Sinus surgery – Day 11

I am not well. I just want to point that out in case later someone wonders. There’s still icky stuff draining from my nose. Really icky stuff. It looks like Hershey’s syrup, brown and goopy. I have talked to the doctor’s office and they have prescribed yet stronger antibiotics because I am still all one with the infection.

My best friend’s mom died this week and the funeral is tomorrow. I need to be there and I need to be here and none of it is good.

That being said, later today she will drive the 2.5 hours to my house and spend the night here and tomorrow we will tackle her mom’s funeral together. Or something. I am not sure I will be useful to her at all, actually. I still need people to help me out of the couch on a regular basis and bring me tea and make me easily edible food. ┬áSo we will see how that all goes.


Sinus Surgery – Day 9

Things I’m thankful for:
1. Neosporin + Pain Reliever all in one tube. Because I needed to put that stuff on a q-tip and rub it around inside my nose anyway; I’m glad they’ve added pain reliever so it’s bonus good.
2. Nick teaching the boys all the cooking things last week. So today the younger boys could make and bake brownies all on their own (and the house didn’t burn down because they took them out all by themselves when I totally forgot about them!) and tonight David will be making lasagna and broccoli for dinner.
3. Friends and family that check in by phone and in person, that bring us food from their homes or from the store so I don’t have to waste my energy on wandering through stores and instead can invest it in my family.
4. The sunshiny weather we’ve been having the last few days because it makes going outside to the car bearable when I have to go out to drop off and pick up boys (which is still the only reason I’ve left the house this week).
5. Time to heal and to be restful. I’ve spent a lot of time on my comfy, cozy couch this week.
6. There is no #6.
7. Netflix, without which I might be crazy from watching American daytime TV.

Sinus Surgery – Day 6

1. Have discovered that adding a second kind of pain reliever is key to my comfort. It is so much better. Not pain free by a long shot, but much less intense. More like sinus infection level pain.
2. I made my own lunch today. Well, I started making it yesterday, did bits & pieces last night & this morning, then made it around 11am. Didn’t have energy to eat it til after it’d gone cold, but PROGRESS!!!
3. My parents are staying on two more nights. They’ll take kids to school tomorrow and attend meetings in my stead that night, then they’ll go home in the morning and I’ll be back to regular life on my own on Tuesday.
4. Tuesday scares me. While I’m upright most of the day now, I don’t have energy for dealing with anything yet. I have to sleep immediately after anything extra, like making food, or washing my face, or having a long conversation.

Sinus surgery – Day 5

This morning, my husband packed himself off and left for The Hague. He’ll be there a week and a half and I will be here, fending for myself and the kids. It will be fun! (said nobody ever).

The kids are at Nick’s parents house for the weekend so they can do their usual church and open gym night and basketball weekend routine without having to rely on me to get them anywhere, which is good, as I’m still not driving the car. I am still taking the Tylenol-3. They said it would only be a week until I would stop taking it. I can’t imagine that, but then again, I couldn’t imagine my nose unstuffing, either, and that has happened for the most part over the last couple days.

This afternoon, sometime, my parents will show up. I’m in their house now, watching TV while typing. I’ve watched a lot of television this week, most of it Midsomer Murders on Netflix. It’s been a good show to watch. British, mystery, funny, long episodes. I’ve enjoyed it. I don’t think I’ll get to watch it here, though. Maybe we’ll watch some movies instead. I hope so. I don’t watch a lot of movies.

Sinus surgery – milestones

In the last 24 hours, I:
1. sat at table for dinner last night for first time since surgery. Ate most of my food. Did not collapse.
2. took a real shower. Washed my hair and everything. Did not collapse.
3. rinsed out my nose with irrigator. Marveled at the grossness that came out. Did not collapse.

Sinus Surgery – Day Four

Not that the last few days weren’t interesting, but posting about how much blood and gore came out of my nose seemed just too gross, even for me.

Good things that happened in the last couple days? A couple more friends brought kids home. One brought yumminess for dinner so Nick could focus on washing clothes for his upcoming trip. (Yes, he’s leaving the country. No, I’m not happy about it. Why is he leaving? WORK. We must pay for this surgery somehow.)

In other news, I saw the doctor again today. It was a horrific experience. The best I can tell you is that the nurse/technician/whatever she was….she forgot to spray the numbness into my nose before the splints/stents/whatever you call them got taken out. I seriously almost passed out. My blood pressure dropped to an alarmingly low number. Other nurses had to come in to watch me. It was a whole ordeal. Fortunately, it ended with me getting the splints out and getting to go back home.

The splints that were in my nose, with Nick's hand by them for size comparison.

The splints that were in my nose, with Nick’s hand by them for size comparison.

Life without the splints is much like life with the splints, but without quite as much pressure in my head. I’d read online earlier that it would be such a ginormous relief and that everything would be perfection afterward…but that is not the case. It really just feels kind of like they are still in there, just a little less big. I’m still stuffy, still pressurized, and still exhausted.

Sinus Surgery – Day Three

2015-01-21 07.31.42

Guard Puppy Rose is On Duty (even when asleep)

Day Three, my nose without my little mustache friend.

Day Three, my nose without my little mustache friend.

Shakespearean Love Dragon

Shakespearean Love Dragon – a gift from neighborhood friends

Sinus surgery – Day Two

Me and my gauze mustache

Me and my gauze mustache

I made it through the night all right. I got up once for more pain reliever, but was mostly okay for sleeping. I woke up at the crack of dawn. I was wide awake and actually feeling pretty good. First thing in the morning, I did the sinus rinse the doctor suggested. I used on of those Neil-Med Sinus-Rinse things where you squeeze the bottle and it shoots salty water up your nose. I’ve had one for a few years now, so I was well-aware of what it was going to be like. Except that you are never prepared for blood and goo coming out. Not ever, really. It was super gross and you should be glad that I was not coordinated enough at that point to take pictures.

Nick got the boys ready and took them to school and went on to work himself. I drank an Instant Breakfast beverage, took my meds, and sat on the couch with my bundle of helpful things:

  1. Plastic cup full of water with a helpful straw (some websites say you shouldn’t have a straw after surgery. I wouldn’t have been able to drink without it.)
  2. Big coffee cup full of tea
  3. Box of tissues
  4. Box of Q-Tips
  5. Nasal Moisturizer Spray
  6. Lip Balm
  7. Vicks Vapo-Rub

I only got up off the couch every few hours and only to a) go to the bathroom and b) get some more liquids. It was a process. Mainly I watched TV and dozed.

At lunch time, Nick came home, made me some soup, got me some more beverages, and went back to work. It was very exciting, obviously.

Some kind friends brought the kids home from school. One came in and made me some tea, one came in and let her kid play with my kids in the backyard for a while. Eventually I managed to send the spare kid home (I don’t remember him coming in, but there he was). Nick’s mom came and took boys to piano lessons. Once Nick came home, I went back on to the bedroom and retired for the day.

Once Nick came home, I went back on to the bedroom and retired for the day. Dinner was brought to me in bed. It was cut up into tiny, tiny chunks, which was good. One thing they don’t tell you about this surgery is how much your jaw will hurt afterwards. Maybe it’s just the RA giving me further problems, but I could barely open my mouth at all.

Sinus surgery – Day of Surgery

I couldn’t sleep in. I just couldn’t sleep. So up I got and dressed and ready to go so early. My husband and dad came with me to the little surgery center. It was filled with so many waiting people and an inconceivable number of babies. There was barely room for us all.

They had me go back to the starting room alone at first. The nurse I saw the week before at my PASS appointment was there to ask me questions. I answered them all, changed into a gown (with my sports bra and PJ shorts underneath, put on the socks they provided me and went back to the starting room to get my IV. That was actually the hardest part of the pre-surgery day. My hands have terribly knobby veins and it was quite pinchy feeling in my hand. They let my husband come hang out with me at this point. Just my husband; they said I couldn’t have my dad, too, due to space issues, but the patient in the cubby behind me had two people and the kid next to me had three. It was weird.

Anyway, soon enough they wheeled me down to the surgery room, which was full of people and light on bed space. Seriously, I felt like I was precariously balanced on a skinny board with a head rest. They put a mask over my face and talked to me a bit, then realized I wasn’t losing consciousness, and pressed the mask tighter to my face, telling me to breathe….

…and then I woke up and they were telling me that I needed to breathe deeper and slower. I had stuff covering my nose, so I knew they were done. I was freezing cold and burning up all at once. They kept trying to tuck me in and I kept trying to kick free. I could already breathe through both sides of my nose. I was stuffy, but I could breathe. Finally they uncovered me, helped me to a wheelchair, and let me go to the recovery room, where I was helped to yet a different chair.

In the recovery room, they brought me my husband, who said I looked better than he expected. They explained a few things and sent him off for the car while I sat in my wheelchair near the door.

I only remember one part of coming home: we hit a bump in the road and oh, did that hurt. Once home, I started to mentally perk up. I was starving and I wanted lunch. Nick had to go pick up my prescriptions, so my dad stayed with me. He fell asleep in the chair next to mine and I sat there and pondered the fact that I was more starving than in pain (the medicine from the hospital hadn’t worn off yet at this point). Nick came home, gave me drugs and soup and my mom came to pick up my dad. Then Nick fell asleep for a while, too. Having a loved one have surgery is very exhausting.

I sat on the couch the rest of the day. I took my Tylenol-3, which I really needed by then, and the antibiotic they prescribed me. The kids came home at some point and were put to bed by Nick. I was mostly in a fog. Eventually, I took my last, much-loved dose of Tylenol-3 for the night and was put to bed, too.