We see a fair number of broken noses in the emergency department. Jutting prominently out of our faces, the nose is often the first point of contact with any number of objects in the environment.
Many of the tales of how the proboscis came to be maimed are quite fanciful, and just as often are emotionally charged. Romantic overtures to the wrong person’s girlfriend are one of the most frequent precipitants to a nasal fracture. Ill-timed remarks combined with alcohol consumption are a close second. Often, inebriated Casanovas will combine both scenarios in a surefire recipe for a fist sandwich—a perfect storm of slowed reflexes, decreased inhibitions and poor judgment. These patients can be amusing to care for as they seem incapable of absorbing the obvious lessons imparted and wax on and on grandly about the opportunities for happiness the young ladies have missed out on. Sudden gallantry and charm will burst out of them when they ficklely and capriciously switch their amorous attentions to our female staff. I admire their pluck and optimism, campaigning on, while the pulp that was their mid-face oozes bloody detritus down their shirtfronts.
The young man who came in this winter with his nose smashed appeared to fit the pattern: drunk, bloody and mumbling about overly possessive males. He was certainly not dressed for the winter weather; in fact, he was unclothed when his friends found him and brought him in. For reasons he was unable to articulate well, after downing a fifth of vodka he had stripped and doused himself with doe urine. Doe urine is available commercially and is used by deer hunters to lure in big bucks during the mating season.
“Curiosity?” was all he offered as explanation.
His reason for then going out for a naked midnight walk in the woods was that he was a “nature lover.” Nature did not love him back, or perhaps loved him too well.
Deer have an extraordinary sense of smell and a buck found him within minutes. The encounter that followed no doubt surprised them both. Suffice it to say that the deer was both disappointed and angry. After a clumsy and unsatisfying interlude the deer whirled around and kicked him in the face, smashing his nose. The deer then stomped off, huffing and snorting loudly.
The preposterous nature of this story must have finally occurred to him when sober. When seen in clinic in follow up he would only admit to having been in a fight with another male, and I guess that was true enough as far as it goes. Such a dear boy.