Before my septoplasty surgery the chain of events looked something like this:
So after a few GP appointments over the years (refer to part 1), I was finally referred to a specialist Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) consultant.
When I was told I had to have surgery, I was sent into a big panic which led to an almost-panic attack – never experienced anything like that before… I did end up at A&E and the doctor who checked me out said my lungs were fine, I was getting enough oxygen despite the blocked nose. This all put my mind to ease a little.
I eventually saw the ENT specialist not too long after the A&E trip. The appointment was not long at all. He further agreed that I would need the surgery as my left nostril effectively was 95% blocked. Both my GP and the ENT specialist implied that it was likely, if the surgery went well, that I would recover approximately 70% of its function.
You heard me, 70% – this was a bit overwhelming.
Fast forward to January 2019:
I received a surgery date for January 2019. What a relief I thought. Despite it clashing with university and having to apply for extenuating circumstances to ensure that I was able to recover properly over two weeks as the doctor recommended – I finally had my appointment. Pre-op was next, this happens two weeks before your surgery.
At my pre-op appointment, my mother came with me. I remember they ran an ECG, blood tests and the general hospital swab they make you do, to check for MRSA.
My weight and height were also checked – this type of surgery required me to go under general anaesthetic so these measurements were needed to find the right dosage.
Also, there was a lot of questions, regarding myself, activity and family history. It came up that my grandfather had a stroke a few years ago and he had an enlarged heart; additionally, my mother has a heart murmur. The nurse took note.
It was the morning before my operation and I had received a call.
“Hello, I’m afraid we have to cancel your surgery”
“Oh no, what’s happened?”
“The anaesthesiologist is not happy to put you under general until you have your heart checked”.
Oh boy, was I relieved but also, slightly disappointed that my struggle couldn’t be fixed sooner.
I finally got an appointment for my heart to be checked at the hospital. I had another ECG done and also an echocardiogram. None of these hurt or were invasive, at all.
So, my first surgery was cancelled and now my heart check up was complete. The results were sent over to the hospital where I was initially meant to have surgery.
Next, I called up and spoke to my consultant’s secretary who informed me I could book in for surgery as again, my results looked fine. Take number 2. This time, I think I had to change the date of my surgery again before finally having it done. We can say it was more of a 3rd time lucky process.
Day Before Surgery: 23rd July 2019 I was super anxious. I’ve never had surgery, ever. The fact that I almost did and it didn’t go through made this even more nerve-wrecking for me. I literally burst into tears and was comforted that everything was going to be okay. Although this sounds extremely over dramatic, I was genuinely super nervous – what if they fuck up my nose (appearance/functionality) more? What if I don’t wake up? What if, after what if. Soon, I felt more calm, taking comfort that maybe, just maybe, I’d be able to breathe like a normal human being.
Surgery day: 24th July 2019
Here goes. My surgery was booked in for 2pm. I was told that if any children were admitted to the ENT day surgery unit, they would have priority over me. Of course I was completely okay with that! If a child can go into some sort of surgery like this, I had no excuse to not go through with it…
I was seen at about 3pm, they went over what procedure I was having and that it was likely I’d be sent home the same day. As a woman, it was necessary to do a pregnancy test – they don’t let you go under general anaesthetic if you are pregnant. Everything done, I was ready and not pregnant.
I said bye to my parents and told them they could leave and come back later…
As this is already fairly long, I am going to post the second half of this tonight at 22.00 GMT. Stay tuned for what happens next in this septoplasty journey.