A Look Into My Nose, or: Probing a Patient’s Proboscis Procedure

I have this ongoing fantasy that whenever I have to recover from an illness or injury it will give me plenty of time to write, or at least read. I’m always behind on both, so it seems like the perfect opportunity.

Then there’s reality.

I applied for three sick days for after my sinus surgery, which I thought was overkill. Added to my normal days off, that gave me five days after a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that would straighten a thing up here and unclog another thing there. The result, hopefully, would be fewer sinus infections and headaches.

Truth is, I was very close to being in a good mood, going in. Sure, we were at the hospital from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but I slept through half of it. Emily had two books, a cell phone, and a charger cord.

I woke up feeling no pain, which is really not a good sign one way or another. But the surgeon told Emily that, while the passages to my upper sinuses would always be unusually narrow, they were now clear and I was a model patient. Sadly, he found neither the loose change nor the Matchbox car I thought may have been lost up there in childhood.

It would have looked like this, only ickier.


It all went downhill from there.

For pain they put me on Norco, which made me think the Feds would burst in any moment, and I’d end up bleeding in a jail cell whether they hit me or not. Turns out the stuff’s also called Vicodin, which isn’t better, but gives you an idea of how much pain they expected. I have something of an addictive personality, so I decided to get off it as soon as humanly possible. Two days should do it.

Two days didn’t do it. I was able to cut the dose in half from the maximum, then in half again, but my head and sinuses still throb as of when I’m pecking away at this, the next Thursday morning.

(I’ve been working on this column for three days. I keep falling asleep or just losing focus. London’s got nothin’ on my brain fog.)

So I looked up the exact term for my surgery, which no way am I well enough to type here, and researched the recovery time. How soon a patient could be expected to return to work was not a few days, but a week. It also said symptoms could continue for a month or two before all the aftereffects stop effecting. Until then: Dizziness, nausea, pain, minor bleeding, brain fog, confusion, dizziness–did I say confusion? But enough about my typical mornings.

Then we have the three times a day nasal saline irrigation.

There’s no way to make this procedure more fun, but there is a way to make it less fun: Have it produce a large amount of blood and clotting. You know, my stomach isn’t quite ready for me to discuss that.

So … I’m not sure where I was going with this. Basically I just wanted to check in and let everyone know that I really am feeling better, it’s just that “better” can be relative. I’m a little frustrated that I’m a week behind in my Haunted Noble County writing, but we spent some time listening to audio books (Wayward Pines), which I can do reclined with my eyes closed. I predict that when we talk to the surgeon he’ll say I’m well on my way to recovery. I’m going to check him for my spare change.

Also, I’ll take a nap. Or two.


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8 thoughts on “A Look Into My Nose, or: Probing a Patient’s Proboscis Procedure”

  1. I came here for the alliteration and stayed because I too have a fantasy to recover from an illness.

  2. Good luck with it!
    I think I need an operation for expanding my nasal passages as they seem too narrow (seriously!)
    I’ll wait and see if you survive first…………….

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