Stranger Things: My Septoplasty Story – Part 3

At 8am the night-shift nurses said their goodbyes to me, and new staff started to enter the room.  An hour or so later I was given some antibacterial hand gel to clean my hands, and was presented with a yogurt, a clear jelly, a pack of plain biscuits, and some thick sweet fruit juice. I devoured it all. I paid only momentary notice to the difficulty I was having in swallowing food and eating, whilst only being able to breathe through my mouth. A doctor then promptly came to give me my medical notes and said I could go home. My boyfriend arrived and a nurse changed the bandage on my nose. This time the bandage was wrapped around, leaving a small opening, showing a glimpse of the tip of my nose. My boyfriend later commented that it looked like a beak and that I should paint it yellow. Soon I was sitting up in a chair, back in the first recovery room in which I’d been the night before, just before my operation. We were given my medical notes, a Ziploc bag with painkillers and antibiotics, and an appointment for the next day for me to have the packing removed from my nostrils.

The rest of the day I spent in exhausted fogginess. I lay on the sofa and dozed intermittently; happy to be home. My boyfriend bought groceries, made soup, and washed my hair; which made me feel a little better. My nose was extremely uncomfortable. It felt like the worst congestion I could imagine; like having a terrible cold, but not being able to blow your nose. As the day turned into evening I became increasingly uncomfortable. The congestion seemed to be spreading to my throat, and breathing was becoming more of an effort. My bandage was quickly turning red. I frequently had to clear my throat of bloody mucus, which was unceasingly replenishing in supply. By the end of the evening, whenever I attempted to swallow; little pink bubbles of mucus foamed in the small opening in my beak.

That night I slept. It wasn’t a restful sleep, more of an exhausted crash. I kept waking myself up with the loudest of snores; a consequence of my mouth breathing. On waking each time I realised my discomfort, and I made numerous trips to the bathroom to spit out more mucus. Then around 5am I woke in a panic, almost unable to breathe. I went to the bathroom with the feeling of something stuck in my throat. Whilst looking at my reflection in the mirror through tired eyes, I forced the muscles in my throat to contract and relax in order to remove the obstruction. Then it slowly appeared. I gently pulled on the offender; some gooey, mucus soaked gauze. It was like something from a horror film. I was just happy that the rest of the packing from my nose didn’t follow.

The next morning I had my appointment at the hospital. I walked into the consultation room, and was happy to see the initial doctor I had spoken with, when I had first lost my hearing. Today she spoke to me in Spanish.  She examined my throat for gauze, and then with a thin metal hook, she removed the packing from my nose. I had an immediate sense of relief. Oh my goodness, I was so much more comfortable. The specialist asked me to try to breathe through my nose. I had a few wonderful moments of clear airways. I was breathing through both nostrils! I felt a little lightheaded. Then rapidly the airways started to clog. The doctor carried out the usual nasal examinations; inserting the thin rigid tube with the light on the end, and then using the metal pliers-type tool to lift up the end of my nose and view my nostrils. She cleaned out my nose using a spray that stung slightly, and told me that the operation had gone well.

When I arrived home that day, I realized I could smell the soup from the night before. It hadn’t even occurred to me that I couldn’t smell anything the previous day. My nose freely dripped with blood all day. I resembled the character Eleven, from the television series Stranger Things, though I was unknowing of what magic I was performing during my nosebleeds.

It has now been 9 days since my septoplasty operation. I still have numbness in my top front teeth and on a small patch of my palate. The headache, stuffiness and pain from the congestion is lessening every day. My nose is still sore, and I am still very tired. A couple of days ago I discovered stitches on the left side of my septum, which I assume will dissolve or fall out over time. Every day I have to perform nasal irrigation to clean out my nose. This entails using a specially designed plastic bottle with a thin applicator spout with a plug on the end, which fits into the nose. I fill the bottle with water and add a salt solution, and then squeeze the bottle; allowing the water to travel through one nostril and then come out through the other. My right nostril is now clear. Although I am not yet able to breathe air in through my left nostril, due to the swelling and stitches, I have been able to breathe air out of this side of my nose; which I wasn’t previously able to do. This is already a positive result.

My next appointment at the hospital is in a couple of weeks, and I am in excited anticipation for the day when I am able to breathe with ease.

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Author: myhearinglossstory

Hi, My name is Carly. I am 36 years old and I am currently living in Spain. I am originally from a small seaside town in Yorkshire called Bridlington, and have also lived in China and Thailand. I am an Early Years primary school teacher, and have been teaching for more than 12 years. I love walking in the countryside, getting lost in Madrid, going out for breakfast, taking photos, listening to music, storytelling podcasts, baking, running, drinking wine, and eating spicy food. In August 2016, I experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear. I started this blog as a way to inform my friends and family about my progress, for anyone else who is going through a similar experience as me, or for anybody who is interested in learning about this type of hearing loss, and the way it can affect everyday life.

25 thoughts on “Stranger Things: My Septoplasty Story – Part 3”

  1. These last two installments are pretty harrowing. I’m not sure I would have liked to be alone in a room big enough for 5 or 6 patients, let alone overnight. So glad the operation was successful but the aftermath sounded pretty distressing. Time will tell now if it will have any affect other than improving your breathing.

    I’m going in Monday myself for back surgery with a million dollar name: Radio Frequency Neurotomy. Maybe I will have a blog to write myself!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello Al. In hindsight it was quite scary, but at the time I was just focusing on getting out of hospital and getting better. im really hoping I am able to breathe through my left nostril after this…and any other benefits would of course be wonderful 🙂
      I will be thinking of you Al on Monday. Wishing you all the best for your operation and a speedy recovery.
      Best of wishes my blogging friend x

      Like

      1. Doing OK, Ralph, thanks for asking. Noting a slight improvement after 11 days. It will have to get much better to call it a success, but many have told me these things take a little time so we’ll see. Again, thanks for the follow-up. Hope all is well on your side of the pond.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow you have been busy with your blog! Great that you’re recovering and can soon enjoy the benefits of the op. Xx Sent from my Hudl

    My Hearing Loss Story wrote:

    myhearinglossstory posted: “At 8am the night-shift nurses said their goodbyes to me, and new staff started to enter the room. An hour or so later I was given some antibacterial hand gel to clean my hands, and was presented with a yogurt, a clear jelly, a pack of plain biscuits, and”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ralph. Lovely to hear from you 🙂
      Thank you for reading and for the comment. I am still waiting to be able to breathe properly…hopefully it won’t be too much longer now!
      Hoping you and Natascha are well and are closer to being able to get married 🙂
      Best wishes from Spain!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As the days go by I hope that you are improving dramatically Carly. I am looking forward to your next post my friend.
        We are still waiting for my papers to return from the UK with legal stamps all over them. Then we can get married. Fingers crossed 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you Ralph. I am now starting to heal finally, after having an infection and lots of inflammation. Six weeks after my operation and my stitches still haven’t fallen out, and I still can’t breathe….but the swelling seems to be going down, so fingers crossed I will feel better soon 🙂
        Hoping to read that you are married soon 😉
        Take care and best of wishes.
        Carly

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I am so sorry to read of the post surgery problems that you are experiencing dear Carly. You are a real trooper to put up with not breathing for six weeks. Anyway, I really do hope that you get back to some semblance of normality very soon.
        I am hoping to read that I am married. lol. But the paperwork goes on and on and on …….
        Get well soon my friend. Ralph ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Carly, I am finally catching up.
    What a tale you have told. (I absolutely love the way you write. I feel like I’m there with you)
    I have such high hopes that this will bring you some relief.
    I’m taking a deep breath in through my nose right now in hopes you will be doing the same, if not right now, very soon.

    The tell about the gauze in your throat…ohmygoodness that freaked me out. It’s amazing it didn’t make you throw up.
    Isn’t it crazy how hard it is to pee in a bedpan?
    did the soup taste different after you were able to smell it?
    Do you know more yet?

    I eagerly await your next installment. xoxo
    much love to you my friend.
    sending my best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Wendy
      So lovely to hear from you. I hope you are well…and I’ll pop by your blog page soon 🙂
      Yes, it’s is crazy how difficult it was to pee in a bed pan!!!
      I am unfortunately still not able to breathe. I had an infection and inflammation inside my nose which meant that the stitches haven’t yet come out, and also there is no airway to breathe. I am hopeful though, and am receiving good treatment.

      Like

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