Tag Archives: surgery

The Foot

After a long week of balancing jobs and school volunteering and everything else, it ended with a little foot surgery.

I had a cyst removed from my right foot on Friday.  I have been battling it since I trained for my first half marathon several years ago.  I had planned to have it removed in January but it popped and I thought delaying would interfere with my Derby half marathon training, so I waited until now.

foot(That surgeon had some sharpie art on his scrubs that looked just like the bones beneath!)  My surgeon signed my foot before we went in.

Baby is weaned and the deductible has been met, perfect time to sneak it in.

Surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery is so nice.  I felt safe and secure and like everybody knew what was going on.  It felt like a spa day.  It was so nice to wake up from anesthesia without my nose being packed!

The surgeon called Jason after and told him my cyst was gigantic.  So, I think I made the right choice in getting it removed.

Now it’s time for recovery. I am scared to take all the pain meds they prescribed me, so I am just going with a few ibuprofen here and there. Elevating my foot relieves a lot of the pain.  I am frustrated I won’t be walking normally for a while because of this dumb sandal boot thing.  It is NOT going to cut it, especially in the city and in the cold.  Gotta find a way around that challenge and fast.

Scenes from a Septoplasty 6

FRIENDS
Hey, if you want to know who your true friends are, just have surgery.  I can’t tell you the number of emails, texts, FB messages, cards, codeine offers, flowers, phone calls and acts of services I have received through this dumb ordeal.

I am so grateful to all of you who have showed caring to my family and me during this difficult time. Listen, when Mom goes underground, it’s hard on a family and I felt true love and support.  If that was the REAL reason I needed to go through this experience, to be reminded of my wonderful support system I am a part of, so be it.

I look forward to supporting you back and also blowing my nose again. I look forward to that too.

Scenes from a Septoplasty 5

DISCOMFORT
I wish I had had pain during the packing days, because then I would have had an excuse to take the Tylenol 3.  The only reason I even got the prescription filled is because when I broke my foot, I had no pain on day 1, so I didn’t fill it and then when the pain started on day 2, the hospital was all: “You can’t just call here and expect to get a prescription for Tylenol 3″ because I had left the scrip there.

But I had no pain!

After the packing was removed I started to feel pain inside my nose at about a 1, and only in certain circumstances: brushing teeth, yawning, talking, eating, and the feeling was like an open raw cut that sometimes occur in the winter towards the front of your nose, only this was a little deeper back and I think caused by an INCISION!

I busted out the generic extra strength acetaminophen for the headaches, not the nose.  And that’s all I needed. Darn. Tylenol 3 would have been fun.

SALINE
I have to squirt it up my nose 5 times in each nostril, 3 to 4 times a day, and that does not help with the whole breathing out of the nose situation, but one of the reasons they surgeons force the packing on you is so that you will never complain again, because ANYTHING is better than that. By day 4 I slept through the whole night with no disruptions. A miracle!

Scenes from a Septoplasty 4

RECOVERY
I was not aware of being wheeled anywhere, I was just concentrating on breathing.  Once I came to another level of consciousness, I felt for my teeth. Were they still there?  Yes, I was pretty sure they were….back to sleep.  [one of my main concerns with surgery was being intubated, because they use your front teeth to leverage the tube, and teeth break during this process, so I wanted to protect my new implant and crowns!!!!]

I came too again—my mouth was so dry. The recovery nurse brought me water.  Where is Jason? He said he’d be here when I woke up…. and I was back to sleep.

How are you feeling?

I feel heavy and sleepy.

You are going to feel that way today.

Back to sleep.

KRISTY! You need to go home!

I know. My husband will get me home!

My mouth is SO DRY. Teeth ok? yes. MY MOUTH! I’m so thirsty! heavy! sleepy!

There’s that lady with the other operation man….where’s Jason?

I just wanted to keep sleeping but my dry mouth kept pushing me awake.  Finally the nurse called for my husband.  It had been 2 hours since I was out of surgery, I was surprised to hear that my surgeon had already talked with him about how it went and how I was doing and when my next appointment would be.  He was surprised he hadn’t been called to me.

Cute resident came in and I got to talk to him one last time.  He demonstrated JUST how deviated my septum was with a hand gesture and that I had a bone spur too, and we all agreed I was an excellent candidate for the surgery just performed.  I changed clothes and took the longest cab ride home of my life.

By 9 pm I was feeling recovered from the anesthesia and delighted to have no pain and in complete hell with my nose packs.

NOSE PACKING aka HELL
I think the government should consider replacing Water Boarding with Nose Packing.  Gauze up the nose.  It’s like when you have a stuffy nose and have to breathe out of your mouth right? Only, sometimes one of your sinuses clears and you get a break or you can still swallow without your ears popping?

Your nostrils are so full and bleeding out the front so that you have to wear a gauze mustache and your mouth remains open and you can’t sleep because your body’s all: Why is my mouth so dry! Wake up and fix that! Oh, and you can’t taste and all you can smell is BLOOD!

For two days, the longest stretch of sleep I got was 3 hours.  And that only happened once. The routine was, rest eyes for like 20 minutes, take a sip, rest, swallow, try a halls, try the tongue–no, tongue has NO moisture left, take another sip, now I have to pee, and start again, every hour, on the hour.

No appetite, only one bendy straw in the whole house so I kept cleaning it, had to take pills with food, so gingerly forced down banana yogurt….dry mouth, can’t sleep, nose full….counting down hours until 9:20 AM on Wednesday morning.

At first I thought the packing stayed for a week, so I kept telling myself I could get through 2 days! And I did! but I would not like to repeat that ever. Ever.

Surgery on the face = I’d rather have surgery ANYWHERE else…..and I cannot imagine anyone ELECTING to have plastic surgery for vanity’s sake…accidents/fixing things fine, but man, facial surgery is the PITS!

Scenes from a Septoplasty 3

INTERVIEWS
Each person who came to visit me: nurse, surgeon’s assistant, anesthesiologists assistant, surgeon, resident, asked me some questions and gave me some information.  My favorite question: In your own words, what surgery are you having today? I got that twice or maybe 3 times.

I liked most of them, and they all seemed confident and nice, so I calmed down quite a bit.  As we walked together as a team from my Price is Right holding room to the OR, the resident kept conversation with me.  He put a little hair cover on my hair and then said: “I feel like I recognize you.”  I said, “if you watch tv, then you do.  I am a commercial actor.”  The nurse then wanted to know which ones she had seen me on, but he continued: “I don’t want to embarrass you, but have you done feminine hygiene products?”  Of course now I’m falling in love.  [For the record, I think he felt comfortable asking me that because my LAST question to my team before our little walk: IS there ANY chance I will defecate under anesthesia? (hey, the last time I was having an extended stay at the hospital, poop and babies were involved).]

I thought he was referring to the nuvaring because my clipboard is still circulating in doctor’s offices, but he was certain he had seen me in a tampon commercial and even referenced the smooth tip.  “If I were a woman, I would use those.”  It was pretty awesome because even if it wasn’t the same tampon commercial (I shot that years ago), he was the first person to ever recognize me and talk to me about a tampon commercial, plus he was really cute and a doctor.

The OR
I said: “I like you…keep talking to me…” because have you ever walked yourself willingly into an operating room? It’s pretty freaky.  If you haven’t here is what it looks like: It’s BRIGHT and WHITE and full of stuff that you do not recognize. It’s freezing cold–like I’d say 55 degrees.  The table is really tiny and skinny and you lay down and immediately start shivering until they put the warm blankets on you.  The room bustles with commotion as every body in there has a job they need to do.

Cute doctor stayed right with me talking to me about this and that while nerdy doctor did my iv. Now a sidenote about the iv.  When I had my HB08 a little doctor girl in the ER tried 3 times unsuccessfully to put an iv in my hand. It was the most painful thing….well, until I woke up from a septoplasty.

Now the anesthesiologist guys, they have all these drugs…so what’s cool about THIS hand iv is nerdy doc took some time finding my vein and once he did, he first shot my hand full of Novocaine….nice….so that I had no pain or bruising for that matter, for the whole hand iv thing.  That was a nice perk.

Cute doctor was mentioning all this post op stuff and prescriptions and Affrin came up and I’m all–hold it! Dr. Woo said Just Say No to Affrin, and then Dr. Woo chimes in—yeah, she’s not allowed to have Affrin.  I thought was sort of funny and part of me thought that didn’t really happen, but I’m pretty sure it did.  I can’t remember how my conversation with cute doctor ended, but after I got some sedative in my hand iv, I remember saying: “If I don’t see ya’ll–THANKS for everything.” The oxygen mask was placed on my nose and the next thing that happened….

CROSSING OVER
Did I have a near death experience? no. But it felt like a NEAR near-death experience.  One of the things I was most scared about for the surgery was coming out of the anesthesia part.  I knew I would get an anti-nausea, so that dispelled my fears quite a bit, but here is what I remember:

A voice: “Kristy, we’re all done, can you _______” move my hips? move my shoulders? It was something associated with moving, because I felt myself moved, maybe onto a different bed?

Next I felt sleepy of course and like it was extremely difficult to find my air.  Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I was awake and alert saying: Is anyone paying attention to the fact that she can’t breathe?

Scenes from a Septoplasty 2

FIRE!
Jason caught up with me about an hour after I arrived, and waited with my in my pre-op room.  We sat talking minimally as I turned to my yarn for calm and strength. I am so glad I brought my yarn and hook because I waited much longer than I was originally told.

We listened to a mother-daughter pair across the hall, acting out in full dysfunction mode.  The Mom using words like: Unacceptable! We are Professors! What’s TAKING so long? and the teenage girl of course in hysterical tears.  Neither of them doing the other any favors.  I was sitting in a gown and a robe and footsie socks with my yarn and a band-aid from where the nurse stabbed me, a little cold and very vulnerable.

The nurse had weighed me, taken my temperature, blood, asked me questions and then left me.  An hour later a different nurse came in and started the exact same routine. I said to Jason: “They are VERY thorough here.”  Finally the nurse caught on that this had already been done to me when I showed her the band aid.  This made me a little nervous after the whole urine episode.

Making matters worse, NOT better, is this little tiny light on the wall labeled FIRE blinked the entire time we waited–about 2 hours.  It was very disconcerting and irritating to have a bright flash while you told yourself this was not deja vu or the twilight zone,  just a very thorough nursing staff.

WALK OF FEAR
Suddenly it was time to go.  A giant tattooed man in scrubs picked me up and all of my belongings and then we picked up another man dressed just like me.  He placed my valuables on a counter (another one) and said something like: “My colleague will take care of that.” I tried not to have my doubts.  The scrubs man, the other patient and me and our spouses walked to an elevator bank where we parted ways.

They were a middle-aged couple and she was super positive and kissed him on the lips.  I can’t remember if Jason said anything because I was busy thinking about how strange it was that this man and me, dressed alike, were walking together to our fate.  When Jason left my side I felt tears in my eyes, but they drifted away as I called up BRAVERY.

No words were exchanged as we rode the elevator, crossed Madison avenue on a little indoor bridge, waited in a dimmed room with the Price is Right playing. What do you say: “So, what surgery are you getting done today?”  No, you don’t say anything, you just pretend to be invisible.

Scenes from a Septoplasty 1

In an attempt to get out of my bed for a minute and try to be normal, I have turned to typing.

In general my last ailment from the surgery on Monday is a light-headed, whoozy feeling.  I feel a little dizzy.  My head is often the place where stuff manifests, ever since the viral meningitis days, so I am trying not to be too concerned, but it would be nice if it would pass.  I find if I support my head, the room stops spinning.

RECEPTION
I arrived at the hospital 2 hours before my procedure.  I had a hard time finding the 2nd floor, so I walked up to the registration about 1 minute past 8:30.  The receptionist said with a certain tone that indicated failure: “You know your procedure is at 10:30 right?”

I replied: “Yes, and I was told to be here 2 hours before.”

I panicked that because I was 1 minute late, I had screwed up the whole day–like at the airport, when you arrive too late to board.  Her tone led me to believe I had totally blown it being a minute late or was completely ridiculous for being 2 hours early.

I continued: “I’m doing good right? 2 hours early?”

Suddenly a change: “Yeah! You’re doing great! Love your glasses.”

I guess she just likes playing social experiments on innocent surgery victims.

Urine
Admittance into the hospital was surprisingly easy.  I saw so many people waiting and my mind raced with the variety of patients and surgeries happening at that very minute.  I needed to use the restroom so the admittance lady suggested I do my urine sample at the same time.  A nurse instructed me to use the cups in the restroom.  I am used to a sterile cup in which you need to break the seal to use it and tightly screw it back on when complete. This was just a little cup, like the tasting cups at Hale and Hearty Soup.

I walked my cup of urine (no top) down the long hallway back to the nurse. He told me to place it on the counter in the room across from where we were standing. I walked into the room to find an office with a desk and a woman sitting behind it. I stood in the doorway so that both she and the nurse could hear me ask: “You want me to put my cup of urine on her desk?”

She replied: “Heavens, I should say not!” in a dry English accent, then she came to the door with an inquiring look at the nurse. I wondered how many urine samples had passed her desk unbeknownst to her.  It must be true what they say about the office desk being one of the most germ-infested places on the planet, though urine is quite sterile isn’t it?…I digress.

The nurse apologized to Dr. Frost and then had me walk my urine to another small room and place it on the counter. I asked: “You’re going to remember that’s my urine right?”  I was completely skeptical until hours later it was walked into my holding room by another nurse. I knew it was mine, because my urine was uncharacteristically clear that morning because I had drunk a ton of water at the last possible minute I was allowed to, before leaving for the hospital.

Later as we were waiting I said to Jason: “You know what would make my dreams come true?…if they came in and said: ‘We’re sorry Mrs. Glass, we cannot operate on you today because you have tested positive for pregnancy.'” That didn’t happen.