Post Operative Recovery and Whining

I had surgery 8 days ago and I am just now starting to feel a bit more human. I had a bilateral endoscopic blah blah blah with a septoplasty something something. In short, I had a complex sinus surgery that knocked me on my ass for well over a week. I have never been in this much pain and I have had MANY surgeries and well as birthing 3 children.

I have known for many years that I have needed to have this done. Finally, it was kind of decided for me despite this being an “elective” surgery. I suffer from chronic sinus infections and my doctor said he would no longer prescribe antibiotics unless I got the issue addressed. Fair point. So I did what I was told and I met with the ENT doctor. He took one look at me and immediately recommended surgery. For safe measure he order a CT scan that confirmed and sealed the deal for me going under the knife.

The doctor explained the complexities of the surgery and all of the risks in great detail. He told me I would need some time off of work and that recovery could be somewhat intense. What I heard was “outpatient” and a “few days off of work”. I truly was incredibly ignorant going into this process thinking it would be some relaxing time off. Thankfully, my husband and parents know me better and did the research to set me straight.

The morning of my surgery was a complete shit show. The surgery center sent me information that contained the the wrong start time for my procedure and reconfirmed it incorrectly by phone. When I showed up an HOUR late I was read the riot act from the front desk (even thought I showed her it was not my fault). My doctor already seemed irritated with me because of their miscommunication but rolled his eye even further back when I proclaimed that I would be going to my son’s hockey game that night. Now I was not listening to his advice because this was just “outpatient” surgery. This was not shaping up to be a great start to the day and me pushing the buttons of the doctor was probably not smart.

Me looking sad and pathetic!

They quickly prepped me and I walked back to the operating room. I climbed up on the table, and then woke up to someone shoving pudding in my mouth followed by a pain pill of some sort. The surgery was about 3.5 hours long but felt like 5 seconds. I caught a glimpse of myself and got scared! I had what looked like a maxi pad taped to the bottom of my nose. They “washed” my face in surgery so my hair was half crusted with god knows what and my skin tone was an interesting shade of grey. This worst pain I have ever felt. It was like some punched me in face and my throat felt like I swallowed nails. I spent a few hours in recovery and I was finally cleared to go home. I vaguely remember the ride home but was with it enough to starting counting the minutes until I could start popping pain meds. My face was so swollen and my nose was unrecognizable. I looked like a freaking PIG!!

I am not a lay low kind of gal and this past week has forced me to do almost NOTHING. I did sneak out to 2 hockey games and I visited with a friend for a bout an hour out of the house on Halloween. I fluctuated between going absolutely ape shit to depressed and staring at the wall. My friends and family were amazing. They cooked, cleaned, drove, and most important kept me on my ass.

I think part of the depression I feel is how much time slipped away doing absolutely NOTHING. I watched all 5 seasons of Schitt’s Creek, Stared off into blank space, watched countless Christmas movies, spent WAY too much time on Facebook rolling my eyes at political posts and getting sucked into watching stupid videos. My low point was when I was repeatedly watching product ambassadors for L’ange do their HAIR. I almost purchased a flat iron and a curling wand that I would never ever use. I also spent time lurking on my work Teams channels and longed to be in the office (high or not, I still love my job). I was sad not to be able to celebrate Halloween and completely forgot about carving pumpkins. I missed several hockey games and feel like I haven’t seen my friends in years. Okay, I am a bit dramatic but you get my point.

When I did make it out of the house for those short periods of time, my nose would start bleeding and it grossed people out. My husband and kids didn’t not appreciate my Eleven from Stranger Things impression. I personally thought it was hilarious but then again, everything seems to be funnier when on narcotics. Even shorts jaunts from the house made my face ache and wore me out badly. For a person that is on the go all the time, this was a hard reality.

I had my post op appoint last Friday and I still have not been cleared for work. My doctor mentioned he did not want me working at all this next week. I negotiated “part time” and he reluctantly agreed. He may have rolled his eyes. Thankfully am blessed with a great boss that will allow me to work a modified schedule from home. I can’t imagine doing another week of what I just did.

This was not something I wanted to see!!

While I was at this appointment, 2 of the 4 stints in my nose had to be removed. He accidentally pulled out 3. He looked at me with face that said “OH FUCK” and kind of looked like he might cry for a moment. He insisted that we put the stint back in WHILE I WAS IN THE OFFICE and AWAKE. I began to sweat like I have never done in my life. I was TERRIFIED! He seemed a bit unnerved and that didn’t help matters. He doesn’t strike me as a guy than ever makes mistakes. He warned, “This is not going to be fun”. I warned him that I might swear…a lot. He was okay with the foul language as long I didn’t punch him. I told him no guarantees.

He must have pulled some magic trick because WITHOUT PAIN, he gave me a shot in nose, placed a stint far up my nostril and sutured it in place. It was no worse than getting my teeth cleaned. We both let out a sigh of relief and went about our days. So now I have another week of foreign objects in my nose and then I should be good to go!

I am on one more week of a modified schedule. I am easing back into life and daily craziness. I am setting mini goals to work back up to my rigorous daily routine. I hope to come back stronger, refreshed, and have the ability to breathe…through my nose.

Recovery Goals for This Week:

  • Focus on Healthy Eating – For the past week I have eaten nothing but sugar and carbs. I have been living on Popsicles, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, and Gatorade. Oh and….all of my kids’ Halloween candy. My pre-op appointment was not stellar and proved I needed to clean up my act.
  • Sleep– I need to be mindful that recovery will be faster if I am getting quality sleep.
  • Daily Walk Outside- I need to get moving. This is nothing fast or vigorous but I need to blow the stink off myself and move my body.
  • Work– I plan on only working 4 hours a day but I need to focus on something outside of this house to truly feel like I am human.