Breathe

Man I cannot wait to be able to breathe again! Well that wish will come true this week as I undergo another sinus surgery. This will be my 4th (yes FOURTH!) sinus surgery in the past 10 years.

So a little background here, I really did not have health issues growing up. I would get a bad cough once a year and sometimes wheezed, but my doctor said I didn’t have asthma. Fast forward to my senior year of high school… my allergies were the worst they’d ever been and I was having to bring rolls of toilet paper to school & stuffing tissue up my nose. This is when it all started! That summer I went to France for my senior trip and I starting having asthma attacks throughout the trip. I even had to take some puffs on another guys inhaler to breathe. That summer I still didn’t get a diagnosis, the doctor just said it was allergies. Mind you I used to also get bronchitis in high school maybe once a year. So we just thought it was chronic bronchitis. So now we go into my freshman year of college. I’m still having all of these problems and finally see another doctor because my doctor was out that day…and guess what?!?! He was like um yea you have asthma! What?!? I was thankful that I finally got diagnosed so I could finally get an inhaler! So that next year I got the flu,but recovered pretty quick. That next spring/summer is when the allergies came back and I was back to sticking tissue up my nose and carrying benedryl everywhere I went. My mom finally got me an appointment for an allergy and asthma doctor and I got allergy testing done. When we got my results they were like well…it shows you’re not allergic to anything so we are going to send you to an ENT.

Now, this is where my sinus journey begins…I start going to an ENT and get put on antibiotics and steroids. This helps a little bit, but the CT scan shows a lot of my sinus cavities are filled. The Dr. decided I needed to go through sinus surgery to clear it all out. So for surgery I had to quit taking aspirin and NSAIDs. Now let me tell you, as a dancer for 15+ years and multiple car wrecks, plus migraines I used to pop ibuprofen like candy back in the day. So before surgery all I could take was Tylenol! So I have my first surgery and it really helps! I can breathe and smell again! It’s amazing! Fast forward to a month later… I am on my period and cramping so bad (mind you I also have PCOS and endometriosis 🙃) so I go ahead and take a midol. I start to notice my stomach flaring up and I get pretty wheezy, but I’m in class and have to grin through and bear it. I take my inhaler but still feel weird. I still haven’t taken ibuprofen or aspirin since my surgery so I’m like what is this? I looked at the label and midol has aspirin in it…so I’m like hmmm. When I go to a follow up appointment with my ENT, I tell him about this and he’s goes – I think I know what this is. He says I have Samter’s Triad Syndrome. That includes having:

•asthma ✅

•sinus inflammation with polyps ✅

•allergy to aspirin and NSAIDS ⁉️

So I have all of the symptoms so he says to not take any aspirin or NSAIDS anymore. I’m okay with that I’ll just take Tylenol. With Samnter’s Triad it usually doesn’t develop until adulthood, so this would explain why I could take ibuprofen before. I had built up an immunity to it so when I detoxed before surgery it depleted that immunity. A few months later I had an extreme migraine and my friend gave me some Excedrin…my dumbass didn’t realize it has aspirin in it so I took it before I had to drive from Stillwater to Okc. That was a bad idea…I started wheezing while driving and I took benedryl but to no avail. I was going to an OBGYN appointment and walked in and couldn’t talk because I couldn’t breath. They didn’t have an inhaler or anything so my mom had to take me to the ER down the street. So that was an experience. I have not taken any aspirin or NSAIDS since then (2012)!

Okay so a few years later (2015) my sinus issues are getting bad again. I keep going to urgent care to get antibiotics and steroids because I don’t have a primary doctor. The doctors kept telling me this is not good for me to do. So in 2016 I started a new job and got my insurance that I have now. So I finally went and saw an ENT again. They said I needed surgery again…so I had it October 2016. During this time it was really hard for me mentally. My grandpa has just been diagnosed with lung cancer and so he was having a surgery the same day as me. I can’t even imagine what my mom was going through. So I have surgery and then he dies a month later. I probably did not keep up with my after care after surgery therefore, the surgery was unfortunately no good. I went for a follow up appointment that January and he said I needed another surgery ASAP. I was scared to tell my mom, I was embarrassed and disappointed. I finally told her and she said it was okay and she’d help me through it. So I got my 3rd surgery Jan 2017. I kept up with my aftercare and finally got an all clear! So back to my life being able to breathe and smell! My allergies were pretty good the next few years so I was pretty confident this would be my last! Fast forward Dec 2019…. Christmas Day I got a fever and started feeling sick. I ended up getting a sinus infection that spread to my gums. My back tooth actually became infected so I had to go to the dentist and get special stuff out into my gum to heal it. A month later I feel like I’m getting another sinus infection but the pain is mainly in the right side of my face. I have to go to sleep laying my face on a heating pad-that’s how bad it is. So I go get antibiotics and steroids for that. It helped while I was still on the antibiotics/steroids but as soon as I got off the sinuses got bad again. I kept telling my doctor, but she just gave me nasacort. When my nose wasn’t too stuffed I could take the nasacort and it helped a little bit. But how am I supposed to take it if I can’t breathe in through my nose?? 🙃 well I just sit and suffer I guess haha. So throughout the past year my asthma keeps getting worse as well as my sinuses. My doctor gives me a higher dose of my steroid inhaler to help and it somewhat helps. I am up to having one to three asthma attacks at night and waking up coughing. It totally sucks, I keep saying I need to make another ENT appointment but I just keep pushing it out.

So here we are in April 2021 and I finally make an ENT appointment. I go in, he sees some polyps up my nose but had me go get a CT scan to see if I need surgery again. So I get the CT and go back to the ENT and he looks at my CT scan and goes well you’re going to need surgery! He said all of my sinus cavities are filled with probably fungus and polyps. Going back to my sphenoid sinus near my brain, maxillary, ethmoid, and frontal sinus cavities. So just all over. It is pretty urgent to get surgery ASAP so they schedule me for April 29th. So here we go into my fourth sinus surgery!

The past two weeks my sinuses are so clogged up and I can barely breathe (mostly have to breathe through my mouth which is annoying). I just cannot wait to be revived and be able to do ujjayi breathing in yoga again! Also I am hoping this will help my asthma. 🤞🤞

Enjoy some pics from my last surgeries! As well as me lately 😂

August 2011
August 2011
October 2016
October 2016
January 2017

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