It’s the day after the day after the Operation.
All my teeth hurt.
My nose is swollen and so tender I can’t even scratch my cheek.
There’s a weird smell in my head, at least I think it’s a smell, it might be a taste the two are so closely linked, and it’s not pleasant.
I think it’s the smell of old, warm blood.
I’m experiencing the healing process, but right now it doesn’t feel like anything good’s going to come out of it.
My specialist wants me to irrigate my nose twice a day using a syringe and saline solution, but every time I do so a thick, purple globule of gelatinous blood plops into the basin and hangs there, shimmering for a moment like a spoonful of blackcurrant jelly before slithering silently down the plug hole.
When that’s done I have to gently blow out what’s left, and therein lies a whole new experience in pain.
Even wiping hurts.
I dug out some old painkillers last night, some extra-strength things I’d been prescribed for an injury I’d suffered once. It was the only thing I had that might have been strong enough to stop the pain in my face from keeping me awake all night.
They didn’t work.
To say I had a fitful sleep would be an understatement. To say I slept much at all would be a lie.
To say I was propped up in a half-sitting position, repeatedly digging my fingernails into my gums to ease the incessant throbbing in my teeth while horrible clumps of stuff trickled down the back of my throat and bloodstained gunk oozed from my nose onto the pad I’d taped to my top lip would be closer to the truth.
It wasn’t pretty.
Things were going so well yesterday…
I know the human body is quite clever when it comes to sorting out physical trauma because I’ve seen many friends in hospital undergoing the healing process after accidents or surgical procedures. I’ve also been through a similar procedure to that which I’m experiencing now.
It’s just that this time I’m a lot older and much less tolerant of being with myself in this pathetic condition.
Twenty-two years ago I underwent sinus surgery, and back then my most vivid memory is of having to get my GP to make a house call and administer an injection to knock me out. My scalp felt like it was on fire, a most intense burning sensation apparently caused by having the nerves irritated during the operation. It was as if someone was lifting me up by my hair and was holding me up off the ground.
This time it’s not as unbearable, but it’s still bloody uncomfortable.
I’ve spent all of today wrapped in a blanket on the lounge, and in between wiping up blood and gnashing my teeth I’m allowing the TV to send me off to sleep. It’s been a fitful sleep punctuated by vivid dreams. Just a moment ago I woke with a start, and could have sworn someone just bumped me on the shoulder as they brushed past.
Must be the drugs.
I’m about to head off to meet my beautiful girlfriend. We’re going away to work as officials at a motorcycle race meeting this weekend so I’m looking forward to being pleasantly distracted.
Perhaps it’s a bit self-indulgent but I wanted to chronicle this experience while it’s happening, live and commercial-free.
In a few weeks I’ll look back and wonder what my fuss was all about.