Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm done with ENS....

Let me clarify.

Don't get me wrong. I will always advocate for ENS sufferers if the media or doctors are to contact me in the future, for example, but I need to move on with my life and focus on other important aspects that merit attention.

Many of the people who read this blog likely don't know me on a personal level anyhow and my various interests. For instance, they don't know that I enjoy playing tennis passionately, as the feeling of smashing a tennis ball with all my might (no matter where it lands!) is a great thing. In fact, somehow I earned tennis scholarships (offering a small stipend toward tuition) to 2 small colleges in the state of Kansas as a freshman in college. I declined both offers, as I had a better academic scholarship at another college in Kansas. Upon transferring back to New York, I played on the community college's tennis team anyway and that was grand. I had a great time. Academically, I had been rejected from Cornell University in my application as a freshman in college. And I was determined to prove that I could be accepted at Cornell, perhaps out of a surreal dream for me to go to Cornell or maybe it was where my heart was at that time, I don't know. After two years at the local community college, I was accepted into the College of Human Ecology as a family development and human studies major (which is a state-run Cornell college so it would have cost less than the private colleges at Cornell). But I ended up declining the offer because, shortly after the acceptance, I realized I could go to a local college for a much lower price and it offered me a terrific education. I was at that time saddened to think I had given up what could have been an Ivy League education, but I don't regret it now. I recall sitting on the back porch of my parents' house and just crying with my then-girlfriend (now wife) about the thought of moving away from her and losing two years of our lives apart. In retrospect, I firmly believe I made the right decision by staying local and not missing anytime apart from her. I saved money with the college choices I made, this local college really enhanced my writing skills, and I got a job right after graduate school - actually, I was offered 3 jobs. Today, I have been greatly blessed with not only a job that can support my family, but also with a wonderful wife and 3 children - two daughters and one son. They all are so unique and special. My faith is an important part of my life; I enjoy playing most sports, but especially tennis; reading the Bible or inspirational or health books; spending time with my wife and children; too many hobbies to list, including uptake of the house, its projects, and the vegetable garden in our backyard; and one of my dreams was to write a book, either on a topic related to my profession (such as ADHD) or about my faith that uses a Christian perspective (such as parenting or on a moral issue); while these are important topics, I saw the urgency to write about empty nose syndrome since I myself have suffered from it and I did. I achieved this dream.

Frankly, I believe that Having Nasal Surgery? Don't You Become An Empty Nose Victim! has been effective at raising awareness for empty nose syndrome on many levels.

  • It has caused some people to think about how they could personally take action on behalf of ENS.
  • It has even held some doctors more accountable; not only have the scientific aspects of this book been used for legal purposes, but I am aware of cases where the book has been used to ask a doctor questions about nasal surgery, with great outcomes from it (and this was from a doctor whose patients were buying my book, if you get my drift!).
  • It has encouraged some doctors to re-think about how to best treat ENS, while the few brave doctors have taken increased interest in surgical treatments for ENS. Dr. Houser's practice, for instance, has seen a significant increase in patients seeking reconstructive surgery (i.e., Alloderm implants) since my book, which came out at the same time as his research article, Surgical Treatment for Empty Nose Syndrome.
  • Despite many hours of trying and good faith attempts, no my book has not appeared on Oprah nor garnered national media attention, but honestly that's OK because it is making a difference with patients who are hurting and it has encouraged and renewed the interest of the few brave doctors who really want to help us.
  • Bottom line: it has gotten the ball moving, with interest in ENS among patients and doctors throughout the world, which is more than I could have hoped would happen. It has started a movement.
Now it's time for me to move on.

But I'm not finished yet. Here's my game plan or the exit strategy, if you will: I have received donations from two people who want to see ENS awareness continued. To use this money toward that end, on July 9th I am flying across the country to a prestigious hospital to visit some doctors who might be financing a study on ENS. I will be a patient, to be sure, but I will also be an example of a informed and passionate patient who has benefited from surgical reconstruction for ENS (which might be the focus of their study). So it works both ways. I will meet a friend of mine and his wife while there as well who has a keen interest in seeing ENS awareness continued. Beyond that, I plan to step down from being the webmaster at shortly, as I look to transfer this position to someone else. I will also write two more Internet articles, with one being about my treatment plan (some ideas that extend beyond what is written in the book) and an article about how best to raise awareness for empty nose syndrome. The treatment ideas in the book are actually quite comprehensive, as they cover many areas, but I thought further elaboration on some treatment strategies is in order so the readers can be even more equipped to better themselves. One of my own recent interests of ENS is on foods we eat and how they have an impact on our sinus health. These Internet articles will also be posted here and on the Internet in various article sites, for free. Then I'm done.

My personal health situation: I have overall improved and I have been treated by some of the best doctors in the country for sinusitis, allergies and empty nose syndrome. I still have days where I have some struggles, such as some dryness in my right nostril and mild nasal, sinus and throat inflammation, and I might at a later time get further treatment from doctors, surgical or non-surgical, but my treatment ideas have helped me for now; I'm not cured, but helped.

My blog and Internet website ( will remain, and of course the website, will remain with a new webmaster, with the belief all these sites will continue to raise awareness for empty nose, but the first two sites will not be active or updated regularly.

It has been a real pleasure corresponding with many of you and striving to raise awareness for empty nose syndrome, and I believe that in large measure this goal has been accomplished. Thank you for your interest. I wish you all well and my prayer is that you would be in good health and that your sinus issues would be under control.