Under The Weather

Jan 26, 2017

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Carol Varsalona

Have you ever felt "under the weather"? Being ill is no fun, especially around New Year's. At the start of the new year, I began to feel the effects of a busy holiday schedule. My sinuses started to fill up, making life uncomfortable. By the end of the first week of January, I was slowing down and headaches and sneezing were commonplace. I went through boxes of tissues and my nightstand looked like a medicine chest. Of course, the only action to take at that point was to see a doctor. After being examined by two different ear, nose, and throat specialists, I was diagnosed with a serious sinus infection.

Have you ever had sinusitis? If so, you will know what I felt like. My mucous membranes were inflamed, my head ached, the inside of my nose hurt, my throat felt like it was on fire, and my voice was barely audible. I had an acute case, so the doctor said. If this news was not bad enough, I got to see the inside of my nose projected onto a monitor. A strange array of germs were visible in the form of long, slimy strings. Sounds horrible? It was and I was the star of the horror movie.

Is my tale a familiar story? You may have had sinus infections in the past and know what I experienced. Acute sinusitis is worse than the common cold. According to the Wonderopolis Wonder of the Day (#1823), Have You Ever Had Sinus Trouble?, "Doctors estimate that over 37 million Americans develop sinusitis every year". My doctor told me that what I had was the "illness" of the week. He could not believe how many people came into his office with sinus issues since Christmas. In my case, I was not only ill but highly contagious and it turned out that my son had to see the doctor the next day for the exact same problem.

While I felt like my head was two times bigger than normal and my nose was raw and red, I did get to lounge around in pajamas, drink plenty of tea, slow down, and rest. After all, there are some perks to being ill but my story does not end here. Twelve days of antibiotics later, I still felt poorly so off I went back to the doctor and now I am laying in bed again knowing that it is going to take two more weeks before I feel totally better.

Here's hoping that you are not in a sinus-congested zone this winter. If you are, know that bacterial sinusitis leaves you feeling under the weather for much longer than twelve days so take it easy, drink plenty of fluids, get rest, and hope for a healthy winter.

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