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I developed reoccurring acute episodes of sinusitis within a continual state of sinusitis. At times including Bronchitis, bronchiectasis, chronic fatigue, brain dysfunctions with bad memory, sleep apnea, night sweats, personality changes, illness related depression. After about 9 years I learned to do nasal saline sprays and irrigation, which helped a lot. Then I added Oxymetazoline one spray one hour before the saline irrigations, then learned how to do positional sniffing (after the irrigations) from the upper nostril with my head turned sideways to totally evacuate all mucous from the sinuses which allowed me to sleep the night without cough and finally restorative sleep.
Next came antifungals taken along with antibiotics and continuing after. I learned all this from 1991 through 1999. After Mayo and others finally learned why fungus/mold drove sinusitis the antifungal meds and hypertonic saline gained acceptance. Also my doctor, once thinking I was crazy to take antifungals (1993), now just opens his prescription pad and asks me what I want. I have not had an acute episode in over a year--the first time since 1982, I take Singulair and Flonase routinely (not convinced they keep me well just afraid to stop to see) and Oxymetazonlie and Saline irrigations PRN (always allows me to sniff out thick yellow or green mucous and get well immediately).
After living decades in sinus hell I relish life now and still don't know exactly what I had all those years but here is a list of suspects as I sense it.
--nasal congestion blocking sinus drainage
--Thick mucous possibly hypomotile cilia
--Sick building - chemicals and rain damage moldy smelling
--working night shift
--infected gums or teeth draining into the sinus
--sleep deprivation from coughing during sleep
--depressed immune system from some of the above
Chronic sinusitis is disabling. When I was about 8 years into it at 39 years old and getting more airway obstructions at night and generally worse sinuses, lungs, strength, memory, I didn't think I could live to see my 42nd birthday. I was working as an ICU nurse and watching my health, friendships and family fall apart, ultimately losing my job due to these disabilities, I was devastated. Now age 53 I am again in the ICU and totally well and feel like I will see 70 and beyond.
During the late 80's to late 90's I saw many doctors in my home town, desperate to get well, and I was labeled a "doctor hopper" by the local doctors. They thought I was just a mental case with some nose trouble.
Today I no longer collect green mucous coughed up or sniffed out of my sinuses and I no longer see doctors for my sinuses. I no longer have the brain fog that used to only be present with acute sinus episodes. I feel that I should have gone to a regional ENT or sinus center decades ago and still feel a bit resentful of doctors who would label me a somatizer or hypochondriac or just depressed, these suggestions did not help but did cause harm.
~ John S.
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