Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sinus Surgery - Part Two - Days One through Five

Squick warning, particularly for day five.

Day One-  Woke up blearily when Wendell had to leave for the matinee.  I couldn't breathe through my nose at all because of the packing, so my mouth/throat were extra dry.  He took my dogs out and told me to go back to bed.  I took yet another shower, rinsed my sinuses, changed the bandage for the fifty-billionth time, and texted my sister to come over around 1p instead on noon.  I woke up around 1p.  Took another shower did a sinus rinse, and grabbed some gauze but didn't tape it in place because my skin was becoming unbelievably irritated.  Then stumbled downstairs and threw some leftover frozen waffles in the toaster over.  I took my antibiotics, steroids, more Tylenol, an ice-pack for my nose/eyes (Nurse Helpful had thoughtfully given it to me on my way out the door and it definitely did help stop the bleeding as she said it would), and stumbled to the couch with my back-pillow and blanket.  My sister showed up around then and made herself at home on the couch next to me.  She had a big bio-chem test she was studying for.  She grabbed me the waffles and some water when the timer went off.

I put on Ever After while she studied and I was buried in my dogs and cat.  It was pretty great.  After the movie, I dozed off for awhile.  My head was more painful that the previous day, but my throat was way better.  The packing in my nose made "M" and "N" noises all but impossible to say and my speech was all clogged up and stilted.

After I woke up Shea told me Carl was coming over after work and bringing Jimmy Johns, which quite frankly sounded amazing.  We held off putting on another movie until she got there.  We had dinner, and then watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, which was fun.  My sisters were both great, though Carl is a bit squeamish.  But still, they grabbed me things when I needed them.  The only reasons I had to get up were to go to the bathroom from my extensive fluid intake and to rinse my sinuses.  It was actually nice.

When Wendell got home at 11:30 (the show ran long, which I wasn't thrilled about) I was seriously starting to hurt.  My head was killing me.  My eyes were killing me.  I was so dizzy and weak from the anesthesia that I could barely function.  I'd been cheating most of the day by taking Tylenol every 3.5 hours and that had been enough, but it wasn't then.  Despite my worries about how I'd react to the Codeine laced Tylenol, I took it, and gradually my pain eased.  My face was a bit swollen, though I think not as much as most people would expect (I don't have a tendency to swell very much thankfully).  Wendell got me to bed, happily the drainage had stopped already so no taped in place gauze pad (Shea told me when she had her surgery she had this sling type thing that looped over her ears so she didn't have to tape.  I was jealous), and it took me forever to fall asleep (thanks steroids).

Day Two-  More frustrating that Day One.  I had Janey and Kate taking care of me, and they were lovely, but I know Kate is a bit squeamish, so even though she didn't ask me to, I tried to be more circumspect about the drainage.  I also felt bad about her walking my crazy excitable saluki, so I tried to take the dogs out some this day.  It did add a layer of stress I wasn't thrilled about.

We watched Road to El Dorado, which I all but dozed through and then Hunchback of Notre Dame.  I was way more tired than I had been the previous day and also felt weaker, shakier, and dizzier.  Janey got there after Hunchback and brough soup and bread and potstickers.  They managed my kitchen quite well and we ate while watching several episodes of iZombie.

They left shortly before Wendell got home from strike (of the first location's space).  He came home and it was fantastic to see him as always.  In general, the pain was better this day, but everything else was worse.  I took the Codeine laced Tylenol at the same time of night as the previous time, as a precaution.

I felt bad, but the next day was Wendell's only day off and he'd scheduled a dentist appointment and a doctor's appointment for his leg that has been crampy for about a month now.  He told me he'd cancel them, which I was also dissatisfied with.  It was pretty much a lose lose situation.  I desperately wanted him home, but he also had stuff he needed to do.

It took, once again, quite awhile to fall asleep.

Day Three- Wendell did end up cancelling/rescheduling his appointments, and I was so grateful he had.  This was my worst day.  I got woken up by a call confirming my post-op appointment on Wednesday, a call from a nurse checking in on me, and a call from my surgeon, before we actually decided to get up.  I actually don't remember it particularly well.  I was so weak and dizzy.  I could finally go the full four hours in between doses of Tyelnol, but that was about the only upside.  We spent most of the day on the couch watching Buffy.  We actually finished the series, which was rather exciting. I spent a lot of the day playing Kingdom Hearts Unchained, which Kate and Janey had introduced me to the day before.

I started getting clotting out with the sinus rinses this day and the one right before bed was extensive and freaked me out a bit.  The steroids did a number on me this day.  It took me 3+ hours to get to sleep, though once I was asleep, I slept in until 1.  I felt really bad for Wendell, who got to sleep significantly sooner, but also had to get up far far earlier than I did.

Day Four-  My first day alone with no one else around; also my first day with lessened dizziness and little weakness/shakiness.  I took yet another shower with sinus rinse, though this time I shaved, washed, and washed my hair.  My boss called me in the middle of washing my hair to see if I'd be back on Thursday as planned or not.  I told her that if I continued to feel like I was this day, then I would be.

She assured me that I could change my mind if need be.  I spent pretty much the entire day playing Kingdom Hearts Unchained and Wendell got home at 7.  We watched some Angel and then headed to bed.  This was the absolute worst night for getting to sleep.  It took me 4+ hours, and I needed to be up at 7:30 for my post-op appointment.

Day Five (Today)- Woke up after not enough sleep.  It was terrible.  Wendell drove me to the post-op appointment, happily at the campus that is only fifteen minutes away.  I got all checked in early and filled out the survey about how I was feeling in regards to my head.  My answers were mostly: feeling terribly obstructed and dizzy, which was unsurprising.  A nurse took us back and then my surgeon came in not too long later.

She asked me how I was doing and joked that she'd been waiting for me to call to see if I could get the packing out sooner.  She told me this would be the worst follow-up appointment, maybe even worse than all of the recovery from surgery.

It pretty much was.  She numbed my nose with a numbing spray and Afrin.  It tastes terrible (I remember from the first appointment I ever had with her), but I couldn't taste it because of the packing to keep my turbinates stiff as they healed.  She then clip the suture in my left nasal passage with forceps and scissors, which was this strange releasing of pressure.  She used forceps to pull the left packing out of my nose and oh dear god did it hurt.  The two packing pieces were attached via string, so when she pulled the left one out, the right one had to slide all the way up in my nose.  She then clipped them apart and pulled the right one out.

She let me have a bit of a breather then.  I felt like I was going to pass out, so she applied more numbing spray (this time I could taste it).  She then vacuumed out both sides of my nasal passages and said it was looking great.  It was so weird then, because I could suddenly breathe through my nose, and not just partially, I could breathe deeply and well (even with the left over drainage).  She told me that I could gently blow my nose from here on out and to continue irrigating.  The fact that my pain had been so mild was good and a bit surprising, she said.  Also, the turbinates had added significant difficulty to my recovery (which wasn't fun, but wasn't as bad as I'd expected), but she thought it'd be worth it.  The grossest part for me is that she warned me the clotting was going to get grosser for a few days and might even include bits of bone.

I made an appointment to see her next Friday and all was good.  My nose bled a little after I left, but not that bad considering the trauma it underwent.

We went home then (boy let me tell you was I grateful Wendell was driving) and went back to bed for a couple of hours, though it took me an hour and a half to actually get to sleep.  As predicted, the first sinus rinse was terrible, but they've been getting better since then.  I also got a message from a student I stage managed for forever ago, asking me about the turbinate surgery, which he needs to have done in the next few months.

I finally got to sleep for the last half hour of our nap and woke up when Wendell had to leave with my nose so dry and painful I was in tears.  He brought me saline spray which I used and it immediately helped.  I then turned off the fan and took an extremely steamy shower to humidify the room and that helped a ton.  I feel asleep again for several more hours, warm washcloth tucked against my nose, and I woke up feeling dry, but way better than I had.

Between the saline spray and nasal irrigation I've managed to keep it pretty moist and not that painful.  My weakness is almost completely gone and my dizziness is markedly better.  I mostly puttered about the rest of the day, though I did go get gas and pick up my tapering down dose of steroids.  While I was at the drug store I also picked up a travel sized humidifier, which has helped a ton.  I'm going back to work (thankfully follow spot and not crew) tomorrow and intend to bring it with me.  Wendell also bought me a special eye ice-mask, which helps an unbelievable amount.  So I'm going to look so stylish tomorrow.  So all and all, things are looking up.

Oh, and my doctor said I can take something to help me sleep, so my recovery is in an excellent place now.

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