Friday, January 6, 2012

Sinus Surgery Update

I'm conscious and not drugged up and feeling pretty okay for a second, so I thought I'd pop in to update how yesterday's eventful day had gone.

Yesterday morning I had sinus surgery where my ENT, Dr. Thrasher, cleared all the gunk that had completely closed up every sinus passage and to further open up the passage openings. He gave me a 70% chance he was going to have to fix my deviated septum in my nose just to get up there.

This surgery was the result of about 18 months of sinus problems. It probably all got rolling with a couple bad colds during my pregnancy with Sophie. Then I just could never quite shake some sniffles since then even with a few occasional sinus infection treatments. Finally, in the last 6 months, I had lost my sense of smell.

Luckily, I have a pretty decent pain tolerance so when Dr. Thrasher saw my CT scan, he was floored. Most people would have been in pretty intense pain with what he was seeing. It was the beginning of December, and we had to postpone the surgery to January 5 because I'm the only one on a day-to-day basis who is making the New Years Double race happen. I'm happy for all the race week volunteers, but there's no one at my level in the process if I was sidelined.

When the doctor went in yesterday, he was amazed at what he saw. I was given the award for worst sinuses of the year by him, har har, and even though it's early in the year, he thinks it'll take most of the year before he has another person to rival my title. In fact, the buildup and pressure was so bad up there that it had now begun to actually bow the bone in my nose. Hmm, maybe that explains the headaches I'd been having off and on for a week. Good news is he didn't have to fix my deviated septum so that should speed up my recovery a little.

Surgery took 2 1/2 hours. I was completely out on general anesthesia for the surgery, so they got me up and moving around after about 1 1/2 hours after surgery was over. Steve went and picked up all my meds - still on steroids, plus Vicodin pain pills, plus an antibiotic. Well, Steve shows me the antibiotic and it's in the family of drugs that contains Levaquin. If you aren't familiar with Levaquin, heed this warning: this class of antibiotics has been found in patients to cause tendon rupture, particularly the Achilles tendon. So it's rare for it to be prescribed to athletes unless there's a lack of communication going on between doctor and patient, or it's really the only option. So you NEED to tell your doctor if you are a fanatical runner, and you should even ask, "Is this Levaquin or related to Levaquin?"

Dr. Thrasher knew all too well about my running, we'd talked about it quite a bit, so I was really surprised he would prescribe that. So a couple rounds with the doctor's call service, and now I'm on the phone with him directly. Looks like a case of managing expectations in my part and not 100% clear communication to a Type A athlete on his part. I had been told 10 days to 2 weeks totally off, and then I'd be able to go back to normal athletic activities. Well, Levaquin has been shown to cause problems for several days after the 10 day dose. So that was my issue with the doc is that I planned, when I was cleared in 10 to 14 days, to go back to heavy weight sets and 20 miles per week of running, maybe with speedwork or hillwork mixed in, and that's seeming to go against this. That's when we finally met eye to eye, and he now told me 10 days until I can start "light jogging" again and ANOTHER 7-10 days until I'm back to completely normal running and strength training workouts. Is there another drug antibiotic he could put me on so I wouldn't have that extra 10 days? No, not given what he'd given me in the past and how bad it was when he went up there in the surgery. So it'll be about 3 weeks before I'm back running. Since my miles were already low through December, I'm anticipating it taking some time to get my base back up.

Meanwhile, recovery's going okay. I'm pretty tired, but I managed to sleep off and on through the night. You bleed pretty continually although it's starting to be less and less each time I change the gauze. Without the mask with gauze across my face, you wouldn't know anything had happened. Bruising on the face would actually be considered a bad sign. I haven't taken a pain pill since 1:30 am, but may do a couple throughout the day if it helps me rest and recover.

And I live vicariously right now through all my runner friends. So I'll enjoy the next 3ish weeks of reading all your workouts, your runs, your races, while I recuperate! ...And I'm pretty worn out now, so back to bed!


  1. Thank u for the update!! Before you know it, you'll be lifting, sweating, and directing! Luv ya!

  2. Glad to hear things went well! You will be back running soon enough. Enjoy a little recovery and rest time! We will have to go catch up over coffee or something.

  3. Glad it went well!

    Now, take a deep breath (har har) and you'll be back on the road once the meds have cleared your system.

  4. First, glad that you're doing well and the procedure was (seemingly??) successful!

    I had a bad infection and was prescribed cipro which has the exact same warnings that you described. Of course, my doc had NO clue and I had to find out on my own via some WebMD research.

  5. I had a bad infection and was on Cipro this summer....during peak marathon training. I had to take 2 full weeks off and then had to easy into running. I was warned to really ease into it and not push it. Doctor said there was nothing else they could prescrib me :(

  6. 3 weeks off isn't too bad at all! I took 3 weeks off in Dec. just due to my body falling apart and burnout and it did me a world of good. Cheers to a speedy recovery!

  7. Glad to hear it went well! Sorry that the recovery isn't exactly what you expected! You'll be back in no time though!

  8. Can I ask did you have any side effects from the cipro. Did you calf or achilles ever feel "strange" or weak.