If you're a new reader: I just had a deviated septum surgery. My septum was really crooked on the inside! I was born with it. I had polyps that really did some damage. They ate through nasal receptors. I don't know if I'll ever be able to smell again. I'm really lucky they didn't eat through that bone by my brain!
- Typically this kind of surgery is outpatient. There's a few things you'll have to do before they'll let you leave: Walk and pee.
Walking wasn't hard, but for some reason I was shivering up a storm! I wasn't cold, so I imagine that it was just from the anesthesia. It was odd because I didn't shiver at all when I was laying down.
I did learn that the bladder is the last thing to wake up after having anesthesia. I felt like I needed to go, but not a whole lot comes out. The nurses wanted to make sure I could go well before sending you on my way.
- At first I just relaxed. They sent me home from the hospital with gauze, and something that helps hold the gauze on. If I had to do it all over again, I'd buy more gauze! Enough to last about 4 days, with changing it every 4 hours.
- Everyone is different with how long the anesthesia stays in your system. I needed those pain pills. I took one before bed for a good solid week regardless of how I felt, so I'd sleep better. I still have a lot of pills left over.
- Naps are wonderful! I can't always nap when I want to. There was one day where I fell asleep at 1, and slept until 5! Keep in mind that I didn't sleep all night for the first week of recovery.
- I had to sleep propped up for the first week and a half. No bending over. I still have to use your knees to bend over. They want your head above your heart.
- The breathing tube from surgery really hurt my throat! I got lots of people telling me to try this and that. The things I thought worked great for me: Less talking, lots of cold water to drink, and have a few boxes of popsicles in the freezer! Real fruit is better than others, but I bought bomb pops for the boys for the 4th of July. You can also make your own with your own molds. Smoothies taste good in the molds! I'm sure everyone is different with this. Other things to try: Warm tea with ginger and local honey, and water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar that has the mother in it. Keep in mind they say no spicy things. I'm used to cayenne pepper in a drink I have. I still have to be careful of that, and I'm on week 3 of my recovery.
- I have to have someone around for my first few showers. I made sure it wasn't too hot! I get really fainty on those pain pills.
- Ice is great! I wasn't able to use it much until about day 3 of my recovery process. It's just too hard to use it with the gauze. About day three or four I didn't have to use gauze as much. You can use ice packs, or small bags of peas (that you keep refreezing to use just for your nose).
To make your own ice packs: 1 part rubbing alcohol to 3 parts water. This gets really cold, but never hardens.
- Have soft washcloths on hand! I'd wet them, put them in the freezer for 10 minutes, and they felt wonderful for my nose! I started using them in replace of tissues because they are much softer. If you have access to baby washcloths that's the way to go! Bamboo ones work great too!
- Take a few Tylenol before getting the splints out. No Ibuprofen. It isn't comfortable. They are much bigger than I thought. I read that there's a lot of relief when those splits come out. I actually hurt a few days afterwards. I've never been able to breathe through my nose fully. With the healing process it's very dry! Air going through everything is so painful I thought. Maybe this was just me. I've read that a lot of people feel so great when the splints come out.
- I took ALL of my antibiotics as prescribed. One huge pet peeve of mine is when people don't take antibiotic as prescribed. People that do that - sorry, but you're part of the problem with Super Staph not being able to be treated now a days. (Speaking from someone that had a child with a Staph infection). Take your antibiotics, and probiotics to put that good bacteria back into your body.
- The ENT doctor will have you do sinus rinses. I expected it to burn. NOPE! It didn't burn at all. Prior to surgery I bought Flonase. Check with your ENT to see if they'll want you on that after surgery. Mine wants me on a specific Steroid that replaces Flonase. Now I have a whole bottle of it that won't get used. This sounds really odd, but I need something bigger than a tissue for sinus rinses. I use old spit up rags. They work great. I have a stack of them, and wash them after each time.
- I can sniff, but not blow my nose. What's the difference anyway? I can't plug a nostril and blow. I can blow softly out both nostrils.
- Have a few saline mists on hand. I love Ayr Saline Nasal Mist! Other brands sting when I spray it. I've been so dry. This is much of the recovery process. You know when you skin your knee? How it hurts and is dry. That's how my nose is inside. They say spray every two hours, or more.
- Reading is overrated! I got books to read. I'd read about 2 pages, and feel like falling asleep. About the only things I got done with surgery is: I watched a lot of TV (sad, but true), I paid bills, I played board games with the boys, and I did crafts with Isaak. Thankfully I did have some meals made ahead of time. Travis has been busy with yard work, dealing with insurance because of hail damage we had, working, and he's in the middle of an art residency. When I did make meals it seemed like I was wore out afterwards. Mica washed dishes by hand for the first time (I did have to check his work), both boys unloaded the dishwasher, and I had the boys lug the laundry baskets up and down the stairs for me.
- Shaving is overrated. Remember that I can't bend over unless I use my knees. I went awhile without shaving.
- I had very little appetite after surgery. It helped to have applesauce, JELL-O, smoothies and anything soft like that.
- My upper jaw is sore. I had to ask, but it's normal to have a sore upper jaw. All the work that was done, was above that spot. Biting down on food that's thick just wasn't something I could do. It's still a bit sore on week 3 of recovery, but it's getting better day after day.
- Makeup is overrated! With a sore upper jaw I can't put lipstick on easily. I don't even want to touch my nose, so rubbing base in is out of the question. I wasn't a big makeup person, but I always wear a little bit.
- One thing I never did much is swell, or get bruises. I read that a lot of people do swell and bruise. The spot where they poked me to put in an IV looked worse than my nose, or eyes. That was a pleasant surprise.
- Sneezing and yawning are all awkward and uncomfortable. I have to sneeze with my mouth open. I can't really do anything about yawning. Yawning is like stretching a wound.
- Where my nose and forehead are the skin on the outside is so dry! Of course it hurts to even touch my nose, let alone put lotion on it.
- I had to tell my son Isaak, "No Eskimo Kisses!"