Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sinus issues and allergies...

I feel yucky. That’s about the only way to really describe it. I’m not sick necessarily, but I just feel completely run-down and exhausted. I’ve been tossing and turning until 1 or 2am for the past couple of weeks, unable to sleep - but then I can hardly keep my eyes open all day. I can’t concentrate very well and just feel like my head is wrapped in wool. Getting these words down right now is actually very difficult as my brain and fingers don’t seem to want to work correctly.

So please bear with me if I don’t make a lot of sense here, ok?

I’m hoping that this is ‘just’ a sinus infection. Well actually I’m pretty sure that it is a sinus infection since I have them often enough that I tend to recognize them right away. But the not being able to sleep or relax part is new. I know I’m under a lot of stress with financial stuff and dealing with Ron’s work schedule, grumpy kids and getting everything ready for school – but honestly it’s really not much more than I’m usually juggling. And less than I will be having to deal with once school actually starts and we add back in the usual school, church and other activities. And this fall will be harder on me since I won’t have Ron around for much of it.

Oh I wish I could think straight. Or take a nap. I probably could and should take a day off and just rest, but I’m still trying to catch up from the days that I had to take off over July 4th when we had no backup daycare.

I’m going to call the doctor this morning and see if I can get seen for the probable sinus infection. Why am I so sure that this is at least a good portion of the problem? I never had any sinus issues until 1995 when I had a horrible sinus infection. Knock me right out, pain shooting through my head kind of sinus infection. And that was just the start. Ever since then I’ve suffered from chronic sinus infections even to the point where I had sinus surgery 4 years ago. They also fixed a deviated septum as well. I did feel better after that – for a few months anyway, until the first sinus infection post-surgery hit. And then another, and another… At the time that I had the surgery done, the doctor also did a blood test to determine if allergies were an issue with my many infections. I was told that the blood test showed no trace of allergies, so went ahead with the surgery. Right after that we moved here, so I had to change doctors. In 2005 my new doctor sent me to a specialist since my sinuses were as bad as ever. The specialist said he was pretty sure I was showing signs of allergic tendencies so I went in to see the allergist in the office shortly afterward.

This time, they did both blood and skin tests. And apparently I do have allergies! Even quite a few of them. So I’m left wondering if the original doctor dropped the ball somehow in not doing skin tests or further following up on the blood tests. I suppose by now it really doesn’t matter though.

I am allergic to (ready for the list?): dust, dustmites, pollen (several types), grass, mold and all of the usual culprits. And – apparently I also have a fairly strong allergy to milk and dairy. Who knew?

I immediately went on a regimen of 3 different allergy medications (Singulair, Nasonex, and Astelin) and tried to rid my house of as many allergens as possible. And I discovered something. Dealing with allergies requires a lot of effort – and money. I bought an air purifier for our bedroom and began dusting almost daily. I replaced my pillow – and folks, this was a big deal for me. I’d had the same pillow my entire life – it was a feather pillow that had originally belonged to my grandfather. I’d sewed up holes in it, re-stuffed it with feathers a few times and finally kept it in a zippered cover for years. I hate to even think about how sleeping on that pillow affected me after so long. It was my ‘security’ object from when I was little – yes, I know, I know – but after over 30 years with the same pillow it was hard to give it up! Until this whole allergy thing came up. Bye, bye pillow. Ok, so it’s only packed away in the basement, but at least I’m not using it, right? LOL

There’s more I know I should be doing. The almost daily dusting and vacuuming has dropped off to whenever there’s company coming or I can’t stand it anymore. I’m overdue to replace my pillow yet again. I’ve never bought the mattress cover that the allergist recommended since it was $50 that we haven’t had. And since all 3 of my medications were brand-name only (no generics available), I couldn’t afford the co-pays to stay on all of them (not to mention that I got pregnant right after that as well and was told that the Singulair was the only one my doctor felt was ok to take). I’m still on Singulair, and have been put on Flonase as well nowadays but I’m horrible about remembering that one.

And the whole milk thing… For someone whose favorite food is pizza and is addicted to chocolate, this wasn’t a good thing to learn. I tried for months to completely cut all dairy from my diet. But added to my husband’s total picky-ness and my kids’ picky-ness, there just weren’t any meals left that everyone would and could eat. I compromised on this one – I avoid milk as much as possible, but don’t keep myself from having the foods that our family will eat. Other than chocolate, I think I do fairly well most of the time with that.

I guess it’s probably time to step things back up and start taking better care of myself. Now if I could only think straight, then maybe I could work on that...

Updated - well, my doctor can't see me until Friday, so two more days of this haze... Off to find some Motrin and hope that helps my head stop throbbing.

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2 wonderful people said...:

Christine said...

Oh, Deb, I am sorry you are not feeling well. I hope you start feeling better soon.

My mother is allergic to dairy too, and she LOVES ice cream and pizza.

BTW~I'm going to have your tag finished tonight.

Take care.

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Thanks, Christine!

I'm going to have your tag done soon too... :)