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    Never Give Up On Your Health – Sniffing out a Discovery

Katie LittleMy name is Katie Little and I am 28 years old.   I have experienced many nasal problems throughout my life, including two nose fractures and, over the last 10 years, have experienced significant difficulty breathing at night.  I tried a variety of methods to alleviate my problem, such as nasal sprays, acupuncture, fans, Neti Pots, and various sleeping aids.  While some of these approaches helped on a short term basis, none provided me with long term relief.  Trying so many different approaches became time consuming, frustrating, and expensive.

During the last 5 years, I have gone to three different doctors for opinions regarding my problem, with all three indicating that nothing was wrong and that I should learn to live with this difficulty.  I then became a fanatic in researching which enabled me to conclude that my problem might be a deviated septum.  I talked with my mother who recommended that I see an ENT doctor at Mayo Clinic as a last result.

Within 24 hours, using Mayo’s website, I had an appointment with Dr. Grant Hamilton III, Senior Associate Consultant, Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Otorhinolaryngology Department at Rochester.  One of the first things Dr. Hamilton did was to use a scope to examine the inside of my nose.  Dr. Hamilton immediately cited that I had a large bone growth, called a spur, inside one of my nostrils and that the bone growth was very likely the reason for my breathing difficulty and advised me that I should have surgery to remove the growth.

I am happy to report that surgery went smoothly with no surprises or complications.  Dr. Hamilton and his medical team did a great job preparing me for surgery and informing me about what to expect after surgery.    I was never afraid because I knew what to expect and everything happened as outlined.  Dr. Hamilton has a great sense of humor and we laughed a lot.  He made the procedure seem simple and not too serious.  My parents are very involved and thought my operation was well planned and well executed with good follow up. They especially liked that Dr. Hamilton talked with them immediately following the surgery which lasted 2+ hours.

I am looking forward to breathing much better and have my nose splints removed this week.  The medical team said my bone growth was unusually large, obviously the cause of my nasal obstruction.

I would like to share my conclusions with others:  1. Never give up on your health.  If you believe you have a problem, be persistent until you get the right help.  2.  Don’t hesitate to research your health problem.  The internet helped me better understand the nature of my medical situation which gave me confidence to keep searching for an answer. 3.  Don’t dismiss your medical problem because you are doing everything right from a health and wellness perspective:  Your issue, like mine, may be congenital and it is important that you seek help.

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