Friday, May 23, 2014

Red Pill or Blue Pill

Which are you going to take … the red pill or the blue pill?

During my recent hiatus from writing I have mostly been under the weather. Under the pollen specifically. All the good nutrition and exercise in the world can only do so much when the daily report looks like this:

I have been miserable. And I am ticked off that I have been miserable. I don’t have time to be miserable. I’m losing track, but I think it’s been five weeks I’ve been officially sick.

That blue pill has got to be the prettiest antibiotic ever invented. Yes, that’s an actual picture of my actual medication on my actual bathroom counter.

I have been down this path before. The path of chronic sinus infections.

It doesn’t sound like a big deal, does it? It’s just a sinus infection. That’s like a bad cold, right?

It starts with a headache, maybe of migraine-like intensity. (Just take some pain meds … it’ll be fine …) Then you start draining like nobody’s business, and your voice starts to sound like Neil Diamond. Which would be great if you were Neil Diamond, but not so much for a girl who’s an alto/occasional soprano.

If you’re lucky you catch it before it turns into bronchitis. And heaven forbid you wind up in front of the nurse practitioner at the clinic at the drugstore. Maybe it’s the weekend. Or maybe you’ve managed to hit the one day all your doctors are out of the office. Overall the drugstore clinic is awesome. But they like to cite some article that says one should be in complete misery for 10-14 days before whipping out the antibiotics. Hearing your history, though, they reluctantly write the script at day eight. They even encourage you not to fill it for a few more days.

Thanks, I feel like an oxycontin addict now.

I’m on a full array of allergy meds, decongestants, and shots. Full time. Year round. I receive the daily pollen report by email and act accordingly. I watch what I eat and I exercise regularly. I do a sinus rinse every morning.

Sometime the bugs in my head decide to get out of control and throw a big party.
Sue me.

When I had sinus surgery thirteen years ago, I couldn’t go more than two weeks off antibiotics before the excruciating feels-like-someone-is-driving-a-spike-through-my-cheek headache would return. Prior to that, twenty-one days of Tequin held me for a year-and-a-half. That was a really good year-and-a-half. No crazy debilitating headaches. No constant upset stomach from the drainage and meds. No daily struggle just to function, put on a happy face, and pretend nothing is wrong.

But then the CAT scan showed a golf ball sized cyst inside my right cheek. So Roto-Rooter surgery it was.

I don’t particularly enjoy antibiotics. Having been on a lot of antibiotics in my life, and having worked a lot with prebiotics in my Corporate America career, I am all over the digestive health thing. I have learned to love yogurt. At times I take a probiotic pill. I don’t request meds lightly. I just know when it’s time. The feeling in my head changes. And if I ignore it, I stay miserable, and I increase the likelihood I’ll need surgery again at some point.

My antibiotic frequency is down to about twice a year now. My most recent CAT scan showed nothing but mild swelling. No big deal. The weather pattern this year, though, has resulted in a phenomenon known as ... 

Pollen Vortex 2014!

All the pollen, all at once.

So with a course of prednisone behind me (aaaahhhh, steroids, fun) … and as I approach my twenty-fourth and hopefully final day of antibiotics … a house directly on the beach in Florida seems like a really great idea …

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