surgery

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

This is a little bit of a personal story, but I wanted to share in case any of you are afraid of nasal surgery like I was.

In December, I had turbinate reduction, septoplasty, and nasal valve repair surgeries (all in one out patient visit) – thank you Obamacare!

Since I was about 20 years old, my nose has been stuffy. It started out as this odd sensation where I would lay with my head sideways, and one of my nostrils would just close up. Roll over, and it opened but then the other would close up. My doctor at the time said this was normal nasal cycling.

Then it became an issue where once it was closed up, it would not open – and if I rolled over, I had two stopped up nostrils!

The problem worsened to where I would wake up and be stuffy for a few hours until it slowly went away, until finally it was just like have a permanent stuffy nose. Yes, I could breathe out of it when sitting still, but add any kind of activity that might raise your heart rate and induce increased breathing, and I was a mouth-breather. I mean small tasks, people. Like loading a dishwasher.

Sleeping was always a huge problem as you can imagine.

I have been to a couple of specialists but never felt comfortable with their answer – surgery. I felt like they were giving me their chop-shop cookie-cutter answer that they do on all patients cause its fast and makes them a buck. For instance, I am almost never ever sick with a cold and I cannot tell you the last time I had sinus issues (grade school maybe?), nor do I experience headaches. So why in the world would I want people digging around my sinuses?

Years kept passing, the problem kept getting worse. I learned about human bones and even the doctors who weren’t selling sinus surgery wanted to remove some of the tiny bones (the concha) in my nose that clearly evolved for a purpose. I was So. Not. Interested. Additionally, I am a researcher at heart, so I googled things and really scared myself with something called Empty Nose Syndrome. I needed to have confidence in my doctor. Who doesn’t?

Then I found out someone I knew got some nasal surgeries (included a much needed sinus fix) and had a great recovery in November. His turbinate reduction was not the one that destroys concha and can lead to empty noses, but instead radiofrequency which I had read about and wanted. So spontaneously, we cancelled our winter road trip and I signed up literally the next week for my visit with his doctor, and scheduled the first available surgery appointment once class was over (the day of the final, no less, just before Christmas).

I was quite nervous for these random reasons that fought each other for prominence: 1) will my nose look different? I don’t want to look in the mirror and not see me! 2) what if it doesn’t work? did I waste my money? will I have to continue with this problem? 3) what if I have a terrible surgery experience like Boy did with his gallbladder surgery earlier this year? 4) what if I don’t wake up? (two family members recently passed while under general anesthesia) 5) what if I end up with worse problems than just a stuffy nose, like being sick all the time? or requiring nasal spray for the rest of my life? or empty nose syndrome??? 6) shouldn’t I think a little bit longer about this?!

My experience was great. The recovery is quick, really. I used hydrocodone for the weekend, and honestly I am not sure I even needed it – it was more of a prevention schedule, just in case. I sprayed saline a bunch of times a day, but really only bled a little for the first day. No packing, just stints that got removed the following Tuesday (didn’t hurt one bit, just felt like they were pulling a wet fish out of my brain through my nose!). I look exactly the same as I did before. I no longer use the spray. The only pain is if I bump my nose because of the nasal valve repair (they insert cartilage to reinforce your nostrils to stay open while breathing in deeply). I forgot I had surgery really within about 7 days except for bumping it, or being around super dry hot/cold air (so I’ve avoided going outside or being near our wood stove). It’s a little gross sometimes as there are scabs and mucous to speak of, still, but its gradually all going away.

And the best part? I can flippin’ breathe.

I shoulda done this a decade ago (of course, there was no insurance then…)

 

See more posts related to:

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for more cases of the Crafties?
Stitch Club: Kelly

Stitch Club: Kelly

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Anne Kelly inspired me to create a little booklet of mixed media.

read more
Tiny Bee Mural

Tiny Bee Mural

I made a tiny felt mural with an embroidered bee and flowers for my gardening friend.

read more
a Cassette Tape

a Cassette Tape

Inspired by an image online, I made a felt cassette tape displayed on a small canvas for my nephew’s birthday.

read more
Stitch Club: Holmes

Stitch Club: Holmes

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Cas Holmes inspired me to create a momigami (Japanese method of kneading paper) mixed media landscape.

read more
Stitch Club: Weighton

Stitch Club: Weighton

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Haf Weighton inspired me to create a series of medallions representing the theme of “get well”. I used bark-on-wood coasters and fabric collage to highlight the chosen words of each medallion. This piece loosely represents Van Gennep’s rites of passage upon the theme of getting well.

read more
Stitch Club: Wilkins

Stitch Club: Wilkins

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Gregory Wilkins inspired me to create a mixed media piece using my sewing machine, paint, and sharpie markers.

read more
Another Felted Chickadee

Another Felted Chickadee

Using wool and a felting needle, I crafted my second little chickadee bird from a kit ordered through Benzie Design.

read more
Stitch Club: Pattullo

Stitch Club: Pattullo

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Mandy Pattullo inspired me to create a fabric book representing my family in colors and textures. A textural fiber art and mixed media mood board, if you will.

read more
Stitch Club: Stone

Stitch Club: Stone

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Sue Stone inspired me to create a woven background of fabric strips to which I embroidered a large rose.

read more
Stitch Club: Tull

Stitch Club: Tull

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Emily Tull inspired me to create a set of three lips in different expressions.

read more
Stitch Club: Vickery

Stitch Club: Vickery

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Susie Vickory inspired me to create art from otherwise plastic garbage.

read more
Nameplate: Daniella

Nameplate: Daniella

I embroidered my friend’s name onto a little placard, and decorated it with a thread-painted monkey and some tropical leaves.

read more
Stitch Club: Comeau

Stitch Club: Comeau

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Merill Comeau inspired me to create a flower representing an emotional response to something that has occurred in my life.

read more
Stitch Club: Lyddon

Stitch Club: Lyddon

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Debbie Lyddon inspired me to create three vessels to contain objects with meaning.

read more
TA Stitch Challenge #7

TA Stitch Challenge #7

The last Textile Artist free stitch challenge was put on by Christine Chester, who challenged us to use a single shape in different ways with whatever stitch we chose. I chose a simple straight stitch in a four-box grid “snowflake” design.

read more
TA Stitch Challenge #6

TA Stitch Challenge #6

Textile Artist Community Stitch Challenge week 6 was hosted by Anne Kelly. Inspired by her boheme style and mirrored image floral challenge, I crafted this tranquil floral arrangement with a quirky bird.

read more
2020 Site Redesign

2020 Site Redesign

I’ve redesigned my blog and finally brought it into the 21st century with responsive web design and other perks!

read more
The Long Nap

The Long Nap

You can stop here if you don’t wish to read anything sad today. It’s already bad enough with COVID and protests, I know.

read more
Inkwash: Chickadee

Inkwash: Chickadee

I've tried watercolor before with frustration (I'm still too impatient) but I hadn't tried using an ink wash so that's what I set out to do this week! This bird wasn't featured in the ABC newsletter (mentioned last time) but I had already sketched it out from before;...

read more
Lady Pole’s Tapestry

Lady Pole’s Tapestry

I've been watching Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell and just have to point out that in episode 3, there is a lovely stumpwork tapestry piece. It isn't often that embroidery makes its way into a storyline more than a background activity! I paused the show and...

read more
Sketch: Barn Owl

Sketch: Barn Owl

I haven't been very diligent about exercising my pen and ink skills, but that doesn't mean that I've given up. I recently signed up for the newsletter from the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and got my second issue today. I began what will hopefully be a regular*...

read more