On June 11, 2020, I began my 59th year on earth. Seven days later, I stared up into my anesthesiologist’s eyes, asking for verification she would wake me up later that day.
In January, I had a consult with my Surgeon. After numbing my nostrils, she told me, “this will be uncomfortable” and proceeded to slide a thin scope up and down my nasal cavity. Uncomfortable was an understatement. She determined I had a broken deviated septum.
She gave me two options: 1) I could spray stuff in my nose, then flush my nose 2-3 times a day for the rest of my life; or, 2) I could be surgically operated on and improve my quality of life. I would be able to breathe, smell, and taste all from the result of a 75-minute procedure. What a deal!
Then we talked about recovery. Talk about letting the wind out of my already air deprived lungs. For seven days and nights after the surgery, I would have to sleep in a chair. What followed was much worse; I could not sleep with my c-pap machine (I have sleep apnea). It doesn’t matter if I am standing, sitting, or lying: without my mask, I am not sleeping. I thought, “What good is quality of life if after seven days I have no life?” I’m pretty sure sleep is required for the perpetuation of life. The Surgeon kept talking, leaving no doubt the healing process would hurt.
But, if I survived the 7-14 days, I would experience a “quality of life” not experienced in many years.
The Surgeon was speaking my language. I have told many couples at the onset of counseling: “This is going to get worse before it gets better!” It will get better for sure. I can paint some beautiful mind pictures, most of which are not initially believed but ultimately experienced.
Without exception, I have been right. It always got worse before it got better. Remember, healing hurts.
On this positive note, I will pause and complete this column in the next issue. In the meantime, let me know if I can help in any way.