I have known for several years that I needed to get some work done on my jacked-up nose, but it wasn’t until Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz announced that they were having their deviated septums repaired that I could be bothered to do so. The desire to end my continuous sinus pain and be able to give my husband a blow job without having to wear a Breathe Right nasal strip may also have played a part in my reasoning as well.
I feel the need to mention that I did not get any cosmetic work done. Although, that’s not because I’m not vain enough; I just figure that if I’m laying down several grand to make the world a more beautiful place, my nose would probably be pretty far down on the list after my thighs, ass and boobs. (Actually, I like my boobs. But I digress.) No, this surgery was purely for functional reasons, and thus, was covered by my health insurance. I did try to get my ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) specialist, who is also a certified plastic surgeon, to slip in a little cosmetic tweaking “while she was in there” but apparently it doesn’t work that way.
A few days before surgery, I went in for all of my pre-operative paperwork and blood work. Nothing really bothered me until they asked me my religious preference. I told them the truth – that I’m a generic Christian – but part of me wanted to make up some elaborate post death religious rite that might be so inconvenient as to force them to try harder to resuscitate me should the unthinkable happen. Anyway, a few needle sticks later, I was out of there.
The morning of my operation, my husband brought me to the hospital at 7am so I could hang out, hungry and thirsty, and wait for them to cut me. I got my sexy hospital gown, and Bryan and I watched “Saved by the Bell” reruns from my groovy adjustable bed. Around 9:30am, I was wheeled down the hall to the holding room. Let me mention that it was in this room that I should have gotten the “I don’t give a shit what you cut off” drugs but they never materialized. I’m still a little bitter about this. Big talk from anesthesia guy, but he never delivered. Bastard.
Soon an orderly came in, made some chit chat and started wheeling me down to the operating room. He asked me if this was my first surgery. I affirmed that it was. Then he said, and I am not making this up, “So, we’re popping your cherry today!” Uh, excuse me? At that point, I kind of wanted to look at the chart to see exactly what sort of procedure they had me signed up for. Really, I’m pretty hard to offend, so I laughed it off, but I still made a mental note to check my body over for hickeys when I woke up.
The surgery itself was pretty uneventful, for me anyway. Then again, I was dead to the world, so Dr. Lee could have had one foot on my chest and a crowbar up my nose for all I knew. When I woke up in the recovery room, I felt like a million bucks. Of course, I couldn’t breathe through my nose, as I was wearing a gauze mustache taped to my face and had 3 inch plastic splints up each nostril. But still, I thought to myself, “This surgery stuff is a piece of cake.” I would later realize that those were the drugs talking – drugs that would soon wear off.
At home, I settled into bed, propped up physically with a half dozen pillows, and propped up mentally with a healthy dose of Percocet. I watched talk shows, I ate doughnuts. (Nobody ever accused me of having a weak appetite, post-surgery or not.) I spent the rest of the day dozing, mouth breathing, and having my wonderful husband waiting on me hand and foot. Life was good.
The next morning, when I woke up, I felt like I had been run over by a Mack truck and dragged for ten blocks. Every muscle in my body screamed in agony with the least little movement. My nose hurt, my head pounded, and I could almost hear the pain laughing at my 5 mg Percocet. Life was not good. I expected some nasal pain. What I did not expect was to feel like the doctors had taken a baseball bat to my unconscious body. I didn’t sign up for this.
The second day was better. I was able to roll over in bed without screaming obscenities. My nose still hurt, but it wasn’t as bad as I would have expected. I was able to remove my gauze mustache since I was no longer leaking bloody mucus onto my 800 thread count sheets.
After a week of mouth breathing and sleeping in unnatural post-surgery positions, I was able to get my nasal splints removed! This was a huge step because the nasal splints and accompanying overgrowth of bloody crust and boogage is what was keeping me from breathing. (By the way, if you ever wondered if there is an official medical term for “booger”, my ENT doctor sadly informed me that there is not.)
I brought my husband along for the splint removal. Partially for moral support and partially because I know he’s squeamish and I wanted to see if he could handle watching the procedure. (If he passed out, I figured I might want to rethink having him in the delivery room should we ever decide to procreate.) In Dr. Lee’s office, I settled into the patient chair while Bryan tried to disappear into the corner. Dr. Lee came at me with 12 inch tweezers and a spelunking helmet and assured me this was not going to hurt. I did not believe her.
As she jammed the tweezers up my nose, I felt some discomfort, but it really wasn’t that bad. But when she pulled them out…I experienced the biggest wave of relief I’ve ever had in my life. It did not hurt, and with the splints came a tidal wave of sinus secretions and gore. It was AWESOME! It was like giving birth through my nose. Removing the second split was just as satisfying. All of a sudden, all that pressure from having junk in a place I generally try to keep junk-free was gone. Then Dr. Lee stuck a little vacuum up my nose and sucked out the rest of the gunk. I can’t stress enough how fulfilling that whole experience was. I would get the surgery again just to experience that sense of relief again. Ok, not really, but it was almost that good.
So, now I can breathe through my nose, and that is good. I highly recommend this surgery to all you mouth-breathers out there. Besides the obvious medical benefits, being able to blow grape-sized clots of blood and mucus out of your nose post-surgery is pretty fucking cool. At least, that was my favorite part. Cheers!