Nose Knows

I’ve needed a medical procedure for my nose for years now. I’ve been putting it off, but the necessity finally came due and I went thru with it. It didn’t help I had a deviated septum and naturally very narrow passageways combined.

I first noticed the problem after developing an unconscious habit of sniffing to breathe. I guess my body was compensating for the reduced airflow. [1]Shawn was convinced it was more habit than reaction  I also snored more. Throw in the additional effect of allergies, it would get so bad at times I’d lay down for a nap and my nasal passages would completely close up. (My allergies were more constriction than congestion.)

After a while I started using Afrin to help open up my airways at night so I could sleep better. It worked great but wasn’t really a permanent solution. And then…the pandemic hit. Between lockdowns and procrastination, I kept putting off the surgery. That didn’t work out so well. Apparently, Afrin enlarges the prostate. (Who knew?) So, the time came to bite the bullet and “get’ter done.”

Part of the reason I kept putting it off is the docs’ always said it’s an “uncomfortable” procedure, which is code for painful…and it was. However, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. It’s outpatient so I wasn’t expecting a huge ordeal. You pass 50 and suddenly everyone thinks you’re made of glass. During my pre-op with my regular doctor, they were concerned about a small defect in my heart. I’ve had a slightly irregular heartbeat for over a decade and it causes me no problems. However, now that I’m over 50 you’d think my heart was about to give out. And this is a week prior to the surgery. Of course, this also requires a negative covid test, which has to also be scheduled separately and I can’t use a home test.

I managed to get the appointments in time. I show up and they can’t get my heart rate over 140 for a while because…*drumroll*…. I workout 4-5 days a week and my heart is more than used to the stress! After 10 full minutes of speed & incline increases every minute, we finally get to a point where I’m in an all out sprint running uphill. And I’m expected to keep it up for a full two minutes. I won’t lie, the incline made a huge difference, but I made it. The techs were cooing over how awesome my blood pressure was the whole time. Needless to say, I passed the effin’ test. D

Due to timing of the first covid test, now I have to go for a second one prior to the actual surgery. Joygasm!

The surgery was roughly 2 hours and I’m out the whole time, of course. The staff and docs were all great. I have zero complaints about my care. Naturally, the anesthesiologist didn’t give two shits about my very minor heart defect and was bewildered as to why I even needed it. Shawn came to get me and after-care was relatively simple. [2]He was tickled by my apparent incoherence as I slowly shrugged off the haze of anesthesia. The pain was manageable with hydrocodone the first night and day after, and by the third day I was just using Advil. Luckily, they don’t do the bandage-stuffing anymore. (It’s often messy and adds to the discomfort.) Instead, they inject foam which dissolves on its own over time. Shawn totally dodged that bullet! Heehee

They tell you to expect random bleeding and they weren’t joking. The bleeding was minor if not incessant for the first couple days. Afterwards, it was just an annoyance. I had two stents put in and taking them out a week later was an experience on its own. One got stuck and he had to “work” that thing like a male escort at a Republican convention. Ironically, the other one hurt more. It came right out but I thought he was pulling my brain out through my nose for a second. As soon as they were out, no more pain, just a mild throbbing discomfort.

Fast forward a week and a couple days, the nose is still swollen inside and a bit gunky but I am noticing a difference. The doctor was very happy with the results. In my case, it may not be a 100% fix due to the aforementioned narrow passageways; however, any improvement is good at this point. I’m eager to see how it affects my breathing at night without the Afrin. Shawn says I’m already not snoring so it’s looking good so far.

Hope springs eternal…

References

References
1 Shawn was convinced it was more habit than reaction
2 He was tickled by my apparent incoherence as I slowly shrugged off the haze of anesthesia.

Feeling chatty?