There’s a Fungus Among Us (AKA The Time I Almost Turned into a Toadstool)

Yet again it’s been a good while since I’ve written. Whoops! Sometimes ya just get caught up with livin’, y’know?

This post is being written from my home away from home, my most cherished place on earth, my family’s cottage on Five Mile Point. Although I’m hooked up to hydration at the moment, I despise it a little bit less because my soul is so happy to be up here. The sun is shining on the mighty Lake Superior, whose waves aren’t much more than little ridges across the massive blue expanse. The leaves and needles of trees are gently swaying in the soft breeze, and my heart is happy! There is no place on this planet I would rather be than right here. I’ve been coming here since before I was born, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is my happy place.

Now that I’ve painted a little picture of my paradise, I’ll delve into the meaning of this post’s title.

Remember that time it was discovered that I had a fungal infection called Fusarium? (I think that’s how you spell it. But frankly I don’t really give a shit, so moving on!) WELL, that shit was all up in my nose, spots of it were on my legs, and also in my lungs and kidneys. Good news is that the antifungal they’re giving me seems to be working, but still some spots remain.

What was in my nose felt much like a massive wad of congealed boogers, except for the fact that it smelled like actual decay and, well, that it was fungus.

Initially, this glob was fused to my septum, which was quite painful. Any amount of pressure to my nose would make my eyes water with discomfort. But as time passed, it slowly began to loosen up.

I was doing the anti-fungal medication at home, and it was clear that it was making a difference because it continued to loosen more and more, to the point that I could push it from one nostril almost entirely into the other. I tried (and failed) to pull it out, since somewhere along the line it was anchored in my schnozz.

Now, fun fact about me, I have been known to have pretty horrible self-control.

That said, I probably shouldn’t have been shoving my fingers up my nose-holes, but god DAMN it did I want to pull that shit out of there! As the days passed, it got more and more obnoxious, and my self-control grew worse. Oh, and did I mention the smell? It literally smelled like death. Y’know that smell on hot summer days when you’re driving with the windows down and pass some roadkill that had been baking in the sun for hours? Yeah, imagine that, in your nose, 24/7. Talk about repulsive to the max.

One day, perhaps two weeks ago, I took a shower and sat in the heat until all the hot water was gone, mostly because it felt fucking awesome, but also because I wanted to see if the moisture would loosen the boogers of death from my suffering nasal cavity.

I again poked and prodded around with my fingers, and managed to scrape away some softened fungus from the hard base, but the smell (and mothership) remained.

Now, remember when I mentioned my lack of self-control? And how I probably shouldn’t have been shoving my fingers in my nose? Yeah, well, I definitely shouldn’t have done what I did next.

When fingers fail, call for back-up. I like to call the back-up by their real names; Mr. Tweezer and Ms. Scissors. (Yeahhhh. But what the hell, everything worked out fine!).

I cut a couple teeny bits of hard death-booger off, and finally decided I’d had enough of this bullshit. I finagled the tweezers into my nose, and managed to snag some part of it. Slowly, I began to pull the tweezers out. I figured if it hurt I’d stop pulling and try a new method of eviction, but as I pulled I felt no discomfort whatsoever. Suddenly, I felt something massive dislodge and begin to slide out of my nose like a huge slug.

In honesty this entire eviction took maybe 10 seconds. And when it was done, I stared at my prize in horrified wonder.

I’d basically pulled a mushroom out of my nostril.

We’re talking an almost silver-dollar sized fungus-booger hybrid. A Funger. A Boogus. Whatever you want to call it, it was fucking horrifying. (Note: He was officially named Elmer, and was thrown away by a disappointingly un-amazed group of medical professionals.)

The fungus actually ate through part of my septum, leaving me with a good sized hole. So now I guess I don’t have to pay to get my nose pierced!

Anyway, moral of that story is don’t get a fungal infection.

RIP Elmer ❤

Hello, nose rings!

6 thoughts on “There’s a Fungus Among Us (AKA The Time I Almost Turned into a Toadstool)

  1. I so wish you had taken a picture of Elmer. I don’t know if it is the nurse in me or your vivid word painting picture, but I would love to have seen it!! You are an amazing writer and an incredibly strong, intelligent and beautiful human!! I am glad you are in your favorite place. Sounds idyllic. ❤️


  2. Yes, WE were the family that brought something to the clinic in a plastic bag. Surely SOMEONE wanted/needed to see it, right? Maybe send it to pathology? Big fat NO. The appointment was so anticlimactic!
    At least ENT is done with us.

    We done Katie!


  3. I always enjoy your insights, Your mention of Lake Superior takes my breath–such a beautiful part of the world. Hang in there!


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