I went to the family doctor yesterday. I had enough symptoms that I thought I had a sinus infection. I have been walking around like this longer than I EVER would re-cancer. More congestion than usual in the throat. (I have had SOME since before the diagnosis.) Headaches. Nasal cavities hurt. Drainage. But I kept attributing it to the chemo. (As I said in a recent blog, it’s easy to want to blame EVERYTHING on the chemo and/or the cancer.)
So again, the bottom line is that I let it go longer than I normally would have. What finally made me think that maybe it wasn’t related to the cancer or the chemo but was, in fact, as simple as a sinus infection. And I figured that out when I realized that, when I started to feel the sinuses (especially the left one) hurt or the headache coming, if I closed off the left side nostril (pressing a finger against it) and breathing through my mouth, I could get rid of the pain relatively quickly.
So, I went to the doctor. He had a student studying to be a P.A. trailing him. He introduced me to her and said she attended the same University as our youngest son does., That immediately gave us that common ground that I look for when I meet new people! (A quick aside- I said to the nurse who came in first that I wasn’t trying to self-diagnose as much as I was trying to give the doctor a potential starting place. She said, “It’s OK- everybody else does it!” then she grinned!)
The doctor asked me lots of questions. He examined me. He pointed some things out to the P.A. student. And then he said that he, too, thought I had a sinus infection. One prescription for generic Augmentin and an over-the-counter extra-strength allergy med later, I was out the door! I picked up the prescription as soon as I could so I could get started on it. Then, I came home and took my nap! When I got up, my wife and I both joked that I already felt better- the meds had been in my system an entire 3 hours or so!
I’m sure the sinus infection is somewhat influenced by how badly compromised my immune system is from the chemo. But it’s almost a relief to have a simple sinus infection-something that can, usually, be treated easily. Here’s praying that it clears up quickly- I start chemo back on Monday!
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