Sunday, December 18, 2011

Balloon Sinuplasty Day 5

Day 5:

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!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Balloon Sinuplasty Day 4

Day 4:

I woke up with a severe case of cotton mouth because of having to breath through my mouth. My lips inside and out are chafed and a little swollen and a little crusted on the corners, I guess it's due to having to breathe through my mouth. 

The nausea was coming on moderately. I called Dr. Raney and he said to make sure to do the saline wash, which I'm doing about five times a day, and that I could blow gently! So I did and I'll be darned, nothing came out, even though it sounded as if it should. He called me in some Zofran for the nausea. The nausea has to be the combination of these factors:
  • Broad Spectrum Antibiotic
  • Hydrocodone
  • Drainage
Later in the day I started having a really bad sore throat, but not like to do with the tonsils or anything. More like at the very back of my palate was raw. I figured maybe it's from the breathing tube, but why would that show up three days after surgery.  I'm still really fatigued and don't feel like doing much and add dizziness from the pain and anti-nausea medications to all of the other symptoms and I'm just down for the count. 

I'm not sure how people are able to go back to work in two days, I didn't even stop bleeding until that night. 

All in all I'm still glad I did it, I'm looking forward to the pressure going away.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Balloon Sinuplasty Day 3

Day 3: 

The pain is steadily declining, so I'm glad about not having to take the Hydrocodone anymore. As you all know, when taking a narcotic it constipates you, so I took a dose of Miralax and waited - nothing. I thought oh no this worked last time. So between Miralax and two cups of coffee nothing still happened.

I have experienced an upset stomach since the surgery, but that I can probably attribute to the Amoxacillan I am on, along with the Hydrocodone.

I sleep when I can, but just am so tired no matter how much sleep I get. I had some nausea late last night and took one of Pappa's Phenagren pills and of course the nausea got fixed straight away, but a wonderful unexpected side effect happened. I fell asleep and slept for about five hours straight. Phenagren usually does make me sleepy, but I wasn't sure if it would this time, since my Trazadone didn't even work.

So I took another Thursday nite and then another early Friday morning. Seems to help somewhat, so I'll take the sleep whenever it comes.

Balloon Sinuplasty Day 2

Day 2:

It's been very uncomfortable due to the fact that I can't get more than a few hours sleep at a time. I took Trazadone and although it did help me fall asleep, I kept waking up with extreme cotton mouth. I finally just gave up and got up and sat down at the computer.

The dripping has lessened much more and by the end of the day I was able to stop wearing it completely.

The headache is a dull deep headache and is very uncomfortable, all of these things combined make me very fatigued. I would have to say that extreme fatigue has been the number one issue I've experienced.

While trying to not use Hydrocodone, I asked Mom for some Tynenol. As soon as I took them, I saw the bottle said Advil! Of course, I'm not supposed to have any Aspirin products, so this concerned me enough to call the doctor.  Luckily, the small dose I had wasn't enough to alarm the doctors. That made me feel better. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Balloon Sinuplasty Day 1

Day 1:

Got to the surgery center at 9AM and was checked in promptly. I was taken back to pre-op within 10 minutes of my arrival and Debbie, RN took care of me. She was personable and did a great IV stick (if there is such a thing). The anethsisologist came in and did a quick assessment, then Dr. Raney came in and we spoke briefly about the procedure and post op instructions.

I was wheeled back a little after 10AM. The anethsisology nurse came in and gave me something to relax me and then it was lights out!

Dr. Raney said I did great and the surgery went well. To be honest, I had a difficult time coming out of the anethsia. I remember bits and pieces but my mother and husband said I was very cranky and very determined not to have on the oxygen meter or blood pressure cuff. Apparently this did not make the post-op nurse very happy with me.  I remember them having packing in my nose and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why because that was one of the major selling points of the Balloon vs. traditional surgery. It was only there for a temporary time, so it's no big deal.

Here are the things so far that have been uncomfortable:
  • Severe headache directly after surgery and day of into evening - took Hydrocodone and it helped.
  • The dressing that you have to wear under your nose is irritating.
  • Wanting to blow and itch your nose but can't. 
  • Cotton mouth to the extreme because you can't breath through your nose.
  • Not being able to sleep normally, having to sleep at an incline.
  • I have had some slight nausea, due to drainage, but Phenagran helps with that.
  • Reminding myself constantly not to pick up the dogs or bend over.