Innermost Secret 54 | The Final Secret (My Nose Job)

DSC00863The end is here. This is my final post in my Innermost Secrets series. It’s been fun reliving old memories from my days at Camp Manitou-Lin, but now it is time to say goodbye to them and start creating new and ever more horrifying secrets.

Want to start at the beginning? Try these: Innermost Secrets 1-8, 9-15, 16-21, 22, 23-27, 28-32, 33-37, 38-4243-48, and 49-53.

54th (and final) Innermost Secret

  • One time, I broke my face.

It happened while I was in high school. My church’s youth group was participating in some kind of multi-church event. The games were of a competitive nature. The winning church got more of God’s love. Just kidding. The winners just got bragging rights, which I guess means that they actually sinned more. Oh well.

Anyway, the game that broke my face was one played with a large ball, probably about four feet in diameter. Each of the four churches designated ten players to represent them. The players were organized by height along one of the four lines and assigned corresponding numbers (10=tallest, 1=shortest). Numbers were then called out and the people associated with them ran to the center of the square and tried to both prevent the giant ball from crossing their team’s line and get the giant ball across a different team’s line. When things got boring, multiple numbers were called.

It was during one of these boring moments when three numbers were called out. A small mob soon formed around the ball, and then it was airborne. Once it was up, the mob gathered below, all waving fists and elbows, anything to guide the ball away from their team’s line.

And then I made contact. Not with the ball, but with someone’s elbow. Possibly, it was the back of their head. At the flash of pain, I fought my way out of the scrum. When I touched my nose, my fingers came away red.

Now, nose bleeds and I are no strangers to each other. When I wrestled in middle school, not a practice went by without my nose leaking a bit of heart-juice. I would just wad up some toilet paper, shove it up my nose, and return to the mat.

When I saw the blood that night, I thought, Man, that’s really bleeding, but I didn’t think anything other than that. I excused myself to get some toilet paper from the bathroom. My trick about stuffing a was up my nose wasn’t working though. The flow was just too strong. I ended up pinching my nose shut and waiting for the flow to staunch itself.

After ten or fifteen minutes, it slowed enough for me to look in the mirror and assess the mess that I would need to clean up. But in looking at the bloody mess that lived below my nose, I noticed something else. My nose was no longer centered on my face. It was noticeably off, probably by half and inch or so.

When the event was over, my parents were called, and I went off to the emergency room. This wasn’t my first trip to the emergency room after a youth group event, and I feel bad for my youth pastor that he had to make at least two calls to my parents that preceded hospital visits for me.

The doctor who looked over my x-rays said about the least helpful thing a doctor could say, which was to state the obvious. “It’s broken,” he said. I knew that, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I asked. “Well,” he said, “in a little while, we’ll have to re-break it and set it properly so you can breathe normally through it again.”

Great.

By the time we left the hospital, my nose no longer hurt. It just looked strange. I imagined that I looked ruggedly handsome in a way, but that didn’t really help the breathing issue.

I soon met with the Otolaryngologist  (Ear, Nose & Throat Doc), and we scheduled my nose job over Christmas break, so I wouldn’t have to miss any school while I healed. Very thoughtful, I thought. I mean, what kid wants to miss school?

By the way, my nose doctor’s name was Dr. Nosanov. I just think that’s funny. Okay, back to the story.

For the surgery, I got to be put all the way under. I remember hearing Simon and Garfunkel playing when I started counting backwards and wondering if I would wake up thinking about the same thing as when I went under the anesthetic. When I woke up, I wasn’t thinking that. I was thinking about the episode of Seinfeld when Jerry goes to the dentist, gets anesthesia, and wakes up to blurry images of what he thinks are people just putting their clothes back on. Thus, I thought, “I hope people aren’t having sex in front me,” as I woke.

My second thought was one of discomfort. The initial break had taken only a second and within an hour, my nose no longer hurt. The surgery left me with two black eyes, swelling so bad that I couldn’t see or hear well, no sense of smell (my nose had been packed with gauze and between my ears, a little sling had been fashioned to catch anything that dripped out), and no sense of taste. In fact, the only sense that was working well was touch, and since the only thing I could feel was pain, it was the one I wanted least.

The rest of my Christmas vacation was pretty grim, but by the end of it, the swelling had gone down enough to hear and see and such. I went back to the doctor to get my gauze out and he said that it would take a little while for all of the swelling to go away.

I don’t remember how long it took, but when the swelling did go all the way down, I was in for another surprise. As shocked as I was to see my nose on the wrong side of my face when it broke, I was more shocked when I looked in the mirror and saw that my nose, though centered, was a stranger to me.

Before the surgery, my nose had something that I like to call, “The Mosey Bump”. My brother had it, my father had it, and his father before him. In the picture below, you can see it quite clearly. It was quite a feature.

185219_4491205239730_1631785572_n

The Infamous Before.

But after the surgery, my bump was gone. Where once stood a mogul, now I had a clear ski slope. I had gone under thinking that the doctor was just going to straighten things out, but apparently, once he got in there, he couldn’t help himself and he just had to make my nose prettier.

us_1

The Beautiful After (I’m on the right)

It wasn’t until I got a chance to read through the surgery notes (which I had procured for my Army ROTC scholarship documentation) that I learned what happened to my Mosey Bump. It fell victim to a tool called a Bone Scraper. I kid you not. It didn’t even stand a chance.

Now, I’m fine with my new nose. That happened quite a while ago and I’m used to it. When I see pictures of the old nose, that is the one that looks strange to me. But now I have children of my own, and I fear for them. What happens if they inherit the Mosey Bump and start thinking that they are not mine? What if they want to get some kind of plastic surgery, like their old man had?

Oh well. All that for another day I guess. Sorry for the long post, but it was the last of my Innermost Secrets and I wanted to do it justice. Also, unlike many of my secrets, this story is all true, so the details were just sitting there, ripe for the writing.

Thanks for reading!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States of America. It is a day of eating too much, watching sporting events, and saying what we are thankful for. And since I overeat regularly without need for special day and I don’t really pay attention to sporting events, I will focus my attention on the third item.

I am thankful for my wife. She is better than I deserve or could ever ask for. Her work ethic is beyond reproach. Her smile brightens the room. And her sense of humor is perfectly suited to the sick things that make me laugh.

I am thankful for my daughters. They are pure delight and so worth the effort and the sleepless nights. I love being their dad almost as much as I love being my wife’s husband.

I am thankful for my job. Baker Book House is not only the best indie bookstore in the world, it is the best place to work in the world. For being a retail store, I have a standard schedule, good pay, and am surrounded by people whose company I honestly enjoy. Thank you Herman Baker for starting your wonderful store so many years ago!

I am thankful for my pastor. Pastor Nelson Koon helps the Bible come alive through his preaching and his lifestyle. Though this is his first church after Bible school, our pastor has maturity beyond his years and a deep understanding of the needs of his flock.

I am thankful for new opportunities that find me. In the last year, I started this blog, I was asked to contribute a chapter to a book, I am getting back to review books, I have a mutually beneficial advertising arrangement with a pizza shop in town, I got to be part of the committee that made decisions for the building project at my bookstore, and on and on. So many cool things have happened and I feel honored to be part of them all.

And I am thankful for you, my reader. I know that sounds cheesy but having people read what I write validates this crazy dream of mine to be a writer. Thank you and have a Happy Thanksgiving today!

A King and a Kingdom | Happy 4th of July

Picture taken by Thomas Campbell on 9/24 at the Derek Webb concert at Ecclesia Church in Houston, Tx.When it comes to music, there are people who listen to the CD in its entirety and there are people who get stuck on one song and listen to it over and over. I fall into the latter category, especially when it comes to the music of Derek Webb.

I first heard Derek on the self-titled Caedmon’s Call record back in the early 2000’s. I think my brother is the one who introduced me to Caedmon’s Call. Anyway, back then, the song that I got stuck on was “Center Aisle.” Even now, I can’t listen to the song just once when it comes up on my iPod.

But what does that have to do with the 4th of July?

Ever since he went solo, Derek Webb has been a prophetic voice in the classic sense of reproving the church. His songs are not toe-tapping ditties meant to entertain. They are calls to action, uncomfortable reminders, and scourging truths. That said, they still fall into the “can’t listen to it just once” category for me. Maybe because I need to hear the truth again and again for it to sink in. Maybe I just enjoy the songs.

Either way, I wanted to share the lyrics for Derek Webb’s song “A King and a Kingdom” today, as Americans feel the swell of patriotism, in order that we may not forget that if we are Christians, the USA is not our final home and our allegiance is owed to one greater than this country or any country.

 

A King and a KingdomMockingbird

 Appears on: Mockingbird

Lyrics
Who’s your brother, who’s your sister
You just walked past him, I think you missed her
As we’re all migrating to a place where our Father lives
‘Cause we married into a family of immigrants

[Chorus]
So my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country or a man
My first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
It’s to a King and a Kingdom

There are two great lies that I’ve heard
The day you eat of the fruit of that tree you will not surely die
And that Jesus Christ was a white, middle class Republican
And if you wanna be saved you have to learn to be like him

[Chorus]

And nothing unifies like a common enemy
And we’ve got one sure as hell
He may be living in your house
He may be raising up your kids
He may be sleeping with your wife
Oh he may not look like you think