Monday, September 28, 2009

Grapes, Apples & Mohegan Sun

What a wonderful weekend we had! Saturday morning our friends Toby & Amy came up from NYC to hang out for the weekend. We started off the day with a trip to Gouveia Vineyard in Wallingford, Connecticut for some wine tasting and scenic views. For only $5 a person we got to try 6 different wines, and keep the wine glass! The views were beautiful and the weather was perfect (just enough fall chill in the air).

Toby, Amy, me, Jeff

We then drove up the road to Lyman’s Orchard to pick Toby up some ‘Apple Cider Donuts’, the line was long but it was well worth the wait! From there we drove back to New Haven’s East Rock, where you can see the entire city of New Haven and in the distance Long Island.

The wine was beginning to wear off so we just did a ‘drive-thru’ tour of Yale/New Haven downtown.
After about an hour of decompressing we took Amy & Toby to Barcelona, a Spanish Tapas’ restaurant, which was fabulous! After some Blood Orange Margaritas & Old Fashions’ we were ready for some couch time and a movie. Jeff & Toby decided on the movie “I love you Man!”, and after about 45 minutes Amy and I both crashed. So I guess the movie was okay (?)

We woke up Sunday morning and drove out to Mohegan Sun casino. Unfortunately, we were all on a losing streak, except Amy who won $6 on a Black Jack machine, haha.
But we did enjoy the staff of Johnny Rockets Burgers who sang ‘Respect’ to us while we chowed down on our greasy burgers. After some Ben & Jerry’s a few ‘free’ drinks (which actually were not free since we definitely lost more than the cost of the drinks) we decided to call it a day and drove back to New Haven. Amy & Toby packed up and made their hike back to NYC. We were sad to see them go, but great weekends like this make it much easier to be in the Northeast so far away from our family.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rice Cakes, green bruises, blury photos

As I promised, I am continuing the 'photo op', 'post op'. Tomorrow will be 2 weeks post surgery and I'm starting to feel back to normal, well at least 80%. I'm able to use some makeup to cover most of the blob-like bruises that remain greenish yellow under my eyes and on my cheeks and dark eye shadow is all I need to cover my purple eye lids. The only catch, I still can't smile. My mouth/mainly upper lip is completely numb and somewhat 'stuck'. I look like a total Emo . I'm trying to avoid all funny conversations for fear that I might expose my incredibly awkward half moon grin-- and have resorted to asking boring questions like 'oh, I heard your son got braces, how is he deal with that'. My nosey cubical neighbor who spends most of her morning, gnarling on weight watchers rice cakes, continues to be...well super nosey. I'm sure we've all experienced the nosey cubical neighbor, but this one has got to be on the top ten worst list. The minute I returned to work yesterday, she made a bee-line to my cube-ie, and threw out some excuse to ask about my battered face, 'oh, you've been out for awhile, and you look puffy, are you suffering from a cold'. NO, I wanted to yell then lie and say I got in a really great bar fight just to watch her dramatic reaction- but I saved the energy and just told her that I had sinus surgery. She of course, proceeded to tell me that she, too, has had sinus surgery and made me re-live the nauseam of the entire event. What are the odds.
If I haven't addressed my nosey neighbor yet in my blog, I'm not sure why. She has continued to surprise me almost daily with questions like "Oh, I overheard you say you're parents were in Jamicia" or "So sorry to hear that you have IBS, do you take anything for that?" ....REALLY LADY? I can no longer take any personal phone call from my desk phone, for fear of her bat-like ears listening in on my entire conversations. The worst part is she's a snitch, and always has that weird look of enjoyment on her face as she watches me squirm as I answer her insane questions. But for today, enough about Rice Cake lady-

Here's the pictures, my mouth/upperlip & nose are still swollen: (by the way I'm starting to feel weird taking pictures of myself, and this may be the last photo op until I am completely healed and someone else will agree joining me in a photo)

We've got some pretty awesome plans for the upcoming weekend. Our friends Amy & Toby are driving in from NYC to spend the weekend in CT with us. Agenda: Apple Picking, the fair, Italian food, Wineries, and Mohegan Sun Casino. It's gonna be a good time! And hopefully pictures from the weekend to come!

I hope everyone who stops by my bloggity blog has a fabulous week.
Objective this month- to avoid the Swine Flu, we'll see how that goes!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

5 Senses

WAAWHOOO The packing is OUT! I went to visit my surgeon yesterday to get my packing out and while it was the single most painful experience of my life- I CAN BREATHE PEOPLE!!!! I had no idea what it felt like to have 100% airflow in my nose! It's amazing! My first breath felt like the air went in my nose and straight out the back of my head!
Now, for the gross part- I mean I knew there would be a ton of packing in my nose- but in my mind it was sorta like a 'tampon' up my nose-that would just be pulled out- man was I wrong! My doctor started to pull out the packing and I let out a shrill that was beyond human, and I literally could not stop yelling.
One Word. PAINFUL!!!!!!
My doctor kept saying in a thick accent "Why are you screaming" (which actually sounded like "vveye are yew shcreeming".....My mom and Jeff cannot stop laughing about this now) but I just wanted to slap him and say 'I'm sorry but you're ripping crap out of my head!
Tyler Sowers put it best "it feels like your being pulled inside out by your nose". I mean the doctor just kept pulling and pulling and the packing kept coming! 4 FEET!!!! Yes my mom and Jeff verify that there was at least 4 feet of gauze pulled out of my nostrils, I'm glad I have witnesses because I don't think anyone would believe me.
Apparently, I had so many polyps that they went as far up as my forehead and under my eyes-which is why I had to get packing in the first place. So I'll give you 3 guesses where that packing was shoved! With every tug, I could tell you exactly which socket and bone the packing was touching- SICK.
Okay enough gross stuff. I feel great and I could not be more excited for whats to come.
I did have to get re-taped and still look like a victim of a bar fight but each day the swelling gets better and better.
My upper lip is still numb and my smile looks like a 8 year old's dorky yearbook picture, and it's making for great home videos. I'm sorta convinced Jeff is video taping me in the process to use as black mail later!
I also still cannot smell or taste anything. And from this, I think I'm on to something. It's a great diet plan. I have no cravings for food. I cannot taste ANYTHING so eating just doesn't sound fun. And actually, salty foods burn my tongue and throat (hoping this is normal ???).
I'll have to look into developing a pill that takes away 2 of your senses for weight loss- ha

Well here's a picture from yesterday right after I got the packing out. (The tinting on my face makes me laugh, I am now a nice shade of mustard yellow.)
I also dropped my wonderful mother off at the airport this morning. It was awful. She's really done an amazing job keeping me busy and positive these last 7 days. The minute we got home from the airport it started raining and has been sorta lonely and depressing without her, but I'm sooo happy for the time I got with her! Nothing like having a mom who is a nurse around. My hubby Jeff has also been wonderful! Although, I got really worried and googled for almost an hour to see if laughing too hard will make my nose break again after surgery! He's almost impossible to be around and not laugh. All and all, this experience has not been too bad. And I'm just so glad I can now get on with the rest of my life :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Red, Purple & Blue!

WARNING- If you have a sensitive stomach or get grossed out easily you may not want to read the rest of this blog post

I went in for my nose surgery on Thursday Sept 10th at 11 a.m. Although I was very nervous, my next door neighbor is in CRNA school (nurse anesthetist) at the Hospital in the outpatient surgery dept. She was so sweet and set me up with a really good anesthesiologist and CRNA for my surgery. The nurses the doctors and all of the outpatient staff at St. Raphael’s were so unbelievably amazing and really did everything they could to make me feel comfortable.
The surgery went really well- my surgeon, Dr. Henley, told my mom & Jeff that he had to spent a lot of time ‘cleaning’ up my sinuses; that there were a lot of polyps, cysts and diseased sinus tissue in my nasal cavity. He said he then broke my nose back into place and straightened my septum. gross I know.
I actually woke up from surgery with very little pain. I felt a bit queasy but never actually got sick. We got home, got situated and went through tons of frozen corn bags throughout the next few days to try to keep the swelling down in my face. Because I had an ‘open’ nose surgery and since he had to break it, I knew I was going to be more swollen than most people post-op.
Below are the pictures from the last few days.

Just a sidebar note- yes my matted hair is quiet lovely- no need to be jealous, you too can accomplish this look by not washing your hair for 3 days and having frozen corn melt onto your face- (I seriously don’t know if I’ll ever be able to eat corn again)
The pictures are also very bloody because the doctor had to pack my nose and left me without a ‘mustache drip pad’ –most people get a drip pad which they can change every few hours. But my doctor decided to make a cast, similar to the casts people get when they break there arm. He also used a lot of tape under my nose, so blood just dripped onto my face and got everywhere-Gross.

Surgery Day:

Day 1: (24 hours post op)

Day 2: (48 hours post op)

Day 3: (72 hours post op....Today)

I can say that the last few days I did get really panicky, not only because I can only breathe out of my mouth, but I also feel like the swelling just keeps getting worse and I’m afraid my face will never be the same. I’m trying really hard to not let how I look now freak me out.
If I could put into words what it feels like I would say- it feels like the worst sinus infection you could imagine. There is soo much negative pressure in my sinus that ever time I swallow my ears plug up for almost an hour. So there really is no sharp pain involved- just a very frustrating amount of pressure. I get my packing out on Tuesday and have been told there will be immediate relief with that. My mom and Jeff have been such troopers. I seriously could not have gone through this without them. There’s just a feeling of serenity about having your mom near when you go through something like this.
For now I’m praying for comfort on Tuesday when my doctor will have to pull out the packing- and praying that I can withhold from sneezing for now! haha
I will continue to update with pictures.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Goodbye Boob Tube!

After 4 weeks of waiting, the TV that we've been dying to purchase finally went on sale- I mean really went on sale- so we had to get it! And I've always told Jeff, if we're going to get a new TV, we might as well get the biggest we can afford-because we don't plan on living in a tiny apartment our whole lives. So today, we got a Samsung 55" flat screen TV and she's a beauty. The best part about it- it is being delivered Sunday morning and will be set up in time for the Dallas Cowboys kick off against Tampa Bay. This will also come in handy when watching our OSU Cowboys take us to a BCS Bowl this year- Yes, I'm going to make that prediction now!
Our labor day weekend has been great- it just flew by wayyy to fast! I woke up this morning thinking to myself, 'it's just so great to have a 3 day weekend, so much time..blah blah blah'. Then it hit me- it's already MONDAY! HOLY CRAP where did the 3 day weekend go!?
Friday night we didn't do much, just made some drinks and sat out on the porch enjoying the weather. Saturday we spent the morning at the beach, and in the afternoon we joined our New Haven-OSU group to watch OSU defeat Georgia! Woowhoo! On Sunday we got up early and drove to Cape Cod to celebrate Adam & Anna's wedding at Camp Carson. What a wonderful day it was, tons of drinks, food and friends all around a lake in the middle of the Cape! We drove home late last night, and Jeff got up at 5 am to go play 18 holes of golf while I slept - I have no idea how he had the energy cause I was pooped. Today, I worked awhile at the Nursing home and we've been cleaning house, getting ready for my mom to come stay with us- sooo excited!
That's all for now...getting ready for Thursday- part of me is terrified, the other part is super excited and ready to get it over with!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I smell change...

Well my friends, I’m taking the plunge. After 14 years of frustration, I have decided to get my nose all prettied up & fixed.
About 9 months ago I started noticing an increase in trouble breathing, especially at night, and overall soreness in my nose. Over the past few years the skin on the bridge of my nose has started to feel paper thin and after months and months of contemplation I finally decided to visit an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) doctor for an evaluation. I was very nervous and made Jeff go with me. Before the evaluation started the doctor said "Your nose is crooked and your face isn’t symmetrical, have you ever had any trauma involving your nose?" (nice guy eh?) I let the doctor know that I have broken my nose twice, but besides having very frequent sinus infections my entire life that is all that I can regard as a possible cause for the pain and trouble breathing.
The doctor-- who was wearing an old school doctor's headband with a light bulb on it, that blinded me every time he looked towards me-- stuck a cold metal cone up my nostril and said “hum…oh…humm” –(note to anyone in med school or aspiring to be a doctor- don’t do this- it scares people, gesh) He then informed me that not only is my septum completely sideways in my nose, but I also have large 'polyp-like' cysts up in my sinus and he needs to send me over to the hospital to get a CAT scan, to get a better look at the polyps. Awesome- at this point I wanted to run away- luckily Jeff was there to make me laugh and keep me calm. So the next day Jeff & I went to the Radiology dept at St. Raphael Hospital to get my CAT scan. The radiologist tech was super nice and let me know that I did indeed have a nice sized brain in there- (thank God, cause I was worried, ha). After about a week we went back to the ENT doctor and he let me know in super medical lingo that I indeed had large polyps that were blocking my airways and they had to come out- and he will have to re-build the sinus walls because they are diseased. Again, awesome, I have diseased sinus walls, sounds healthy.

On a positive note, two good things came from this news-
1. I get to have my surgery covered almost in full by insurance
2. I feel more at ease about doing the surgery, since I now know that if I don’t do it, there is chance that these polyps will get so big that I will no longer be able to breathe out of my nose-which is pretty important, right?

My third visit with my ENT doctor was the best, because I got to do a photo opt- and get a virtual simulation on what my new nose will look like. At first he made the ‘new nose’ look like a lil’ pug nose-which I DO NOT WANT. I also told him that I would like to not end up with a ski slope either! I must say now, that cosmetically speaking the appearance of my nose has always bothered me, but it was never enough to get me to fix it. I had the occasional tease from stupid boys in school- but I always told myself it’s what God gave me, and I would move on. So I had to let the doctor know that I want to look like me. I don’t want to come out of this looking like MJ, I really just want a mini-version of what I have now. So…here it is folks- the man who has met me 3 times has decided what I will look like (weird concept)

What do you think? At first I was like WHOA, way too small...then I realized that my 'large/small' ratio scale is off since I have always had a mile long snout. I took the picture home and stared at it for almost 4 hours- My #1 concern was what Jeff and my parents thought. Jeff loved it- but I think I could end up with one eye and Jeff would love me just the same. My mom said it looks like it did when I was little, before I broke it- and she got a bit teary because she is really the only person in this world that knows the heart ache that came from the teasing in school from other kids.

I know some may think it’s weird that I’m being so open about this- but frankly I really don’t care what people think. I just want to be open and honest with myself, my friends and family-thus the reason for the posting.
My surgery is next week- Thursday Sept 10th- and my wonderful mom is coming up to help Jeff take care of me. I’m so blessed to have such a supportive husband, family & friends and I love you all.
I will definitely be posting updates & pictures over the next few days on this bloggity blog, so stay tuned! Looking forward to breathing normal again!