Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Picking Jo's Nose

from left: bead, plastic BB, chocolate chip, ???, popcorn kernel, rubber nubs
- from Jeremy

"You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose." That rule doesn't apply around here. In fact, quite the opposite.

A couple weeks ago, Christy was talking to her doctor about Jo - his achievements and challenges - and Dr. A asked whether Jo was putting things up his nose. When she told me about it, we shared a thankful befuddlement. Jo had never stuck anything besides his pointer up his schnoz.

During the following week or so, the younger boys enjoyed some popcorn on the east terrace and broadcast un-popped kernels into every nook and cranny. It was one of those impotent corn seeds that I saw up Jo's nose. It was kind of funny. I squeezed it out with zero difficulty. I texted Christy (who was at a soccer game) to let her know. Later that day as Jo walked by me, I noticed a bulging nostril and got another fresh-squeezed kernel for my effort. Still kindof funny.

But as Jo backed away from me, his head tilted back from the corn-ectomy, I saw a weird glint up his left nose hole. I grabbed him back up and took a better look. Something was up there. Way up there. And it was metal and looked industrial, almost geared. It wasn't funny anymore. My first thought was he had somehow hocked up one of his dental improvements, but I quickly dismissed that idea. One thing was sure, it was lodged and it was causing him some discomfort. I started to wonder how long it had been up there - he'd had a very difficult previous day and night. Could this thing have been bothering him and we didn't know to look for it?

the mystery boogie, with a popcorn kernel to show size
So I found some tweezers and with Herculean effort I held him down and carefully dug it out. He seemed relieved. I was very relieved. Since then he's snootered a chocolate chip, a bead from his sister's jewelry kit, one of his brother's Airsoft pellets, two rubber nubs he bit off a ball and another popcorn kernel for old time's sake. We're working up quite the modern art masterpiece of a nose treasure collection. I shall call it, "Is this gross enough for an NEA grant?"

So what do we do? A doctor friend of ours has recommended that we not use the tweezers on him anymore. There is a danger (even for people that are trained) of puncturing the fragile ethmoid bone that separates the nasal cavity from the brain. If you've ever seen a Chuck Norris movie then you know the dangers associated with this area of the noggin. It occurred to me that we could have Jo wear one of those plastic cones they put on dogs to keep them from licking their . . . wounds. It would work great, and look rather Elizabethan, but it would drive him bonkers. We've been able to curtail the problem some by policing the house more thoroughly for kernel-sized objects. In frustration, a couple days ago, he tried to cram a Fruit Loop and was unsuccessful.

So how 'bout it, Internet? What strategies can you recommend? And what do you reckon that metal thing was? And how should we feel about circumstances we can't control in life. Tell you what, y'all work on the first two, and I'll try and answer that last one from the Bible in my next post.


  1. This was hilarious to read. I am so glad the Lord has given you two such a wonderful sense of humor. It is part of what gets you through. We are praying that the Lord will keep Jo safe from anything that could cause real harm. Love you all, Meemaw.

  2. Keep up the great work on this blog, brother!

  3. Oh, my! Praying that Jo will lose the fascination with sticking things up his nose soon. And I don't really have a clue what that is...a foot off of something? Part of a pen?

  4. Thanks for all of the prayers! Jess, thanks for guessing! We still aren't sure what that thing was.


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