Wednesday, January 13, 2016

This time around

This may be a TMI post—you’ve been warned! Also no pictures because that would be even grosser. 

My recovery from the sinus surgery has been weird to me, mostly because the whole process has been quite different from the previous seven major abdominal surgeries. And while I do recall having my tonsils out quite well, that was also different and done long ago when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

For the most part, this has been a pain-free recovery. Sure, I was in some pain the first couple of days (and took the pain meds as I’d said I would) but I was done with them three days later. Alas, those meds weren’t done with me.

You can get really bound up from those drugs and so it’s recommended you take an over-the-counter aid to help move things along. But I’ve never really experienced that side effect before so I wasn’t too concerned. Since I was also taking antibiotics (which have the complete opposite effect on me), I didn’t think I would have any problems this time.  Boy was I wrong.

By Tuesday, it was clear my gut was in full on shut down mode. By Thursday, I was in so much gut pain that I couldn’t sleep and I kept breaking out in sweat as my gut spasmed. Friday (Christmas) I texted my mother who is a retired RN and pleaded for advice. It was so bad Christmas night that I was 80% sure I had a gut obstruction. As I tossed and turned in bed, and sweated and tried not to puke from pain, I was trying to figure out how the ER would treat me. I’d eaten a bit of food so I’d have to be intubated, only I just had sinus surgery so the NG tube couldn’t go up my nose. Plus I have mesh in my abdomen so I could not for the life of me figure out how a gut obstruction would be fixed—would the mesh just get cut? How would that work?

Saturday was still pretty bad, although I was able to take my mom’s advice and thought that maybe things were improving. By Sunday, I could tell that yes, I would live and my gut wouldn’t need drastic intervention.

Now add in all the irrigation and stuff I had to do. Basically I was a walking bio-hazard site for a couple of weeks. As I’ve mentioned to some friends, I put an ocean up my nose three times a day and I believe I killed an entire sub-continent’s worth of trees with all the tissues I used.

I have my second post-op visit next week. I will be curious to see what my ENT says about how much longer I can expect to have so much gunk in my head, and when I can stop with the ocean up the nose.


Anonymous said...

oh, no! This sounds awful. Hope you're really feeling better.

Lesa said...

Elizabeth, I'm so sorry you had to go through those side effects! I've needed sinus surgery and have so far avoided it, so I'll be interested in your experience with it. Be well.