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Septoplasty

For the past 4+ months, I've been experiencing the agony of sinusitis. Coupled with my chronic reactive airway disease/asthma, I was pushing the limits of my tolerance for discomfort. Having finally reached the breaking point (and at the persistant urging of my wife), I made an appointment to see an otolaryngologist (aka Ear/Nose/Throat doctor) on July 16. After a brief endoscopic examination of my nasal passages, the doctor ordered a CT scan of my sinuses. To my surprise, the CT scan revealed a severely deviated nasal septum and (less surprisingly) a LOT of swollen membranes. The doctor recommended reconstructive surgery (septoplasty and turbinate reduction) to repair my septum and return my breathing to normal.

Yesterday, I had the surgery. Although it was the first time I had undergone surgery, I wasn't apprehensive at all, astonishingly. I guess I was so ready to have my sinus pressure relieved that it over-rode any possible anxiety. It was also the first time I had been put under general anaesthesia. The anaesthesia was the weirdest part for me — all I remember was a warm feeling traveling up my arm from the IV, followed by the administration of oxygen. Everything went black from there. When I awoke, it was two and a half hours later. Apparently, I had lost quite a bit of blood in post-op, and the nurses were a bit worried when I came to. Fortunately, the only immediate side-effect from the surgery was a bit of nausea (from swallowing blood) and some localized pain in my face. Administration of an anti-emetic took care of the nausea, and a little dose of morphine took care of the pain.

The morphine itself was amazing. I can see how people get hooked on opiates. Not only did the pain go away in a matter of minutes, but I was also in a state of euphoria for the remainder of the day. Today was a different story. I don't feel quite as good, my nasal membranes are swollen shut, and I'm on all sorts of medication for pain, swelling and infection. The good news is, I don't have splints or gauze shoved up my nose (my doctor used a new microsurgical technique which does not require them) and my nose isn't dripping blood like a stuck pig.

Supposedly, it will take up to four weeks for me to realize the results of the surgery. This is a relatively short time to wait, and if my breathing improves markedly, it will be well worth it. There's even the possibility of my asthma going away as a result of the procedure. Time will tell.

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