn’t do too bad. I only gained a pound and a half. I’ve learned in the past that, when attempting to lose weight, you don’t confine yourself so strictly that you’re not allowed an indulgence or two. And, if your indulgences go beyond what you planned for, you don’t bury yourself in guilt. That will just lead to more eating and less weight loss. Instead, you accept what happened and try to learn from it. This might means taking steps to increase your willpower or putting yourself in willpower-comprimising situations less or simply planning in advance when you know such a situation is coming up. It is ok to fall off the wagon here and there so long as you immediately get back up, dust yourself off and jump right back on the wagon, gripping it tighter than before.

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