The main reason I'm writing this blog documenting my recovery from my Balloon Sinuplasty is because I found very little, if any, information about the immediate recovery effects. I read plenty of information about how well the surgery improved the quality of lives of those who had it done. There are so many unknowns about this surgery still.
I could go on and on about the cotton mouth and nausea, but what I want to do is give you a laundry list of things that I have experienced and how to avoid them if possible.
***The opinions and suggestions written are mine alone and from my personal experience. Please note that your situation is unique to you. These are some elements of the surgery recovery I have noted and possible eleviation from discomfort. I hold myself harmless for any actions you may take upon yourself. Always consult your personal physician for any information pertaining to your personal case.***
- Broad Spectrum Antibiotic - there is not much you can do if these medications cause upset stomach, other than to be sure you eat plenty when taking them. Stay away from fried or any other foods commonly known to cause stomach upset. Speaking of abstain from spicy food in any form, for the obvious reason that it produces mucus and makes your nose run, which you do NOT want, since you can't blow your nose.
- Pain Medication - usually this will be a narcotic of some flavor, mine happened to be Hydrocodone 5/500. It has been fairly sufficient at controlling the pain. I try not to take it if I absolutely don't need it. That's just a preference of mine. Again, due to the possible gastric upset that can occur, be sure to eat when taking this and like medications.
- Anti-Nausea Medication - when your doctor calls in your antibiotic and pain medication, be sure to ask for anti-nausea medication, such as Phenagran or Zofran, as they are very effect at staving off the nausea!
- Anti-Constipation Medication - due to the anesthesia and above said pain medication, do yourself a favor and get Miralax. This stuff is wonderful. It doesn't have the same properties as the more traditional laxatives. This is very gentle, yet extremely effective on helping restore your natural bowel movements. According to my family practitioner, Miralax is non-habit forming, so you can take as much as you need (based on the directions on the Miralax box) without worry.
- Saline - you'll want to get a couple of bottles of saline wash, as you cannot use your Neti-Pot immediately after surgery. I bought Ocean Saline. 48 hours after surgery you can begin to use saline. The main points to remember is 1) You cannot use too much; however, as a general rule use the saline up to five times a day and use four-five good sprays in each nostril. 2) Don't blow, just let the excess drip out. 3) Although I have yet to experience this personally, except prior to surgery, is be ready for the nasty stuff that will drip down to your throat and be ready to spit.
- Pain - just be prepared that you will have pain in the entire frontal part of your face, obviously. I have experienced mine mostly in the upper part of my nose and behind my eyes. Take your pain medication as prescribed and get plenty of rest.
- Dry Mouth - this has been a very big annoyance for me. It is due to having to breathe through your mouth. There are a couple of things you can do lessen the uncomfortable effects of this. 1) Suck on candies and/or chew gum and be sure to stay hydrated. The general rule of thumb is to stay away from caffeine, because it can actually lead to dehydration, but that is my one bad habit and I refuse to give it up like a two year old and her blankie! For me, water tends to make me thirstier and makes my mouth feel weird, so I have been drinking iced tea. 2) Use a humidifier for the time you're recovering. I chose not to because I'm allergic to dust mites and you should never use a humidifier if you're allergic to them, because it's a breeding ground. If I had it to do over again, I would deal with the dust mites in the short term to get relief from the cotton mouth!
- Nausea - as stated above, be sure, just in case, to have your surgeon prescribe an anti-nausea medication, you'll be glad you did. Keep away from fried and spicy foods for the immediate duration of your recovery.
- Drainage - this hasn't been a major issue for me, just a couple of times and they were small. I honestly thought there would be more gunk draining. Sleep elevated for the first week. I already had the head of my bed raised because of my allergies and drainage on a regular basis. This actually wasn't enough of an incline the first two nights. I slept on the couch with a wedge pillow, the kind with arm rests and my regular pillow. It was actually quite comfortable. If you don't have that you can always sleep in a recliner.
- Constipation/Urinary - due to the anesthesia and pain medications, be prepared for this situation to occur and get the above mentioned medication. The first two days after surgery, due to anesthesia your body has to "remember" how to urinate again. It took longer than usual for me to, just be patient.
- Fatigue - Not much you can do about this other than to rest. For most people, the narcotic pain medication will be enough to induce sleep. The anti-nausea medications have this as a wonderful side effect as well. Sleep when you feel like it.
- The first thing to remember is to not rush your recovery. Although this is a much less invasive procedure than traditional sinus surgery, you're body has experienced a traumatic event, from sedation, to foreign objects inserted and the sensitive areas that are being operated on. Also, be sure to follow your doctor's orders on waiting until his timeline to begin exercising, bending over and/or lifting. It's natural when we start to feel better we want to do more, just keep reminding yourself that your body can heal itself given the proper care.
- I would say the most important thing to have while recovering from your surgery is a supportive person who doesn't mind taking care of you. This person (s) need to be able to remind you that (in my case) shouldn't bend over, pick up the dog and blow your nose.
That person for me, was my incredible husband of 20 years - John. He takes such good care of me, I couldn't ask for more and am grateful for his love and patience with me.
With that, I'll bid you a speedy recovery and well wishes for a great and prosperous 2012!