Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My quest for a full breath

Ever since around spring of 2007 I have never had 100% clear sinus'. I had springtime hayfever and went to see my allergist, Dr. Allen Edson who prescribed Nasacort for my nose. I tried it and it cleared me up fine, but over time, didn't have the same effect. Today it has no noticeable effect whatsoever.

Ever since fall of 2008 it has been 50 - 90% effaced. What is strange is that it switches sides. One side is typically 80-100% clear, while the other is only 30-50% clear. Then it switches sides. Up till now I've just learned to live with it. I get a new hypoallergenic pillow every 4 months or so, change the bed sheets often in case of dust mites. And it really isn't that tough to keep my distance from Annabel (which I have a very slight allergic reaction to according to tests). Austin gives her enough love for the both of us.

Yesterday I went to see Dr. Edson hoping that I could have surgery instead of have to take nasal sprays for the rest of my life that don't really work. He looked in side and said that he can't see any polyps because I'm so congested, so I have a CAT scan scheduled for next Monday.

He gave me a different nasal spray which I tried this morning and a extreme antihistamine drug called prednisone which I'm only taking for a week. I put this off to avoid any possible conflicting surgery and recovery time with any races I'm doing. After the SDRC swim meet on November 14th, I'll be free and clear and shouldn't have conflicts, other than my training which hopefully any surgery won't interfere very much with.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

I'm pretty allergic to all sorts of plant life, so I have "seasonal" allergies pretty much year round. Regular decongestants stopped having any effect, but I had some good luck with a few different steroids (vancenase, flonase, and nasacort). Pretty soon, that stopped working too.

Over the span of ten years, I probably had 100% blockage over 90% of the time. It was worst in the morning. I would wake up with all of the symptoms of a really bad cold, and it would take 2-6 hours to kind of get down to the point where it was bearable. This was every morning. Imagine being sick enough to justify staying home from work, but every day.

I finally (mid-2004) checked with my doctor for surgery. I got referred to an ENT who was decidedly old school. Not a computer in the office anywhere, and when I got a statement in the mail, it was hand written. This guy had been doing it so long, he didn't need any CAT scan or any sort of x-ray period. He just looked in my nose with his scope, and knew what to do.

The actual nose surgery cut back the turbinates which were too overgrown, and straightened my deviated septum. The recovery was particularly hard for me, because I also had him cut out some of my soft palate to help with snoring and night time breathing. So, in addition to all the pain in and around my nose, my throat and mouth was on fire. I lost 11 pounds in 3 days from not being able to eat and drink.

That said, it was totally worth it. I'm still as allergic as ever, but I've got more space in my passages, so even if everything gets all inflamed, I'm still getting plenty of air through. It was just a huge jump in terms of quality of life, and I'm still to this day amazed that I can actually breath through my nose all the time.

So, I highly recommend the surgery. I also highly recommend taking a few days off of work, and making sure you have people around you 24/7 to take care of you and bring you whatever you demand. The recovery's not actually that bad, but you don't get many chances like this to make people dote on you. So, I recommend cashing in as much as possible and really playing up your discomfort and agony, even if you're feeling fine.