Two medical posts in a row do not make me happy. Unlike the last post, this one was planned. I had sinus surgery yesterday, a long put off and now recently planned event. As miserable as yesterday was post-surgery, I am delighted to have finally gone under the knife.
I have long been told I have very narrow sinus passages, a deviated septum and need to have my turbinates cauterized. Lots of information that adds up to one simple fact – I don’t breathe at all well.
Since July, things seem to have gotten much worse. Sinus infections and headaches related to those infections have long been a major pain. My schedule has taken the blame for my delay. The school year seemed impossible, and I just couldn’t bear taking two weeks off from our summer riding and outdoor activities as suggested.
Coming home from Colorado’s low humidity last summer my sinuses seemed to completely lock up upon return to humid eastern Kansas. When the discomfort didn’t dissipate, a visit to Dr. Michael Franklin at Topeka Ear, Nose and Throat was needed.
Dr. Franklin confirmed the immediate need for surgery and explained that surgical techniques had vastly improved since my last check. With his guarded assurance that I should be able to shoot soccer, football and volleyball this weekend, I took the plunge. I would have loved to do it last week during KU’s open football weekend, but we have a new softball coaching staff, many new players and a fall tournament. I really needed to shoot those games.
The Monday afternoon surgery went well I’m told. All the initial work to straighten, cauterize and enlarge passages was completed. Some infection and polyps had developed since my initial examination and were removed. There is some swelling but no bruising. All work was done in an hour.
I have generally believed doctors like to overstate the pain and recovery factors in any surgery. I was very hopeful that I’d be feeling fine and could limit my use of painkillers to the bare minimum as usual.
Yeah, right. I’m doping. (And just like Lance, I have never tested positive.) Monday afternoon was MISERABLE! The pain was not terrible, but everything surely did hurt and ache. There is packing in the nose that will soon dissolve along with two plastic splints holding my septum in place. I was shown the clear plastic and not-all-that-small splints beforehand. Those will be removed Wednesday morning. My nose does look straighter, but no less humongous.
I should have one of those big countdown clocks hanging in the house because I am counting down the hours. Hopefully, since the doctor didn’t overstate yesterday’s misery factor, he’ll be just as correct about his assurance that the removal of the splints will allow me to begin breathing much better.
There had been lots of bleeding that finally seems to have abated. Nurses gave me rolled up surgical masks to hang from my ears and under my nose to catch all the blood. Those flooded rapidly much of yesterday afternoon. As gross as it sounds and looked, irrigating my sinuses with warm water and a special mix did bring lots of relief. That and some trusty chicken noodle soup finally allowed me to sleep through most of the MNF game. Or, was it the endless Bret Favre adoration that put me to sleep?
What all this work means in the end is what I anxiously await. I am told I won’t believe how much easier I breathe and what a positive affect that will have on all my activities. My riding had surely suffered since July. I will begin to train anew in a week or so with the hope I really will feel it is a new start towards even better fitness.
Laura will hopefully be rejoicing that my loud breathing (really not snoring) will disappear at night since I won’t be as clogged. I hope I can sleep in more than one position. Most of all I pray that my sinus headaches will be long gone.
For now, I’ll keep an eye on the countdown clock as we close in on 24 hours to splint removal. Sometime soon, I hope to announce that I am ecstatic how good I feel.