Mary Robinette Kowal’s posts about her own nasal surgery in June inspired me to finally get my own issues fixed. Amusingly enough, I had exactly the same list of issues she did:
- Dievated septum
- Collapsed nasal valves
- Turbinate hypertrophy
I had roughly two hours of surgery on 7/27/16. It included shaving off slivers of my septum, lasers (pew pew!), and recycling bits of my septum cartilage to use as stiffening support for my nasal valves. Unlike Mary, I had them fix the uneven bumps on my nose while they were under the hood, mostly because it’s a major pain in the ass to get my glasses to sit straight.
I didn’t die. The first week sucked. I’m glad I did it now that I’m not in so much pain. It’s like a wind tunnel in there now.
I’d never had anesthesia before, so I was both curious and nervous. I’d heard descriptions of people missing good chunks of time before they even got the shot, so I was worried I wouldn’t even remember it. Half the point is the experience, the other half is being able to use it as reference for my writing. The anesthesiologist was absolutely perfect. I warned him that I hated needles and was very worried about the IV, and he hit my hand up with Lidocaine before inserting the IV. I never even felt it. The injection experience was pretty brief. Something in my arm felt a little odd for a couple seconds, then the room started spinning. I had just enough time to say, “Oh, yeah. Feeling a little woozy now.”
It seemed like one, perhaps two seconds passed before people were forcing me to sit up and talking to me. My throbbing head felt like an over-wrapped and over-filled package. It took a few seconds to get my gummy eyes to open, but all I remember was a bright blur of colors anyway. To my groggy mind, they rushed to cram me back in my clothes, jam my shoes on, and wheel my ass downstairs to dump me in my car. It felt like they were in a hurry to get rid of me, though I’m guessing that was my own sluggish mind.
To dredge up a favorite expression from high school:
The first week sucked the cum from a queer moose’s ass. And the moose was dead at the time.
My face swelled up so much I looked like someone had beaten up the Elephant Man. My eyes were so swollen that my tears couldn’t reach the ducts and just ran down my face. I had splints both over the bridge of my nose and in each nostril, plus generous amounts of tape over everything. The worst was the “mustache guard”— a strip of face mask that only covered the upper lip but still had the rubber strap around my head to hold it on. I had to change the gauze it held and clean my nostrils with q-tips every hour for the entire fucking week. The rest of my time was spent taking pills and trying to drink smoothies without choking. I never really slept, just drifted in and out for twenty minutes at a time. That yielded some strange disassociated half-dreams that I’ll try to articulate elsewhere.
After a week, they took out the 3 inch Doyle splints in my nasal cavity (my GOD what a relief). From then on I was able to lie down and actually sleep (even more relief!). The swelling is mostly gone, the worst of the congestion and bleeding ick has passed. From here on out it’s slowly but surely better.
Not being able to wear my glasses for three weeks was hugely irritating and kept my headache going far longer than it would have otherwise.
In the end, well worth the pain and expense (yay for really good insurance!). I just hope I never have to go through anything like that again.
After reading through Mary’s blog, though, I’m insanely jealous. Her procedure was different in some highly meaningful way. She had no splints, and was actually able to go walking with little pain at all by the third day.