Saturday, January 25, 2014

When last we left our heroine...

...she was totally rocking a mustache bandage.  The sinus surgery went very well.  Me thereafter, not so much.

Surgery was January 7.  It took about half the time they had expected and then I came out of recovery in fairly short order.  Surgery was at 7:30 a.m., I was home before noon.

My friend S, to my undying gratitude, came up to take of me for several days.  She works from home so with an internet connection and my office she was able to do this for me.  Mostly it was making sure that I was taking my pain pills on a regular basis; otherwise, I was pretty much a lump on the sofa or asleep in my room.  They put me on Percocet, and I think I was taking too much for the first few days.  By the time S left on Thursday, I had cut back and felt decent.  I could breathe through my nose since waking up from the surgery.

By Sunday I started to not feel so great.  I still didn't have much of an appetite -- my sense of taste/smell disappeared altogether for a couple of days, even chocolate tasted like paste which is so not fair -- and was having a hard time getting enough fluids in me as well.  The latter was more of a fatigue issue in a lot of ways, I think if I'd had a camelbak so that I didn't have to move to drink I would've been better off.  I kept having hot flashes, which I think was from the Percocet, and then I'd freeze and I was dizzy a lot.

Monday I had my first post-op appointment.  Which involved being 'scoped again -- fine -- and then having my head suctioning out -- not so fine.  I wasn't feeling well to begin the appointment and apparently some people do pass out in the middle of this procedure.  Like me.  Well, almost passed out.  It was very close.  They covered my head, throat and neck in cold packs and I recovered enough so that my doc could finish sucking stuff out of my head.  (It was the packing material they were taking out., along with some "debris.")

I went home and ate and drank a lot of fluids but Tuesday I still was feeling off and on Wednesday the fun started.  I actually felt great Wednesday morning, made myself eat something very small (a Honey Stinger waffle) and then a banana and then I had some Chef Boyardee ravioli (I know, but it was the only thing that sounded good while I was recovering).  About an hour after that I started vomiting.  I called my ENT's office because I felt like I also had a fever and asked them what I should do.  He prescribed Zofran, an anti-nausea drug.  I got that, took that, and it did not work.  And then 18 hours later I still hadn't stopped vomiting.  Urgent care wouldn't take me, they sent me off to the ER because I'd almost certainly need an IV.

Which I did.  At the ER they gave me a shot of Phenergan, a stronger anti-nausea drug, and two liters of saline.  I felt a lot better after they discharged me, went home and ate a meal and then got a good night's sleep.  Woke up the next morning, had another meal.  And promptly threw it all up an hour later.  Took a Phenergan pill, which they'd sent me home with.  Up it came.  Tried the Zofran again, the taste of the pill actually triggered a round of vomiting.  Tried another Phenergan but kept vomiting.  Yippee!  Two hours of that was enough this time, so I called a cab to take me back to the ER.  This was Friday, by the way, about four o'clock in the afternoon.  Yes, Friday night at the ER.  Takes them a while to see you.  When they were triaging me after I arrived, the poor guy thought I was going to go down like a rock right there in his office so they had me on a gurney in the waiting room.  Fine with me; at that point, I had nothing left in my system but I had this constant wave of nausea.  I spent eight hours that day feeling like I might throw up any second.

It took them three hours to get me in, at which point they gave me Zofran (told them it wasn't working so far) and hooked me up to the saline again.  And an EKG, and they did this thing called a GI cocktail (Maalox and lidocaine) because they could not figure out why I was vomiting.  In the meantime, I'm sucking down three liters total of saline IV plus they gave me six doses of anti-nausea medication before it finally started to work.  Oh, and here's the fun part:  Did you know that when you cannot keep anti-nausea medication down and you either are not able to get an injection of it or the injection isn't working, you get to get anal suppositories instead?  And did you know that when you are in the hospital, somebody's going to be inserting it for you?  I was having the time of my life in the ER on a Friday night, let me tell you.  But damned if it wasn't the suppository that finally did the trick.

Oh, and an even funner part:  Telling this story later on to my mother, she didn't get it that they do that so that you absorb the medication in a blood-rich area of the body.  She thought it was like, plug your butt, stop vomiting.  I laughed so hard when I figured that out.  "No, mom, it's not like tug your earlobe, your ankle stops hurting."  Hee!

Anyhow, I'm much better now.  The one week medical leave stretched to two, and I could've used a few more days to recuperate but I absolutely, positively had to be back in the office.  Thought I had gotten a sinus infection again, maybe from being in the hospital, but had my second post-op appointment on Friday and it turns out there was still more packing in my sinuses that needed to be taken out and that was what was causing the pain and pressure.  Well, that and my ENT thinks I instead picked up a slight cold from the ER.  I didn't pass out during the suctioning this time, but holy cow it felt like he was vacuuming the pulp from my teeth and that hurts.

It did make feel better enough that I was able to attend the first session of the Runner Chicks running clinic I'm doing.  I did a half marathon clinic with her before, this is an intro to running clinic but it sounded perfect for me to get back into running.  Today we did two miles in beautiful Portland sunshine.  I was exhausted and hurting a little (in my face) when I was done, but I'm glad I did it.  Fanconi Anemia 5K is in two weeks, I should be close to 100% by then.  Health comes one step at a time!  I also signed up for my April race, the Blooms to Brews 10K up in Woodland.  I may make an overnight out of it so that I can do the tulip tour while I'm there.

the CilleyGirl


  1. Glad you are feeling better. Talk about crazy! The ER people should be sending you get well cards any day now since you all are so close and friendly :)

  2. Oh my gosh! I am so glad you survived and are feeling better. Do you watch Shameless? Your story reminded me of the dad (who is doing everything he can to get alcohol into his system, since he is so sick he can't swallow it anymore).
    I'm helping with the Runner Chicks clinic the next 3 weeks. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday!!!!