Getting Consult for Possible Septoplasty - Tampa, FL

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I have a consult scheduled for Monday, June 30,...

I have a consult scheduled for Monday, June 30, 2014 with an ENT doctor to see if I am a candidate for a septoplasty. I think I may have a deviated septum due to an injury to my nose a few years back. I've been researching costs and see that in some cases, insurance will cover most of the cost. I am hoping this is the case for me. I didn't realize my nose was crooked until one day I was in the doctor's office with my daughter and her pediatrician said to me, " I can give you the name of a doctor who could fix that for you." Confused, I asked, "Fix what?" And she said, "Your nose. You have a deviated septum. You must have had some trauma to your nose..." I was extremely uncomfortable at this point because one, I did have an incident where I had been hit in the nose and didn't want to discuss it then, with her, and also, I didn't notice it before she mentioned it so I was suddenly very self- conscious about the whole thing. So, I lied and said I didn't remember any traumatic nose event, and managed to change the subject. Of course, after that exchange, every time I looked in the mirror I saw it. Thank you, Doctor. Anyway, I'm finally doing some things for myself after just not for so long, so this consult is the first step. Hoping I can fix the symmetry. Will take some pics.

A few pictures

You can see the asymmetry in these pics. I hadn't really noticed because I've always avoided pics whenever possible and was too busy raising kids to care. But I have serious allergy issues and some allergy- related asthma. And when it's bad I really feel it in my sinuses. I also get headaches that might be related to this injury (?)

Had consultation today...

The doctor was very engaging and informative. He sprayed something in my nose to numb it, then stuck a long tube (probe) up each nostril. I explained to him how I have been having this constant sinus pressure for as long as I can remember, primarily on the right side. The stuff he sprayed into my nose made me feel like a new person shortly after. The pressure in my head and around my eyes was gone! And I could breathe better! What a miracle! Anyway, he prescribed Astelen nose drops to be taken twice daily. I see him again in two weeks. It looks like I will be having a septoplasty done at some point. He explained that it would even out my nose significantly, but any cosmetics would be considered rhinoplasty and would be billed accordingly. He has many years of experience with both surgeries, and also teaches these procedures. So I feel that I am in the right hands at this point.

Azelastine Hydrochloride Nasal Spray

137 mcg... 30 ml... Taking it twice daily. 2 sprays in each nostril. Leaves a disgusting bitter taste after it travels from nostrils into mouth. But it works to clear the airway well, especially on my right side which seems to be my problem area. On the way home after the doctor put the initial sprays into my nose, I had a nasty greenish - yellow mucus appear which I had to spit out ( gross I know). This lasted for a few hours. I am blowing my nose fairly often now, but what comes out is clear now. It's only my third day on this med but it seems to be working well. No more head pressure and pressure around my eyes.

Next Appointment 7/22/14

I have been using the nose drops but they don't seem to be working as well as the ones the doctor used in his office. I'm still having the pressure headaches. I will be asking the doctor many questions at this visit regarding the septoplasty procedure. I have been reading a few reviews where they have gone wrong. Although I am getting less air in through my right nostril when I breathe in, this is livable for me. What is not, are the headaches, and the appearance of my nose due to the injury to it. I may even be willing to do some cosmetic work to improve it if the surgery can't restore my nose to its pre- injured state.

Scheduled surgery for 8/27

I went for my follow-up appt today. I told the doc the drops weren't cutting it for me. I am still getting the pressure headaches. He gave me the in- office spray that worked so well the first time, and again the pressure by my right eye alleviated. Since my problems seem to be getting worse I have decided to go ahead with the procedure. He will fix my deviated septum and address the middle turbinate problem that I have. He said I have a 70% obstruction. My nose should be straighter afterwards, but not perfect, as I don't have enough cartilage for him to fix it to its original state before the injury. Only an expensive rhinoplasty would fix that. Money I do not have. So I will go ahead with it and hope for any improvements in quality of life and aesthetics I can get at this time.

I wish I had a doctor in my family.

I recently found out that I had an abscess in my mouth that's been there for a few months. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that my headaches had increased in frequency during this time, and so did the pressure I sad experiencing near my right eye. This is the side where I had the abscess. So I'm wondering if the abscess had anything to do with that. I didn't have any tooth or mouth pain with the abscess, though. And it's too early to tell if those symptoms are cleared because I am just finishing up the antibiotic treatment. They say when your mouth is not right it affects your whole body so I'm just wondering. I have a pre- op appt on August 25. I'm working on a list of questions to ask the doctor. The receptionist said that I must stop taking all supplements three weeks before the op. I'm currently taking glucosamine, MSM powder, and omega 3 krill oil for my achy knees. Not wanting to stop that regimen as it seems to be working but I guess I must. Tomorrow will be my last day taking them until after the surgery.

5 days until surgery.

I've been taking before photos. Hoping that the afters are an improvement. I've been going back and forth analyzing myself and my motivations for proceeding with the procedure. I just want my nose back. It Serbs like the straighter my teeth get, the more crooked my nose seems. And I know I won't be happy with it the way it is now, and I would regret not having it fixed. So I'm going for it.

Today was my pre- op appt.

I had to go see surgeon first. He answered my questions. I will have splints but no packing unless needed. He rarely uses it. Doesn't believe in antibiotics, unless needed, or in sleeping meds. So I guess I'm sh*t out of luck. I have my post- op appt scheduled for Sept. 5, 9 days after surgery. He will remove the splints then. I've been reading that the splints are uncomfortable, and so is the removal, so I'm not looking forward to that. He said there are always risks, such as septal perforation or loss of smell due to damage to those nerves, but they are extremely rare. He said the procedure was not complicated and that I shouldn't worry. I then went to the hospital for the pre- op physical which included blood work and interview with anaesthesiologist. I was pre- admitted for surgery. I have to be there at 6am on Wed. And I am in the books for a 7:30am surgery. I spoke to two different people who worked there who were also patients of my doctor and they had nothing but good things to say about him. Said I was in good hands.

Surgery done!

Procedure was at about 7:30am. I remember waking up around 9:40. Not sure how long the actual procedure was. I'm having lots of pressure in my nose. Received pain meds upon waking, and took 2nd dose around 1ish. Y mom and husband are taking care if me. I've been in and out since the surgery. Sleeping with my head elevated, just about sitting up. The pressure is just starting to dissipate and I'm feeling a liitle like myself. Taking Advil 400mg I think, but have Percocet on standby. At this point I finally feel the pressure is bearable. It felt like a burning almost in the inside of my nose. Planning on eating a yogurt soon, if I can keep it down. I was nauseous earlier so haven't eaten anything today. Will update more tomorrow. Today is all about rest and hydration.

Up early...

I had to get out of the bed to find something for my throat pain. So dry and scratched! My mom made me some chai tea with raw honey ( bless her heart), and cooled it down some so it wouldn't be too hot as I've read you should avoid hot stuff at first. What a miracle! The throat was hurting way more than the nose. I've been taking 200mg of Advil every 6 hours and this is enough for the pain. Hopefully today I can phase it out completely. I took some pics this morning but can't post them. The reason why, is the amount of goo ( sorry to the squeamish) that's visible under the nose. I'm afraid to address that! But I must. So I will get some q-tips and gently try to work that off with some peroxide and Vaseline. Hopefully that will clean it up. I plan on calling my doc this morning to see if it's ok to start using the Ocean nasal spray. My husband just went to get some along with some Chloraseptic for the throat in case it gets bad again.

A few things to mention.

I'm not looking forward to sleeping and waking up constantly with a painfully dry throat. I've decided to get a Vicks humidifier (14.99 at Walmart) and run that tonight after some tea with honey and Chloroseptic spray. Even the water by the bed did little to alleviate the throat discomfort so I'm being aggressively proactive tonight. My energy comes and goes. I will be feeling fine for a few hours only to suddenly lose all energy and want to lie down. I also noticed that I can't smile. They don't want you to talk much or smile initially so that works out fine. I took a steamy shower which felt great and enabled me to breathe normally out of my nose. For a while at least. I'm having intermittent burning sensation in eyes so I will forego contacts again today. Technically I don't have to leave the house until Tuesday so I can stumble around blind and awkwardly since I'm not supposed to bend over for anything.

WHAT THE **CK????????

So it started out so well yesterday morning. By 12 I was listening to salsa willing myself not to dance to Gloria Estefan's, Do That Conga song (yeah I'm old) and taking selfies. By about 4 though it was a different story. Massive headache, congestion, whistling in my nose when I tried to breathe from it that was driving me crazy. My top teeth and palate was achy and throbbing. Pain meds not working. That was the first time I said I cannot do this. The only thing I could do was lie down in a dark room with my vaporizer on propped up on pillows and Advil. I did get a good sleep with no throat pain, and I forgot to do the throat spray before bed. The vaporizer is def a good investment for this surgery. I'm a little worried right now because my mom just showed me this hilarious ice bucket challenge thing and I couldn't help laughing, which made some bright red blood come gushing out of my nose. Not a whole lot, but of course now my nose feels worse :( funny as hell, though...

Day 4.

Yesterday wasn't too bad. Pain was minimal, but I took 3 200mg Advils, one every 6 hours just in case. The pressure is subsiding somewhat. I am getting some serious cabin fever now. My ass hurts from sleeping on it so much. I'm a side sleeper. The back of my head and right ear also achy I'm not sure why. I'm a serious gym rat. I exercise almost every day. So I knew that this inactivity would be hard. I exercised harder prior to surgery because I figured that would tide me over until I could start again. I'm reading you should wait at least 2 weeks, but some docs say 4. At this point I'm in no shape to exercise, and I look a bloody pulpy mess, but I have to get out of this house so I will put my mustache dressing on after breakfast and walk my neighborhood slowly. Hopefully I won't get any crazy stares. Lol. So far day 2 was the worst. If it continues like day 3, I feel it is doable. I do have a slight pressure headache so I will take an Advil after breakfast.

Day 5...

Is all about dried blood pies caked in the nose. The bleeding wants to stop, but it seems as if it will start whenever I jolt my body or face. I wear Invisalign and I have to pry them out and in a few times a day. I hope this isn't interfering with the healing process. I try to do it as gently as possible but often I feel the blood starting to migrate down during the process. It's not a drippy blood, it's thick and gooey, but red (gross I know, but part of the healing). Besides that, no real pain or pressure. I've been off of the pain meds for more than 24 hours. Minimal pressure. I didn't get much info from the doc and am wondering if I should leave the dried crusty blood in my nostrils be, or try to clean inside there. I called on Friday to ask about the Ocean nasal spray and was told to just let the nose alone so I'm assuming this means leave that mess in there. I'm keeping the outside of nose clean with q-tips with peroxide and Vaseline. Took a 20 minute walk this morning which felt good but a bit draining at the end. Will do another in the morning. My nose swelling is down but nose looking asymmetric. But still better than before. Too soon to know what it will end up like, since splints are still in. Looking less like a Who today.

7 days since surgery.

Besides some stuffiness, I'm not having much discomfort. Things did get progressively better after a miserable day 2. I was able to get the crusts that were visible out of my nose, but am afraid to go exploring there so I will wait until I see the doc on Friday morn for splint removal. Swelling is down significantly. My nose is still asymmetric at this point, and I'm unsure what it will end up looking like. I still think it's an improvement from my old nose which was losing its shape. My facial skin has been peeling a lot, even with gentle exfoliation, which is annoying and unattractive. I can't apply pressure to nose to rub the dead skin off, so it's looking kinda crazy. I'm hoping that when the splints are removed in two days some more swelling will go down.

One week pic

Still some asymmetry at the nostrils which I know won't resolve with a simple septoplasty. But there's more structure to it now.

Splints Out!

The doc snipped the stitches to loosen the splints then pulled them out! Minimal pain and the result was dramatic. No more pressure and able to breathe through both nostrils. He then sprayed the magic spray into my nose.

I have to make solution of baking soda and salt and water (1T x1T x 1 Pt) , twice daily(AM and PM) and use an ear dropper to squeeze into each nostril while holding my head over the sink. I must then spit this out. After the AM rinse, I am to use the nose drops previously prescribed to me. My next appt is in a week.

My nose was straightened as well as it could be. My nose would have had to be broken to completely fix my injury, as the cartilage that is attached to that bone is askew. My middle turbinates were reduced. He said he did the best he could to restore symmetry, and I'm happy, although it's not perfect. He also said my pressure headaches should disappear. Yay!

The nose takes a long time to heal. He said I'm only 2% healed, and that at 6 weeks post-op I will only be 10% healed. This means that I cannot hit my nose harder than a light tap, and I must protect it or risk the cartilage being damaged. Pretty scary! I'm getting an almost constant running nose now ( watery, blood- tinged). This is the first time I've had this since the surgery.

2 and 1/2 weeks out.

So.... Swelling is down significantly, but with that the asymmetry is still evident. Still better than before the surgery, but I must admit to being a little disappointed even though the doc warned from the beginning that that wouldn't solve that completely. Aside from that, breathing is back to normal an. No headaches or pressure. Just some scabs inside nose. Still irrigating morning and night. I went to a Zumba class the other night and think I overdid it with the jumping. Felt fine in class but afterwards, my nose felt numb, and one side is a little more swollen on the inside. Not sure if it was like that before. Will inform doc at my appt on Monday. I've been avoiding pics and staring at my nose because it's quite depressing to keep doing that. And to make matters worse, I'm dealing with my facial skin and nose peeling so makeup not a good option at this point. Will post pics when it's not so ugh.

Before/ After Pic

Not much change at first glance, but the side profiles are improved, and the nose is raised. The problem area is still the right last cartilage. If that could be raised ever so slightly on that side I would be completely satisfied.

*should have read " right alar cartilage".

I hate typos.

Went to appt today.

The doc looked into my nose and said all was well and that was about it. I don't have to see him again for 6 months (March). I told him I wasn't quite satisfied with the fact that my nose was still crooked. He said that for 5G he could break my nose and fix my lateral and alar cartilages and even everything out, but that's not what I asked for ( or paid for! Lol!). You have to love this doc because he will give it to you straight! Again, he told me I was beautiful the way that I am, and told me that beauty lies within and that I have all that covered. So... Even though I'm not perfect I have to remember that I wasn't looking for that in the first place-- just an improvement, and that's exactly what I got. It's funny that since the surgery I've been obsessing over how I look in pics...but then I remembered that I never did like the way I looked in pics, not even when I was young and beautiful like my 15 year old! And my nose was straight then! So there's probably always going to be something I'd like to change, especially as I age. Wrinkles, grey hair, laugh lines, the list could become endless if I let it. But I choose not to! Good luck to all on your individual journeys to improve yourselves. I'm a staunch believer in that! " If you are not improving, you're declining." I forgot who said that but I love it! I will post monthly pics until my healing process is complete.

One month post - op

The stitches inside my nose have been coming out on their own. I think they may all be out now. My breathing is great, nose is still clean and clear. I'm still doing the irrigations but only once daily, and I've stopped using the spray. No headaches. Protecting my nose from injury. My nose looks almost exactly how it did before surgery. The only difference I see at this point is that the tip appears more elevated now. The crookedness is still there. I may look into non- surgical solutions such as restalyne or juvederm to fill in and try to restore symmetry that way. But that's down the line as I still have a ways to go with healing from this surgery.

Still not thrilled.

My nose seems even more crooked sometimes than it was pre- septoplasty. Or at least just as crooked. But still no headaches or sinus pressure, and even my seasonal allergies seem to have abated. It still feels sore if I touch it too roughly, so I try to just leave it alone. I also try to avoid taking pics and staring too much at it, as this is exasperating for me. I'm going to try to learn how to do some camoflaguing contouring makeup as soon as I get over my laziness. I'm not all that into makeup.

Four months since surgery.

Feeling great! Breathing fine, no headaches, pressure, stuffy or runny nose. Septoplasty seems to have cured these issues! Nose still asymmetric, but I'm learning to live with this. It helps that I'm straightening my teeth at this time, though. I'm able to focus on that for now. Nose is still healing so I will be patient. I see the doc again in March.
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