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Another sinus infection in March...how original

Mar 07, 2011 - 0 comments

I always get colds, and when they hit me, they hit hard. Unfortunately, one out of every few colds I've been getting have turned into nasty sinus infections. Although I'm able to overcome some sinus infections on my own, at least once or twice a year I encounter a sinus infection from h.e.l.l and after weeks of trying to fight it and failing, I finally succumb to its power and visit a doctor for antibiotics--salvation.

About three weeks ago, I got a cold. Typical head fogginess, sore throat for 2 - 3 days, and nasal congestion. Amazingly, it dissipated rather easily on its own--almost TOO easily. When I was hanging around my boyfriend during the "lull", he was just getting over a cold and I had the misfortune of catching a second cold. I began to feel sick again, only a few days after the first cold had run its course. This time, my sore throat was a lot worse, I started getting awful headaches, and I was so fatigued I was lucky to be awake for a few hours each day. I struggled to still attend classes and do my work, but early last week, I gave up and spent the rest of the week sleeping or doing things that involved a minimal level of activity.

I was stupid to think I could get over this one on my own. I mean, I had just had a cold that I was lucky enough to beat. Well, this one quickly got worse, and I developed a high fever (102) that I let fester for a day and a half. After a particularly bad night of sleep (I dreamed I was swimming in the ocean, that's how much I was sweating...and I was also fairly delusional because I think I thought I was a pirate commanding a ship on the high seas at one point, too), I decided the fever needed to break, so I started taking DayQuil like it was my job. That got rid of my fever, but I still felt terrible for a few days. Things took a turn for the worse when I woke up this past Friday morning with one of my eyes infected. At that point, I gave into the realization that it was no longer just a cold, but it was a sinus infection and not only was it causing me to have bloody nasal mucus, it was also starting to ooze out of my eye.

I did what any normal college kid would do in such a situation on a Friday night...I ran home to my parents thinking that I could see my GP on Saturday morning. I woke up Saturday morning and my eye was worse--I could barely see out of it, and my voice was almost gone, to boot. Lo and behold, I discovered that my GP no longer holds Saturday office hours, nor did any other doctor within 50 miles of my parents' house. Well, thank goodness for great insurance...my mom and I took a trip to the ER of our small, local hospital and I saw a doctor almost immediately. Thirty minutes later, I walked out with a prescription for a 3-day Z-pack of antibiotics (azithromycin 500mg each day) and antibiotic eye drops (Tobramycin 0.3%). The doctor thought I might have pink eye, but I wasn't convinced. Knowing how contagious that is, I would've definitely had it in my other eye by now just given how much I was touching it. Because I kept using a tissue to clear the infected mucus from my eye, that really irritated the eye. I also didn't have much (if any) "crusting" on my eyelid overnight until I started using the eye drops and they leaked out of my eyes.

The antibiotics wiped me out like a giant tsunami. I went to sleep Saturday evening and didn't crawl out of bed until 6am on Sunday morning. I did wake up a lot in between because of my sore throat, but I was too tired to do anything productive. And now I have a presentation to give at 9am and then another one at 6pm. I haven't made the slides for either of them, yet. Oh boy.

"Don't stress yourself over your presentations or anything like that. You need to rest and get better." --ER Nurse

I wish I had the luxury of putting this all off until next week! Yeah, right.

My weekend was fun. How was yours?

Yes, I'm still alive and still seeing doctors

Feb 26, 2011 - 2 comments
Tags:

sleep study

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neurologist

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TSH

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daytime sleep study

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pulmonologist

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tonsils

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adenoidectomy

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provigil

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Nuvigil

,

Topamax

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propranolol

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metoprolol

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endocrinologist

,

Headaches



Wow...my first post of 2011. I haven't been updating after every single appointment since there hasn't been anything incredibly interesting.

My ENT changed his mind about my tonsils...again...and is back to thinking they don't need to come out. He wants to keep observing them, however, to be sure that there isn't anything concerning going on. He also noted that my vocal cords appear to be improving (I think I can feel this, too, because I'm singing better). He still has no explanation for why one of them was paralyzed for so long in the first place. I read that it usually takes 3 - 6 months for them to begin recuperating and if they don't, the damage is likely permanent. I still feel some fullness on the left side of my throat when I swallow, but the ENT didn't really care. I guess a future MRI will clear things up. I did tell him some of my breathing issues might be connected to the fact that one of my tonsils is protruding into my airway, but he didn't think so and claimed that neither tonsil was obstructing my airway and that I need to visit a pulmonologist to investigate lung function. The swelling under my left jaw appears to have magically subsided after nearly two years...and right when my ENT was going to order an FNA of the lymph node, too. Figures. So we're going to take the watch and wait approach with this, too. My surgical site is healing well, though (where my adenoids were removed). Looks like I'll never find a concrete answer to why anything is happening with my throat/nose. After three years, I guess I shouldn't expect anything more.

I saw my endocrinologist after having my TSH measured a few days prior, around 11am (a little late in the day to be measuring TSH--which is supposed to be highest in the morning). It was 1.87, which she was thrilled about, so I'm sticking on the 75 mcg of Levothyroxine. Honestly, I'm not sure about my TSH actually being "low" since I didn't have the blood drawn until a few hours after I normally do. If it was still 1.87 at 11 or 11:30am, then that means it was probably closer to 2.00 or 3.00 around 7 or 8am. I didn't feel like arguing with her about it (she said if it was over 2.00 she'd probably increase my dose) so I didn't ask any questions or comment on much. I won't be seeing her for another 8 months now. I can't help but wonder if my thyroid is still causing the joint problems, fatigue, weight gain, brittle nails, brain fog, constipation, and dry skin, but she doesn't seem to think it is and she's the expert. Not much I can do about it. She did tell me to really look into my fatigue issues.

My neurologist has given up on being able to put me back on Propranolol for the time being (since my heart issues are unresolved and I'm staying on Metoprolol), and he was a bit flabbergasted about what to do next, so I suggested that I try Topamax again...I felt like I was too quick to dismiss it at first. He agreed that as long as I didn't have any serious side effects, it would be fine to try again, so that's what I'm doing. Seems to be alright. I'm definitely going to need a higher dose since I'm still getting headaches.

Being the clever girl that I am, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and visit my old sleep doctor since she's a pulmonologist and all. I just saw her yesterday, and the visit went very well. It was entertaining since her resident recognized me from when she was on a rotation with my ENT and I was there for an appointment...and because I had an interesting story I was telling. Small world, I guess. Anyway, the sleep doctor said she's still not sure if I actually, technically have sleep apnea, and she's still considering narcolepsy, so she reordered an overnight sleep study (polysomnograph) and a daytime sleep study (MSLT) that I'll be doing in a month. She also told me I should get back on Provigil (yay!) since I'm so sleepy all of the time and that is dangerous especially if I'm driving. I'm going to give Nuvigil a try (I surprised her with my knowledge of it being an enantiomer) and then let her know which one I like better so she can prescribe it on a daily basis following my sleep study. My pulmonary function tests will happen in early April, when I return to her office to discuss the results of my sleep study. Here's to hoping I find something out! Otherwise, I might just give up. What's the point in continuously precious time and money on co-pays and gas to never get anywhere? I really only need the doctors to prescribe medication, and the only medication that seems to do a good job is Nexium, Provigil, Metoprolol, and whatever headache medication I try (because it gets rid of at least SOME of my headaches).

I'll finally be seeing the cardiologist in late March...just a few more weeks, then maybe I'll know more about what the heck is going on with my heart. I still have the PVCs (abnormal.premature beats) occasionally even while on the medication. I'm just the owner of a broken heart.

Pathology Results: Adenoids

Dec 20, 2010 - 1 comments

Just for my own records.....

Specimen received: A. adenoids
Preoperative diagnosis: adenoid hypertrophy
Postoperative diagnosis: adenoid hypertrophy
Diagnostic category: benign

Gross description:
A. The specimen is received fresh, in a container labeled with the patient's name, medical record number, and designated "adenoids". The specimen consists of multiple irregular fragments of tan-pink soft tissue ranging from 0.6 cm to 1.0 cm in greatest dimension and measuring 2.0 x 1.5 x 0.3 cm in aggregate. The specimen is entirely submitted for permanent histologic examination in 1 cassette labeled A1.

Final diagnosis:
A. Adenoids, adenoidectomy:
-Ciliated columnar epithelium with underlying reactive lymphoid tissue.

Adenoidectomy

Dec 05, 2010 - 4 comments

My bloodwork and urinalysis both came back normal, so I was allowed to proceed with the adenoidectomy. I had it done on December 1st, 2010, and I'm still feeling quite sore four days later.

My ENT had initially told me my adenoids were enlarged, but following the surgery I asked how it went and he replied, "Good", then I asked how large the adenoid tissue was, and he said, "Your adenoids seem to be ok in size, but there was a mass on them." I was a little confused about that since I thought he had seen the adenoids a few weeks ago and would've noticed a mass sitting on them. I have since read some articles explaining that masses in the nasopharynx can sometimes be misconstrued as adenoids. He did tell me that he doesn't do that many adenoidectomies because they're generally done in adults where he wants a biopsy of the tissue, and that was his plan all along. He had told me a few weeks ago that the tissue needed to be biopsied to rule out tumors.

So my excised adenoids were sent to pathology for analysis and my ENT said the results should be back in a week. Normally, after an out-patient surgical procedure you follow-up with your doctor at an appointment 3 - 4 weeks later...well, my ENT said in a rather commanding tone, "I want to see you in my office in a week." I asked him if it would be possible to get an appointment that soon and he said, "Tell them I want to see you in a week and they will fit you in." Seems a little odd to me that he was so urgent about seeing me...maybe he just wants to be able to convey the biopsy results to me himself? Or maybe he is worried the results are not likely to come back good...so he's pre-empting what he thinks is going to happen? I mean he's the one who has seen the "mass"; maybe he can tell it looks malignant or at the very least, worrisome. I got the feeling there was something he wasn't telling me, but that might've been because my boyfriend was there with me. Usually, my ENT is very blunt and straight-forward.

Anyway, I'm not sure what to think, but I hope this biopsy helps determine why I've been feeling so horrible these past few years. I'll be sure to post the results once I hear them.

I have a small amount of bleeding from the surgical site and a low-grade fever (99.5 for the past two or three days), but I wasn't given any antibiotics, so hopefully I can fight any infections off on my own. It just s.u.c.k.s that I have final exams and three major papers due this week...all in the time-span of about four days. =(