I had a nose job.
Not the outside kind, mind you. The inside kind. The kind where they bomb the insides and try to set them straight, so air can actually flow into and out of your sinuses and nasal passages. I wanted the outside kind to go with, though the recovery would have involved not wearing my glasses for two weeks and an extra $6K. That’s track bike kind of money. So no.
The actual surgery is quite straightforward. The ENT surgeon sticks a tool that looks like a snubbed needlenose pliers up your nose and breaks and resets your septum. Then, the surrounding membranes are repaired and moved into position. Finally, a packing is inserted to hold it all in place for long enough to get healing started.
Overall, the recovery started off relatively pain-free and stayed that way. I was rather concerned about taking the Norco that was prescribed – I’ve never taken anything like it and didn’t want to get sick or otherwise stress my throat any more. The intubation was enough to recover from. Fortunately, an Advil every three hours was plenty to keep the pain at bay. I could feel it creeping in by hour 2.5, but overall it was completely manageable. This is a good thing. I took it to mean that things were healing well and the there was not too much damage done in the process of the surgery.
By far the worst aspect of the recovery was the 24 hours of mouth breathing due to the packing stuck up my nostrils. Sleep was challenging – about an hour at a time was all I could manage before I needed water.
The packing used on (in?) my nose was interesting to me – two fingers cut from what looked like an extra large nitrile glove, packed with gauze to hold shape. I’ve linked the pic, it’s gross. It appears that it is true – you really can stuff an entire finger up your nose. I expected about 2″ of finger, but no, it was all 4″ or so. Pulling it out the morning after the surgery nearly made me gag – the seal was sufficient to make swallowing challenging and nose breathing impossible.
I seem to have three stitches on the right side. The right side was the side that was closed off, that needed to most movement. These stitches are currently the bane of my existence – they are stiff and too short to be stuck down with petroleum jelly. Therefore, they tickle me. This is rather annoying because I can’t take them out or really rub my nose. It still hurts too much to displace the cartilage that way. So I settle for poking at them and sneezing. I have to deal with them until day 8, when I have my follow-up visit with the surgeon. Five days to go!
This morning, I felt a new sinus for the first time. The sinus in my right forehead must have been quite blocked before, because I think it had never felt airflow. The soreness was quite profound prior to a nice, hot, steamy shower. I’m thinking I’ll need a few Tylenol over the next couple of days to contend with that.
In about ten more days, things will have finished healing and the swelling will be down. Then I’ll know the full impact of the surgery, one which I probably should have had done years ago.