Thursday, January 12, 2012

In which I talk about the contents of my sinuses

Warning: this is gross, ok?

So, sinus surgery. I did that.  A few days before New Year's Eve, I checked in to the hospital in the morning, and by evening I was back home, a little wobbly on my feet, but overall doing fine. 

They made me shower both the night before and the day of the surgery, which you know I was fine with, or rather, would have been fine with under normal circumstances.  Unfortunately, they told me that I was not allowed to put on any lotion after my shower.  This I did not care for. I apply moisturizer with a frequency that should entitle me to some sort of bulk discount.  So that part was tough.

I expected to have quite a bit of pain afterward, but it was pretty manageable with just Tylenol.  They gave me some anti-nausea medicine, which I didn't see the point of until a few days later, when the massive amount of drainage I had going on became a little much to take on my stomach.  Didn't like that.  Also didn't like the fact that I the inside of my face felt raw.  Also didn't like the fact that every time I got out of bed and moved around, no matter how little I moved or exerted myself, I had blood start running out of my nose into the handy mustache bandage taped under my nose. 

Also didn't like having to chew with my mouth open for several days due to the fact that absolutely no air could get into my body through my nose.  Pretty sure RR didn't care for that, either.  But she was very sweet about her self-imposed nursing duties.  She picked up my prescriptions, brought me food, helped me move around, forced me not to over-excert myself, tolerated my choice of television shows, and sua sponte checked my bandage.  I guess what's a twin sister for if not to check your bandage to see if it's full of fluids that ran out of your nose, right?

Finally after a week I was allowed to go back to using my neti pot and washed quite a bit of blood out of my sinuses. I cheated a bit and did it a day earlier than I was probably supposed to. It was gross.  It was goopy, to a degree that made me afraid I'd done some damage by using my neti too early. I made RR look at what came out in case it was maybe not just blood and mucus but maybe also a part of the foam they sprayed in my sinuses in lieu of packing gauze into my nose. RR--Dude, I'm so sorry.  Clearly, I owe you.

I'm still getting blood out of my sinuses, actually, but it doesn't worry me as much.  Yesterday, I went for my post-op appointment, and the doctor said everything looked pretty good.  Well, except for the part where she decided she needed to vacuum a bloody clot of . . . something out of my ethmoid sinus  Apparently, I had some blood (or something) that had solidified and wasn't going to come out, even with the neti.  Have you ever had anyone put a suction device into your sinuses? Let me tell ya, it hurts. A lot. I think whatever it was did not want to come out.  I thought she was going to turn my face inside out with that vacuum.

I mentioned to her that I'd been getting a lot of blood out with my neti pot, and she nodded, saying it made sense, explaining to me that "if you think about it, when you have the surgery, blood pools there in your sinuses and congeals there."  Congeals. She said it "congeals" there. I think she meant that to be reassuring.

"Wait,"  RR said, interrupting me as I was telling this to her, "she said 'congeals'? Not 'coagulates'? Like Jello?"  EXACTLY.  That's exactly what I thought when the doctor told me that. We're not twins for nothing.  "Yep," I told RR, "blood Jello." 

At least this cleared up a mystery for us.  Starting a few days after the surgery, I became afflicted with a persistent smell in my nose. It was not exactly revolting, but it was definitely unpleasant. No matter what I did, that was pretty much all I could smell, and I smelled it all the time.  A family consult resulted in a verdict that it was probably blood. And I think we were definitely right about that one. Must have been the blood pooling there.  And then congealing.

Last night I tried to tell RR that the idea of her eosinophils "degranulating" in her esophagus was way grosser than blood jello, but she stood firm in her position that nothing we could talk about that day would be more gross than blood jello.

I guess if I look at it objectively, she's right.

But at least I have a new descriptor I can use. For example, when I called RR today to tell her that I figured out why my face was hurting today, "because when I blew my nose, I got out a lot of blood jello." That's way easier than trying to describe its physical properties to her, which you know I would have.

I'm wondering if we should give it another name, like "cranberry sauce."

Hey, I TOLD you this was going to be gross. I would not lie to you about that. But I think it's probably best if we just end this post here.


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