Raiders of the Lost Septum

It’s been one week since I had my sinus surgery. Things aren’t exactly back to normal, but I am on the less-stuffy road to recovery.

The good news: I’m recovering according to schedule. I took over a week off of work, even though I work form home, and I’m happy I wasn’t stubborn about trying to work through recovery. There was a bit of discomfort the first three days, and technical documentation on hydrocodone might have been hilarious to some but not exactly what my corporate masters would count as productivity. I drank a lot of water, changed a lot of gauze pads, and watched many bad movies. I also had access to social media at this time, which means some people saw me live-tweet watching the first Star Trek movie … or as Harlan Ellison calls it, “Star Trek: The Motionless Picture.”

I’d apologize, but those people follow me for a reason and should be used to that sort of abuse by now.

The bad news: I still can’t properly breathe through my nose. This really isn’t that surprising. For the first week after the surgery, small tubes were stitched into the inside of my nose to act as stints for the septum. They did allow small glimpses of nasal airflow, when they weren’t clogged with the sort of things that drain out your nose after three hours of endoscopic surgery.

So yesterday the doctor removed all of the stuff from my nose, declared it “good so far”, cleaned everything out with the world’s tiniest (and hopefully sterile) shop-vac and crammed my nose full of cotton. One step forward, two rather snot-covered steps back. The tubes that came out felt gigantic, even though they barely went into my nose.

Today has been my first day without impairment by medical instruments or prescription pain medication (hello time-release Tylenol). I get hints of free breathing, followed by sinus irrigation to keep everything moist as my tender tissues heal. Blowing my nose is still counter-indicated by medical professionals, along with heavy lifting and other things that might tweak my healing septum (martial arts is definitely off the table, along with moving the table).

So I get a doctor’s excuse to avoid chores this weekend, but I’d rather have full use of my landscaped sinus cavities. Maybe I should have them install some shelving or something while I was in there. My head can be a pretty disorganized place.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to spray salt water up my nose. I hope they waterproofed everything up there.

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