For years now I have had a hard time breathing. Given the allergist's long list of things I should avoid, I wasn't surprised that it affected my breathing. Add to that the fact that I am a child of smoking's golden age, when all adults smoked all the time, who could be surprised that I had a hard time breathing.
Today I went to a new doctor. I decided it was time to see a new specialist shortly after I finished the antibiotics for yet another sinus infection. After a thorough exam, the ENT said, "How long have you had your deviated septum?" I replied, "Huh? My what?"
I knew nothing about a deviated septum other than the jokes about women having facial plastic surgery and claiming the bruises were from deviated septum surgery. I came home and immediately started researching. Sinus infections? Trouble breathing? Snoring? Nose bleeds? Facial pain? I have or have had it all. It was as if the Wikipedia entry was written just for me.
Now I know why these problems have followed me all these years. My problem has a name, which is just the first step. The second step is deciding what to do. I could just live with it. There's no long-term issue with a deviated septum. It doesn't get better; it doesn't get worse. I could have surgery to correct it. It's something I will research once I get over my excitement. Yes, I know it sounds strange, but there was a definite relief feeling when the ENT put a name to my ongoing sinus problems.