This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for….

For at least a year, I’ve had bad sinus problems. I constantly get headaches and infections. It got to the point that I always have some level of congestion, pressure, and pain. After another bad infection this past May, I decided I would tell my doctor how it wouldn’t go away and he advised a specialist.

The one that I went to told me that I only had a tension headache and imagined the sensations of everything else. No matter what I said about getting vertigo, fatigue, how this had none of the symptoms of a tension headache or migraine (I’ve had both), he said he was the specialist and “I’m very rarely wrong”. I got a sinus catscan and he showed me some things on the films that proved it. What do I know? I’m not a doctor, so I took the 800 mg of Ibuprofen that he told me to take.

That was August and September.

Nothing got better; in fact, it got worse plenty of days. Then I had a very bad weekend 2 weeks ago — a lot of pain, extreme fatigue, congestion, it was very bad. John kept telling me to see a new doctor and with all that pain, I became desperate enough to do it. Even if I really had a tension headache, I hoped the new doctor would give me medicine that would cure it.

Instead, he immediately noticed my left air passageway is closed off and gets no air. It also can’t work properly which is why my left ear is always congested; it can’t clear because the left sinus cavity is blocked off. For many years, since childhood, I formed an extra bone which also caused a second air cavity while cutting into the main one…. I can’t remember all the details. But all of this kept growing incorrectly, became inflamed, and have pushed my airway closed.

I have a deviated septum because when it grew in puberty, it had to grow around the problems on the left. So my right side is more narrow than it should be; plus, something else went wrong on the right hand side and is blocking the right passageway.

So I’m not getting enough air, my sinuses are blocked on both sides, and it’s causing by these small problems that took a long time to get this way. But there’s no excuse for the other doctor not seeing these things! The second doctor saw them immediately and he didn’t do anything different! He listened to me, discussed everything thoroughly in a friendly manner, and he knew right away that I had problems.

Anyway, I’m having minor, outpatient surgery on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This way, I won’t have to take time off from work since the only days I have left are my vacation, and my job wouldn’t let me take unpaid. Because of the congestion and sinus cavity issues, they’ll have to pack my nose for 24 hours after the surgery; I’ve been warned that is the worst part. It’ll hurt and drain, but they’ll give me something to make me more comfortable and I’ll have that whole weekend to feel better.

I’ll be back on my feet by Sat or Sun. And I’ll be able to breathe again with no more congestion hurting my left ear or my head! No more waking up in the middle of the night because the pain is so bad or because I’m not getting enough air.

I’m not looking forward to the surgery, but I am looking forward to not having this daily pain and troubles anymore!!

So I  am thankful for, amongst other things, Dr. David Bromberg who listened to me, treated me with respect, and let his professionalism and expertise, instead of his ego, look at those tests and scan films.  And I’m thankful that after all this time, I’m going to be better.

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