My personal experience (it will vary from person to person).
I have suffered badly with allergies, sinus infections, and pain behind my right eye that makes it water for years. Chronic sinus infections got to be so bad that I actually got to the point of feeling like death might be a kinder option than going on in the miserable state that I was nearly all the time unless I popped Advil Cold and Sinus (pseudoephedrine) like tic-tacs.
I felt like it was just me experiencing this private hell, but in digging online there are whole communities of people just like me, suffering daily in silence, looking for any answer, and finding none.
I considered surgery a last resort. But that is the point I was at. It was last resort time. I had tried allergy shots, multiple allergy medications (none of which did a thing, and some had really awful side effects), naturopathy, homeopathy, changing my diet, local honey, neti pots, sinus rinses, sprays, you name it. Hell, we moved all the way across the country to live in the desert… that didn’t work. The dry desert air actually makes it worse.
In looking at the CT scan my septum was incredibly deviated allowing almost no airflow up that right side. The surgeon was confident that he could help with airflow restoration. This time I didn’t hesitate. I booked my surgery date. One Septoplasty with turbinate reduction coming up.
I was told by not only the surgeon and staff but by the surgery center and nurses that it would be about 1 week until I was feeling ok enough to go to work. That was a big underestimation.
Day by day – Day 1 – Surgery
I went in, everyone was very nice, calm and reassuring. I was very nervous. They gave me nasal spray to squirt up there to open everything up. Brought me back in and after the doctor, anesthesiologist, and nurse all spoke with me confirming the surgery, I honestly don’t remember much. I recall laying on the table and whatever they had propping my head up was super comfortable. I asked if I could take it home (Now loopy on medication). They all laughed. Next thing I remember I was being wheeled out to the car Where I took pain medication and managed to eat a cracker.
I got home and was propped up on the couch, when I started feeling nauseous. TIP: Take one of the pain meds they give you BEFORE all this as a test. I proceeded to puke my brains out for the entire night which I had to do with my head upright as to not get anything in my sinuses. This was terrible. I now Know I cannot take Vicodin. Thankfully we had back up of a chocolate MMJ bar of 1000 mg because I finished it off in the week. That is huge dose for someone my size and it is the only thing that saved me.
Day 2 -5 are very much a blur.
There is no way I could separate these days for you. I had a very weird reaction to the anesthesia and it was not being released from my body. I did not know this at the time. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was hearing a phone ring almost constantly. I would look at my phone and it wasn’t ringing. Nor was the TV even on.
I was dizzy, spacy, couldn’t think of words. I felt slow, dumbed down, was in pain, and was missing chunks of time. I literally felt like I was a movie only the play rate was messed up and I kept missing frames. I was honestly afraid at this point, because they say the drugs should clear by 24 hrs that I was left with brain damage.
In calling my doctor I was told that they had never heard of this before. That scared me even more.
I believe it was day 4 I gently blew out the packing that was in my nose and dissolvable. I had not been warned or told that was in there. I didn’t know what it was, and it looked like a chunk of sushi. My brain wasn’t comprehending what I saw, and it was gross. They really need to tell you about that beforehand.
I went in on day 5 for a follow up. He said it all looked good at the surgical site which I was happy to hear. But I wasn’t able to drive and took a Lyft. I was so spaced out I don’t remember most of the ride there or back.
I started feeling a little stronger each day and began sleeping less. But the fog wasn’t clearing. Part of my body felt cold, and my hand was harder than usual to move. I felt like I had been frozen and was thawing. I was very nervous by this point. My nose was feeling less numb and better, but I wasn’t. I was having to make peace in my head at this point with the idea that I might just be stuck this way because no one seemed to know what I was experiencing nor were they able to help.
I went in for a second follow up. He removed a big scab from the nostril. It was the size of a cashew and left me wondering just how big of a hole are your sinuses for that to be just hanging out in there. When he did that though, wow………………………………….. all of sudden I breathed in a rush of cold air. I don’t think I had been able to breathe out of that side of my nose since I was a kid. It was intense and weird and felt so good. The surgery, though still healing, was a success.
I had been brave and driven though it was questionable. I still felt super stoned. Not from any drugs, all I was taking at this point was Advil and vitamins. I stopped at my regular doctor’s office and asked him for suggestions.
Thank god for him. He knew right away what was going on!
“The anesthesia is not leaving your body for some reason.” he says to me and told me to come back the next day for a Glutathione Push IV. That would help my body process and detox from it.
Day 14. – Glutathione IV Push.
I went in in the morning and had the IV done. Drank a ton of water, took an Epsom salts bath, rested, and waited. My eyes began to run down my face as did my nose. After a few hours I began to blissfully regain the feeling of being grounded back on earth again. I am massively grateful for him and for this treatment.
I am now on day 15. I am still detoxing from the anesthesia. I still am having some allergy issues BUT I can breathe. I do not have the pain behind my eye or the accompanying headache that always was with it.
From here I can finally stop the cycle of stuff not being able to move or drain out of there and causing chronic infections I believe. I do feel very grateful for this surgery.
However, I also feel like I went through a lot of mental anguish for no reason. I am positive I am not the only one this happens too and that I was not being told the truth likely in order to cover their asses just incase something really had gone wrong or was permanent. I have no way to prove that it’s just what I feel.
If you are going to do this surgery, its unfair to go in not fully prepared.
My advice is:
1. Take 2 weeks off, not one.
2. Test your pain meds before surgery time to make sure they agree with you.
3. Get an extra Chapstick. It is not for your lips its for your nose.
4. If you get weird meat looking globs coming out of your nose, it is likely the packing.
5. Be patient with yourself. Not everyone heals at the same rate.
6. Stretch, move, and walk as you are able every day.
7. Make sure you have sinus rinse Saline.
8. Make sure if you live in a very dry climate like I do that you have nasal gel spray too.
9. Soup, fruit, and Gatorade are your friends. Your appetite will not be right for a bit. (food may have no taste or smell or smell really strange)
10. Find a group of people online who are having it done too and check in with each other.
11. Do not drive until you are confident and comfortable.
12. IF you happen to have the lingering weirdness like I did… find a doctor who can do the Glutathione IV push. (An IV push delivers glutathione directly into the bloodstream. It’s not infused from a bag that depends on gravity but is actually pushed into the vein using a syringe connected to an IV line. Administration is quick and simple.)
13. Blow your nose very very very gently only.
14. If you sneeze do it through your mouth.
I wish you the very best in undergoing this procedure.
While ultimately I am glad that I had it done, and thankfully not everyone will have as rough of a time as I did, clearly, it was a very difficult couple of weeks.
I am not finished healing yet, but I felt that this was important to share as I only found 1 honest account online and nothing else. I am very grateful to the author and let her know so. Her blog can be found by going to : https://www.runninginaskirt.com/my-sinus-surgery-experience-advice-and-tips/.
UPDATED: Day 16 – Awake all night. No matter what side I tried to lay on “goo” would clog my nose. I couldn’t breathe. 4 am finally blew out a big blood clot. Now my nose hurts and my eye is watering. No sleep. Come on healing, lets go….
DAY 19! Ok so…… finally seeing results. I can breathe! Still crusting and dry and weird feeling but the glutathione worked. I do not feel dizzy anymore and though I am still having allergy like issues occasionally, its not all blocked up and I don’t have a pain in my head from it. Ill take it as a success. Ill report back again at one month, and 3 months on here too. Check back. Energy level rising, feel pretty ok.
Day 20. Giant green ball of not something indistinguishable and gross came out. It was the size of a quarter! Breathing improves. Still very dry and crusty. Feeling good, finally. Apparently, this is what is known as a Sinus Fungal Ball Infection!
Day 21 – 3 weeks out: Still blowing out (gently) huge balls of…………… I cant even really guess. Old cells? Mucus? Phlegm? In any case it feels great to get it out. Very weirdly satisfying and with each one that emerges I can breathe better and better. I do wonder how long this goes on. I am feeling like my head must be hollow like an Chocolate Easter Bunny to be housing all this stuff! LOL
Day 28. Nose feels close to normal. Still slightly like a foreign object on my face but not bad. I am still blowing weirdly large chunks of stuff out of my sinuses… can breathe well though. It was successful despite all of this. 🙂
Day 35. AHHHHHHHH is that AIR!? OMG its going up the right side of my nose! Oh that feels fantastic! I did end up taking a 10 day course of antibiotics. The green chunks that came out of my nose were huge like wads of bubble gum. Surgeon says that some of that may have been in my upper sinuses for years! OMG….. no WONDER I was in so much pain……………………………………………………………………. antibiotics have cleared it and no more green stuff and lots of air.
1 Year later! – Totally and completely worth it. I feel like a new person and am deeply grateful. It did take a full year to get complete results so hang in there.
Conclusion. This is not an easy surgery.
This surgery is worth it in the end.
Hang in there AND if you are going through this do not hesitate to write to me…. you need someone to vent to and ask questions or you may feel very alone in this. I don’t want that for anyone.