Monday, February 21, 2011

Sleek & Snotty Sinus Surgery

I don’t know how to properly convey my sarcasm of my recent news that I need surgery without offending someone-so I’ll skip the sarcastic comment and get right into the details.

I’m having surgery this Thursday. I still don’t know what I’m actually getting done, what time I’m having it, how long, etc. But the surgery center doesn’t seem to want to bore me with such unnecessary details or return my calls, so I will fill them in as best as I can.

My Ear, Nose, and Throat (“ENT”) for those us in the loop, said it’s technically 3 surgeries. I have made myself a punch card and have decided that whatever happens in life, I will submit this card on my 10th surgery and it better darn well be free. I mean if we do it for coffee, why not for surgeries? One word-Capitalism.

That is my digestive tract-in case you didn't recognize it in such detail and color.
The billing woman (yeah, they’re pretty good at calling to see if they get paid), listed off 3 different things that started with an S or something—but I didn’t really catch it. However, on my consent form, it states that the procedure will be a: “Septoplasty with a take down left Concha Bullosa with a Bilateral Maxillary Sinuplasty Balloon.” I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that’s a football play. I’m going to get in there and it’s going to be Felix with his helmet on talking jibberish to me and putting his paws up my nose. Oh but he’s still so cute!! I need to figure out a way to take a picture of the CT scan and put it on here, because that made it more clear. Not that my drawings aren’t medically accurate, but theirs are slightly more…drawn to scale. I actually should see if any medical textbooks want to purchase the rights to these drawings. In fact, although the Dr. wanted me to bring in my CT scan for reference, I should probably just bring in my drawings instead.

So the surgeries are to correct (which I had no idea I had) a deviated septum. This is probably why I can’t breathe out of my right nostril. I also have extra sinuses on the sinuses up by my nose and these are conveniently located right on the narrow part so that air/drainage, etc. can’t get through. From my understanding, the septoplasy is to fix the deviated septum and that balloon thing is similar to what they do in your arteries when they blow the balloon and sort of push the sinuses out of the way. I hope that as a souvenir from this surgery I get to keep it in the shape of a dog balloon animal!!! Ruff!

And yes, I had to googlesearch what I was getting done. I don’t know if I would have actually done it on my own if not for writing this post. Maybe I’m just too trusting. You want to knock me out and stick a bunch of balloons up my nose and cut a bunch of stuff? Yeah, sure, where do I sign? Okay, I looked up Concha Bullosa, because it sounds like a disease elephants get. I thought this might be the part related to another extra sinus or something in my nose that in the CT scan showed up as a big pocket of air, when the Dr. said it should be gray/matter-so he was going to slice it open or something. Here is what the Doctor of the Internet, Wikipedia, has to say, “Concha Bullosa is an abnormal pneumatization of the middle turbinate which may interfere with normal ventilation of sinus ostia and can result in recurrent sinusitis.” Yep, that helps-thanks Wikipedia. Oh okay, in the next sentence they dumb it down for us lay people: "Concha bullosa refers to an enlargement or ballooning of the nasal turbinate (which is a normal structure in the nose). Concha bullosa is a normal anatomic variant, but occasionally, a concha bullosa can be very large and contribute to sinus obstruction. In these cases, the concha bullosa can be reduced by surgery."

Part of why I finally got the CT scan, was years of repeated sinusitis/sinus infections.  Here are some "real" medical pictures.  Show offs.

Warning: Not an actual balloon

Oh Maxillary Sinus!  You're so tricky!
Let’s talk dollars and cents, with a lot more of the former than the latter. Since this is a brand new year (thanks 2011 for being so super sweet awesome thus far), it’s a brand new deductible. Last year I was lucky enough to reach my deductible somewhere around December 26. I went pretty crazy those last 5 days. Oh wait, no, I was working. Thanks 2010!! Man, I’m noticing a pattern….

Anyway, so since the hospital is being all “we want to get paid for providing services”-they’re asking for the remaining amount of deductible-up front, 2 days before. I debated writing on check “Please do not cash until February 24, 2018”-but I somehow think the joke would be lost on them. Plus, as we all remember from our Negotiable Instrument class in law school, writing that on a check doesn’t mean they can’t cash it. Damn you lady law!!!

Okay, I got distracted by Section 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code…that happen to anyone else? Yeah, then you are also really cool. So bad news is this is going to cost me some $$$, even better news is that I’m no longer going to be on Cobra at the end of this month, so I will: a) not have health insurance, and b) potentially have complications from the surgery.

This leads me to my (7th?) point, in my true melodramatic fashion, whenever anything slightly risky is going to happen to me, I like to mentally prepare for my untimely death. This involves, in no particular order, (1) flying, (2) surgeries such as this one involving general anesthesia and sharp objects cutting into my face and in the middle of my head, (3) my driving and semi-trucks, (4) flying, (5) downhill skiing, and (6) me and anything that can potentially burn me. This list is not exhaustive, but you get the idea. Basically, I am always prepared for the worst.

And what is the best way to prepare for a potential death or complications than to celebrate LIFE!! So please, join me at a happy hour tomorrow at Karma where they will be having a food and drink special of $10 all you can drink in honor of my surgery. Okay, this special might not be only in honor of me, but also because it’s Tuesday-but whatever, semantics. Please let me know if you need directions, if you are unaware, this was also the location of the extremely successful Team Challenge Fundraiser of 2010. I’m sure when we go in there will be some sort of plaque or memorial, I really hope it’s bedazzled. Oh man, I need to put those pictures up of that bedazzled jar. It’s amazing what happens when my creativity is allowed to roam free, and I get to play with sparkling things.

Okay completely lost my train of thought there. Oh yeah, surgery. This is serious stuff people! Well, I think that’s about it. I think I’m most apprehensive about what it will be like after the surgery. I’ve read stories where people are really fatigued for 2-weeks, heard about the pain, etc. But then I am also excited to think I might be able to breathe (and possibly run??) better. It is with mixed emotions that I contemplate the loss of my snot rockets. While they are really annoying, distracting, and an inconvenience to say the least, especially indoors, I feel like I do them so much that they are integral to my athletic endeavors-my theme of “mud, snot, and tears”---will be missing one of the 3 amigos.

I will be grateful for the money I will save on 3,000 boxes of kleenex, doctor visits, antibiotics, over-the-counter medications, etc. I even tried a Netty-Pot. This is a pot, that you sti c k in your nose and use to flush out your sinuses. The saline goes into one nostril, through the sinuses, and out the other nostril. I should have figured out I have a deviated septum when I tried to do this and got saline all over the sink/down my throat, etc. on one of the sides. But besides that, it worked really well and it looks sexy, so really a win-win.

That is actually about the size of my nose.

1 comment:

  1. There is a lot of help with surgeries available today.But make sure you are with a specialist to avoid any complications.Nice little sketches to describe your thoughts.