When people would use the phrase “wake up and smell the roses”, I couldn’t even imagine what they were talking about. Or the perfume my mother wore. I always knew the name of the fragrance, but never the aroma. For me, having my nose fixed meant more than having it reshaped or resculpted. It meant being able to smell all those wonderful (and sometimes not so wonderful) things so many people took for granted. Like food. All my life, I not only had a breathing problem, I had a very poor appetite because I couldn’t smell or taste food. What sounds like a dieters dream was not. Only I didn’t realize all of these things until I had my nose done, for the second time. Although my nose was broken during a rough-and-tumble childhood play incident, it was the deviated septum that led me to the first surgeon’s office in Chicago. Unfortunately, I left still suffering a deviated septum as well as a nose that was disfigured.
The doctor used a technique he referred to as “closed”. He explained that he would not open up the skin tissue, but place a sharp instrument up through the nostril to scrape away the excess cartilage that was obstructing my breathing. Simple, right? Wrong. I found out later that the problem was that he scraped away too much cartilage because he couldn’t see what he was doing, causing the entire left side of my nose to slowly collapse. And I still couldn’t breathe! Dr. Richard Fleming was referred to me by another physician. I was told he would fix my nose for good. Immediately upon meeting him, I knew he would take care of me. He wasn’t cold and clinical, like the other doctor – he was warm and professional and explained how he would fix my nose in a way that made perfect sense to me. He would open up the nose so that he could look inside to see exactly what he was doing. Not just poke around in the dark.
Upon looking into my nose, Dr. Fleming was able to see that my original blockage was caused by a thin film of tissue. (This tissue should have been removed during the initial surgery, but the first doctor never opened the nose to see this obstruction.) Dr. Fleming removed the tissue and then reconstructed the collapsed portion of my nose so that it looked entirely natural and would not collapse again. And guess what – I can actually breathe and it’s wonderful! I also eat more and the sensation of smell I now have is fabulous. Thanks Dr. Fleming!