While I don’t expect this post to be quite so universal or as popular as the poo post (yes, I’m calling it that. yes even my tolerant husband raised his eyebrows a bit at it. but yet, it is perhaps my most commented-on post ever…) I can’t seem to keep myself from staring at my children’s noses wondering which one(s) of them will one day need to have their septum(s) undeviated and therefore might need some advice (beyond the fiber). So I’m writing down my experience of the last (just shy of) two weeks to be filed away under the ever-so-helpful blog perk of Now I Don’t Need to Remember – It’s Written Down Somewhere should they ever need to know what this process is like.
Because I apparently compare everything (in this case, stents removal and the p.p.) to childbirth (it’s my most relevant big life experience of recent years, so I guess that makes it my go-to??), just like with a newborn in the house, the status of a new inside of your nose changes every few days in the first few weeks.
After the stents came out, I still had some bleeding and had to wear the nose diaper for another day and a half. When I finally got brave about having tissues at the ready instead of gauze stuck in place (it probably helped that my Bigs came back home and HD wouldn’t come near me with the mask on my face, so I was trying to put him at ease, too), I couldn’t believe how clearly I could breathe. As in, big open nasal passages, holy moly breath!
Of course all that clarity only lasted maybe 48 hours and then began the process of what I believed my doctor called the remucusization of my nose. And as you can imagine, any process with a name like that is rather interesting.
As the nose heals from the inside, it has to recreate its protective layers of yes, mucus. As it does that, that is some drainage both out the nose and down the back of the sinuses. In the last week I’ve gotten pretty skilled at handling anything coming out of my nose without really touching my nose (it’s a bizarre tissue twisting move that gently cleans out the nose without applying a bit of pressure to the actual nose from the outside). To aid me in this, I’ve used my doctor-recommended saline nasal aerosol spay and my own mommy-hack of Boogie Wipes (saline wipes for my kids’ noses).
The nasty part, as you can imagine, has been what goes down the back toward my throat. It’s nasty because I can’t sniff or snort in attempt to dislodge it for fear of dislodging something that needs to stay in place. And it’s not fluid enough to actually drain, so instead it just sort of sits back there clogging both my breathing and my speech at times. I go from sounding like I have a nasty cold (thank goodness I don’t!) to swallowing as hard as I can 10x in a row to no avail – the junk is just pretty well stuck and will probably stay just like that for the next week or so as healing continues. Of course this is doing wonders for my sleep.
The other intriguing revelation of this healing process is that – duh, your nose is connected to every blessed thing that happens with your face. EVERYTHING. I’ve been stopped short during big yawns, chewing food, and when pulling a shirt over my head, and heaven forbid anything or anyone actually come anywhere close to touching my nose! I freak out. And the cold! The cold!! When everything in your nose is raw, the cold is a beast, so I’ve tried to stay inside as much as possible and used my special antibiotic ointment on the interior of my nostrils when I have to be out in the big frozen tundra.
After being totally absent for a few days, my sense of smell has begun to come back and it is doing so in big, powerful waves. It’s like Spidey Nose or something where all of the sudden I will REALLY be smelling a certain scent, which is great when that smell is coffee and less so when it is the mechanical odor reminding you that your van was just in the shop.
In general, the darn nose is still super tender and vulnerable feeling, and even though I’m doing really well, I think, I have to be so mindful of what I’m doing, especially when the Littles are around. I’ve put up a protective elbow-face mask more than once lest one of them should accidentally bump into me and send me to the floor in pain. But with each day that discomfort and concern lessen a bit and I am hopeful the whole mucus situation will sort itself out soon, too.
While I don’t know that there is ever a good time to have surgery, this whole do-it-over-break thing seemed to work out pretty well. In the coming week I will return to yoga teaching and the week after that I go back to my doctor to have him check out his handiwork and hopefully approve me for a return to full activity.
Here’s hoping I’m wrong that any of my babies may ever need this knowledge!