Wednesday, April 07, 2010

latest ows

A couple of things I need to keep track of...

I have an eye/sinus thing that's well into its third week. I let it go for a while but then it became painful -- I thought it was just a temporarily blocked tear duct, but then it moved into my face and is not fun. I broke down and went to the doctor last week, he started me on anti-biotic eye drops on the theory that whatever it is started in the eye. Instructions were to give a good 5 days, and if it wasn't better, to start the Z-pack. I started the Z-pack yesterday. No appreciable relief yet. My eyes are very dry and gritty -- I'm using the Refresh tears more often than I ever have before, but the eyes still burn all the time.

Coincidentally I had a follow-up with my ENT today, who anesthetized my nose and then scoped it (very cool gadget, that) and didn't see a thing indicating any kind of infection. No swelling, inflammation, discharge, nothing. He did say there could be a sub-clinical infection in the sinus which he wouldn't be able to see with the scope, so we should give the Z-pack a good 10 days to work -- and if it's not better by than, he'll send me for a CT scan.

I don't want a CT scan, for many reasons. First of all, whenever I hear the word "scan" my brain automatically goes directly to "metastases", which is absurd, but I've been living with cancer for five and a half years now, and that's just the way my brain works. Second, CTs are expensive, and third, it probably won't show anything. The ENT mentioned the possibility that it could be a nerve problem. On a certain level I'm pretty happy that everything looks OK up inside my head (at least the parts the doctor could see - nasal passages, ears, throat, heck even my eyes look fine), while at the same time I'm wishing this was just a simple, treatable sinus infection. It's not, and I know it's not, because I've had plenty of sinus infections in my day, and I can't recall a single one feeling like this and not responding at all to Sudafed, mucinex, sinus rinses and ibuprofen. All that OTC stuff gets a handle on congestion, drainage, and inflammation, and helps clear out the sinuses so they can heal -- and none of it has helped a bit this time.

So I'll just wait and see. Perhaps whatever this is related to this:

I'm in a wicked flare the past couple of days. It may have started before Easter but I was too busy to pay it much attention, but I'm hurting everywhere now, even on a steady diet of ibuprofen. I'm just keeping my rings off because my hands are swollen and I don't want them to get stuck. My left hip is particularly bad -- it has been bothering me for a few weeks now with limited range of motion, but nothing too horrible. I figured I'd pulled it working out and it would get better, but it hasn't. Pain in the joint has been increasing, which sucks, and now all the muscles in my butt/hip on the left side are all seized up. Which came first, the muscles seizing up or the joint pain? They are definitely related. I'm doing my best not to torque my hips around, which means sleeping with a pillow between my knees, never crossing my legs, and not curling up in a chair or on the couch or anywhere -- I can't tuck my feet under me or sit cross-legged and man, is that annoying and tiring and worst of all, it's not helping.

Stretching: the ones I can do aren't helping, and the ones I want to do I can't do because of that range-of-motion problem I mentioned. Copious amounts of Biofreeze gel help. I spoke to the 24-hour on call nurse at Blue Cross and she recommended I see the rheumatologist, but I kind of want to see the sinus thing through first. (Now I sound like my mother, who doesn't want to multi-task health issues.) Perhaps I'll call tomorrow.

Sleeping OK. Feeling a bit pukey from the antibiotics (I think, it feels different from the gastroparesis pukiness. No actual puking, though, as has been true for the last ~20 years.) Ate way too many sweets (too much in general) over Easter -- which may have contributed to the flare -- and am now back to eating sensibly. Was hoping that would have a more immediate impact on my general condition, but so far, no such luck.

1 comment:

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