Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Pain in the Nose on My Face

When I was a girl of quite an impressionable age and imagination, I learned that a swift, forceful blow to the nose can kill a person.  I am wholly aware that the probability of death from this action is remote, that the force and angle of such a blow must be precise for the nasal bone to penetrate the brain, and that I should not worry about this impending doom; yet this knowledge has developed over time into a phobia that is equally hindering and laughable.  (A fear further complicated by the fact that my mom describes my nose as perfect, making me even more protective of my this, most promising physical feature.)

Because of my nose issues, I don't like sudden movements toward my face.  Games with balls make me nervous.  Braden and I do play catch, but I prefer baseball, where the glove serves as a barrier, to football, where a spiral pass could be fatal.  Of course, my athletic prowess ends at catch, but if I were to play sports, I would enjoy soccer, mainly because headers are optional, but don't even think about placing me on the net in volleyball.  (I played volleyball in the seventh grade. Lack of skill was not the only reason I wasn't a starter.)  Tennis I hate for all together different reasons, but that green ball propelled at you by a grunt and a racket makes it the worst of all the ball sports.

Crowded rooms are also a danger zone.  No, I am not claustrophobic; it is the worry of a rogue elbow in my face, not the crowd itself, that sets me on edge.  For this reason, I like to keep at least an arm's length of personal space between me and other people when I can.  I have to know you well to be comfortable enough to receive a hug or a kiss and I usually close my eyes during both in order to relax enough to accept it.

I never request that someone "toss me" something; I walk over and get it myself.  During a cold read of "Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain" by Jessica Mitford with my AP Langsters last Spring, I got lightheaded at the descriptions of what happens to a corpse's face during embalming.  I abhor the 'I got your nose' game that some sadist created to entertain toddlers (and yes, I deprived Braden of the cognitive experience the game supposedly elicits).  Unaware of the specifics (and compelled by a gift certificate), I once had a facial; I escaped before the torture set me to hyperventilating.

In addition to all the mental implications of my phobia (and the anecdotes above sadly only scratch the surface), it also impacts my corporeal health.  When I have a cold or sinus infection, I am physically unable to use nasal spray or a Neti Pot even though I know that both could ease my pain and save me the $20.00 doctor copay.  Merely thinking of shooting those liquids in my nose turns my stomach.  Instead, I invest in Puffs with Aloe and demand a prescription for Amoxicillin.  (My last doctor wanted to give me a steroid shot in the nose to ease my suffering.  She is no longer my doctor.)

Mine is not a phobia so debilitating that it prevents me from living life, but it obviously upsets some ease of existence.  Some people are irrationally afraid of speaking in public; I am just like them when it comes to irrational fear of being killed by my own nose.

1 comment:

Bybee said...

Do not -- REPEAT, DO NOT read a short story by Jean Stafford called "The Interior Castle. It freaked me out and I don't have nose issues.