Posts Tagged ‘nose’

The time I got my nose pierced

When I was 20, I worked in a job for a few months where I had to travel around the UK a lot. It was a slightly mad time in my life. I was fresh back from my second stint in Namibia and such a gap year casualty. You could spot me a mile off, with my colourful skirts and millions of bracelets. My hair was really short and would stick out at crazy angles when I took my hat off. I always had a hat. That’s another thing. I always wore hats. I had a massive collection of them.

Anyway, this one day, I was working with three other girls in Leicester (I think). I had initially thought I wouldn’t get on with one of them but we hit it off pretty soon and I thought she was fab. I had pretty much made up my mind I wanted to be her. And she had her nose pierced. In fact, all three of the other girls had their noses pierced.

After a particularly successful working day, we were all feeling a bit high and excitable. We had spotted a tattoo and piercing place and decided that we would go en masse, and I would get my nose pierced.

Off we went and I entered and announced that I would like my nose pierced please. Not having any foreknowledge of how these things are done, I offered up my nose to this complete stranger, wielding what I now know to be an ear piercing device and let him pierce me.

I wandered off, the others all admiring my pretty nose stud, feeling way cool. I left it for the a few weeks but started to feel something wasn’t right when my nostril swelled up around the stud and went red. I decided to change it sooner than recommended because I just wanted to get the stud out, in case that was the problem.

I took hold of the front bit and the back bit and pulled. And pulled. And pulled. Nothing. It was stuck! I couldn’t get enough of my finger into my nostril to give the back a good tug. I started to worry. I was back home by this point so my uncle got involved, tugging and twisting and doing whatever he could think of. Eventually, he came up with a plan. He would use plyers (that’s right, plyers) to force it open.

That’s exactly what happened. He grabbed hold of the bit on the front of my nostril with one pair of plyers and wedged another pair up my nose to hold onto the back. Very rarely have I felt less dignified. He pulled, I winced, he tugged, I made ow noises… And finally it gave way and came off. I whipped another stud straight in and the swelling and redness subsided immediately.

I showed a friend the offending nose stud and she just laughed and told me it was an earring and that I’d been pierced with an earring gun. Great.

So anyway, I was then happy. Life went back to normal. Until six months later I got a new job and was told I couldn’t wear jewelry. I took out the nose stud reluctantly and, eight hours later, I went home, clutching my nose stud, intending to put it back in.

I felt the place where my piercing had been and tried pushing the stud in. Nothing doing. I checked in a mirror but couldn’t see a hole anymore. I pushed, I squeezed and I almost wept. It had closed. I would have to try re-piercing. So I got an ice cube, melted it with my fingers so it would fit up my nostril then tried pushing on the front of my nostril with the stud again.

And that’s when it hit me. I wouldn’t be able to re-pierce it. And actually, if something requires me to have plyers and moulded ice cubes stuck up my nose … I think maybe I should let it go…

And so I did. I became one of the non-pierced masses. I was sad. But my life was easier.

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Reasons why my big brother is cool

When the older years and younger years at primary school had play time together and my friends and I were playing with a ball, whenever I got it, I’d run over to my big brother and shout ‘chuck it!’ and he’d throw it really far. I remember thinking I’d never seen anyone throw a ball that far in my entire life.

When we got sweets at the shop, he made up a cool game where he was the bin. To play, I’d press his nose and his mouth would open. I’d press his nose again and his mouth would close. Then I’d press it and he’d chew the sweet. Then I’d press again and he’d swallow it. Inevitably, my brother cleverly got all the sweets and I got none. But it was SUCH a fun game!

He listened to way cool music. I went through a phase where I decided that I’d like exactly the same music as him, to try and extract some of his coolness. I listened to Fugees and Nas and didn’t understand a word but I knew it was cool.

I used to sit and watch him play computer games while I’d write my little stories. I didn’t really know what Championship Manager was about but I’d watch him play it for ages nonetheless.

We used to get up early on weekend mornings, put our duvets on the stairs and get a sleeping bag. One person would get into the bottom of the sleeping bag and the other would sit at the top and we’d bump down the stairs. It was WAY more fun than it sounds.

He and his friends would play football on the back field and I’d sit nearby, reading or writing a little story. When the ball would roll too far, I’d run and collect it for them. Like a one-girl fan club! Just lingering around, watching them run about and not having a clue what was going on.

Sometimes we were allowed to put up the two man tent in the back garden and sleep overnight in it. We’d hang out in the tent feeling like we were on a massive adventure. That was fun.

I heard my brother tell a joke once so I told it to everyone I knew. It went like this – What do you get if you go under a cow? A pat on the back. I honestly had no idea what was funny about it! I thought it meant that you were really brave for going under the cow. People laughed when I told it and I didn’t know why. But because my big brother had said it, I said it.

My big brother was the coolest guy in his school when on the final year photos he did a cool hand gesture thing. I forget what it was. I just remember thinking he was pretty out-there and fun.

My big brother taught me how to ride a bike. I learned really late and was quite embarrassed about it and one day, he took me to the race track on the back field and taught me how to ride. Thanks for that, by the way!

When my big brother got married last year, he asked me to do a reading in the ceremony. Amazing. My cool big brother wanted ME to do a reading at his wedding. It is still the best wedding I’ve ever been to. Well, of course it was. It was MY big brother’s wedding!

Happy birthday, big brother!

C is for…

CHICKEN!

In January last year, I got a tummy ache. Quite innocent-sounding, you think? I did too. I had just had a meal with chicken in it, so immediately assumed it was a bit of food poisoning. I had food poisoning about five years ago and so I remembered what it felt like. I thought I just needed to ride it out. I spent the whole night squirming around in bed, feeling awful.

The next day I thought it wasn’t too bad. I still had a tummy ache but, using my usual theory of illnesses, (if you ignore it, it’ll probably go away) I went to work and just ignored my stomach ache all day. When I got home, though, it was no longer something that could be ignored. Thankfully I had the next day off and planned to just sit around, waiting for it to go away. But it got worse and worse.

After another sleepless night, I couldn’t deny the need to see a doctor anymore. I went to an NHS walk-in centre and was prodded and examined and the doctor said it could be something quite mild, stomach cramps maybe. If it’s not that though, it’s something REALLY BAD and I needed to get to A&E. She gave me something to deal with stomach cramps and said if they didn’t go after two doses, I needed to get to hospital. I smiled confidently, it would be fine. It was just some chicken I had eaten. Of course it couldn’t be anything major. Chicken can’t kill you.

The two doses were taken and, as much as I tried denying it, the stomach pains didn’t go away. O no. By about 3am on Saturday, I actually couldn’t get around the fact that I probably needed to go to A&E.

I arrived and was examined again by a doctor with a worried face then given some liquid paracetamol. I felt a bit silly actually, knowing that it was just some chicken. I just needed to wait until I vomited or something, then it would be out. What’s all the fuss? I thought, with embarrassment.

Then a lot of things happened at once, I was taken for an x-ray (surely chicken doesn’t show up on x-rays… does it?), lots of needles with things in were attached to my wrists and then, the worst thing ever. A doctor, thankfully really friendly and understanding, but ultimately, the destroyer of my life, arrived with a tube thingy and said these words…

“I just need to put this tube in your nose and into your stomach to make sure it’s empty before we operate.”

And I thought, ‘IT’S JUST SOME CHICKEN!! HONEST! I CAN SOLVE THE MYSTERY NOW! JUST DON’T DO IT!’

He saw my terrified face and asked if I’d had it done before. I hadn’t but I didn’t need to have. I knew it was going to be the worst thing I’d ever experienced. It felt like he wanted something from me, a piece of important information about a terrorist attack or he’d torture me. I would have given up ANYTHING then, anything he’d wanted! I would have admitted things I’d never done, a murder, a theft, anything! Just don’t put that tube up my nose!

“When you feel the tube scratching the back of your throat, just have a drink of water and it will make the tube go to your stomach easier. It’s not that bad, honest,” he reassured me. Then he approached, with the torture implement in his hands and put it in my nose… and just kept pushing it. AWFUL! THE MOST AWFUL THING I’VE EVER HAD DONE IN MY LIFE! As instructed, I grabbed some water when I felt it in my throat but I was sobbing and feeling traumatised so instead of swallowing the water, I was just tipping the glass up against my face, crying like a baby and soaking the front of the lovely pink hospital night gown I was wearing. Awful.

Then they wheeled me to a new room, said I was next in the operating theatre, it was an emergency and I might wake up with a colostomy bag! I was a bit out of it, so I know they talked me through it properly but I was so distracted by the nose tube I couldn’t concentrate. I remember as they were putting me under the anaesthetic, I was still thinking, with embarrassment, about how they’d find a little peice of chicken and realise it was a lot of fuss for nothing.

In the end, I woke up WITHOUT a colostomy bag but WITH a ten inch scar down my front full of massive staples, was told it was something really rare called a transverse colon volvulus (where your colon twists around on itself – mental!) and written up in a medical journal.

And no, it was nothing to do with the chicken I ate.