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In-Office Nasal Polyp Removal

New Sinus PolypYesterday was another ENT visit to Dr. Tabor at the USF Health building on the TGH campus. He’s really growing on me; great chair-side manners, very knowledgeable and confident, and the technology he uses that lets me see what he’s doing fits me perfectly. Like usual, he hit “record” on his high-definition scope for this visit, and I’m so glad he did! He found a small polyp growing in my right side that was nearly coming out of my frontal sinus opening, and therefore completely blocking it from draining.

This is why I have monthly appointments – that polyp was not there 4 weeks ago to the day.

The video below is a tad graphic, so if you can’t handle blood or fluid, I’ll let my mild description be enough for you. Don’t worry, I won’t be too graphic in my description for you, unless your stomach is extraordinarily weak – in that case, I can’t help you; I’m biologically gross because of CF.

When Dr. Tabor saw the polyp’s location, he decided he wanted to remove it… now. [Read more…]

Surgery Day Has Been Canceled

Jesse chowingToday was my last-ditch appointment with my ENT before my scheduled pre-op on Tuesday. To say things went great would be the understatement of 2011. I’d like to celebrate with another one of those Pink’s hot dogs.

He started off by asking me how my symptoms have been and I had to admit that, though I have a headache nearly every day still, they are not debilitating like they were before Christmas. It’s definitely controllable with my Ultram and I’m very able to function with that, even more so than I was with Vicodin, as that at least made me a bit sleepy and has a distinctly more narcotic effect. He reminded me that the surgery he had scheduled was going to have a “prolonged recovery” compared to the one in January, too.

So, up my nose he went (after numbing, of course) to take a closer look at how things had been since I got the PARI Sinus (note I didn’t say SinusStar) and vancomycin to see how that took care of my infection. Last time, he immediately mentioned a polyp. This time, he went in both sides twice with no mention, so I asked, “how’s the polyp look?” “I don’t see one,” he replied. He checked his dictation notes from my last visit and saw the mention of a polyp, but let me know it was gone!

He kept saying how great things looked, too. I had quite a bit of crusting, and the smell burst forth as he dislodged one. Both sides were pretty crusty, even by my standards, but he insisted that my tissue was looking much healthier and he wasn’t at all enthusiastic about operating on me in this condition.

We decided then and there to cancel surgery and keep me on a 3-week on, 3-week off schedule of vancomycin and go back in a month to see if things have improved even more.

In an effort to shame Tampa General Hospital (TGH), they have instituted a campus-wide “no free valet parking” for patients. What was once a pleasure to be treated with such respect as a patient who was often there 2, 3, 4 times per month, we now have the privilege of being charged $5 to use valet or $3 to park in the garage and walk to the building through the hot, muggy Florida air. Thanks a lot, suits. You suck. Needless to say, the valet did not get a tip from me, as they usually do.

There and Back Again: Surgery Recap

Post-OpMaybe Number Ten is a lucky number, at least regarding sinus surgeries. Here’s a recap of both my sinus history and this latest one.

I had two or three in Ohio by the time I was 16 and then the next 5 or 6 in Tampa with one ENT by the time we got married when I was 27 with Number 9 being with a new ENT after my long-time ENT retired. That was in October. Fast-forward 2 months and my headaches were nearly describable.

A new CT scan showed my sinusitis was worse than before my surgery, but this test result came after an overnight O2 test and a full sleep study that put me on an AutoPAP for nighttime desaturation, a common cause of late morning headaches. The CT scan led to a second opinion with a doctor who operates out of the same hospital as my CF center, and he suggested a cleaning under general anesthesia with some reconstructive work on my septum as a therapeutic option because he wasn’t able to physically access many of my issues in the office due to my anatomy as-is. Surgery was scheduled for January 6th.

My calendar tells me that today is the 8th now. Surgery feels like months ago already because this was (by far, without exception or exaggeration) the absolute best surgical experience I’ve ever had… with very few hiccups.

[Read more…]

Fatboy’s Top 10 List of Surgery Fun

DruggedBeing my 10th surgery that I remember (my surgeries at birth are obviously pre-memory), I have a decent amount of experience to draw from for looking for the silver lining related to surgery. Sure others have more experience in the surgery department, but this is definitely my personal top 10 fave things based on my experience:

  1. Pigging out until midnight has long been a favorite pre-op ritual for as long as I can remember. Who wouldn’t want to stay up late eating steak, rice, and lots of drinks before being starved half to death the next day?
  2. Now that I have a port, I am allowed to both be pleased to out-smart the staff by coming in pre-accessed and annoyed when telling them to walk away from me with either the IV kit or port kit, with the former being a bigger sin since my port is in my pre-op paperwork.
  3. Getting to be cared for the top-notch staff in a hospital is a nice treat. The people in the surgery center are the best, probably only bested by transplant teams. I simply love getting the best care available, even if only for a couple of hours.
  4. Ever since my first sinus surgery, I’ve remembered the operating room being cold and getting a hot blanket straight out of the dryer, or seemingly, an oven. That sure makes you feel cozy no matter how stressed before.
  5. This one is new, but thanks to technology, I loved doing Facebook and Twitter action before and after. Having all of one’s friends (local and Internet-based) watching over your progress and cheering you on really helps pass the time and lift the spirits.
  6. Morphine. Need I say more?
  7. Getting to sit on my butt for 2-4 days afterward and be afforded some extra level of “let me do that for you” is really nice. It’s 100 times harder for me than it used to be now that I’m a (read the) provider [role] for our family, but I’ll be able to fully stick to that plan to recover fast because I won’t feel like I have to work to put food on the table this time. Quite a blessing to be cared for such a beautiful and caring Beautiful.
  8. That shot of Ativan in pre-op right before they wheel you into the OR is fantastic (see photo above for visual proof)! If I were to consciously choose to be a druggie, I’d do Ativan. Of course, I wouldn’t do any work, we’d run out of money, we’d lose our house and my health insurance and I’d die within a few months, but I’d die relaxed, eh? Okay, bad idea, but that’s some really good stuff.
  9. Waking up a split second after closing my eyes in the OR is the freakiest thing in the world, and I love it! I could definitely do without the traditional question of asking the nurses for the license plate number of the semi truck that hit me in the face, but you can’t beat that wild trip doing anything legally.
  10. Waking up and seeing Beautiful come to my bedside in recovery (before we were even dating once) each of the last 3 times is something I always remember and will always look forward to. What a woman!

Tomorrow, given the time and boredom not granted while being constantly tended to or asked questions or told what to expect or spending quality time with Beautiful, I’ll be writing another post from the bowels of TGH before my purported 10am surgery. Maybe it’s not so realistic to expect one from me, but maybe something will pop up on Kristinology during surgery or post-op, so be sure to check there if nothing is happening here. We will likely be requesting to stay the night due to my bleeding and motion sensitivity that I experienced in October.