Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sinuses---the Entry Point of all those Germs and Other Airborne Crap that can Put You Down for the Count

Up front I want to say in my best preacher intonation, CAN I GET A BOOHOO PLEASE?

It's starting to push 4 months of constant debilitating aches and pain. I have never been this sick---other than when I had gall stone attacks prior to having my gall bladder removed and a ruptured appendix emergency surgery followed by 10 days in the hospital.  I just can't believe how sick my sinuses have made me.  

Here's the story and a little of what I’ve learned about sinuses misery.

In March and April we started opening most of our windows after winter was gone and spring had sprung.  Right outside my home-office window is a beautiful Birch tree with our hummingbird feeder swaying in the mountain breezes.  I love sitting at my computer “working” and writing while I can look out at the marvelous mountain scenery and wildlife.  Little did I know that the tree pollen season was in full crescendo here in the high desert Idaho countryside.

Unbeknownst to me I was bathing in deadly dust and pollen every time I inhaled.  Well, deadly to me at least.  I started to feel like I had constant headaches and flu like symptoms. Most days I was bedridden by 2pm.  My primary care doctor put me on an antibiotic and Flonase nasal spray to no avail.  I just kept getting worse. 

Next my wife Jeannie took me to an allergist to see what might be causing the problems. We found out I am allergic to Birch and Juniper trees.  Remember that Birch tree right outside my office window? 

I was put on different broader range antibiotic for 14 days, added and addition nose spray, and began a 2 time per day ritual of irrigating my sinuses with a NielMed saline system. It aint pretty (check it out on U-Tube) but it did start to flush ugly bloody green gunk out of my head and provided some temporary relief for a few hours each time.

We closed up the house which meant we had to use the air-conditioning more.  We also added and humidifier in our bedroom, an air cleaner, a Merv 12 filter on our furnace/air-conditioning unit, and regular steam inhalation sessions with eucalyptus and boiled water.  

After finishing the antibiotic and flushing my sinuses for three weeks I was still a sick puppy so I set up an appointment with an Ears, Nose, and Throat specialist who also does head and neck surgeries.  Yep, you got it---I was worrying about polyps or a tumor hiding up in my nasal crevasses.  He scoped the nasal passages which looked “inflamed” but no obvious polyps. There is some dark colored “mucus” hiding in the upper reaches.  I got to watch all this on a monitor.

The doctor said we should take a closer look by having a CT scan, which is scheduled for this coming Friday.  Hopefully we don’t find some menacing mass that needs surgical removal.  But this I do know, something has to change cause being this sick all the time has really gotten old.   

So bottom-line:  Take care of your sinuses.  Look it up online and you’ll be amazed at how many good things are available to help keep sinuses healthy.  Baby them and you will avoid all kinds of misery and expense.  OK---I guess I could use that BOOHOO one more time.