Post-Op and Sickness

Yesterday was my post-op appointment. I always have mixed feelings about this because, while it is nice to be able to breathe and blow my nose again, it is a pretty painful procedure. I mean, having a metal instrument stuck up your nose to yank things out is just as much fun as it sounds.

I made it through, though. My eyes watered up, and I had to clench my fists, but I didn’t actually cry during it, which I was pretty proud of. My doctor and I joked around a good bit, which made it a bit easier. It’s always nice when you have a rockstar doctor.

Now, I still have some healing to do. The dissolveable packing is still in my head, so I’ll feel like I have a bit of a sinus infection until it’s completely gone. Then, I start medicine in my sinus wash (which also is about as much fun as it sounds) to hopefully make sure the sinus cavities stay open and we don’t have to go through this again. Because that would be awesome.

It’s a good thing  I was planning on today being a relaxing day because my munchkin woke up at 4 a.m. after throwing up all over herself. Thankfully, that’s been the only time so far, but she says her tummy still hurts and she doesn’t want to eat anything.

So, my sweet baby is spending the day on her comforter, which I fluffed up for her to lay on, watching Dora. Not a bad way to spend a sick day. (And, no, I don’t just put towels over my daughter. I tried a blanket but she INSISTED on a towel. Whatever floats her boat.)

I hope I can get some food into her at some point today, but for now, I’m glad that I at least got her to drink some watered-down Ginger Ale. I was hoping the bug that’s going around would skip our house, but I guess we’re just not that lucky. Hopefully, this is the worst of it, and we’ll all be on the mend soon. My plan is to write about Halloween later today. We had a blast (well, as much as I could two days post-surgery), and Lucy got quite a haul of candy, which she refuses to eat. That’s fine. It just means more for Mom and Dad!

Sinus Surgery, the Sequel

Remember how I had sinus surgery last year? And how not fun the recovery was? Yeah, well, it looks like I’ll get to relive that. Hooray.

Well, it turns out the sinus my doctor operated on last year is completely open and looks perfect. But, the other ones? Not so much. There is not one bit of air in them. which is what’s causing the sinus pressure I’ve been experiencing and the recent chronic infections.

At least there’s an answer. That’s a good thing. My CT scan could have shown every sinus open and clear, which would have left us wondering what is causing me to feel so badly. Thank goodness that was not what happened. But, as much as I want to feel better, I’m dreading this surgery. The recovery wasn’t fun last time. Neither was the post-op visit. And, re-reading my post from last year is making me dread this even more. I just hope the result will be worth all the pain and misery.

Why My Christmas Kind of Sucked

Sure, there were parts of Christmas that were a lot of fun, like watching Lucy open her presents, but the rest of it was pretty darn miserable.

The Tuesday before Christmas, I had a Reclast infusion. Reclast is a medicine for osteoporosis, and as a once-a-year medicine, I was happy to choose that over the weekly pills. I sat in the infusion room and played on my iPhone for about 45 minutes, and then it was off to the lab to have 15 — yes, FIFTEEN — vials of blood drawn.

Then, I headed home. I was feeling fairly light-headed, which I attributed to the fact that I had just had FIFTEEN vials of blood drawn on an empty stomach (I kind of didn’t have any time before my appointment to eat). I grabbed some french fries and a Coke to see if that would help, and relaxed on the couch when I got home.

The next day, I still felt bad. I would get very light-headed and dizzy, and I started to get nauseous. That night, I spiked a fever. We called my rheumatologist’s office and were told that if the symptoms lasted several days post-infusion to call my primary care doctor. We thought for sure I’d be feeling better by Thursday.

Unfortunately, I was much worse. By then, I couldn’t even sit up without feeling like I was going to pass out. My primary care doctor worked me in, and we headed off soon after I got up. I almost passed out sitting in the chair to have my vitals taken, and they sent me directly to the ER. They offered to call an ambulance, but Joe said he would drive me. I kind of wish we’d taken them up on the ambulance because then I would have gone right back!

We waited for a while (no surprise there) before finally being called back. I was feeling H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E. A friend of ours came to get Lucy (so grateful!), and we settled in for the day. Because we were there the WHOLE day. I had a chest x-ray done (during which I almost passed out because I had to stand), I had a CT scan done, I had a EKG done and I had blood drawn. The best part was the IV meds (although the nurse took out the IV from where she originally placed it and moved it, which kind of sucked). The zofran really helped with my nausea, and the morphine eased some of the EXCRUTIATING pain in my joints and muscles (what? I didn’t mention that before? Yeah, apparently that’s one of the side effects, too). However, nothing seemed to help the light-headedness and dizziness.

When we got home, I walked Joe through some of the things I needed to do as guest editor for one of the Patch sites (and, yes, I had been working from my phone while in the ER) and just rested. The ER doctor gave me a prescription to help with the dizziness, and it really did work. It was a lifesaver. We laid low at the house, and Joe helped me with work again on Friday. Because he’s awesome like that.

On Saturday, we headed up to my parents’ house. I was feeling OK, but I would start to feel bad again if I’d been on my feet too long. After our traditional Christmas eve dinner, I was feeling pretty dizzy, so I took a pill. However, it knocked me out. As in, I could barely keep my eyes open while we opened presents. I was so tired it was painful. It hadn’t done that the previous day, so I was pretty surprised.

I went to bed for the night around 8:30 p.m., and the pill knocked me out so much that I didn’t even hear Lucy and her
cousins running around the door to my parents’ living room for 30 minutes. Wow.

Sunday was a little better in the respect that I wasn’t super tired because I chose dizziness over being knocked out and missing Christmas dinner. I ended up taking a pill after dinner, and I slept the whole way home. Heaven.

Oh, and did I mention my dad was in pain from hurting his shoulder (for which he’ll be having surgery next week), and knocked out at times from pain meds? Yeah. He missed all of Christmas eve, which sucked because it is his favorite night of the year.

Now, I seem to be pretty much back to normal, and I couldn’t be happier. I won’t be taking Reclast again, though. My doctor and I will have to come up with another plan next year. My next post will be much more upbeat — Christmas pictures!

On Having Sinus Surgery

So, last Monday, I had sinus surgery. My doctor opened up and cleaned out three of my four sinuses. According to him, it went as perfectly as possible.

And, it was not fun. At.All. Joe had one sinus cleaned out and had a septoplasty done last year, and I saw how miserable his recovery was. Mine, while completely different, was just as miserable. I was off work and in bed all week, and some people commented that they didn’t think the recovery was that bad. That’s because they’ve never gone through it. You just can’t understand unless you’ve been there.

All week, I had this horrible pressure in my head, and I felt like I had the WORST sinus infection ever. It was awful. I took two Lortabs a day to help me sleep, but all that really did was knock me out. There wasn’t any relief while I was awake. And, I couldn’t sniff or blow my nose, which I reallllllly needed to do. I did cheat a couple times and blow my nose very gently. I also had to sleep with my head elevated, which means I now have a horrible muscle ache on the left side of my neck. All in all, a pretty miserable way to spend a week of vacation.

Yesterday, I went in to have the packing taken out. Luckily, my doctor only used two pieces of packing, unlike Joe’s, who filled his sinuses with packing. My post-op visit took 5 minutes; Joe’s took 30 minutes. They told me to take a Lortab on my way to the office, but that really didn’t do any good since it didn’t kick in until after I got home. Thank goodness it wasn’t TOO painful. There were two spots where it hurt. Other than that, it was just very uncomfortable. However, once the packing was out, it was like a 360-degree change. The pressure was suddenly gone. It was amazing.

I still have a sinus headache, which I’ve read is normal if you suffered from those before sinus surgery. However, I’ll probably call my doctor’s office on Monday just to be sure. I go back in a month to make sure everything has healed well. I’m expected a good report.

And, I hope to never, ever have sinus surgery again.

A Date with the OR

By this time on Monday, I should be in an OR in a deep sleep and on my way to *hopefully* fewer sinus infections.

I am having 3 of my 4 sinuses operated on. I’ve always gotten sinus infections, but recently I’ve been getting them every month or so. A CT scan showed that three of my sinuses — the maxillary, frontal and ethmoid — have openings that are the size of the point of a pencil. That means that when they swell and get infected, they completely close, whereas normal sinuses will still have an opening to enable everything to drain. Since my openings completely close, nothing drains, which explains all my infections and the constant pressure I have in my head.

I’m kind of nervous. I always get a little antsy when it comes to anesthesia because I always worry that I won’t wake up. But, the hospital where my surgery will be done is excellent, and I was very impressed with the pre-op workup that included blood work and an EKG. And, the ability to breath and not feel like my head is full of crud will be worth it.

Only 46 hours to go….

On Being 80

Hi. My name is Cady, and I have arthritis and cataracts.

Oh, yeah, and I’m only 31 years old. I’ve always said that I’m an 31-year-old trapped in an 80-year-old’s body, and now I’m feeling it more than ever. As you all probably know, I have rheumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed when I was 20, and I’m on a cocktail of meds to help keep it under control. And, because of my arthritis, I get to go take water aerobics classes at the senior aquatic center — as in senior CITIZEN aquatic center. Sigh.

Last Friday, I had my annual eye exam, and, since it was my first time seeing this optometrist, I told him that I had been told last year that I had cataracts. He told me that was highly unlikely given my age but, when he looked at my eyes, he confirmed that I do indeed have cataracts. Right now because of them, I’m barely seeing 20/20 with correction. He told me that if it gets to the point of seeing 20/30 or worse with correction, I’ll be looking at cataract surgery. Seriously. At 31 years old. Oh yeah…and guess what caused my cataracts — my arthritis meds!

See? I’m a freaking 80-year-old. I hate to think of what will happen next.