I had surgery in my nose and it was okay: part two

(For “part one,” click this sentence.)

How I’ve been sleeping these past two nights, as well as the extensive naps on Friday afternoon, is based on some advice that one of the recovery nurses gave me on Friday.  I’m really glad she told me this, because otherwise I’d be following the advice on the infosheets I have, which simply says to keep my head elevated 30 degrees (and if I was doing that on my back, I’d feel sick in the morning in at least two ways).  It takes a couple of minutes of shifting around in order to get it right and feel comfortable.  I lay on my side (if I’ve just taken a lortab it’s my left side, for my stomach), and keep my head elevated, pointing my chin toward my chest and my nose toward the bed.  It may sound simple, but there’s a lot to manage: pillows, blanket, arms & hands, mustache gauze (first night only), keeping the just-in-case towel under my nose, and–most of all–getting my head/neck accurately rotated into position on the X, Y, and Z axes.  Below is an illustration that is neither to scale nor a completely accurate depiction of what I just described.


Close enough.  You get the idea.  Just don’t let anything drain down your throat.  And say goodbye to that pillowcase, probably.

It feels like it’s been longer than just 3 days.  Here’s more of my story, from where ‘part one’ left off:

Friday night.  We go to bed late, I don’t remember what time.  I wake up an hour later and roll onto my other side.  An hour later I roll over again.  Then at 4am I wake up and do some general nose maintenance.  Rebecca, bless her heart, gets up with me.  We get back in bed at 5am.

I wake up at 8:30 Saturday and I feel good.  I tell Rebecca that I’ll be fine and that she should keep sleeping.  It takes a lot of convincing, but she is finally able to fall back asleep.

By the way, that was poorly-delivered sarcasm.  I actually woke her up telling her to not get up and to keep sleeping.  Poor gal.  Maybe if she had taken 3 hours of naps the day before like me, she wouldn’t be so tired.

Since before I scheduled my surgery, we knew Rebecca’s 10-year high school reunion was Saturday June 13th.  I had read stuff online about people who had had this surgery and were fine to do stuff the next day, and at the time we weren’t sure if we were even going to go, so I took the risk and set the surgery for the 12th anyway.

I decide I’m feeling up to it, so we’re going to go.  It’ll be nice to get out of the house, test my limits.  I clean myself up pretty nicely.  I was nervous about that.  I didn’t want to be a post-op mess at my wife’s 10 year high school reunion.  “This is my husband, he’s the one who’s been bleeding all over himself out of his nose.”  “Pleased to meet you. What do you do?”

I manage to keep everything together ok for the reunion picnic.  Then we stop by some relatives’ houses and hang out for awhile.  It’s all good times, but by around 6pm I’m getting pretty worn out.  We go home, watch a movie, go to bed.

Today we get up and go to church.  Rebecca always leads the congregation in singing hymns, which means she sits on the stand, facing everyone.  I always sit with her, which is great, because I feel it communicates “see everybody how great a husband I am, sitting with my wife? and also maybe I’m more important than the rest of you because I’m up here and you’re not” to everyone.

But today, sitting up there isn’t so great, because facing a congregation of hundreds of people makes it difficult to hide my wacky new nose that’s suddenly started to bleed.  It seemed to be under control before we left the house, but now it’s not.  Now it’s slow, steady, and unexpected.  And rather than finding a convenient moment to excuse myself and walk up the aisle, past tons of people, calling attention to myself and giving everyone a free ticket to the freak show, I stay up there and tough it out for the full 70 minutes, using almost every square centimeter of the few (three) tissues I have, inconspicuously wiping oozy nose.  At least, I hope it was inconspicuous.  Anyway I’m stubborn, naturally socially avoidant, and my gross nose is my business and none of anyone else’s.  Well, it can be your business too, Readers.  I suppose.

We ditch the last two hours of church and go home.  I take it easy the rest of the day, keeping up with my regimen of saline/polysporin/plenty-of-fluids/etc.

Later in the afternoon I get curious and shine a flashlight up my nose.  There’s definitely something up there but I can’t tell what.

And I think that covers my story up to this point.  I’ll have more material after my follow-up appointment with the doctor this Thursday.  I’m pretty sure that’s when he’s going to take out whatever’s up there.  “It’s: my wristwatch!” “Thanks, Doc!”

And, as always, thanks to my sensational wife Rebecca, who continues to take great care of me.  So nice and patient.  My instructions say I can’t even bend down to pick up stuff.  Earlier today we were joking about what would happen if she were to leave me alone for an hour or two: she’d come home to find me standing in the middle of the room, starved and naked, the floor littered with objects–important stuff like my box of tissues, saline spray, glasses, etc).  Oh dear.  Oh no.

Finally, just a few words on eating.  It’s difficult to eat without breathing through your nose.  Try it sometime.  In fact, try it right now . . . exhausting, right?  It takes me about three times longer to eat stuff than it did before.  I have to pause to breathe, hold my breath for awhile, etc.  It feels a lot like swimming only with a lot less arm/leg movement.

(for “part three,” click this sentence.)


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