Thursday, February 23, 2012

The rhino experience...

For the next two weeks I'll be looking for quiet things to do whilst sitting upright. In between spraying stuff up my nose and not blowing it.

Yesterday I had a septoplasty on my nose. Just like boring out my airways to make breathing a much easier thing to do. Might make for less huff and puff when running too.

I got up at 05:50 to have some breakfast before the official fasting time of 6AM. Then I fronted up to the hospital mid morning to sit around and wait until 4pm to go under. Being a patient at your work place is quite reassuring but maybe a little disconcerting for the others on the list. I'm sure they were wondering who is this woman who seems to know everyone from the clerical staff to the gardener and everyone in between.

But being a staff member still does not stop an emergency caeserian from holding up your turn. Oh well, I had my book and read many more chapters than I thought I'd get through. Everyone was lovely and very professional as I knew they would be. I came out with both eyebrows in tact and no tattoos. No pics on facebook either. All good.

Before I went into theatre I had my first (and only) experience with cocaine. A little of the good stuff is put on a cotton ball and placed up your nose to shrink the mucus membrane and reduce bleeding intra-op. Not sure of the dose but I was waiting for some kind of effect other than the shrinking membrane, but no. Chris thinks it is because I didn't use a $100 dollar bill to administer it.

The lovely anaesthetist needed 2 attempts to cannulate me, the pressure of being an oncology nurse was too much for him. Then he blamed the safety cannula as being blunter than the ones he likes to use!
When he gave the morphine he said I might feel a bit itchy, the feeling was more of a flushing all over and an ache in my shoulders...quite strange. Then he said something about a metallic taste in my mouth with the propafol and I was gone.

Waking up in recovery was hard, I could barely open my eyes and the movement of being wheeled back to my room made me quite nauseous. That nausea came in waves as I dosed in between gasping as I remembered to breath through my mouth. The combination of cocaine/morphine/paracoxib and panadol meant I had no pain just nausea. A little vomit and some antiemetic and I was on the road to feeling better.

The family visiting for a short while was lovely. With good intentions they said I looked funny, smelt funny and made fun of my drip catcher's official name 'the nasal tampon'. Hayley said when she first came in she left because she didn't think it was me. But she came back to crack a few more jokes and takes some unflattering photos. Even Callum came in for a short while and stood around and looked very uncomfortable. I put him out of his misery and let him go. I'm glad he made the effort.

During the night I had broken sleep between observations, medications, sips of water, application of lip balm my IV going off and a wobbly trip to the toilet. Burts Bees pomegranate lip balm was a god send and a must do tip for others having surgery where your nose is blocked.

This morning the nasal packs came out which was not as bad as I was anticipating. 2 seconds of pain and then I could breath through my nose again. As the morning has progressed the swelling is returning and will subside over the next few days.

I'm feeling good, no pain as yet (expecting not to have much). Its nice to be home although I wont get quite as good service as I did in hospital. I had the first cup of tea made for me but I've just made a coffee, after 24 hours with no food and very little water I've got some catching up to do. I'm not allowed to run for the next 2  & 1/2 weeks either, it will be a bit tempting to go overboard.

Its going to be hard generally to do not much and sit around and heal, but it will be worth it in the end.

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