I’ve been talking about this a lot on social media (mostly Facebook), but for the benefit of those of you who follow me via blog/LJ/Dreamwidth, here’s an update on that deviated septum surgery I’m supposed to be having!
What the hell is a deviated septum?
Aside from “the name of my next band” (because Deviated Septum TOTALLY sounds like it ought to be a band name), the septum is the tissue inside your nose that separates one nostril from the other.
When a septum is deviated, this means it’s not straight like it’s supposed to be, and if it’s badly enough off, it can cause problems.
So why is yours deviated?
Probably due to having been hit in the face when I was a kid, long enough ago that I don’t really remember when it happened anymore; I just know that my nose has been crooked most of my life.
What problems has this been causing you?
A number of things that have been going on for as long as I can remember, and which have been getting slowly but steadily more annoying now that I’m getting older, just because tissue does start wearing out as you age. Including:
- Chronic congestion problems. I take a stupid number of antihistamines on a daily basis (Allegra and Claritin in the morning, and Benadryl at night, as well as Azestaline nasal spray), as well as semi-regular decongestants. Benadryl and Sudafed should not be food groups. I’M JUST SAYIN’.
- Sinus infections at least once or twice a year.
- Difficulty breathing through my nose, even when I’m just sitting working on the computer, or in a meeting at work. This is particularly a problem when I’m, say, at the dentist having my teeth cleaned or other work, and they tell me to breathe through my nose while they’re doing that, and I can’t. I have to consciously think to breathe through my nose, and even when I’m doing that, I don’t get enough air. By extension, this means my lips and throat get dehydrated fast during the winter, and I get chronic chapped lips as a result.
- Snoring problems, which disturb my poor wife, not to mention waking me up at least once a night. This is most noticeable if I wind up lying on my back, but it also repros (hi I’m a software tester, this is how software testers talk) if I lie on my right side–with the added problem that I can hear clicking noises in my nose if I lie on that side. It’s only minimized if I lie on my left side, which means my left shoulder gets too much strain on it when I’m sleeping. Boo. Also, did you know you can make snoring noises while you’re conscious? This is really freggin’ weird. But I can do it!
- I have recurring pulsatile tinnitus in my right ear which may or may not be a side effect of the chronic congestion; I’ve noticed it subsiding when I’ve recently had decongestants.
So what are you having done to fix this?
On the 24th I’m going in for a procedure called a septorhinoplasty. This is a combination of two different procedures, one to fix my septum, and the other to do any necessary reshaping of the nose to accommodate this. Since my nose is pretty crooked (I was diagnosed at fifty percent deviation of my septum, which has practically closed off my left nostril, FUN), the surgeon has to rearrange my nose as well as fixing the septum. A cartilage graft off my ear may also be involved if necessary to rebuild the septum.
This is going to be an outpatient procedure, and will take about 3-4 hours.
Thankfully, since this is a functional repair of my nose as opposed to just cosmetic work, my insurance is not balking about covering it. (This is the part where I am also very, very grateful that I do in fact have decent health coverage, and this, children, would be why I am holding on to a day job and am not trying to support myself with my writing full time. I don’t sell nearly enough copies of things to cover the costs of all the health situations Dara and I had to deal with in the last ten years!)
What will your recovery time be like?
Comparable to prior recoveries I’ve had to do. I’ll have about a week dedicated to full recovery at home, which will probably about line up with a course of pain meds. A week after, I’ll go in for the first followup appointment, at which point I may or may not be coherent enough to start working from home. I’ll probably be doing that until I’m physically back up to speed and can manage my usual day job commute.
Part of why I’ll have to stay at home will be that I’ll have bandages and splints on my FACE! And I’ll need to minimize any risk of disrupting that, as well as minimizing the risk of infection. I’ll have to spend some time sleeping with my head elevated as well, until the splints can come out of my nose. And there will be lots and lots of saline rinses to help make sure everything in there heals up appropriately.
Given this, my face is probably going to be VERY ALARMING LOOKING for a few weeks. There will be bruises and swelling as well as bandages and splints. I’m going to look like a disaster victim.
Oh WOW. Can we have pictures?
Maybe. I will not be coherent enough for selfies while I’m on a course of Vicodin, but Dara has a phone with a camera, and she knows how to use it. ;)
Since you’re doing another surgery recovery, will you do another Murkworks Movie Suckoff?
Yes. YES I WILL. Current main contenders are likely to be Frankenstein Unbound and Victor Frankenstein, and I have also had The Apple suggested. More recommendations are definitely welcome, although as always, if I’ve already seen it, it is automatically disqualified from a Suckoff. And if it’s been MSTed, chances are very high I’ve already seen it!
On a related note, this will also be conveniently not long after the coming of the new MST3K episodes on Netflix, so oh my yes I will be watching those too. But those won’t be part of the official Suckoff. :D
And the end result of all this is going to be what?
Hopefully much improved breathing! And hopefully much reduced snoring! I am informed that there’s a chance that this won’t entirely fix everything, but there’s a decent shot at significant improvement, so I’m going for it.
As a side bonus, it might also give me improved breath control on my flutes and whistles. I will be keeping tabs on this once I’m recovered enough that I’m cleared to play wind instruments again (I’ll be asking the surgeon about this, most definitely). Note also that this is a contributing factor to why I’ve taken up the fiddle, just so that I can have a melody instrument in my arsenal that doesn’t involve my nose!
And that’s all pretty much it! Anybody have any other questions, leave ’em in the comments!