Scorpion Ebook–All Formats, Reduced Price–Read Excerpt

•May 25, 2012 • 4 Comments

Scorpion, my book about my unnecessary turbinate reduction surgery resulting in Empty Nose Syndrome and my subsequent patient blacklisting, is now available in all formats from Smashwords, Inc. and in Kindle format from Because I want everyone to read my book, I have reduced the price to $2.99.

Scorpion at Smashwords:

Scorpion at Amazon:

scorpion book cover fixed

Book excerpt:

Chapter 10

I called Dr. Shark’s office and told Wendy that I wanted to pick up my patient records when I came for my appointment on December 5.

I got the records as soon as I arrived. Before my name was called, I had time to see the term “atrophic rhinitis” on three records—November 7, November 12, and November 26—all of my post-operative exam dates, except for the first one. November 26 was the day that Dr. Shark had accused me of having an emotional problem because, as he’d said, there was nothing wrong with my nose. My fear for my condition overshadowed my feelings of betrayal

Dr. Shark was trying out a new tactic this day. “Tell me how you’re doing,” he said, magnanimously, as if his only concern was my well-being. I skipped over the question and pointed out the term “atrophic rhinitis” on my records.

“Is it true?” I asked.

“Only temporarily,” he said. I knew that atrophic rhinitis was not a temporary condition. It was incurable, but I clung to his words with ragged hope. He asked again how I was doing. I barely heard the question. My universe had been reduced to atrophic rhinitis—“dead moose.” I told him I was better, but that I still could not breathe well or sleep. He checked my nose. He said that the crusts were all gone on the left, three-quarters gone on the right, and that I did not have atrophic rhinitis today.

When I got home, I called Wendy and told her that I had forgotten to ask the doctor if I needed to take any precautions when my two-year-old grandson came to visit on Dec. 22. He had MRSA. Actually, so did Leah. She had gotten it from her son, but the baby’s infection was worse. Wendy said that she would get back to me. Jack had reserved a motel room for Leah and the kids. My apartment couldn’t accommodate them. They were coming for Christmas, as was Laura and her family. For the first time in seven years, Jack and I and the kids were going to have Christmas dinner together.

That evening, I looked through my patient records. The CT report of November 18 stated, “No significant septal deviation is seen.” One of the premises upon which I had based my decision to have the surgery was that I had read that a deviated septum can contribute to the development of polyps because air doesn’t flow normally through the nasal passages. I didn’t have a deviated septum.

The surgical pathology report noted a clinical history of deviated nasal septum and chronic sinusitis. I did not have a deviated septum and when did I get chronic sinusitis? I had never been treated for a sinus condition in my life before I met Dr. Shark. I had gone to him for tinnitus. On the medical history that I had filled out on August 6, following Respiratory—asthma, emphysema, lung–I had written “none.” After Allergic, Immunologic—environmental–I had written “Lyme’s Disease, Fibromyalgia since 1984, hay fever, CO exposure winter 2006-07.” None of these things qualifies as chronic sinusitis. People with chronic sinusitis have miserable noses, they can’t breathe, they use nasal sprays. I had never had a breathing problem or a dry nose, or used a nasal spray, until after Dr. Shark’s surgery.

On the progress notes, dated August 6, Dr. Shark had noted “chronic sinusitis.” I wondered when he had written that. There had been no discussion of sinusitis in August. If we had discussed “chronic sinusitis” on August 6, I would surely have mentioned it on the patient form that I had filled out on the same day. A piece of that form seemed to be missing from my records. Where was the paper that asked why I had come to see the doctor, and asked for a description of my symptoms? I had filled out a lot of these forms lately, and that was always one of the questions. He allegedly noted “infection” on August 6, yet failed to mention it in his August 8 letter to my GP.

On a pre-surgery report, dated October 28, Dr. Shark had written, “She complains of recurrent sinusitis, throat congestion, and extensive sinus disease per her recent CT.” I had told him that I had noticed stuffiness a few times when I cried. This stuffiness had been so insignificant that I had not mentioned it until the day he’d told me that I needed surgery.

I had never discussed a sinus problem with any doctor in my life. I had gone to the same doctor’s office for five years. Nowhere in those records was there a single complaint about a sinus problem–nor in any previous medical record. I had just been approved for Social Security in March. I had filled out copious medical forms. Nowhere was there a mention of a sinus problem, detailing and evidencing my medical history since 1984. How did he think he could get by with this?

My patient exam report of November 12 noted not only atrophic rhinitis, but “chronic rhino sinusitis.” This was the second time the doctor noted atrophic rhinitis, and now, he bestowed a chronic rhinitis condition on me, which I assumed was something worse than sinusitis. He was ramping up the diagnosis. Was he inventing chronic conditions to explain why I had atrophic rhinitis two weeks after his surgery?

According to the surgical pathology report, this was removed from my nose and sinuses: multiple pieces of flat bone and cartilage, in aggregate measuring 4.0 x 4.0 x 0.2 cm. Also some gray mucoid soft tissue measuring 2.0 x 2.0 x 0.6 cm. I ran to my bedroom and got a ruler. 4.0 cm was larger than 1 ½ inch. Suddenly, I was wearing a little cage and I was falling down a dark hole in my cage. This was why I had atrophic rhinitis. Turbinate “tissue” was bone. This was why the poster on the ENS forum had told me that turbinates did not grow back.

The surgical report was full of words like “power dissector” and “mocrodebrider” and “blade” and “trocar obturator” and “Killian knife.” I couldn’t look straight at it. I peered at it, through fingers covering my eyes. Near the end of the report, I saw these words, “This left a markedly deformed septum.” Was this why he’d told me that I had a deviated septum, reinforcing the verdict at every exam? Had it been a necessary part of the diagnosis because he didn’t have the skills to operate without destroying the septum?

Now I knew why Dr. Shark had told me that he would start me on Premarin soon. Premarin is a treatment for atrophic rhinitis.

I thought back to Dr. Shark, on November 26, complaining that other people had worse noses than mine and were not suffering that much, asking me if I had an emotional problem. I thought of him knowing full well that he had brought terrible suffering upon me for the rest of my life with an unnecessary surgery and trying to shame me into silence. I started to cry, but it made my nose feel so horrible that I had to stop. My nose was ineffectual. It couldn’t even produce snot.

Scorpion: The True Story of a Woman’s Victimization by the Medical Industry

•December 1, 2011 • 12 Comments

My book about my unnecessary turbinate reduction surgery resulting in Empty Nose Syndrome and my subsequent patient blacklisting is now available from Amazon Kindle.

Download a free app for reading Kindle books on a PC:

An Unnecessary Surgery

•July 14, 2009 • 4 Comments

When I went to an Ear, Nose  & Throat doctor for ringing in my ear, I ended up with radical sinus surgery and a nose job. I was made a nasal cripple, my face and my health were destroyed. I was shocked to discover that other doctors didn’t care. In fact, they covered it up. And I couldn’t even sue. It could happen to anyone. It could happen to you.

Alla’s Chance to Survive.

•February 17, 2015 • 1 Comment

Alla has Empty Nose Syndrome.

Michael Jackson had Empty Nose Syndrome

•February 15, 2015 • 1 Comment

A doctor who treated Michael Jackson for addiction talks about the cause of his insomnia and anxiety, saying that a part of his nose had been removed, during cosmetic surgery, causing Empty Nose Syndrome.

A Call to All ENS Patients

•February 4, 2015 • 1 Comment

This was sent to me by an ENS patient:

For all the ENS patients. We have hope to cure ENS now, but we need everyone to be active. Dr. DAi, the top scientist in China is investigating the number of ENS patients. If the number is large, it will be possible that Chinese Academy of Sciences will launch the research of ENS treatment and get findings from Chinese government! Now Dr. Dai is collecting information of ENS patients. Everybody please send your information to

The information should include:
Your email address
Your computed tomography before and after surgery
The history of surgery
The photo of nasal endoscopy diagnosis
History of treatment
Current syndromes

Please share this information with all the patients that you know, and and encourage them to send their information to the email address.

From a Chinese ENS patient

Dr. Dai:…/db/200907/t20090721_2130961.html

2014 in review

•January 2, 2015 • Leave a Comment

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Dr. Houser ENS Podcast: Form Vs. Function

•December 5, 2014 • 2 Comments

Dr. Steven Houser on Empty Nose Syndrome

•November 16, 2014 • 1 Comment


Letter From a Suicidal ENS Friend

•November 15, 2014 • 5 Comments

I was operated on and permanently injured by an ENT. I was naive and trusted him not to hurt me. He froze, cut, and resected two vital organs in my nasal cavity called inferior turbinates. My ENT destroyed these organs to the point where they no longer function. As a result, I now average 3-4 hours a night for the last 6 years.  I feel like I am suffocating 24/7. I no longer produce mucous to humidify the air for my lungs.  I have chronic anxiety, depression and a complete loss of well-being.  I cannot focus or concentrate.  My condition has progressed to a point where I am completely disabled.  Despite my efforts, there is not a cure for my condition.

Before this happened, I never even heard of turbinates. They are the key organs in the nasal cavity, shaped like small fingers. Their functionality is necessary to well-being and a good quality of life. They perform many functions, including humidifying, heating and cooling the air for the lungs. They are rich with neurons that send signals to the brain regarding gas exchange, information about sleep, and provide well-being. As a result, I have a crippled nose, sinuses and nasal cavity, that do not produce mucus, do not sense airflow, and do not function. I have severe maxillary nerve damage as well.  The nerves that line what is left on my mucosa are damaged so I feel like I am suffocating 24/7.   My subconscious mind cannot sleep through the suffocation. As a result, I sleep a few hours a night and never feel refreshed.  When I am awake, I experience what only can be described as torture. My anxiety and level of well-being are terrible. Humans are hard-wired to experience anxiety when they feel like they are suffocating.  All of the pleasurable sensations that come with breathing are absent.  My sinuses are dry.  The quality of my life is gone.

I saw Dr. Steven Houser in Jan of ‘09.  He diagnosed me with ENS. The condition is nicknamed Empty Nose Syndrome because, when you look at a CT scan, the nasal cavity appears empty. This silly-sounding condition is chronically debilitating. Dr. Houser mentioned it was a potential suicide condition. There have been numerous suicides due to ENS, as documented by Dr. Eugene Kern, formerly from the Mayo Clinic. My good friend, John, with whom I spoke every day for a year, had ENS and ultimately took his life a few years ago. I realized I was having suicidal thoughts because the symptoms exceeded my ability to cope with the condition. I had a friend in college who took his life. I remember thinking to myself–what could be that bad that he would go to that extreme?  I did not understand it then, but I understand it now. I hate that option. I want to live. I do not want to take my life anymore then the next guy. I do not agree with suicide on principle. It is a terrible legacy to leave my children. They need me as a father. So I have been fighting the urge for many years. However, I feel I have no hope and things are not improving, but rather getting worse. I am not sleeping hardly at all, and my mental anguish and anxiety are terrible. Years of sleeping just 3 hours a night, and the complete loss of well-being, and the torture ENS brought to my life have become unbearable.

One thing that makes it tough is there is no escape. Since it is breathing related, it is constant. The lack of nerve signals being sent to the brain makes it torture. That is the hardest part to explain. I was so sleep-deprived, and sleep is such a motivator, I would do anything for it. My friends and family cannot comprehend my suffering, and cannot understand why I cannot transcend my problem. I would like nothing more than to successfully cope. I have two beautiful children that need a healthy father. I want to feel better so I can be there for them. Other than the physical symptoms, I suffer from a complete loss of well-being. I have severe depression and anxiety. I always excelled in school and work and, overall, things came pretty easy for me. I was so very capable. Now everything is so hard. Little tasks are hard. I spend my days trying to not lose it mentally. When I discuss my problems with my friends and family, it is very hard on them. They cannot help the situation so they do not know how to react. I try my best not to burden anyone anymore. As a result, it is a very lonely condition. Only my fellow ENS sufferers, who I met online, can comprehend what I go through. I confide in them. This is not my suicide note.  Although I am suicidal. Every day, I feel the urge. I force myself to make it one more day. I have been saying that to myself for years. I have never imagined such pain could have been brought to my life to ruin it.


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