I haven't updated recently, mainly because Thursday morning I woke up sick. Very sick. It had nothing to do with my recovery; it was just a bug. But I camped out on the bathroom floor and threw up for 12 hours straight, and ended up losing 7 pounds of fluid that day. Friday, I stayed in bed all day trying to drink ginger ale and recuperate, and I only got up twice to eat some chicken soup and saltine crackers. Thursday hit me so hard that all day on Friday I could still taste and smell bile, no matter how many times I brushed my teeth and mouthwashed, but I was relieved that throwing up didn't seem to do anything to hurt my nose.
Then yesterday, Saturday, when I was finally up and about and feeling OK, I noticed I have um... an odor... coming from my nose. And it's foul. At first I thought it was still residual something-or-other from being sick, so I went to CVS and bought some new saline nasal spray and flushed out my nose several times. Well, the smell never went away and I was convinced I had an infection, so of course I turned to Dr. Google.
Turns out, it's completely normal, and there are about a jillion people all over the internet looking for answers about the unpleasant odor in their nose after rhinoplasty. Here's a good explanation I found on the website of CA rhinoplasty surgeon Rollin K. Daniel:
It is caused by the accumulation of mucus in the nose due to a reduced mobility of the “mucus blanket” within the nose. A healthy nose secretes around a cup of mucus a day, which is propelled into the back of the throat by the nasal lining cells. After surgery, the physiology of the nose takes four to six weeks to come back to normal, but in the interim you can clear the mucosal blanket with intranasal saline sprays.
That's gross, but also a relief. Although now that I think about it, I would be surprised if I had an infection because my stubborn self finished the whole course of antibiotics even though they gave me hives. But the bad news is, according to all these people online, this gross mucusy smell lasts for a really long time. Do you know how awful it is to have a bad smell in your nose? You can't get away from it! You smell it with every breath you take and you can taste it. And apparently, I'll have to live with it for at least another month, and some (hopefully melodramatic) people claim they had it last for years!
It's not like I wouldn't have gotten a nose job if I had known about this unpleasant side effect. I just wish I had known in advance that it was normal because it did alarm me. It's a good thing that there's no such thing as too much saline spray, because I am pretty much dumping the stuff in my nose right now. It gives me a temporary relief from the odor, and hopefully, it will help move this healing process and mucus blanket along.