Yesterday I underwent a septoplasty, a surgical procedure designed to open up air passages in my nose. I have had difficulty breathing out of my nose most of my life and my doctor finally convinced me that I should do something about it. Amusingly enough, the need for the procedure was accelerated by my fall from a faulty chair in December. Both my father and my brother have undergone this procedure in the past and are much happier for it. Yesterday was my turn.
Contrary to my expectations, I was a bit nervous. This never happened in the past. When I had a surgery on my finger in 2001, also under general anesthesia, I did not have a care in the world, went into the surgery and joked my way in and out. This time around, I felt some degree of unease the night before and in the morning I was moderately freaked out. The situation was made worse by the fact that it took Shannon and I 50 minutes to make what is normally a 10 minute drive to the surgical center due to inclement weather bad choices made by drivers around us. A “bad” choice by fellow drivers is defined as any decision that makes our drive longer than it otherwise might be.
When we finally arrived at the surgical center at 180 Sawgrass Drive, we learned that many of the nurses were late to work for the same reason, so there was no need to worry about anything. I was called in quickly, asked to get into a hospital gown, lie down on the surgical bed and stay calm. A very nice nurse named Nadia noticed that I was fairly nervous and asked me if I normally have caffeine in the morning and after seeing my reaction, before I could even utter a word, she contacted the anesthesiologist for a permission to pump caffeine directly into my IV! When Shannon was allowed to come in to the room and I told her about the caffeine IV, she thought I was being funny, not an unusual occurrence. But then she noticed my transformation from slightly nervous to upbeat and outright giddy. I did not realize that my addiction was this pronounced.
Shannon decided to take a video of me right before surgery where I described to her all the things I needed to do that day. I am still trying to figure out how to upload this video onto my blog, but I am guessing it is just a matter of time. The funniest part of the conversation was when Shannon asked me whether I plan to do all the things I listed under anesthesia. When I said that this is not possible, she exclaimed: “What do you mean it is not possible?! You are Alex Iosevich!”
I had several interesting visitors before I was carted off to the operating room. The anesthesiologist, a very nice man, came in to explain to me what is going to happen and to warn me about the risk of stroke or death under anesthesia. I had so much caffeine in my system at that point, that I could not care less. Keep pumping that caffeine, I was thinking, and you can do what ****ing ever. Wow.. I need to start limiting my intake. Then the surgeon came in, a highly entertaining fellow, and cracked a few jokes with me, told me that everything is going to be fine, explained that septoplasty and sinoplasty are not quite the same and left. Then another nurse came in and when I mentioned what the anesthesiologist said, assured me that I am not going to get a stroke and I am not going to die. She then told me that she will pump another drug into the IV that is going to “relax” me. This is the last thing I remember before I woke up after the surgery.
Right after waking up in the post-op room, I was immediately struck by the fact that I can breathe out of both nostrils. I am not sure that this ever happened before in my whole life. The first thing I wanted to do after waking up is to look at the pictures of Joshua and Nathan. This made me feel incredibly good. Shannon was right there to tell me that the surgery went extremely well, the doctor came in to give me a report and advise me on post-op care and then the nurse brought me clothes and that was it! By 3:03 p.m. Shannon and I were home and I went straight to sleep under the influence of vicodin, the wonder drug that does wonders. I understand Dr. House so much better now, so much better!
The afternoon and evening were very pleasant. Shannon brought me my favorite food, peanut pork fried rice from Masoman, a local Thai/Vietnamese restaurant. I talked to my parents on the phone and then talked to my lil’ bro Sam on SKYPE and received many very nice get well messages by email, skype and text. I slept downstairs by the TV set in order to be able to watch when I was awake without bugging Shannon. Mason slept curled up right next to me. He is the cutest doggie in the history of the world.
This morning, I woke up feeling a bit worse than yesterday, but a bagel, tea and vicodin quickly turned things around. I am now watching CNN, writing in my blog, talking to Shannon and feeling like a million bucks! If you never had septoplasy, go and get one now!