What Sinus Surgery is REALLY Like! « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowWhat Sinus Surgery is REALLY Like!

What Sinus Surgery is REALLY Like!
Published on Sunday, August 13, 2017 by

This is me a day or two before sinus surgery. Look how calm I appear. Little did I know.

before sinus surgery

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have suffered from sinus infections for my entire adult life. Antibiotics stopped working to clear them up, sending me down the sinus surgery road.

Day surgery pre-op was as expected. IV, two tylenol, talks with the anesthesiologist. You know the drill. It was post-op where the surprises began. I am going to be honest and mildly graphic for those who are googling, “what happens with sinus surgery.” It is my hope that this post will help others in the same situation.

Before you go under the knife, be sure you have the following at home prior to sinus surgery:

  • Pillows and blankets to keep you upright while sleeping. These should be set up before you even leave for surgery.
  • At least four boxes of soft tissues with nothing added to them such as lotion or vicks. You will not be able to “blow” for a few days but you will need to soak up everything coming out of your nose.
  • A trashcan near your bed for used tissues.
  • Long bendy straws for drinks.
  • A face mask you can freeze to help cool your face.
  • Plenty of gatoreade and drinks as well as soft foods such as yogurts, rice pudding, soups and ice cream.
  • Pain pills (usually prescribed after surgery), tylenol and ibuprofin for rotating.
  • Make sure someone can stay with you for two days to get you soft foods and drinks.
  • Two bottles of saline spray.
  • Lip balm.

When I woke up after surgery my first words were, “Not fun.” I was extremely nauseas, even though they had given me medication already for that. Blood was running down the back of my throat, making me sick to my stomach. They gave me a phenergan shot but I remained queasy for two days.

This is a snap I did to my friend a few hours after surgery.  I hardly remember doing it, but I DO remember her asking for a picture.  Night and day, yes?

post op sinus surgery

If you tend to get nauseas easily, talk to your doctor about a patch before the day of surgery. The drive home was a nightmare, with me going between passing out and getting sick.

Before I left for home I was given a few face masks that were cut to hold gauze for the blood that was pouring out of my nose. Blood will pour out of your nose for 2-3 days following sinus surgery. This is why you want to sleep upright, keeping the blood from going in to your stomach.

I have a high tolerance for pain, but let me tell you…. sinus surgery hurts. I have seen a few videos of people a day after sinus surgery who appeared to be feeling GREAT. Not me. The pain took this tough woman and turned her in to a ball of whimper for at least three days. I called the doctor’s office on day two and asked, “Am I supposed to have THIS much pain right now?” Their answer? “Oh honey, you have at least 4-6 weeks of recovery time.”

The surgical nurse instructed me to spray saline mist in to each nostril every four hours once I was home. I hurt so much I was afraid to spray SALT up my nose. After putting on my brave face I squirted once and actually felt relief. The cool mist not only helped with pain but kept things moving out of my nose as it should.

Eating was a challenge after surgery. I told my daughter, “Don’t look! I eat like an animal!” It is difficult to be Miss Manners when you can’t breathe through your nose and are trying to chew.

My first few meals were simply rice pudding. I had to stick some on the spoon, turn the spoon backwards and lick the pudding off the spoon. Actually putting the spoon in my mouth like a normal person was impossible because of the gauze above my lip. NOT a pretty sight.

My surgery was Tuesday. The following Monday I returned to work. This was too early in my opinion. I could not go anywhere without wads of tissues in my pocket. Blood, mucus and blood clots constantly poured out of my nose, which was a source of embarrassment and discomfort.

I was told to stay away from the gym for two weeks post-op. I have only been once since because I am still weak and it was simply too much. It has been difficult for me to accept that my body is still healing and I have to slow down. I went for my first post-op visit a week after surgery and my ENT said I was healing beautifully.

Two weeks and three days after surgery a large blood clot came out of my nose. My nose then began to bleed continuously. I coughed over and over from the blood running down my throat. This is unusual two weeks out. Full disclosure – redheads bleed more so this may not happen on a regular basis.

I called the surgeon’s office and they promised to ask the doctor what I should do. I called a SECOND time when hours later a WAVE of blood came out of my nose and filled my hand. They said, “Come in NOW.”

The doctor sprayed numbing mist in to my sinuses and looked for the source of bleeding. He said I actually looked quite good “up there.” The clot came out a bit early and was causing the bleeding. He felt it had slowed enough that I did not need packing but I was told to lay low for the weekend and I wasn’t allowed to travel as I had planned.

Today marks two weeks and five days since my sinus surgery. My nose hurts if I bump it and is still very sore. I continue to carry tissues at all times because I never know when my sinuses will begin to spontaneously drain. My nose is still healing and I can actually feel the scabbing all the way up each cavity.

I hope this post helps anyone who is getting ready to go through the same surgery. The more you know, the more prepared you will be.

On a good note, the swelling caused me to look years younger for at least a week because you couldn’t see any of my wrinkles. It is better to look good than to feel good, right?

mom blog

  • Yikes, that’s some scary surgery. I hope you have no more issues with your sinuses once you’ve healed. Wouldn’t that be wonderful. Yes it would.

    Have a fabulous day and thanks for sharing your ordeal. ☺

  • Ron

    OMG, I was in pain just from READING this! Oh Katherine, you poor thing. But man oh man, I really admire you for being to tough and doing what you had to do to recover – BRAVO to you!

    “My surgery was Tuesday. The following Monday I returned to work.”

    I was wondering if and when you went back to work. I agree, that sounds way too early.

    This whole thing reminds me of when I had that horrendous tooth absess several years ago, remember? And the oral surgeon had to drain that huge abcess by using just a “local” and not a “general.” OMG…the pain was INSANE.

    So glad to see you back and recovering. You’ve been missed and thought of many times these past two weeks.

    You continue to take care, my friend, and get well!

    (((((((((( You ))))))))))
    X
    P.S. I know I’ve told this to you before, but I LOVE your curly hair. It’s BEAUTIFUL!

  • Oh, crap! Feel better! I can think of many more fun things to do than have sinus surgery.

  • You may think you turned into a ball of whimper, but you are still tough. That was a lot to go through. My husband had sinus surgery about 12-13 years ago, and as bad as it was, it was not nearly as…um…graphic as yours. A lot of his pain came from having his tonsils out at the same time. He had some good drugs, too.

    I hope by this time you are feeling much better.

  • Oh, OUCH! I do feel for you, and seriously hope I never have to go through that. I take it that the current infection is in your sinuses? The very best wishes are coming your way for that to heal quickly!

    My husband had his tonsils out at the age of 35 to cure his recurrent sinus infections. Aterwards, he was crying like a baby with the pain, and our doctor was dismissive. When he went back to see the consultant, we discovered he’d got a really nasty post-op infection. It was fine once that cleared up, and it has definitely helped – he still gets a lot of congestion, but the recurrent infections are a thing of the past. I hope they are for you, too.

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