Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Not Dead, Mostly


One of the hardest things for me to learn in college, which was my first extended period away from a household headed by two doctors, was that when people say, I’d rather not talk about that at the dinner table, they may actually mean it. It took a few years (sorry, everyone), but eventually I learned, more by rote than by true understanding, that many people not raised by wolves scientists actually do feel physically bothered by descriptions of vomit, mucus, and thick, green eyeball-pus.

With that in mind, I’m at something of a loss to describe the past several weeks of life at Casa Biónica. I profoundly hope we are getting better. It remains to be seen.

By we, I mostly mean me. Sugar and the Bean are fine, following their own revolting but brief illnesses. I am on round two of antibiotics and now oral steroids for this sinus infection, which I just don’t know how to talk about without sounding like I am being over-dramatic even by my own standards. It’s just…I’ve been really, really sick, y’all. Like, sick enough that I am 95% sure my teaching evaluations will be bad this semester, because I can’t think and half the time I can breathe or consistently talk, either. Sick enough that Sugar has been sleeping with the Bean, and you know how she feels about cosleeping. Sick enough that I don’t even want to eat ice cream.

I have had a number of go-rounds with my ordinarily great internist, in which I tried to explain that things were Not Right and she worked to convince me that I was having allergies and asthma and would clear out the sinus stuff with just some steroid nasal spray and patience. I have also learned that it is possible to vomit just from nasal spray, if you are pushed hard enough. Also that sinus infections can come out of your tear ducts and give you proper conjunctivitis, and by the way, eye drops can make you puke, too.

Finally, she suggested I see an ENT, who took a horrified look (and some very unpleasant pokes) around the wreck of my head, started using words like “really dangerous” and “worried about you,” and gave me his cell phone number with repeated instructions to call him this weekend if I felt even a little worse despite prednisone and new antibiotics (augmentin…what to get for the woman who has everything, says a chemist friend). I am seeing him again on Tuesday, at which point I gather he may have some results on the cultures he skewered out of me and will adjust the meds if necessary.

Because of the prednisone, he gave me strict instructions to stop taking NSAIDs, which is bad news given the expectant-Zeus style headaches I’ve been having, and not to drink any alcohol, which has not done much for my mood. Also because of the prednisone, I am having the most horrific depression, alternating with fiery rages and the kind of anxiety that feels like your blood has been carbonated. I am tapering now and more hopeful that I will get through this without a homicide conviction, but I’d still recommend keeping your distance, especially if you are one of the people I’ve run into who seem to think all I need is to give up dairy and pour salt water up my nose. (For the record: the infection is now lodged in, among other places, my frontal sinuses, well beyond the reach of snot-potting, and plenty of bacteria are the kind of paleo enthusiasts that don’t miss milk one bit, given a nice, warm chalet snuggled up against a tender brain.)

I’m finally improving enough to write this, though, and I just thought I should let you know that the hysteroscopy didn’t kill me or anything. It was not great and not horrible — a bigger deal than i had imagined, but the whole alien-civilization-in-my-head business has dulled much of the memory of it. (Which would be handy if it hadn’t also wiped clean my short and long term memories, in general.) I have a follow-up with Dr. BF on Wednesday, which I hope will include being cleared for take-off for a May FET. Assuming, that is, I can rid myself of this scourge and the crippling existential angst that apparently accompanies infections for me (ah, my youthful dalliance with giardia!), waking me at five in the morning in a dead panic that I can’t possible handle being pregnant/giving birth/having another baby. Happy spring!

11 thoughts on “Not Dead, Mostly

  1. I hope you know I was TOTALLY JOKING about the dairy and neti pot thing, especially being as I am, myself, scheduled for sinus surgery in… er… two weeks. Also I was, actually, totally serious about the whole thing on how if it gets WORSE after you stop the antibiotics for 2-3 days, that is NOT GOOD! NOT GOOD! Which I know was also your opinion; a pity your doctor wasn’t listening. My personal preferred method of interaction with doctors is to beat them over the head with the best/sanest literature I can find. (Though the most recent sinusitis review – here it is AGAIN! I know! – is possibly the most boring review I’ve read in years.) I hope they have you on an enormous dose of augmentin and/or give you something fantastically effective after the cultures come back. Personally, I am really, REALLY REALLY looking forward to taking some fluoroquinolones next time this happens, and then maybe my cheek won’t feel like it’s being stabbed for (counting) 16 weeks!

    (Don’t get me started on biofilms and antibiotic resistance – a subject my mastitis seemed to know a great deal about – in any event, it’s deeply disturbing. So. Antibiotics! We love them!)

    I did NOT know that about the conjunctivitis and think I could have gone my entire life, happily, without knowing; I expect you could have as well! ACK ACK ACK ACK MORE DRUUUUUUGS.

  2. P.S. Dinners with my-mother-the-PA were frequently punctuated by “MOM! Not appropriate dinner table conversation!” Especially if she started “You’ll never guess what I saw at work today!” (A guy with three testicles, once. And even stranger things.)

  3. You poor woman, I am so sorry. I didn’t realise things were at this level of misery.

    I send much empathy – I used to have terrible sinusitis when I was a child with that horror movie style vomiting and pounding headache. UGH. So glad to hear you are able to taper off the prednisone, the depression and anxiety induced by which is just what a person with the fiery pince-nez from Hell that is a sinus headache doesn’t need.

    Heartfelt healing thoughts to you.

  4. this.sounds.horrible. I thrilled that is overshadowed the hysto (at least thats a silver lining???). I hope you ‘reenter’ the land of the living fully, if not gracefully for what seems to finally be SPRING!

  5. Oh geez! That sounds utterly miserable and misery-inducing. No wonder you are a depressive mess. I’m sorry you’ve been going through all this. I hope hope hope you start to feel better soon.

  6. Are you sure you aren’t dead? You SOUND dead. And I am mourning you, just so you know. Here’s hoping that the afterlife is less headachey and more pregnant than your current state 😉

  7. Oh, I am so so sorry. I have had the sinuses-draining-from-the-eyes problem, as have both my children. Sucks. Hope you are on the mend soon.

  8. I am so glad to hear from you although sorry things are so awful. I have no experience with sinus misery but know very well the horridness that is prednisone. Having to cope with that as well as the sinus misery and with a toddler just sounds massively unfair.

  9. I still don’t really understand WHY people don’t want to talk about pus or supernumerary testes over dinner. These things are interesting! And guinea worm? Don’t get me started.

    Given how abjectly miserable you sound, I feel that to celebrate the fact that you are still alive might seem unkind, but really, I AM glad about it. I hope that you soon feel better enough to be glad as well.

  10. OH! MY! GOD! I missed this post somehow (guess: wordpress is stupid) but was just thinking that perhaps you’d dropped off the face of the earth. If only you had, and landed in a big bucket of Lysol! For your sake, of course. I’m really, really sorry. This Disease Season has been extra cruel to you guys.

  11. Bad At Blog Reading, As usual. This is me sending a belated and careful hug, before backing rapidly away again and putting the germ mask back on because Do Not Want. Poor woman.

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