Surgery Take Two - Thanksgiving Edition.
Hello,( it's me. )
HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE! ✨🙋
[ because i just coulllldnt resist. 😜 ]
Happy THANKSGIVING World! ( Errr, I mean... black friday? small business saturday? cyber monday? Who even knows what day it is... )
I must say, I had a pretty fabulous friendsgiving last night, and am just so thankful to have such awesome people in my life that inspire me to be my best.
It has been a hard few weeks after our vacation in London and Paris (for obvious reasons). I jumped right back into callbacks for a feature film the day after we returned from Paris which was awesome, and yet the next few days were... overwhelming to say the least. Last Friday, I underwent nose surgery and I had LOTS to do before I went under the knife. And before you say it, NO, I did not get a nose job. I like my nose. The majority of my fear going in to this surgery was that I didn't want my nose to look any different. [ I mean, I just want it like a little bit bigger... 💁 ] I just want to be able to BREATHE.
I knew that when my doctor, Anthony Jahn, walked in wearing a polka dot bow tie that I was in good hands.
I had what's called a septoplasty and a turbinectomy, all because of a deviated septum that since I moved to New York [ thank you air quality... ] has caused more and more sinus infections. When I joined a diving team a few years ago, I realized that this was something I was going to have to actually take care of eventually. Pretty much any physical activity was aggravating my nose, and that oh right, super sweaty environments and chlorinated pools are prime suspects for infections... awesome. So, since all of my deductibles had been met this year because of my knee surgery, it was time.
I knew going into the surgery that I wasn't going to be able to sing for about 10 days, and that I would be super congested for about a week... but it was hard to anticipate the lack of energy my body had after surgery. And honestly, I had no idea how much I touched my nose until I couldn't touch it at ALL! Truly, I think that doctors forget that not everyone has an effing 9-5 jobs where they just sit at a desk and type things when they tell people "oh, it'll be a quick recovery." Luckily, I knew better to trust when they said the pain would only last "a couple of days," but I still didn't know what to expect...
I will say, we did get some pretty awesome footage of me going into my surgery, so def look forward to watching that on the youtube someday soon. But for now, this will have to do:
I awoke in the Hudson Crossing Surgery Center in New Jersey to my nurse asking me if I'd like a Fig Newton or a Nutri Grain bar [Nutri grain, duh] as I slowly began to be fed some water one ice cube at a time. All I want is Greg's hand to hold. I can tell that I'm out of it, and that I need to move slowly and just breathe... Oh right, mouth breathing, awesome. I'm asked the always lovely question: "What's your pain on the scale of 1-10". My answer? Too much. I would like more pain medication please. Too be honest, I don't remember how much pain I was in, I'd say about a 5-6 and weirdly what hurt the most were my eyes and my teeth. Like, weren't they operating on my nose?! Wait, what? You taped my eyes during the surgery?! That would have been nice to know... ( This is apparently a very common thing during anesthesia to keep your eyes from drying out, but still - why they wouldn't tell me this before surgery is beyond me. ).
When I walked into the operating room carrying along my IV drip, I remember being very afraid of how legit it looked. (My knee surgery was in a very small room, or so I assume, maybe they moved me into a larger facility and I just have no idea??) Walking yourself into a large refrigerated room with those giant moveable lights up above me you see on TV, well, it was a tad unnerving. As the nurse began to hook up these air pressure machines that would massage my legs during the procedure to keep the blood flowing normally, I could sense the urgency in in the room to set me up as much as possible before I pass out. I'm asked again and again "How do you feel?" Honestly? I felt normal for longer than I expected, and I'm just trying to say anything humorous to take the fear off of what's about to happen. Of course, no one is laughing because well, they're too busy doing their job. Suddenly, my eyes feel different, and I alert the anesthesiologist that my vision is a little blurry. I know that this is it. I take some deep breaths. I pray for a safe surgery. And the next thing I know, ________.
I'd be quite interested to know what other jokes I tried to make after that. I hope at least SOMEONE laughed.
After the first 24 hours, I got the lovely task of removing the giant tampons that were stuck in my nose. A truly joyous task, [ and by joyous, I mean disgusting ]. These tampons had rubber straws inside them and as I began to slowly wiggle them out as instructed, the pressure in my nose would suck them back up. Clearly, they needed to be pulled out in one shot. A tear runs down my cheek and I take a deep breath. I really don't want to do this, but I know if I leave them in till Monday they'll just get infected. I took another deep breath and began to slowly pull on the straw with my tweezers. Mind over the matter. Oh God, when does this straw end?! So much mucus. Oh, and the best part? There's still one more to go. Thankfully, getting the second one out was much easier because of the additional airflow, but let me tell you, those straws were four effing inches long, and I got them out myself.
The pain in my eyes and my teeth continued over the next three days at a pretty intense level. I had expected to be using this time off to be doing a lot of video editing, not realizing that wearing contacts would hurt, and oh right, glasses rest on your nose. Nope. So, for the next 5 days I was completely blind and not able to talk very loud at all. Now a week later, I can't move my lips too much without it pulling on my nose, and I still can't speak very loudly, but I'm finally able to talk without too much soreness. It really just feels like I have a giant booger inside my nose that God dammit, I JUST WANT TO PICK. But, it's clear that what I think is a booger is actually just the scar starting to close and heal... so I guess it's a good thing.
Even if I was only allowed one glass of champagne while I watched the Thanksgiving day parade, and that I could barely smile as I met new friends that I'm sure just thought my face looked slightly off, I still had a really great week. I feel MUCH better than I did last weekend, and I know that pretty soon I'll feel better than ever. I am so thankful for Greg being there to help me get through yet another surgery this year (and hopefully the last). And like I said, I am just ready to BREATHE.
Till next time,
KEEP LOOKING UP.
<3 - Eoin Thomas