Friday, August 11, 2017

My Talking Heart - Chapter Three: Perils of the Pug Nose by Linda Lee Greene

Pug nose - a short nose; flattened and turned up at the end—or in other words, “short and sweet and cute.” Way way back in my early days of dating, one of my boyfriends dubbed me “No nose.” That is as good a description of my nose as any, I suppose. I also found this nice little ditty about pug noses somewhere online: “Short-nosed people are sensitive and loyal. They’re kind and sympathetic. They tend to be reserved and shy. They’re also hard-working.” Absent from these descriptions is the fact that pug nosed people, like pug nosed dogs, and other pug nosed animals have a devil of a time breathing easily.

A quick look at the genealogy of types of noses reveals that the DNA behind pug noses hails from European influences. This makes sense in my case, because according to, the largest percentage of my forebears hailed from Ireland, Wales, England and other Western European areas. That explains the preponderance of pug noses in my family, as well as why I am such an ardent Anglophile, I suppose. Inspector Morse and Doc Martin are my kinds of guy, and I would kill to be Vanessa Redgrave. Among several advantages Vanessa has over me that I could list here, but won’t, is that she managed to escape the “Perils of the Pug Nose,” as I call them. Her nose is of the “classic” type. There must be some Greek coursing her British blue-blood veins.

If you are blessed with a nose whose anatomy allows you to breathe effortlessly, you probably aren’t familiar with those breathing strips people stick across the width of their noses at night to aid in breathing. But, to you pug nosed people out there, I ask, “Have you ever tried to remove one of those breathing strips without ripping off at least two layers of skin in the process?” Those dang things hurt like holy hxxx. There are two ways of doing it: pry up one end and then rip the rest of it off in one fell swoop, or work it loose slowly one screaming skin cell by screaming skin cell. The first action results in a quick shriek of agony, the second in a long stream of scorching tears of pain. In either case, you’re left with a nose as red as Rudolph’s.

Years ago, a doctor told me that the turbinates inside my nose are much too large for its external structure. In other words, the casing of my nose is too tight for its contents. A turbinate or turbinal is a long, narrow, and curled shelf of bone that protrudes into the breathing passage of the nose in humans and various animals. I also have a deviated septum, acquired during the birthing process, we presume. The upshot is that these two anatomical anomalies inside my nose narrow the breathing passages to such an extent that I just cannot breathe without resorting to sprays or breathing strips, or whatever other therapies I can find. The problem is really bad at night when the mucous membranes of my nose swell and quite literally cut off my breathing. The result is a kind of sleep apnea that is worsening night by night. That ENT wanted to fix my nose surgically, but I chickened out, and have lived to regret it.

My sister Sherri thinks she has a remedy for me in an essential oil she swears by. She has a whole slew of them she uses for various therapies. The buzz is that they cure everything from toenail fungus to hair loss and beyond. Sherri says they are even helping her to lose weight. She is dropping off a supply for me this evening. I guess I am to rub the oil across the bridge of my nose, forehead, and sides of my neck, and to breathe it in as it forms a mist by way of a defuser. Of course, we are skeptical that an essential oil can straighten a deviated septum or pare down the curly bones inside a nose, but our hope is that it will keep the mucous membranes from swelling, and help in that way. I’m willing to give it a try. Anything is better than going under the knife or having to sleep with one of those breathing masks strapped to my face. Added to that the splint I am forced to wear on my left leg at night sometimes to stretch my injured Achilles tendon, as well as the sleeping mask I don to keep out the glow of a streetlight outside my bedroom window, and you have one hxxx of an alien creature in my bed. Then again, it might be a good deterrent to a night prowler, or an ardent suitor. Oh, the price we pay for a “cute” pug nose!  

Author and artist Linda Lee Greene is active on social media. You can find her at the following:
Twitter: @LLGreeneAuthor

Also look for her at LinkedIn and Google+

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