Friday, September 17, 2010

Of nasal exoskeletons and forcible exhaustion

It may be surprising to my viewers that I am awake at 3am.  The typing kind of awake.  Shed your marvel, my friends, for this has been my habit for a month, now.

In June, when the allergy bug settled in my sinuses, this was just a regular infection, and I treated it as such with saline, my trusted Nasal Crom, and even hopped on the Neti Pot wagon.  By mid-July, when none of these therapies worked, I threw up my hands and called it in.  By this time, I have developed inner nasal scabs which made mucous expulsion quite the bother.  A prescription of Flonase was bestowed without even an appointment.  Beautiful.

Fifteen dollars and three glorious weeks of regular breathing later, it was time to abandon the steroids and hope that their effect would be sustainable.  Fat chance.  So I called it in again, asking my doctor what the next step might be.  "Try saline washes and using the Neti Pot," says my doctor's replacement.

"Are... are you serious?" I wanted to respond, but refrained in the interest of actually getting some help on the stagnant-green-pool-harboring nasal exoskeleton front.  So I actually tried these saline treatments again, hoping that with the steroids having brought me back to stage one, they might work.  Negative.  A month later, the scabbing and green mucous flow are worse than ever, so I call it in again.

"Hi, I've been having some problems with my nose and may need antibotics."

"Well, why don't you give me an idea of what's been going on, sweetheart," says the Southern Bell on the other end of the line, who I must trust to translate my story to my doctor.

"Well, three months ago I just had what appeared to be a regular sinus infection.  I treated with all the different saline washes for a month, was prescribed Flonase for a month, and the infection got worse when the steroid treatment ended.  So now I'm concerned that I might have a more serious infection and be in need of antibiotics.  This is my first allergy season being on Remicade, so I'm susceptible to infection.  This is the first time in my life I've had a sinus problem nearly this severe and that may have something to do with it."

"Well bless your heart, you poor thing.  Let me send this message to the doctor and call you right back!"  I've spoken to this woman many a time. She is, if not effective, very sweet.

[Time lapse of three hours, Southern Bell calls me back]

"The doctor says she'd like you to continue using saline washes and wait until the peak season is over in October."

"Excuse me?"

"Yes, she said continue with the saline.  You're doing the right thing."

"Alright, look.  I know this isn't your fault, and I apologize for getting upset, but I'm at my wit's end, here.  Saline has not been anything resembling helpful during this whole situation.  I have gotten progressively worse with the exception of the fast-acting and fast-disappearing effects of Flonase.  I have been expelling green mucous out of my mouth at least ten times a day because my nasal passage has developed an exoskeleton so strong that I can't blow my nose because the mucous has no way to push through.  I bleed every time I sneeze, I now have scabs on the outside of my nostrils, I wake up at 3am every night, and frankly, I can't breathe at all unless I flush my nose with hot water every morning and try to peel away some of the blockage, and to exacerbate this I am in the crux of the most stressful time of my entire life.  Saline nor steroids have been helpful in this matter and have, in fact, allowed things to get much worse, and the doctor doesn't think that I might have an infection that my immune-suppressed body just can't fight on its own?"

"Well honey, I'm sorry.  Let me send a more explicit message to the doctor and get back to you soon."

That was a week ago.  I think I may have scared off poor Bell.

My exoskeleton needs a hot shower.  I'm effing tired.  I'm effing stressed.  Please give me some effing antibiotics.  I am working 50-hour weeks, writing grants, writing graduate school applications and studying for the GRE (something which I can't quite support logically).  I haven't run in two weeks because, well, it makes my sinuses swell.

Anyone have thoughts on just chopping the thing off, going Tycho Brahe style?

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