Monday, 19 March 2012

Gunge, gore, snot and blood clots.

It's been ten days since my operation and I'm finally starting to feel a bit more human again. The nose itself wasn't too bad (except when a little person accidentally head butted me in the nose which was painful beyond belief!) But the tiredness from the anesthetic has been far worse that I'd expected. I've had two aesthetics before, one for an hour long surgery and one for a c section. Both those operations were far more serious than this nose jobby, but took half the time to do. I guess an extra hour of anesthetic really does make all the difference.

I went back to the hospital on Thursday to have the plastic splints removed from my nose. 'Hank' came with me. Partly to drive me because I was still a zombie, partly to be supportive, but mostly because he wanted to see how much blood, snot and gore would come out of my nose with the splints.  And he wasn't disappointed! I got to see the surgeon who again explained to me (and three very eager students, a nurse, and Hank) that the operation had been very tricky indeed.  I told him how pooey I was feeling and he agreed that it is indeed a nasty operation that leaves people feeling a bit yuck for a while.  He explained to the students (who looked like they could have been my own kids) what he had done to me then proceeded to spray disgusting things up my nose, undo stitches and pull out the splints.  Having the splints pulled out was nowhere near as uncomfortable as having the 8 inch tampons pulled out was a few days before!  Hank and the three students all leaned in for a closer inspection at the gorey parts.

After removing the splints he stuck a suction thingy-ma-jig up my nose and gave it a good clear out.  Then he asked me to take a breath through my nose.  Well !!! I nearly sucked up the surgeon and the three students with my turbo powered super nostrils! Never in my life had I realised how much oxygen the average person can breath through their nose till this point! I was totally astonished. The surgeon explained that I would get congested a lot over the next few weeks (up to 3 months) but that eventually I would be able to breath properly through my nose all the time. He then told me that he thought I'd got sinusitis since the surgery so prescribed some antibiotics (which might explain why I'd been feeling so unwell?)

I will be reviewed again in 6 weeks. Since then my nose has been quite congested, which is disappointing but expected.  I can't wait for it to work properly. A few times a day I have to squeeze a half pint bottle of saline solution up one nostril and let it pour back out the other nostril.... which is a strange feeling! But it really helps clean out the blood clots and gunge and make it less congested. Now it doesn't feel too bad apart from the stitches that are inside my nose. I don't like them.  It's just like having had a bad cold. Congested.

For a good 8 days I could barely move with the tiredness. Tiredness like I'd never felt before. Like someone had removed every last drop of blood from my body and replaced it with liquid metal. But the last two days I've been more human and can see myself getting back to normal. Horrah!

Click here to watch a video of a super cute 5 year old girl using the same saline bottle method to clean out her nose as I do. What a brave wee thing!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Oxygenate me!

Last Friday I went into hospital for a septoplasty and turbinate removal. I didn't know I was getting turbinate removal until after the operation (in fact I've never heard of turbinates until this point).  For years I have had trouble breathing through my nose and my GP has suggested it might be the cause of constant headaches and feelings of tiredness. But I was never keen to get it fixed. But then the last few years I've started snoring like a wart hog and choking during the night when I stop breathing.  So once my blood pressure was under control it was decided that I ought to finally get my nose sorted out.

I was lead to believe that septoplasty was a very simple procedure and that I'd be allowed home the same day if all went well. However, after a 2 hour operation the surgeon came to tell me that things had been far more complicated than expected.  My septum appeared to have been broken in two places and was completely bent out of shape. They tried their best to fix it but said they'd had to remove so much cartilage that I might have some trouble from this.  Then he said that my turbinates were so enlarged that I couldn't breath anyway so they removed them too. I've since read that turbinates will enlarge if you're suffering allergies and can be the cause of snoring. 

I stayed in overnight until I could get the two 8 inch long tampons pulled out of my nostrils! Man, that was not a pleasant experience!! I was glad to get home but have to say that the recovery has been slower than I'd hoped. I feel completely and utterly drained most of the time, and really nauseous. I've barely eaten since Friday but have lost half a stone, so it's not all bad! 
Today I am going back in to hospital to get the plastic splints taken out of my nose. I am hoping that I'll feel a marked improvement in sinus and tooth pain once these are out, and might even be able to breath again.

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