As a kid growing up I remember always being sick. I had ear infections all the time, and it was a normal routine for me to have “bubble gum medicine”, AKA amoxicillin, for desert after dinner. I have tubes in my ears twice as well as my tonsils and adenoids removed at age 7. As I grew older the ear infections stopped but I got colds very easily that would almost always turn in to a sinus infection that needed to be treated with more antibiotics.
At age 18 I moved from Michigan to Arizona to attend college. I thought that the dry, warmer weather would help prevent me from getting sick so often. Wrong! I had at least one sinus infection every semester of school. At the beginning of my sixth semester of school, in January of 2010, I came down with another sinus infection after a ski trip, or so I thought. I had never established a primary care physician since moving to Arizona and just went to the nearest urgent care center when I was sick to seek treatment. That was a mistake. They dignosed me with a sinus infection, gave me an antibiotic and sent me home. I complete the regimen as directed, rested, waited and still did not feel any better. I repeated this three times with no results.
After FIVE MISIERABLE MONTHS of misdiagnosis I finally decided to see a specialist. I made an appointment with an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat specialist) and after a series of tests I was told that I needed to have an FESS, or Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. My sinuses were full of fluids and nasal polyps which form over a long period of time and cannot be treated simply by taking antibiotics. After the surgery I had a week of bed rest and a few months of taking it easy (couldn’t travel to places with elevation, couldn’t eat spicy food, etc.) I was feeling great. It was amazing to be able to smell and taste properly, not talk in a nasally sounding voice and not need tissues everywhere I went. I was able to sleep better and finally get off all of the strong meds.
Please learn from my story and question your doctor if you feel that your sinus problems have gotten out of hand. I know how miserable something as simple as being permanently “stuffed up” can be.
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