Archive for the ‘doctors’ category

I thought I had a cold

December 29, 2008

or a mild flu. But I have a sinus infection. I found this out today when I went for my ENT/mastoiditis appointment. He threaded the scope up my nose and said there was tons of pus flowing out of my ethmoid sinus. I had thought it was mucus. I don’t know how to tell the difference, I guess.

So far as my mastoiditis went, he said that what showed up on the mri was probably from some childhood ear infection. He (like me) couldn’t see how things going wrong in my right sinuses could cause a stabbing pain in my left temple.

Do I even care about the formerly-constant-now-intermittent stabbing headache anymore? I guess the mri didn’t show anything about to explode in my head, so why don’t I just quit worrying about it. I just have to think of ways to exercise that don’t include leaning over, and then maybe I’ll be fine.

So, back on antibiotics for three weeks. That’s a discouraging thought all by itself.

Unhappy some more

August 11, 2008

I have another infection in my left sinus. The doctor phoned in yet another antibiotic for me, but can’t see me until Thursday. The appointment desk acted like it was a major miracle to find me an appointment that soon (I called them Friday morning.) That may be, but I had surgery 5 weeks ago and this is the second infection I’ve had, or the same infection never going away more likely. It’s too bad the doctor doesn’t have time to take care of his patients.

I’m just grumpy due to pain and the worn-out way the infection and the antibiotics make me feel. I have the day off from work tomorrow because it’s my daughter’s birthday, but I guess it’s going to be yet another vacation day wasted on being sick. I frankly can’t remember the last vacation day I’ve had that wasn’t wasted on feeling sick. It was more than a year ago, I know, because I started getting the stabbing headache 1 year and 3 months ago. The last trip we took was 13 months ago, and mainly I just sat quietly in the car trying not to jostle my head.

“The key is setting realistic expectations”

May 23, 2008

On Monday I realized I was developing another sinus infection. In spite of everything I was completely shocked by this. In spite of the CT scan and the ENT telling me I need surgery, I really truly believed I would never have another sinus infection. This is pretty much like when I have a couple of weeks of no migraine and I start thinking, Yay! After 45 years my migraines are finally over! I definitely have a screw loose.

So I am back on antibiotics. I went to see my primary care doctor and I think because I was her last patient of the day our conversation was much more relaxed and I felt more informed than usual when I left. I think I will start requesting 4pm appointments from now on. Also, the “I’m too busy to help you” person in her office has disappeared.

But I am very disappointed to be 1) sick on my week off from work, 2) on antibiotics again, 3) afraid to go outside in the wind to work on my supposed patio.

This is a link to Unshelved Comics, which I read because it’s about working in a library. Even though this week’s episode is about the Young Adult Librarian learning to skateboard (he has to research it thoroughly in a book first), when I looked at him sitting on the board, securely helmeted and padded, it reminded me of the Migraine Approach to life. And the other character is how I imagine the rest of the world lives.

candidate for surgery

April 24, 2008

I can’t believe how depressed those words have made me. Especially since I realized after I left the ENT office that I don’t even know for sure what they mean. And what’s “sinus disease”? I guess it’s not an infection because he didn’t give me any more antibiotics.

I was just not prepared to hear this. I didn’t even think I needed the 3 weeks of antibiotics that he prescribed at the first visit, but I took them anyway to play fair, and I expected him to look at the CT scan and say “Nothing wrong with you.” So when he said “surgery,” I was so shocked I couldn’t think straight and didn’t know what to say or ask.

And now I think about my sinuses all the time, and from concentrating on them so much I don’t even know if they feel okay or not. So to cheer myself up and take my mind off things I took my dog for an early walk this morning, and that worked pretty well, but since we got back the dog is making snorting noises like he inhaled something he shouln’t have. Now maybe we’re both candidates for sinus surgery. Maybe I can have the vet do my surgery too, and get some kind of two-for-one deal.

Scan results

April 21, 2008

Today I went to the Ear Nose Throat doctor to hear about the results of my CT scan last Monday. He told me that while my sinuses had improved a lot since the first scan, there was still a lot of “sinus disease” and I was a “candidate” for sinus surgery. But since my sinuses don’t feel sick to me right now, there’s no reason to have surgery if I don’t want to. He said “We operate on people, not scans.”

I asked him about my Constant Stabbing Headache, which I had for seven months before I felt a sinus infection coming on, but which my primary care doctor now thinks was caused by my sinuses. He said it was possible that a sinus infection could cause muscle tension on that side that would cause a headache, but he didn’t seem very convinced. Also, he seemed to think that if I had a sinus infection then (a year ago), I would have felt it in my cheeks, bridge of my nose or forehead, and I didn’t.

So now I’m supposed to wait for a while and see how many more sinus infections I get in the next few months or year, and how long it takes antibiotics to get rid of them, and then come see him if it seems like a problem. Just one more thing in my head I’m supposed to pay attention to, keep records about, worry about (nobody told me to worry, it just comes naturally.)

And today, weirdly, I have a migraine on both sides of my head, and the left side responded to the Amerge, but the right didn’t, so I treated the right side with tea and aspirin, and that worked. Sometimes I think my brain sits up nights working on new ways to have pain. If I broke my head open I think I would find a secret workshop with diagrams of my head on the walls with pins stuck all over them for each successful headache (there aren’t enough pins in the world), and a calendar with entries like “3:27pm, sudden stabbing in left temple,” and “don’t forget, tomorrow 4:30 am, migraine, right side.” Of course, by the time I get to the workshop my brain has fled, but it leaves behind a cup of coffee on its drafting board, which completely explains everything because coffee gives me a migraine and I almost never drink it, but if my brain has been drinking it in its secret workshop no wonder I get headaches anyway.

ear nose throat guy

March 25, 2008

I went to the ENT, and he said it looked like I had a really bad sinus infection 6 weeks ago when the CT scan was taken, but his physical exam of my nasal passages seemed to indicate I didn’t have one anymore. I concurred. But he decided to have me take antibiotics for three weeks anyway, and then send me for another scan. Prescribing the extended course of antibiotics will make it more likely that the insurance company will authorize the scan. It just occurred to me right now that I wouldn’t really have to take the antibiotics, just buy them to impress my insurance company.

He seemed pretty skeptical about my sinuses causing my constant stabbing headache. I am beginning to wonder if my regular doctor even has a medical degree. I really wish she would send me for an MRI so that I could quit worrying about my pain. Or send me to a neurologist, even if she thinks they’re too busy or cranky or whatever it is. I can live with pain, but ever since the constant stabbing headache started I have been scared that something in my head is going to harm me, not just hurt me.