Monday, January 28, 2013

Smelling Purple

For several years, Mams would complain about a 'funny smell' in her house. First, she thought it was their detergent, so she changed brands five times. Then, she told me she thought it was Pap's aftershave, so she threw it out. In fact, she went through his entire medicine cabinet and threw out anything that had an odor. Still, the 'funny smell' remained. She would ask me if I could smell it when I came to visit and I would roll my eyes try not to roll my eyes, and tell her I didn't smell anything. It was true; there was no funny smell. As a last straw, she attempted to convince Paps that the 'funny smell' was coming from their 30-year-old heat pump. To appease her, he went out and serviced the entire thing. He cleaned the coils, replaced the return vent filters, and touched up on every surface. Yet the 'funny smell' remained. All this 'funny smell' business finally came to a head when she came to visit me. Being six hours away from home was sure to cure her of this nonsense.

But it didn't. The smell followed her.

At this point, I'm trying to convince her to talk to her doctor about it. After all, NO.ONE.BUT.HER. could smell the 'funny smell'. After days of quizzing her on a discription of the smell, she finally said, "It smells like the color purple, okay?! I smell purple and I HATE PURPLE."

Lavender? No.

Grape? No.

Purple. The smell was purple and it was highly offensive to my olfactory-sensitive 87-year-old grandmother.

We were never able to determine the origin of the 'purple smell', but after Mams passed in November, I too began smelling a 'funny smell'. I mentioned it to Captain once or twice; I told My Beesh about it too. No one had any clue what I was smelling. When I developed The Death Cold on New Year's Eve, I attributed my 'funny smell' to the cold. But the cold went away and left a sinus infection in it's wake. The infection! That MUST be the origin of the 'funny smell'!

But now I'm healed. Finished all my antibiotics like I always do because I was hoping they would kill the 'funny smell'; yet it lingers. So I did what any rational person with a 'funny smell' would do. I turned to Google and it saved my life! and it told me to go see an ENT. I typically don't listen to Google, but when it started throwing around words like 'tumor', I heeded it's warning.

This is the CT of my sinuses:

That's a good lookin' skull, huh?! Okay, ignore that part, but look at the picture in the upper left corner. See the black spot on the left side of my nose? That's air. That's good. The right side doesn't have any hole, thus no air. To me, that seems like a not-so-big-deal, but to an ENT, it's apparently HUGE.

"Mrs. Davis, we really need to go in there an clean this out. As in, SOON. You have a nasty infection brewing in your sinus cavity," he tells me with all seriousness.

"Ummmm, I just finished ten days of antibiotics for a sinus infection and I feel much better, thankyouvermuch," I explained.

"Yes, but for an infection like this one, ten days isn't nearly enough time. Your insurance company is a pack of assholes will not authorize this procedure unless you've been on antibiotics for at least 21 days with a steroid inhaler, so we need to try that route first. Honestly, I don't know if it will work, but we have to try," he tells me with his doctor voice.

"So, you're telling me that after 21 days of the same antibiotic I just took for the past TEN DAYS, I may not be cured and will STILL need surgery?! Sigh. As long as it gets rid of the purple smell," I accidentally admitted.

With a quizzical look, he says, "Yes, the purple smell is literally in your head, but you should just tell people that you have sinus trouble..."

Obviously, he doesn't know about my blog.


Amy said...

HA!!! Purple smell - I love it. That is my new name for any smells I can't identify. And WOW about your only having a single functioning sinus cavity. I hope it doesn't come to surgery!

Amo said...

I.Know. I don't do well with surgery, so I'm focusing on the benefits of excessive antibiotic use...

And yogurt.