Monday, November 23, 2015

Sinus surgery post op: Day 5 Starting to feel human again

Abbott Northwestern POCC (outpatient surgery center Downtown Mpls)

I had sinus surgery on Wednesday November 18th.  I've had chronic congestion and headaches for years and I have sleep apnea and cant always use my mask so I don't sleep well either.

My maxillary sinus's (cheeks) were too small, apparently they stopped developing when I was a kid and they were about 10% the size they should be. I don't remember how my surgeon Dr Thomas Christenson said he fixed these other than reducing my turbinates which he said were pretty large. Reading from the CT scan, my ethmoid sinus's (between eyes) had 'thickened membranes with no air fluid' and I had a right nasal spur so Dr C, also performed a septoplasty. This was all done endoscopic, through a small incision inside my right nostril.

If I had an interesting photo to post I would but Dr C didn't take any during surgery and except for some minor swelling, my face looks pretty normal.

The good, the bad, and the ugly;

The Good;

  1. Despite some complications (there always are), Dr C said he found exactly what he was expecting and corrected based on our conversation. 
  2. I'm having some minor face pain but it is well controlled by the drugs they gave me
  3. I had wonderful nurses and NAs attending me. I asked one of them to write his name down and I think he did, but I cant find it in my papers. I think his name was Okabe and his NA was Darius. They were my night nurses that first night and then at 730am on my discharge day, Robbie came on who was also wonderful. 
The Bad;
  1. I woke up from surgery with brutal right shoulder pain and although I don't remember much in the way of conversations, I didn't get a conclusive reason why. I cried off and on until about 3am when I realized If I just held my arm to my body with my other arm, the pain wouldn't build as fast and would subside to something I could live with. X-rays were normal so they think I've got a 'positional' deltoid muscle injury from the restraints, a hard plastic board between me and Dr C and Dr C leaning over me for 2 hours pinching my arm agains tthe restraint and the board. I was supposed to be outpatient but they admitted me because they didn't know what was causing my shoulder pain. Although its better and I'm no longer slinged and ice-packed, I do still have some limitations. Writing is one. This blog post has taken me over 3 hours and 2 pain pills to write. I also can't completely dress myself, wipe my tush, or pull my own pants up after I use the toilet. Temporary loss of your predominant hand is quite the bummer. 
The Ugly;
  1. I'm not sleeping. I mostly cant breathe through my nose but sometimes enough air gets through to create a whistle and or vibrates the splint inside my nostril I dont like the sensation and the dog doesnt like the sound. If shes laying with me when it whistles, she barks at my face. I also have the damn shoulder thing and cant always find a good position. Lack of sleep makes me feel a little crazy. 
  2. Apparently I had some sort of breathing issue during the surgery. I have a letter from the anesthesiologist, Dr Gerald Holguin, with details but essentially they couldn't 'bag ventilate' me and I stopped breathing so they had to intubate me with an endotracheal tube. Just reading this from the letter, I don't really know what it means. The gist is that Dr H suggested I order a MedicAlert bracelet and if I have planned surgeries in the future, I call the attending Anesthesiologist prior to the day of surgery and discuss Dr H's letter with them. 
Today, on post op day 5, I am going to see Dr C so he can remove the nasal splints. I doubt Ive wanted anything out of my body as much as these 2 pieces of 'devil' plastic. I anticipate an unpleasant appointment because Ken had nasal splints removed and said it was awful and Dr C said to take a pain pill before I see him. 

I have to keep practicing writing so I can go back to work on 12/2 and be useful.