Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My nose is empty

So today was.... weird, and probably one of the most disturbing experiences i have had yet.

I guess I should rewind a bit. The surgery happened, it went well. The pain, not so bad, sort of felt like a bad sinus infection or a mild migraine.

The scar, excellent... it healed super nice, you can't even see that anything is there really... unless you are me, and sit up real close to the mirror everyday staring at it.

I didn't even have a black eye really. With my glasses on, you couldn't even see the stitches... This was sort of sad b/c you sort of want to show off the shiner.

There's still a little pain and swelling now, a month later. Its not bad, and its mainly due to the tubing.

There was one tube in my nose for the past 5 weeks. Usually its taken out after 3. I opted to wait and enjoy my break at home. Its sown into the side of your nose, and looks like a macaroni. This is annoying as all hell. For the first couple weeks you fear sneezing it out. Then you catch a cold and sneeze out the stitches, only to realize its staying in place. Then a few days ago... it started whistling. But today... today was glorious, as they pulled it out.

My least favorite feeling in the world is stitches being pulled out of my skin... noodle out of the nose... same principal. And then it feels super weird and hallow... and suddenly you can breathe normally from that one nose hole. then it feels like there is a hair flapping around, and then there's sneezing... excessive amounts of sneezing... bring tissues with you if you get this done. Not only is there sneezing, but the tear drainage, yeah, that goes straight out your nose.

What i didn't realize was that the tube in my eye doesn't come out for another 6 weeks. This tube is freakish, and i didn't know it existed till i tried to rub it out the first day. It runs from the top tear duct to the bottom tearduct, and is what actually reconstructs your ducts. Surprisingly enough, they let me wear contacts again, despite the tubing, just as long as i knew to take them out immediately if anything got red or irritated. This makes me happy, as i've been in glasses over a month... not something I'm at all used to.

Besides relearning how to sneeze in order to avoid blowing out the macaroni tube the most unpleasant part of this has been that I've had to be on anti-biotics the whole time... so over a month of anti-biotics, its sort of messes w/ your system a bit.

So answers to questions and random things to know:
1. The initial needle in the eye... no it doesn't really hurt... its feels weird, mainly b/c you've never felt anything in that spot before and you suddenly are filling it with saline... its just an awkward pressure

2. This is actually a really long process... your looking at 3 months from surgery to end... there aren't a lot of complications... but just know that's how long it is

3. The tube in the nose can come out after 3 weeks, sometimes the top hidden stitch isn't dissolved, and so it doesn't pull out easily. Also the longer you have it in, the better you heal w/out having to worry about scaring over the hole. So if you don't mind the antibiotics, I'd say take an extra week to heal and dissolve stitches.

4. Grab an eye back.... the kid with eye holes. I found sticking in the fridge and throwing it on for 10-20 minutes really helped with pain and swelling.

5. After surgery... make sure you get "nose slings" my doctor gave me a bunch of these... basically... all it is is medical tape with some gauze... then you stick the gauze under your nose and tape it on. This is fantastic. Your nose bleeds/runs for like 2 days... even if you were allowed to, you don't want to blow your nose b/c it sort of hurts. Rather than dabbing and rubbing every thirty seconds, just stick this stuff on, and it takes care of it... especially when you are sleeping.

6. Take at least 3 days off, and be prepared to take one or two random ones. I kept on the big painkiller wed-Friday morning... but i only went off on Friday b/c i was getting ill to my stomach. Its either a reaction to the anesthetic or the narcotics... we haven't figured out which, as you don't really have one with out the other, but i've noticed day 3 after surgery is always sort of nauseating for me... i'm guessing its the anesthetic getting out my system. But yeah, that day usually sucks... and then 3 days later, the swelling went down, but then it sort of throbbed a lot sort of causing a migraine... i was also in the middle of finals... b/c i'm smart like that.

7. If you have runny eyes, but one is better than the other... stand your ground and just get both done at the same time. I didn't. My right I was really blocked, so they just did my right eye. In the months since that decision was made, my left eye has gotten a bit worse... not as bad as the right, but still pretty annoying... so i just keep kicking myself.

And overall, things are a lot better. Even with the tube still in my eye, the tearing of the right eye is definitely less than it has been in the last 3 years. This makes me immensely happy, and a more pleasant person... especially now that the noodle is out of my nose.