Setting it off again…

Oh hey.

It’s Sunday night insomnia.

How’s business?


I had my annual physical and walked out with orders for blood work, a mammogram, a CT scan of my sinuses, and a referral to an ENT doctor.

Blood work showed I have really low iron and need supplements, but this may be a factor in the monthly headaches that render me utterly useless for three days. Though I won’t know for a few more weeks if the added iron will have any effect. Here’s hoping.

I’m not concerned about the mammogram, as it’s now just a part of the annual fun because family history dictates the smashing of boobs under age 40. It hurts like a sonofabitch, but the whole appointment takes ten minutes and somehow having a strange woman handling my naked boobs is pretty low on the stress and anxiety scale for me. Go figure.

The CT scan and ENT doctor told me that my sinuses and ears are 100% normal, but I have a deviated septum. This is (most likely) the cause of my decades long struggle with sinus problems. Now I get to decide if and when I want to have surgery to correct the problem and have the possibility of being able to breathe properly through my nose for the first time…ever? I’ve decided the if—yes I will—but I need to figure out the when. Which means scheduling the surgery. Which means anxiety. Because surgery. And phone calls. And ME.

The ENT doctor told me most people don’t even know how they ended up with a deviated septum—some are born with it, some are the result of injury. I told him my theory and he told me I was probably right. Pretty much every single year in gym class I took a basketball to the face (and usually a volleyball too) because I went to school with a whole herd of assholes. I really don’t miss those people.

During the ENT appointment, for the hell of it I brought up the gaddamn Phantom Smoke Stench. I really didn’t expect an answer, but he actually called it by name—Phantosmia—and told me that since I had the MRI and EEGs that reported my brain is 100% normal, it’s a sensory issue that there is no fix for. Most people only experience it for a short amount of time—not years like I’ve been dealing with—usually after illness or injury. Maybe someday I won’t smell it anymore. But I won’t hold my breath. (Because I’ll be able to breathe properly through my nose! I hope. I really hope.)

Life. Cripes.


My nose angles to the right and my nostrils are very lopsided and there are EIGHT light bulbs in my bathroom and that is highly unnecessary.

3 thoughts on “Setting it off again…

  1. Alicia Lobash says:

    Thanks for the update. I hope the iron helps with the headaches. Glad the ENT knows the term for your phantom smell. Bummer that you are likely stuck with that smoke smell.
    You know, you could ask Bob to schedule the surgery for you… they have spouses scheduling all the time.

    Oh, and you asked “how’s business?” It’s good, for the most part. Growing, and I love helping people improve their health.

    1. Alicia Lobash says:

      Also, let me know if the iron supplements helps with the smoke smell….someone asked about a patient who recently started experiencing a phantom smoke smell, and another dc suggested it could be related to iron deficiency.

    2. Sara says:

      Holy Christmas it’s already the end of June. How did that happen so fast? I am terrible.

      Congratulations on your growing business! That is so awesome to hear! I know you’ve worked hard to get there, you deserve the success. ^_^

      As for the iron supplements, two months in I haven’t experienced any change. The headaches are the same and nothing has changed with the smoke smell either. It’s incredibly frustrating, but not really that surprising. I had hoped to see at least some difference, but so far nothing. (I take one pill a day until the week of hell week and then double it for the week.)

      I hadn’t heard anything connecting iron deficiency with phantom smoke, but it seems like just about anything can cause it. The most common seems to be brain tumors and migraine auras. I know my brain is clear, and I rarely get migraines anymore. It has also been linked to mental illness, which I clearly have plenty of issues with. I feel like that’s probably the most logical explanation for my problem. Though logic doesn’t seem to play into it at all.

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