[LIFE] The Aftermath

Well, hello.

It’s been awhile. Lately it seems that hours and days just fly by as I slump around in lethargy. I’m not being lazy or anything, and I’ve been trying to get a few things done here and there. But it’s difficult to get on the computer until recently. Anyhow – I reckon I should talk about my experiences; reading about other’s first hand experience had helped me prepare for my recovery process as what as what to expect.

Procedures I underwent

1) Turbinoplasty
2) Septoplasty
3) Base tongue reduction
4) Epiglottis reduction
5) Hyoid suspension.
Time spent on surgical table: ~6 hours.

—–

Day 1

After receiving an IV drip and a slight brief, I was pushed into the surgical room. Because of my extensive surgery procedures, an entire team of surgeons were waiting for me. I was told that combining all the procedures weren’t a standard practise, but I felt fairly safe somehow. An assistant then placed a breathing mask over me, and I was told to think of a happy place.

I woke up a few good hours later.
I realised I was hooked up to Fentanyl, an opioid painkiller 50-100x stronger than morphine, but doesn’t last that long and is suited to deal with breakthrough pain. Doubtlessly, this is the most painful day. A controller was given to me to regulate the Fentanyl, whenever I felt pain, I was told to hit the button. There was also an intense need to urinate, but my body hasn’t full awoken yet; I was unable to stand or will my bowel movements. Honestly, that kind of hurt, a lot.

Coupled with dizziness, there’s also immense pain in my throat. The pain comes whenever I tried to swallow, and oh boy – it has the potential to drive you mad. That’s where Fentanyl comes into play. Though it hurts, my doctors told me that practising swallowing will aid in the recovery process. I also noticed a metre long, 0.5cm wide tube coming out of my throat. It’s to drain any blood discharges. Aside from some minor inconvenience, there’s isn’t much pain associated to it.

I vomited twice – it’s all blood.
Blood had started to clot inside of my upper airway, and gag reflex prompts me to vomit everything out. Most of it is black, though tinted red. It’s actually okay to have this happen, and you’d actually feel better after.

I couldn’t eat anything for the first day, and drifted in and out of sleep.

Day 2

I felt lousy. My entire team of surgeons came to visit me today, but I couldn’t speak. I communicated my worries through pen and paper and was reassured. In the afternoon, I was wheeled into another surgical room to have my nasal gauze removed. It’s quite a few inches long that dug deep into both my nasal canals. I was warned of the extreme pain prior, so I held the Fentanyl control in my hands, ready to press it.

Pain Scale – 10/10.

It’s one of the most painful experiences ever. I never knew how they fitted such a huge thing into my nose, but I couldn’t think straight due to the pain. As it was pulled out, I vomited blood (again) simultaneously. I dropped my controller out of shock, and grabbed at the nurse’s hand and gripped it tightly to ease the pain. Thankfully, she passed the controller back to me and the Fentanyl helped me cope with the pain. But even with it, it still hurt.
But I felt a lot better after that. That night, I was finally well enough to move out of the ER.

Day 3

My surgeons came and visited me every now and then, and my chief surgeon told me that I was recovering well and could be discharged today. I was overjoyed – there is nowhere better than home to recover.

But I still have the drainage bag tied to my neck though, so I carried around a red potion siphoning blood away from my neck for the next few days. A bin load of medication was also given to me. From here on out to Day 5, I could only manage eating soft foods. I didn’t really have appetite either.

Day 5

I’ got my “red potion” removed today. Things felt a lot better, but I’m still feeling pretty shitty. There’s no talking yet, perhaps only whispering. My doctors predict my speech would slowly return over the course of 1 month, minimally.
I’ve gotten a bit of my energy back, but I haven’t had the energy to get on the computer somehow. My books and music kept me company throughout the day, it’s quite therapeutic too…

Day 7

I can eat more foods now, and my appetite is gradually returning. However, things are not to be – I was stricken by a heavy flu infection.
I vomited some blood today, and was sent to the ER again. Thankfully, it wasn’t too serious and I didn’t have to stay the night. I continued to vomit phlegm through the night and felt better in the morning.

I returned to the hospital the next day to get my stitches on the neck removed.
Speech is still difficult, but manageable with some pain. Some syllables are impossible, though.

Day 11

My body couldn’t defeat the Flu virus, and my operation sites reopened without warning and I started bleeding all over again. Blood was streaming out both my noses and my mouth. Needless to say, I’m incredibly anxious. But being a medic back in those days, I kept my cool, got dressed and headed back to the hospital. There, the doctors worked to stop my bleeding and finally it stopped after a good 5 hours. I was held for observation for 3 hours, and returned home at 4am.

Day 12

After that event, my nose would bleed every now and then, so I had to keep a look out. It’s more of an annoyance than anything.
Before heading to bed, it started bleeding again at about 12am. It didn’t stop for another good 4 hours, but at 2am I was already so pissed that I decided to bake a cake in the meantime.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough ingredients. So I broke out a crockpot and cooked some broth for my family instead.

Day 14 (Today)

Admittedly, somewhere along the line I got fed up with myself and just wanted to go back to my usual routine as quickly as possible. I’ve been itching to make this post over the past few days, and finally, I’ve reached the point where I’m well enough to do so.

—–

I’m looking forward to more consistent posts, as well as taking active steps to move towards my dream of becoming a game commentator. I still don’t really have a voice though, so that’s a working progress.

portal cake
The cake from portal.

I don’t think I say this enough, and truthfully, I’ve stopped reaching out to a lot of people that I’ve once connected through WordPress Reader – but thank you.
Some way or another, chances are you have made an impact on the person I am today – and who I strive to be. I’d never have made it this far (300++ total followers!), and having the strength to trudge onwards on my path.

10 thoughts on “[LIFE] The Aftermath

  1. Wow! Are you alright? Very good descriptive use of what is going on, so you have that going for you. I hope things even out for you soon man.

    I felt pain just reading this. Get well soon man.

    Cheers! ^_^

    P.S.- I would have liked the blog post out of how well written it was for the most part and what it made me feel but then I thought, it seemed kind of morbid and could be taken the wrong way considering. I may still in the future, and if I do, know it is not because I am laughing at your pain, but because I empathize with you.

    1. Hahaha! Yeah, it’s rather disturbing to listen to; I had quite a few family members wince and grimace as I recounted the experience. I’d think it’s a kind of “once in a lifetime” thing.

      I’m feeling much better already, thank you:)

  2. Goodness, that all sounds so hideous. Get well soon!!
    Such admiration for your strength in getting through this, though. Keep it up! ‘Cause you’ll be okay and it’ll get better 🙂

    1. My chief surgeon warned me prior to the surgery that “This would be… an experience.” He DID NOT exaggerate one bit. Haha, thank you for the well wishes:)

  3. You are a trooper. Just reading this… I don’t want to imagine it. I would be in dead hysterics if this was happening to me. Therefore, you are such a trooper.

    More seriously though, keep it up man 🙂 You’ve got awesome strength for making it this far already without totally freaking out. I hope your journey through the lands of recovery eases up a bit, eh?

    And good for you, chasing your dreams! Progress is slow and most often sucks, but it’s so worth it 😀

    (P.S.: “but at 2am I was already so pissed that I decided to bake a cake in the meantime.” I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be laughing, but really?? You feel like baking a cake at 2am? Because you’re pissed? I become pissed when I try to bake cakes, not the other way around! This line is kind of awesome :D)

    1. I just baked a small batch of chocolate muffins too, it’s close to 1am here. Strange time to be making muffins, but I needed to let loose after I spent half a day studying programming and debugging(UGH). I have to say, I took up the habit after reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, where the protagonist dives into baking after being stressed out by school work(though she baked bread instead).

      Haha, it works surprisingly well!
      And no, I don’t think I’m the real trooper here; my nurses were. I definitely couldn’t have made it through without them. I’ve cried a few times in the first few days from the pain, and they were there to pick me up. I required a lot of maintenance as well; cleaning up my blood, walking, administering medication, etc. I couldn’t function on my own and desperately needed someone to fall back on. Knowing that I wasn’t their sole patient that day, and they still went above their line of duty to make sure I felt… safe.
      Commendable is an understatement.

      But yeah, I’m feeling a lot better already. Could manage to chew down some cookies today, so that’s good.
      Haha!

      1. Wow. That is really interesting, haha! I’ve certainly never had that relationship with baking but that sounds like a delicious stress reliever 😀

        Dude, that’s awesome. It’s really great, that there are people who will go above and beyond like that to make sure you’re okay, especially in the health field. I’m sure it’s not an easy job so good for them 🙂 Troopers indeed.

        That’s good, keep feeling better! 🙂 🙂

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