Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sinus Surgery

Well, I finally got the surgery I have been needing since, well my whole life. This last year I have been plagued with 8+ sinus infections and with each one they became more difficult to treat and required more drastic medical intervention each time. So my doctor after realizing there wasn't any way for me to prevent frequent infections from occurring (even with daily sprays and antihistamines) she finally decided to see if I was a candidate for Endoscopic sinus surgery.

Upon viewing and discussing the results of my CT scan, my ENT felt I was the perfect candidate. All four of my left sinuses (frontal, maxillary, ethmoid and sphenoid) had significant blockages. My right sinuses weren't nearly as bad, but he said he would conservatively go in to help in any way he could. We discussed potential risks (blindness, facial nerve damage, brain damage yikes) but both Austin and I felt extremely comfortable in our Doctor's care and he had the track record to prove it (he doesn't even use packing!). So we booked the surgery and waited the month before I could go in, just praying I wouldn't get sick before hand.

I did end up getting a cold a week before my scheduled surgery, but miraculously it didn't turn into an infection and I was able to keep my date. We took Maisie to a friends house early the morning of the 22nd (August) and went straight to the hospital to start paperwork and pre-op prep. For some strange reason they made Austin wait in the lobby while the nurses started prepping me. I became really nervous and I asked them to bring him back, but they kept making stupid excuses about why he couldn't. Turns out they wanted to ask me some question about "abuse in the home" which is all fine and dandy, but why couldn't they have done that within the first 10 minutes rather than prepping me (I.V and all) then allowing me to see him. By the time he was there I was a wreck. I was on the verge of a melt down. Then one of the nurses asked about Maisie and that my friends, led to a big cry fest. I started thinking about the risks of the surgery and what that could mean for Maisie. I missed her and wanted to hug and kiss her one last time. Austin tried to change the topic like 10 times and lighten the mood, but nothing worked until they gave me some "relaxing medication" and boy, that worked. I kissed Austin goodbye and then was wheeled into the OR. 

I started coming to early and actually remember them taking out my breathing tube (uh, I'm pretty sure that was the worst experience of my life) but then quickly fell back to sleep (maybe I passed out from sheer awfulness? hah) Then there was Austin. I was asking a lot of questions and wanting some water. My throat was so dry all I could think about was water, but I was unaware that all of the nurses didn't want to give me any because of my history of extreme nauseousness. Austin said I wouldn't stop asking for the dang water so finally one of the nurses caved, which proved to be disastrous. Since fasting from food and water for 24 hours;  2 cups of quickly consumed water, mixed with anesthesia and a slew of pain medication proved no match to the two doses of intravenously administered anti-nausea medicine. I became extremely nauseous and if I weren't such a stubborn person I would have been sick. But I insisted on staying more still than a lion stalking it's prey in the Savannah. I closed my eyes and refused to talk until I finally fell asleep (Austin said this happened a lot). They tried to move me a couple of times and each attempt I became unbearably dizzy and nauseous  I wanted to go home and sleep in my own bed, but I didn't want to move to get there. Finally I had had enough, moved to a lounger and asked for a wheelchair. I was so nervous about getting dizzy again that my discharge nurse gave me one more round of anti-nausea medication and helped move to the wheelchair. I was heaving as I was being wheeled out to the car, which must have been quite the sight to the valet service outside the hospital.

Finally I was home. I laid in bed for the next 24 hours sleeping off the anesthesia. During the few conscience times, I would remark on how well I could breathe. It was seriously awesome. I had no idea I would be able to tell a difference right away so that was a pleasant surprise. That whole week, as my body was healing, I became very congested, tired and had some crazy blood clots (gross, I know). I never had to take anything more than an extra strength tylenol which even if I was in crazy amounts of pain I wouldn't have taken the narcotic they prescribed (remember what I said about nauseousness? Yeah that's not a good combo with narcotics).

My sister, Katie came up that week and helped out a lot while Austin had to work, but on his days off we explored San Fransisco, visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium and hiked Muir Woods. I was on strict orders to not elevate my heart rate (for swelling and bleeding reasons) so we took everything nice and slow. Other than being tired, a few tension headaches and a couple unpleasant post op appointments (cleanings and scopes... bleh) everything went great and I feel so blessed to finally have it done.