I'm sorry it has taken me a few days to update my review since the surgery (it's been quite the whirlwind), but I finally feel up to reviewing the process so far.
My pre-op appointment was November 15th at 5:30pm. I arrived a few minutes early, filled out some paperwork and was seen shortly after. I started the appointment with one of the girls from the front desk (who are all very sweet to answer questions), who described a little about what the surgery day will be like, what to expect, etc. My actually meeting with Dr. G took place afterward and only lasted a few minutes. Despite my best efforts to come prepared with lots of questions and pictures, he pretty much told me exactly what I wanted, took a few pictures and said goodbye.
My mom and I went to the pharmacy afterward to fill my prescriptions (I was given one for antibiotics, one for pain and one for nausea), as well as buy any last minute supplies. I could hardly sleep this night because I was so nervous and excited!
Surgery, DAY 1:
I was told to arrive at the hospital by 8am, but we got there about 30 minutes early because I was nervous about the LA traffic. I filled out paperwork at the front desk for about 20 minutes and was brought back to the nurses station at about 8am to get ready for surgery. My nurse, Erry, was very sweet and brought me back to a bed behind a curtain to change into my surgery gown. She went over more questions and paperwork and then went about trying to get my IV in. For whatever reason this is always a struggle whenever I get blood drawn so it took a few tries, but I'm fine with needles and wasn't too bothered by it. At around 9:30 they wheeled me into the pre-op area where I waited to meet with Dr. G and the anesthesiologist. Both meetings were brief; Dr. G quickly explained what he would be doing to my nose and I asked my mom to take a picture of his finger morph so I would have an idea of what to expect. The anesthesiologist was very nice and smiley, which instantly put me at ease. He let me ask all of my crazy medical soap opera questions about being unable to move but feel everything during surgery, gave me something to relax and explained what would happened after surgery as I came out of anesthesia. My mom was able to stay with me until they took me away for surgery. I remember them wheeling me into the operating theater and then sliding from my bed to the surgery table and then nothing after that.
I was told that after surgery I would wake up to them clearing out my throat and asking me how I'm doing, but I don't remember any of that, just waking up to a throbbing pain and nausea. They gave me something for the nausea and then took me back to the post-op area where my mom was waiting. I waited there for another hour before they would release me and the nurse helped me into my sweatpants, zip up sweatshirt and slippers. They put me in a wheel chair and escorted me out to our car where we only made it halfway across the parking lot before I was hit with nausea and dizziness. We waited about 20 minutes until I was sure I wouldn't pass out and then made the 30 minute drive home. I slept for most of the first day, drank water and nutrition shakes and felt nauseous from my meds.
Admittedly, after reading about how smooth so many people's recoveries were, I was a little bit surprised at the amount of pain I was in. The pain meds they gave me took the edge off but made me really nauseous, so it was a constant battle to balance the two. The pain meds also made me really sleepy so most of the second day was spent sleeping for 3-4 hours, waking up for 45 minutes, repeat. I drank a lot of ensure (highly recommend, they were cooling on my throat and full of protein and vitamins when I wasn't feeling up to real food), water and had some noodle soup and a few bites of jello. I can't taste much with my nose all stuffed up and haven't had much of an appetite anyway.
Still very bruised and feeling a lot of pain. I'm surprised at the amount of pain I've been in after reading so many reviews about "uncomfortable" recoveries. It just goes to show that everyone heals differently! I switched to tylenol today because the nausea was worse than the pain, but I noticed I had a much harder time sleeping because of it. The doctor said its ok to eat normal foods again after day 2, but I just haven't had much of an appetite so still sticking mostly to soups, jello, ensure drinks, and microwavable dinners with soft turkey and gravy. I also discovered today that my uvula may have been damaged during the surgery. Immediately after the procedure on Wednesday I could feel a fleshy lump at the back of my sinuses that when I pulled on it (like when trying to withdraw mucus), felt "wrong". The nurse had told me it was probably a blood clot and to leave it alone, but for the past few days the inability to clear my sinuses has gathered mucus in my throat that makes it difficult to breath. After doing a little internet research and inspecting the back of my throat, my uvula appears stretched out and the bottom half is a white/gray color. I emailed Dr. G about it and he said that this sometimes happens, nothing to do about it which was actually helpful in that it made me feel comfortable enough to withdraw some of the mucus from the back of my throat and I could breath much better. After being on tylenol all day I woke up in the middle of the night in pretty horrible pain and switched back to the pain killers.
The bruising around my eyes continues to decrease and has become increasingly yellow, less purple. The skin under my eyes, which was pretty swollen for the first couple of days, has a funny texture, kind of saggy as the swelling decreases. I also woke up this morning with really heavy cheeks toward the bottom of my face. They felt like they were full of liquid. I switched on and off between tylenol and pain killers throughout the day, but the biggest discomfort is proving to be my throat/uvula. It's very raw and stretched out and although it used to feel better to drink cool liquids to sooth it, now it feels a bit like squeezing lemon juice into an open cut. I had a bit more energy today and spent more time awake than I had for the past few days. Me and my mom take little strolls arm and arm around our hotel floor to help prevent blood clots and to get out and stretch my legs. I'm really not bothered by being seen with my bruising, swelling, facial bandage and generally un-washed state of being. I'm really nervous about my family and close friends seeing me, but don't mind the stares from strangers. I'm getting a little more movement in my face and can now raise my cheeks into a little smile, wiggle my nose from side to side (which I try not to do!) and generally move my upper lip a lot more.
I still wake up a few times throughout the night because of the aching in my face and pain in my throat. I take a couple of tylenol, drink some water and then try to go back to sleep. The swelling has gone down in my cheeks a little today and the bruising continues to improve. The skin around and under my cast is starting to itch a lot more and I am feeling a more constant burning sensation throughout my sinuses. I have been wearing my glasses over my splint for the past few days. The doctor said its alright to wear them over the cast because I can't see more than a few inches in front of my face without them, but they do apply more pressure to my nose which makes it uncomfortable, so I take them off when I can which has caused a bit of eye strain as well. Both of my nostrils are still draining, but one side continues to bleed bright red (this started up again after I began cleaning it day 3 when I think I put the moist gauze a little too far up my nostril, so beware). I'm not too worried about it but I'll see if Dr. G has any concerns when I go in for my post-op appointment. I can't wait to get my cast removed on Tuesday (two days from now)!!! Partially because I'm eager to see the results, but also just because I'm starting to get my energy back and am just ready to get home (I'm from out of state).
Sorry for the delay and subsequent long post! I'll be posting pictures and another update as soon as I get my cast off. Let me know if you have any questions!