Just as baffling, way more gross

By Mir
June 22, 2005

I feel the need to point out–before I begin–that today is still a Good Day. In spite of what I’m about to tell you. Really. In fact, it’s the overall Goodness of this day which allows me to view the following as fairly amusing, rather than horrifying.

Have you ever been to The Mystery Spot? Fascinating place. Freaky, but very cool. Defies the laws of gravity, blah blah blah.

There’s a lesser known attraction gaining fame here on the east coast, you know. It’s true. Similar, but completely different! And also, gooey!

I am of course referring to The Mystery Nostril. Yes.

I may have mentioned that Monkey has been oozing a tad from a single nostril for, ah, um, well, about a month now. Okay, fine. Six weeks. Six weeks this child has secreted goo, and I am a terrible mother. Actually, I’m just the mother of children who often have colds and hayfever and yes, maybe I lost track of time at some point. But one day it was “Oh, runny nose again. Ewww” and then suddenly it was “Oh good LORD hasn’t your nose been running like FOREVER and by the way it’s just the one nostril and WHAT THE HELL??”

I have a friend who is a medical professional, so I called her up and said, “Hi, how are you, I’m okay, hey, Monkey’s got green crap coming out of just one nostril so could you please tell me that’s not a sign of brain cancer or anything?” She informed me that this is usually a symptom of one thing: Item rammed up the nose.

Uhhhhhhhh. Please, no.

Me: Monkey, honey? Did you maybe put something up your nose?
Monkey: Like my finger?
Me: No, honey. But don’t put your finger in there. Like maybe… a bead? Or a piece of cereal? Or a coin?
Monkey: No. I didn’t.
Me: Are you SURE? Maybe it was a while ago? You can tell me.
Monkey: No, there’s too much snot in there for anything else, anyway.
Me: Uh, yeah. Okay. I’m just gonna look with this flashlight, okay?
Monkey: Okay! Can I look too?
Me: Up YOUR nose? No.
Monkey: No fair.

I looked up his nose, and I found… a lot of snot.

I reported this to my friend, and she said that it could be a sinus infection, maybe. Although the single nostril affliction was suspect. I agreed that it was weird, but reiterated that I hadn’t found anything up there. Well, she agreed to write Monkey a prescription for amoxicillin. “But if he doesn’t get better on this,” she cautioned, “you need to take him in to be seen.”

Eight days into the amoxicillin, and we have… green goop running from a single nostril. Still.

Here’s the thing you need to know about Monkey: He doesn’t feel sick. Ever. Unless he is actually in the act of vomiting or running a fever of 105, he will tell you he feels just fine. So it’s not as though he’s been complaining or acting sick. He’s just been oozing. And also sometimes wiping his nose on his SHIRT which makes me want to shake him very hard as soon as I am done gagging at the thought of him walking around all day encrusted in a booger-collared shirt.

So, I called the doctor. And of course I had to dance around the fact that we’d gotten antibiotics from someplace other than them, but fortunately they were good-humored about it. Come on in, they said. How about an evening appointment? Oh YES, not having to miss work would be great, THANK YOU.

Tonight we headed over to the ped and they ushered us into an exam room and the children occupied themselves by spinning in circles until the doctor appeared. And he asked me what was happening and asked some questions and “mmmhmmm”ed and nodded and then said that most likely, there was something jammed up his nose.

And then he got out the little lighted scope and started examining Monkey by checking out his ears.

“Excuse me,” said Monkey politely as the doctor peered into his left ear, “it’s not my EAR, it’s my NOSE. See? It’s all gunky!”

The doctor chuckled and peered up his nostrils. “Yes, I DO see that it’s all gunky,” he agreed. Finishing his work with the scope, he turned to me. “I don’t see anything up there, but we should try probing a bit. Maybe we’ll be able to fish something out.” Well THAT sounded like great fun! When he told me to please come hold Monkey’s hands at his sides, that was even better. But the topper was when he grabbed one of the paper-wrapped objects off the counter, and tore the paper to reveal an instrument I’ve never seen before.

I think it was a nostril paperclip.

He bend this wire thing with a little loop on the end into a crook of sorts, and then stuck it about ten inches up my baby boy’s nose. Monkey–I raise no fools here–immediately started screaming bloody murder. And being the kind of fabulous mother who lets The Mystery Nostril fester for six weeks before taking her kid to the doctor, what did I do? I held his hands down and tried not to laugh. Understand: I was HORRIFIED. But it was so bizarre it did make me swallow a giggle. I paid this man money to stick a paperclip into my child’s brain. Modern medicine is so WONDERFUL!

Guess what the doctor fished out with the paperclip. Go on, guess! That’s right! MORE SNOT! Hurray!

So the doctor decided we needed an x-ray. Down the hall we went, and as soon as Monkey heard that having his head x-rayed didn’t involve anything pointy in his sinuses, he was quite excited. He wore his little lead apron and placed his chin on the screen and five minutes later we were handed a beautiful picture of his skull.

Monkey definitely has eye sockets, and lots of teeth. Just in case you were wondering.

The doctor admired his teeth and admitted that the x-ray told us nothing. “Well, see how the affected nostril doesn’t appear as ‘deep’ in the x-ray?” he showed me. “That could be an object that’s not well identified, or it could just be all the fluid that’s in there.” Well then. Productive use of time, that.

He wrote us a prescription for augmentin and told me to call for a referral to an ENT if that doesn’t clear it up. Then he said something about how that would probably involve a CAT scan and I kinda went to my happy place after that. Lalalalala, I can’t hear you, I’m sure the augmentin will work just fine, please stop poking my child or radiating his brain, thanks! It’s just a little snot!

Be sure to tune in ten days from now to find out if The Mystery Nostril will continue to be open for business, or if its limited time engagement will have ended. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop for some commemorative t-shirts. They’re a little stiff around the collar, but still, really cute.


  1. DOG

    Are the snot-starch collared monkey shirts available in Men’s Large?

  2. Sarah G.

    This sounds really weird, but have Monkey go swimming. If he does some underwater flips some water will go up his nose and it will flush his nose out. Sounds gross, but just today I had a specialist recommend it to me for one of my kids.

  3. Kym

    Only you could make a snot filled visit to the doctor both funny AND interesting ;)

  4. christina

    “Nostril paper clip” – LOL !Poor Monkey! And to add to the swimming comment – have you ever tried nasal irrigation? There’s lots of information on the net about how to do it and you can use one of those rubber baby nasal syringe thingies. It feels totally gross but flushes everything out.

  5. Liz

    Have you considered a DIY approach? Maybe find an old, rusty coat hanger or a bottle brush and dig around in there a bit yourself? Who needs doctors?!

    Good luck with Sir Snotsalot.

  6. Zuska

    Thanks to you, I can’t stop wiggling my nose now, lol!!!

  7. ben

    Hey, that snot funny!

  8. Sharkey

    I can see why he uses his shirt. Would YOU want to waste the Kleenex that you bought for a dollar?

  9. dad

    Someday you are going toturn this into a very succesful TV sitcom.

    I want to play the flakey grandfather.


  10. laura

    My kid got 3 pieces of Kix cereal up one nostril once. That was fun. Fortunately, we got it before it festered. Good luck figuring out what’s up there. If you can laugh about it now, you will surely be laughing 7 or 8 years from now.

  11. Bob

    get him to put the vacuum cleaner hose over his nose and see if it sucks anything out. home-made, non-intrusive nasal evacuation thearapy and I bet he’ll have fun doing it. All kids like playing with the vacuum cleaner.

  12. Stephanie

    My 8yr old son stuck a popcorn kernel up his right nostril at age 5. I told him squeeze the left nostril and blow it out. OMG, shooting popcorn kernel followed by a trail of snot is hilarious!!

    My kids can hardly stand the side effects of augmentin! I hope Monkey does ok with it or you are gonna have ooz out the other end! Growdy!

  13. Kira

    Sorry, I…
    Ahem, excuse me, as I was saying…
    Good luck with that, dear.

  14. vicki

    I come by here about once a week and today I thought, gee, I always like stopping by there; I should check in daily! I’m so glad I did…
    Well, good luck with the green snot. Hope it clears up with just drugs. I’ll stay tuned.

  15. Roger

    I’d avoid the vacuum cleaner, you might suck his brains out.

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