Deviated Septum Surgery Tips Photos
Day 1 - Surgery Day

OK, the day had finally arrived. I had nothing to eat or drink from midnight onwards. In the morning I emailed all my friends and editors to let them know I'd be out for the day. I had to find a button down shirt - I only own one apparently! - a skirt and easy-wear shoes. They said no valuables or jewelry or anything so I just brought my credit card, license, and medical card.

I had realized the night before that I didn't have a health care proxy form for Bob, my partner of 14 years - so he might get kicked out of the room! The thought really scared me. So on the way to the hospital we stopped by my bank and had them witness a form I found online. That, at least, was set. We got to the hospital about noon and did a central check-in. They sent us to the same-day surgery office and we checked in there. I got a wrist band with my name, birthdate, etc. on it. I had to pay a $250 copay on my credit card. It was only a minute or two later that they brought us both into a private room with a bed, two chairs and a TV. The nurse verified my name and date of birth.

They had me change into a tunic. I had to ask Bob to help me figure it out! It didn't have arm holes or anything. It turns out when you connected certain snaps it made arm holes, and then it tied in the back. I had to give them a final urine sample, and then climbed into bed. She told me it'd be about 2 hours before they could get to me. Plenty of time for my mind to run amuck. She came in about 1pm and said she was going to put the IV in. I'd have to sit there for a full hour with a tube in my arm?? I asked if that could wait until I was actually ready for surgery and she said OK. So I got a small break there.

Just before 2 she returned - they were ready for me. I had to say goodbye to Bob and they wheeled me into a room with about 8 beds in it,each separated from the others by curtains. They were putting tubes into people and explaining their rights and such. Someone came over and asked my name, my date of birth, what I was there for. I guess they want to really eliminate mistakes! The anathesiologist came over and I explained that sometimes in dental situations the numbing agent wears off early on me so to please make sure I *stayed* under :)

Then the worst part that I feared. The needle. She started on the left arm. Had me make a ball with my fist, gave me a shot of novocaine to numb the area. A needle before the actual needle! That was like a bee sting. Then she starts digging, and digging, and digging, but apparently my veins are "squiggly" and uncooperative. I am doing my very best to stare at the ceiling, count numbers slowly and visualize them (yoga tricks) and take deep breaths in and out. Even so, my nurse comments to someone else that I'm developing a rash on my neck from the stress. It goes to show how incredibly powerful stress is, if I am pouring all my energy into handling the situation and even so my body is creating physical symptoms.

An interesting side-comment here - the nurse lives across the street from me, literally the house on the other side of my road. What's the chance of that happening?

So they call over someone else and try on the other arm. This time they spray me with a cold spray novocaine and this time they do find a vein. They promptly pump some sedatives into me to help me with my relaxation. I sign a few forms which undoubtedly said "I will not sue you when I wake up during surgery by accident" and then they wheeled me out of the group room and into an operating room.

There were two circular lights overhead, and maybe 3 or 4 nurses in there with various machines that went "Ping!". I looked around with interest and then - POOF - I was out. No "counting backwards from 10" or anything.

The next thing I knew I was back in the group room and waking up. It was about 5pm now. They came over and asked how I was, gave me 2 percocet, and after only 5 or 10 minutes they wheeled me back into the private room and Bob was there. We stayed here for about 20 minutes, in general I felt sleepy but OK. I just wanted to get home. The nurse gave me a little orange sherbert to make sure my stomach handled the drugs OK. Bob took a few photos of me with his camera-phone.

Deviated Septum

Deviated Septum

Deviated Septum

Then he ran to the pharmacy to get my prescriptions for Vicodin and antibiotics. We were ready to go.

So they took the IV out of my hand (hurrah! I hadn't looked at it once the entire time, from start to finish). Bob helped me dress and then they brought over a wheelchair. They wheeled me out to the car. In a short time I was home!

They had all sorts of instructions for me. I had a ramp of 5 pillows created in the bed so my head would be fully elevated. My throat was really raw from the breathing tube and my ear hurt, apparently from where it was hooked or something. So Bob started up the humidifier to help with my breathing. I drank lukewarm water using a bendy straw, and at 9pm had 2 Vicodin. I also had an antibiotic at this time.

They said to eat something with each Vicodin dose so I had swirled-up ice cream with it, just a little. I luckily didn't have any nausea problems at all though.

I couldn't fall asleep, really I just lay there watching the clock waiting for the next 4 hour period for more Vicodin. Bob came in and out with ice packs for my eyes and changing the gause under my nose. Another 2 Vicodin at 1am. This time with chicken broth I think. The saltiness of it hurt the back of my throat. Any time I needed Bob, instead of yelling (he was downstairs, I was up in bed) I would just hit #2 on my cell phone. It'd ring downstairs and he'd come up. We have free cell to cell so it was an easy intercom.

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