Every Breath You Take

Most days, I can’t breathe out of my left nostril.

Some days I can’t breathe out of my right.

Sometimes they’re both at a complete standstill like I-95 between Fredericksburg and DC.

This summer, I finally went to an ENT for him to take a look and find out what the problem is. He spent about 30 seconds with a camera in my sinuses before he said, “Well, you have some pretty significant nasal polyps. You’ll need surgery.”

There are, of course, other options, like interminable rounds of medication, but that’s just a band-aid, it won’t actually fix the problem.

So I’m having surgery on Monday. After 4-5 hours of scraping out my nasal passages, followed by a few days of misery and pain medication, I should be respiring again like a human is supposed to.

But let’s talk about how long it took me to get around to having my sinuses checked out in the first place. I can’t pinpoint exactly when the sinus problems officially qualified as being a hindrance to my quality of life, but I’ve been talking about going to an ENT for at least three years. And, of course, the issue would have been a problem for a long time prior to that for me to even get to the point of thinking about getting examined in the first place.

So what took me so long?

Was I scared of the ENT? No, very few things scare me, other than the prospect of a Bernie Sanders presidency or people who own more than three cats.

Was it too hard to get off work to schedule a visit? No, I own the place. I could walk out in the middle of this blog post if I wanted to.

I knew I needed to go and there was no real obstruction to prevent me from going, I just…never got around to it.

And now I can’t help but think about all of the fully-nostrilled (not a word, probably) breaths I could have been taking this whole time.

My procrastination hasn’t put my life in danger. It’s not going to cost more now than it would have cost in 2014. The main consequence is simply that my quality of life could have been drastically improved years ago if I hadn’t waited so long.

This is exactly where most people are with their financial planning.

You know that you need to do it, there’s no legitimate excuse not to do it, you just…haven’t gotten around to it. You’re not on the verge of a financial crisis, there’s no impending life event with financial implications that you need to address, you just don’t have the peace of mind that you could have.

After we get a financial plan in place for folks, at least half of the time, one of the first things they say is, “Wow, we should done this years ago.”

So that makes two of us. If I’d had surgery years ago (as I should have) and you’d gotten a financial plan in place years ago (as you should have), I would have been breathing better and you would have been sleeping better this whole time.

You can schedule a visit here.