My nose is full of… stuff

Last Sunday I finally had the septoplasty, turbinate reduction, and maxillary antrostomy. For those playing at home who aren’t doctors – the cartilage in my nose was crooked, the bubbles that humidify air when we breathe in through our noses were too big, and the openings to my cheek sinuses were too small, so they fixed all of it.

I don’t know if I was late getting to the hospital that day or if the doctor finished his first surgery early because I was barely in and changed into a gown when they told me they were ready to take me to pre-op. I got all my piercings out, left my glasses with my mom, and took my hair out of its poofs. I’m pretty sick of IVs at this point since they have trouble getting them in but you do what you have to do.

Pre-op was cold as all get out as it usually is and the surgical room was even colder. I have no idea how doctors can operate under those conditions. I scooted from one bed to the surgical table and less than a minute later I was out. I woke up in the recovery area congested and totally out of it.

They took a lot more of my cartilage than I expected and I apparently also had septal spurs. I only know this because they let me keep what they took out.

I spent the rest of the day in and out of consciousness, which isn’t uncommon for me. The nurse kept the room frigid, which ended up being a but too much for me and way too much for my mom (who kindly slept on the super uncomfortable bench in the hospital room). I did get to wear this awesome glove thing over my face to try to keep the swelling to a minimum.

I checked out with the doctor the next day and went home in the late morning. I was doing okay Monday – played cards with my mom, watched some TV. Didn’t notice that I couldn’t breathe through my nose.

Then came Tuesday and it was AWFUL. Couldn’t breathe through my nose. Sinus pain and pressure in my face. Sutures at the front were hella painful since that area was still swollen. It only got worse on Wednesday. Wednesday night I contemplated a trip to the ER to deal with the pain. My uvula was incredibly swollen and I constantly felt like I was choking on it.

Thursday was a little better, but only because I had popsicles to deal with the uvula. Also, I was still pretty wiped out, so when I felt like shit, I just went to sleep. This was actually my strategy for Tuesday and Wednesday as well. The doctor told me to give my nose a good blow that day, but it was pointless and painful. The splints in my nose were totally blocking anything that may want to come out. By the time I thought about the doctor it was too late. The clinic is closed on Fridays, so I was just going to have to suck it up until at LEAST Saturday, if not Sunday.

Well, I let it go on Saturday since I’d slept most of the day, but I brought my ass to the doctor on Sunday. No dice. They did agree to move my appointment from Tuesday to Monday though, so I was much closer to relief. I couldn’t stay asleep because the mouth breathing caused my whole mouth to get dry and cold and painful, so I woke up time after time. Not only that, but I was having trouble falling asleep. Even after a Seroquel AND a Xanax.

The splints came out this morning. I had an idea of what to expect since I’d watched like 10 YouTube videos of people having them taken out and read a bunch of posts about what it felt like. It’s mostly really weird. Like you’ve got a long, hard booger stuck way up in your nose and it’s coming out. I teared up a lot.

After he pulled out the plastic splints, he suctioned in my nose to get a bunch of the nasty stuff. I don’t know how long it had been in there and I don’t really want to. That was pretty uncomfortable, but not painful. After he did a bunch of suction, he sprayed saline in my nose and had me blow it – hard. I filled up two tissues. I didn’t look at what was in them nor did I take a picture. (I did when I got home though…)

I was AMAZED when I got to take a breath though! I haven’t been able to breathe like that in both nostrils as long as I can remember! It’s such a weird feeling! The doc said that as I continue to use saline, blow my nose, and visit with him for suctionings it will get even better.

I’m super excited about being able to sleep tonight without my mouth having to hang open. I’m hoping that this is the beginning of a new life with MUCH LESS fatigue!