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A nose for trouble


No, I dote hab a code. My dabe id Adrew, ad I hab a chrodic sibus idfectiod. So dere.

Today is a good day, meaning I can breathe out of one nostril, and use the letter ‘N’ in casual conversation.

According to a doctor’s diagnosis, I have something called pansinusitis – a sinus condition that is surprisingly common among people these days, what with our weak immune systems and unusual propensity for allergies.

What that means essentially is that my sinuses are constantly inflamed and often infected, resulting in a runny nose, headaches, earaches, and some ungodly snoring that could literally wake the dead. Without Dristan I would probably be a single man by now.

How does one get pansinusitis?

I’m not sure, but mine is likely the result of the fact that my sinuses don’t drain properly, and that might have something to do with little league baseball, high school rugby, high school football, high school gym class, and skiing.

More specifically, five broken noses – a short hopper on a bumpy baseball field, a knee in a collapsing scrum, a thin wrist that somehow got through my football face mask on a block, an errant elbow playing basketball, and a T-bar.

The T-bar was the worst. My friend thought it was fun to bounce up and down on a stopped T-bar while parked on a flat spot, and accidentally slipped off to the side. The bar, which is suspended by an incredibly powerful spring mechanism, proceeded to spin around and up, cracking me in the lips and nose as it retreated upwards. I coated myself, my friend, a ski patroller and the bump shack with blood, and was nearly rushed to a hospital by ambulance until it miraculously stopped bleeding. It hasn’t really bled much since that day, and not for a lack of trying.

How does one person get five broken noses by the time he reaches 20 years of age?

To begin with, the Mitchell men are all cursed with large, pointy noses and below par hand-eye co-ordination.

My father broke his nose twice when I was young in utterly ridiculous ways. Once when a sticky garage door, the kind that tilt up, suddenly gave way. The cement counterweights and springs propelled the door upwards with enough force to knock my dad about five feet back in the air, catching him square on the honker.

On another occasion he was attempting to right a sloping shelf without removing any of its contents. He took a couple of books and half of his collection of duck decoys square in the face before he had the good sense to abandon ship.

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