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It's all about the nose......


I love this painting by Sandro Botticelli of Dante, who was a great poet but perhaps not so much of a looker. Still, that bold Italian nose has always fascinated me.......

And now I'm afraid that that's what MY nose is going to look like after I've gone through some sinus surgery that is scheduled for me later this week! Yikes -- my nose is on the small size, so I fear the surgeon is going to have to stretch it to something resembling Dante's beak before Friday's operation is through.

Still, it will be a small price to pay if I can smell again. Years of severe allergies have caused so many sinus problems for me that I haven't had a sense of smell for close to a decade. I've also not been able to breathe properly and often get blinding, sinus-related headaches. So I've finally decided to go under the knife and have my sinuses scourged.

It has actually taken me several years to reach this point. Although the procedure is only day surgery, they do use general anaesthetic, so I don't take the process lightly. However, I've had enough of all the sinus woes and I like the surgeon (despite her warnings that there is always a risk that the lining around my brain might be nicked in the process, causing brain fluid to leak out; although, she says, that often heals itself. Imagine my relief at THAT bit of news.)

In any event, if the surgery is successful, I will be thrilled (and likely disgusted if I discover terrible odours have been lurking in my fridge. Or in my gym bag.) Imagine -- I have some Officina Profumo Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella products saved for the day that I can open them and really smell them for once!

And here's hoping that I don't emerge with my button nose extended into something like Dante's in the Botticelli portrait. Which, by the way, was painted based on written descriptions of Dante's appearance. I've read that medieval and Renaissance portraits of the poet were loosely derived from Boccaccio's and Villani's descriptions. In his Life of Dante, Boccaccio described Dante's face as "long, his nose aquiline, his eyes rather large than small, his jaws heavy, with the under lip projecting beyond the upper. His complexion was dark, and his hair and beard, black, and crisp; and his countenance always sad and thoughtful."

Comments (11)

WOW - what a treat that procedure will be. I've got my fingers crossed for a happy outcome. We take our senses for granted - I can't imagine not being able to smell everything in all its wonder (leaving teh gross things aside, of course!)


What a great post, very interesting connection!

Good luck with the surgery! I have a mini-horror of going under anaesthesia, otherwise I'd be hounding my doc for a tonsillectomy since my tonsils are full of huge pockets that catch food bits, which I'm convinced then decay and leave a bad taste in my mouth...probably too much information!

Best wishes for an easy and speedy recovery! I think that things would have to go very awry for you to end up with Dante's nose! Take care, Annie



All the best wishes go your way for the surgery coming up and hopes for a speedy recovery to rediscover your sense of smell.

Sending you good vibes and thoughts.

Brad'll Do It:

Sandra, you MUST take "before and after" pictures of your button nose (with a zipper afterward?). I will bet, however, that the surgeon is well aware of the need for "cosmetic consideration," though I think a reminder might be in order. We will be thinking about you on Friday as your surgery goes well.


Good luck with the surgery! I don't think you have to worry about any deformities; I've known several people who had the surgery with no aftereffects of that sort.


Thanks so much, everyone, for your support and good wishes!

Jerry, there are definitely some minuses to having a good sense of smell but I'm willing to accept those if I could just smell once again a really great cup of coffee (or some pecorino!)

Anne, I wish that medical science could find some other way to knock us out without resorting to general anaesthetic.

Brad, I think I'll suggest a zipper to the surgeon (something very discreet and tasteful, of course!) That would give easier access to my sinuses in future!

And if I emerge with Dante's nose, or a shiner (or two) I'll be sure to take photos for the blog -- and, of course, for the eventual lawsuit!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, I'm a little late here. Sorry to hear that you've been having such bad sinus problems for so long.

Let me say that your SMN products alone will be so worth going through this medical procedure.

Take care and check in with us as soon as you can


I cannot imagine what it must be like to not have the use of your sense of smell! Roses, beef cooked for hours in wine, homemade chocolate cookies, good soaps, gingerbread, garlic sizzling in a pan...all these will be your again!
Hopes for an easy healing, perfect results, and no cheanges to your profile!

Good luck Sandra!! Hope your surgery goes well and the recovery is not too painful.

Hope you're feeling much better soon.
I'd would cook you something that smells yummy if I was closer!

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