Sunday, June 12, 2022

Bloons*

 I know, I know, it's Sunday, not Monday.  Sarge's not giving any advance notice of going blog AWOL will upset my knowledge of WTF day of the week it is ,badly.  You see retired life means every day is Saturday, except Sunday which is Church and Blog Writing day (CBW day for those raised in the acronym world).  So every other day is CBW plus X.  So, that day that you working stiffs celebrate the arrival of (i.e. TGIF) is merely CBW +5.

So...Forgive me if I'm a bit out of whack this week.

A while back, I'd had been sitting in my easy chair reading a book when I feel my stuffy nose begin to run.  Pretty shortly there after, I feel a drop release (yes, Beans, as I'm reaching for a tissue EWWW!) and splat on the page.  Unfortunately, it is blood.  

Important note to self, when nose is bleeding, blowing it is ill-advised.  Bleeding continues, so Mrs. J issues an edict to call the ER and describe the problem.  Come on Down!.


Pack it with gauze, pinch it shut and set up an appointment the next day with an ENT MD.

Dab it, the ENT MD said, the following morning.  Somewhat late to the fight.

So, during that enlightening visit, the blood vessels in the offending nostril get cauterized.  Which sounds much worse than it was.  A bit of numbing spray in the nostril, then a bit of cauterizing fluid.  Problem solved.

Then they did a cat scan of my sinuses which discovered my right maxillary sinus, as opposed to frontal, ethmoid or sphenoid sinuses, is almost completely clogged.  (OT, Why couldn't doctors name them Cheek, Forehead, Eyes Front, Eyes back? I guess that's why they make the big bucks.)

So, Doc, what's next? 

Well, juvat we're going to do a sinuplasty.  (juvat, stop using those big words, we know you fighter pilots are limited to words 4 letters long! Yes Sarge.) Well, what he intends to do is stuff a balloon up my nose and into the various sinuses and inflate it.  This will force any crap (See Sarge? Four letters) in there to drain out. Some of that will be sucked out by a vacuum (Hoover I believe), a lot will go down the throat.  

Oh goody, when can we do this?

It happened Thursday.  Like most things in life, the anticipation is the hardest part and I was reasonably surprised when his nurse checked my blood pressure as part of the pre-op process to see it was only in the mid-120's.  


I'm sure I was told what the thing on my forehead was for, However...Haven't a clue. Yes, Meds have taken effect

That might, just possibly, be due to the Valium dose I was told to take 1 hour prior to arrival, however.

The procedure itself was interesting.  And much less stressful than the level I had worked myself up to imagining.  Pain?  Not so much, well within tolerance.  Worst was the lidocaine shots to numb.  Couple of interesting parts of the process were the sounds as he inflated the balloon.  There were quite audible cracking noises.  He'd warned me that would happen, but I didn't think to ask him what caused them.

Cowardice under fire, juvat?  Perhaps.

I had my eyes closed for the entire procedure on his recommendation.  Fluids doncha know?  So, the other interesting thing was when he was working on the sinuses around the eyes.  I could actually see a change in the darkness of my eyes as he moved the balloon around.  He said this was caused by the pressure in the sinus causing a slight change in the sinus size which put additional pressure on the fluid in the eyes.

Who knew?

The whole thing took about 30 minutes.  After which, extensive verbal instructions were given to, and promptly forgotten by, me.  Fortunately, Mrs. J had not taken any of the various relaxants/pain killers that I had and, as usual, was able to take charge and keep me out of trouble.

The one thing I remember him saying, was that recovery could take about a week and would involve stuffy/runny nose as the primary symptom. He said it was extremely important during that week not to blow my nose.

He is right about the stuffy/runny nose part.  However, I'm learning that my Parent's instruction in my formative years to blow my nose when it runs is ingrained very deeply in me.  It is extremely difficult to feel my nose run, reach for a Kleenex and, as I'm putting it to my nose, remind myself to "Dab, Don't Blow!

If I've grossed anyone out, Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.  I'll do better tomorrow.

Peace Out, Y'all!

*Bloons TD6 is my go to game when I'm waiting/wasting time.

44 comments:

  1. I always wondered what that procedure involved. Very good play by play. Since you sat through the procedure, I'd say courage under inflation. I wonder if that was a headlight mount they stuck on the helmet rest? Vewy intwesting.....

    Rest easy Juvat. Sure beats what they did to the alligator in the Johnny Horton song about the Battle of New Orleans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STxAR,
      Thanks. I don't think it was for a headlight, although the Doc had one as well as one in the probe. Amazing how small they can make things nowdays that still function as required.
      Agreed about the alligator.

      Delete
  2. Huh. And no, I am smarter. I will be super interested to hear what difference it makes (I have noticed as I have gotten older, something has gone awry with my sinuses as well: once I get a sinus infection it takes weeks for it to clear up). Follow the doctor's instructions of course, and prayers up!

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    Replies
    1. THBB,
      Still very much in the recovery phase (stuffy/runny nose), however for a period of time (thankfully getting longer daily) after I take my meds, I can breathe much better than I could before. So here's hoping. The downside now is that when the meds where off the stuffiness comes back. This is generally around meal time. My Mantra for meals is "Small bites, chew fast, swallow, breathe!" I've been refreshed on my Hypoxia (oxygen starvation) symptoms a few times lately.

      Delete
  3. Keepenit reeealll.

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  4. Huh.......when I looked up the word "mellow" there was your second photo........:) Let's hear it for Valium! Somehow, I think that whenever I read the word "cracking" in the future this post will come to mind. Good to read that the procedure went as expected juvat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nylon,
      Yep, I was a pretty happy yet mellow camper at that point. Thanks, as I've mentioned things are getting better each day and I'm still within the window the Doc advised would still be symptomatic, so progress is good.

      Delete
  5. I keep trying to remember just which grade X sci-fi movie that pic reminds me of - it'll come to me any moment now.
    "If I've grossed anyone out..." Gross me out - highly doubtful! And my first name really is "Very".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boron,
      Well...It's not for lack of trying.
      Thanks

      Delete
  6. What keeps me functioning. https://navage.com/ I have lifelong clogged sinus problems and this appliance helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WSF,
      Neti Pots and Sinus Rinsing twice a day are mandatory parts of my recovery procedures, plus antihistamines and flonase. The latter two are old friends, the first is taking a bit of getting used to. Again, not as bad as I thought it would be, but not exactly fun either.
      Thanks

      Delete
    2. Juvat, Neti pots are righteous! I use one every day I'm home and miss it on the road. Ensure you BOIL the water proof (much prior) to filling the pot. Aviators and divers know how important clean, clear sinuses are.
      Boat Guy

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    3. I'm a bit ambivalent about them right now. Worked great last week, Yesterday and today within an hour of using them I'm bleeding through the nose again. Stops with pressure after half an hour or so. If it happens again tomorrow, it's Call the Doc time.

      Delete
  7. Hope you are better sooner. I had something similar done 3 years ago. However, they knocked me completely out. It was a mess afterwards. The ENT doc who did it said he has seen increasing numbers of people that have fungal infections in their sinuses. I am/was one of those.

    Juvat, Mrs BillB and I were in your neck of the woods this past Tuesday. We were just touristing. We needed a break from Bandera. We had lunch at a place called "Burger Burger". Not a bad flat top sandwich.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BillB,
      I wonder if the increase is based on the increased use of CPAP machines, or more accurately the increased use of not well sanitized CPAP machines. The Doc did lecture me quite sternly about the latter..
      I try to stay off Main Street as much as I can, but within a block or so of Burger Burger are two places we really like to go. Otto's is a block north and east of it and serves good sandwich/burgers also and has a nice outdoor seating area (yeah I know...It's been 100+ here several times in the last couple weeks. They've got inside seating also.) The other is West End Pizza. It's a block south of BB. Really nice wood fired pizzas. Indoor & Outdoor seating also.

      Delete
    2. CPAP usage may be part of the overall problem. I used one for a few years but quit using it for reasons. The cleaning instructions 17 years ago were not quit as stringent as they are now. The ENT who did the cleanout placed the start of my fungal infection close to the same timeframe as the use of the CPAP. However, he related some stories that had nothing to do with CPAPs. My wife and I had already reached the conclusion that the CPAP was causative in my case.

      Otto's and West End Pizza, I will remember for the next time we come up to the 'Burg. We were on Main Street because we were "touristing".

      Delete
    3. Bill,
      The ENT's instructions had me off the CPAP the first night. I didn't sleep worth a darn. Second night was way better with it. But...I did learn my lesson. Gonna be a lot more regular on swapping parts out and cleaning tubes and such.
      Re: Ottos/West End. Sarge has my email. Ask him what it is and next time you're in the area maybe we can work out a face to face.

      Delete
    4. Juvat, I ditched my CPAP for a dental appliance years ago; works very well and Bride is much happier not listening to CPAP. Check with your dentist about an appliance, there are several available.
      Boat Guy

      Delete
    5. BG,
      I think I tried one of those during the CPAP workup and it wasn't especially effective. I will, however, ask just in case things have changed. Thanks

      Delete
  8. The next time one of our inexpensive wall clocks quits working, I'm going to make a face where there are only three segments of 120 degrees each, and mark them, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. Then I will park the clock hands in the middle of Today and label the clock Retirement Time.

    Good to hear that the process went smoothly. I've been lucky that my broken nose hasn't really caused any problems.
    A Navy doctor told me that my nose could be fixed, and it would be a simple process involving numbing and then re-breaking my nose. I thanked him and said I would think about it. That was nicer than telling him no, and asking if he was insane.

    Will the procedure have a positive change in the long run?
    I'd not remembered that conversation until I read the blog today.

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    Replies
    1. JiP,
      As I mentioned in an earlier response, I'm feeling more confident that it will be a positive change. The periods of time when I can breathe well through my nose are getting longer, So, as Bill Murray is wont to say "I've got that going for me." Fortunately this procedure didn't involve re-breaking my nose. I'd have been pretty reluctant if it had.

      I like the clock Idea, retirement notwithstanding. Today is the only day that matters. You can't do anything yesterday and you may not get tomorrow.

      Delete
  9. First off, the streak is alive, thank you for that. Secondly, "Ouch, ouch, ouch ..."

    As I sit in the sun, down here below the Mason-Dixon Line, I ...

    Yup, vacation, haven't actually seen the sun yet, but it's coming.

    Get well soonest, that is directive in nature. 😁

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will do. Sun? I'd be happy to send you some. Triple digits didn't use to bother me much. Now? Well...
      Glad you're enjoying a well deserved vacay. Apropos of nothing whatsoever...When is RTB?
      Getting Well Soon, Aye!

      Delete
  10. Medal is in the post! When I had a ‘procedure under a local anaesthetic (invasive, per osophegus (wrecked ‘em? Very nearly), the pretty nurse actually held my hand as I watched the drone pilot steer his remote way down! After he’d completed his recce/wreckkie and the drogue was withdrawn I thanked the lovely lady, but bravely stated that I was ok, even without her holding my hand. She smiled sweetly and said it was nothing personal but just in case I panicked (as some do) and tried to pull it all out. I smiled, but inside I was heartbroken.
    Hogday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hogday,
      I can understand that. For whatever reason, the couple of times I've had that procedure it's been lights out til over. No options available. I don't think I'd take that route (figuratively speaking of course) if they were.
      Thanks

      Delete
  11. Am I having déjàvu?
    I’ve think I read the same story with same pics just a few months ago.
    Or it was a different site with the same pics.
    OR dèjávu exists for real.
    Swear I’ve read this same story before. I’m telling Sarge you’re just recycling old stories while he’s gone. And on a Sunday! Shame shame

    =D

    Franknbean

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    Replies
    1. First picture was from the ER visit Mid May. Second picture was from this visit and, hopefully, was more about the sinuplasty.

      Delete
  12. Ok, Valium explains the slightly stoned look on your face in the second photo...I was thinking "boy, he is on something gooood" when I read the text under the photo.
    My totally WAG is that the forehead decoration is part of the ultrasound set-up so the doc can better see your sinuses on the screen behind your head...complete WAG, but there it is...never did ENT medicine. Although I have (firmly) held hands with patients over the years, and heads on little ones who were otherwise restrained by a papoose board, to help them hold still, and prevent unanticipated "helpfulness", like yanking stuff out.

    (Totally OT--if there are young ones under age 4 in the home, DO NOT have a coffee table, of any sort, as there is an almost magnetic-like attraction between the chin/lip/forehead/eyebrow of said under-4year-old and the corner of any coffee table in the home. The percentage has got to be at least 97%. This was from when I was working urgent visit/on-call back in the 80's and 90's, used to have 2-3/weekend shift...can't see that kids have gotten any less klutzy, just saying.)

    And, yes, the "numbing shot" is always the most painful part of the procedure...at least if it is done correctly.
    Congrats on positive progress!! May it continue!!!

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    1. Suz, "Slightly" aren't you the Mistress of the Understatement?

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  13. Suz, now that you mention it, I think your hypothesis about the thing on my head is correct. The nurse said it would make things easier to read and keep things straight. Valium once again, but I interpreted that as a little notepad thing that he'd be writing note like "turn left here". As I said, I was pretty much completely out of it. I did however get a chuckle when I told a Dad Joke. Don't know what it was though. He said something later and he and the nurse laughed. I didn't but i thought the statement was non-situationally sensible. After a several second pause, he said "That was a Dad joke also.". I did apologize when I left for not laughing. I never want to discourage Dad Jokes.

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  14. A friend years ago told a story about someone who had put both hands through a glass door on a Sunday afternoon. A not-too-happy surgeon had his weekend off interrupted to stitch up the numerous lacerations. As the patient began to wake up, he slammed both hands down, pulling out some of the stitches. The disgusted surgeon cold-cocked the patient right on operating table. No further anesthesia was needed for the restitching. The sore jaw was explained to the patient as a rare side effect of the anesthesia used...

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    1. I can see that, he wakes up from anesthesia and spasms, a different type of anesthesia which is VERY rarely used is applied. Yep, It's my story and I'm sticking too it. Wouldn't want to frequent that Doctor though.

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  15. Nice grody story! God bless and here's to a quick and successful heal.

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    1. Thanks, Suldog. Grody but Nice...Just where I was aiming! ;-)

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