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With apologies to Jackson Browne, Doctor My Nose…

But I digress…

See, I haven’t told anyone yet, but I’m dying. Not today, or this week, but I am dying. Everyone is dying of course, thats a fact, but I’m going out a little quicker and a little louder than the rest of you. Of this I’m sure. What I’m not sure of yet, is why?

But I digress…

A few years ago, I was on the verge of making a major personal and career breakthrough. After leaving my soft, cushy job I went to broadcasting school. I got a great internship and a job doing voice-overs for major league baseball. Soon after that, I made the semi-finals of WFAN’s fantasy phenom contest. I didn’t win the contest, or get the gig, but I was on my way. Fame, fortune, and personal satisfaction were right around the corner. Then the unimaginable happened.

I forgot how to speak.

I know what you’re thinking, – I hear you speak every day. In fact, Im tired of hearing you speak…  This may be true. But while it may be unnoticeable to you, I began to falter in my speech. It was so subtle that those closest to me never noticed or picked up on it. Most still haven’t. But it didnt go unnoticed by me. I could tell every time I slurred over an “S” or tripped over a “th”.  Undaunted, I went to see a doctor to find out the source of my problem. I went to a neurologist who put me  through a battery of tests.  Every test came back negative.  (Hold the brain jokes for now)

No stroke. No bells pallsy. No lesions. No aneurysm. I was fine. Part of me was disappointed. I wanted a reason.

I went to a speech therapist. She found nothing out of the ordinary with my speech patterns.  I carried on with my life.

The deviations would come and go. Most of the time I would be fine, but every once in a while, I would say “sontines” when I meant sometimes.  Every once in a while I would say the wrong word, substituting newspaper when I meant magazine.

After a year of this, I decided to once again visit a neurologist. This time I found THE top guy in all of NYC. The head of neurology at Columbia Presbeterian. The tell me that he’s brilliant. I think he’s an idiot. He sent me for some tests, and he sent me to a neuro-psychologist for more tests. Same result. You’re fine. You’re brain is in great shape. The MRI shows a very healthy organ in your skull.

Terrific. Now what?

Well, as part of my continuing hypochondria, I decided to visit a allergist to see why I always wake up stuffed and clogged in my nose and throat. More tests ensue.  This is what I have discovered.

I have the hearing of a 5 year old.

I have sleep apnea.

I have excellent blood pressure and a normal heart rate.

I have a deviated septum.

I am always tired because I don’t get proper sleep, even when I do sleep.

I am allergic to cats, dust, horses, grass pollen and ragweed.

The end result is that my ENT wants to perform surgery to fix the septum.

This will help with the apnea, the snoring, the fatigue, the weight gain and a whole host of other middle-age issues. None of which has anything to do with speech impediments.

So, on April 22nd, I am scheduled to undergo the knife to fix a nose that has been broken for the better part of a half-century. After that, I’m supposed to be good as new. I’m going to feel like a new man; the years and the pounds are going to melt off me.

That’s all great news. But it doesn’t change the facts.

I’m dying.


See you on Split Rock Road,