Photo by Jenn Stone
Twice a year, in the fall, usually in October, and in the spring, usually in April, my sinuses decide to prove to me that they can make my life miserable. They get congested and drip down my throat, resulting in a constant thickness that can make my voice sound like it belongs to an actress playing aging sex symbol who smokes. They pressurize my head and ears, making me long for some sort of explosion as a release. An event I imagine as yellow-green goopy projectiles erupting from every opening of my head. (My apologies for this graphic image.) They can make yoga, walking, thinking, breathing and sleeping harder, They reduce me to a snuffling, throat clearing, tired and occasionally pissed-off version of myself. These symptoms can come and go for an extended period of time and leave me feeling as if I am constantly fending off a cold.
Normally when the sinus battles begin, I make sure I drink lots of water, which translates to lots and lots of water because I already drink a lot to begin with. Water sometimes paired with Advil Cold and Sinus when the symptoms get too annoying. So this is what I started to do last week when they settled in for Sinuses April 2020 Round 1. I am now in April Round 2 because I got a two day reprieve on the weekend then they returned to further antagonize me. This is my normal for this time of year.
I am not one to panic, but there is a little voice in my head that casually asks me once a day, when my symptoms are at their worst: What if this isn’t sinuses? What if it is something else? THAT OTHER THING. After all, one news article chronicled a female who thought she was getting a sinus infection, but turns out she had that other thing. I immediately respond, in my most sensible head voice: Don’t be ridiculous. How can it be that other thing? And stop reading so much news!
In the past few weeks, other than my lone walks and the occasional walk with The Doc, I have hardly been out. But, like everyone else, I have been out. I have been to the grocery store once, which was the subject of my last blog. It was not crowded so distancing was very easy. I have been to the Drug Store. A quick in and out to pick up a couple of bars of soap (we only had a sliver left) and some hand cream, a necessity for me even when frequent hand washing isn’t required.
I had a doctor’s appointment, literally right after protective measures were put into place. I debated going, but it takes a few weeks to get an appointment with my doctor and I needed a referral to a dermatologist. Normally something like this could wait, but I had melanoma several years ago and a couple of inconclusive biopsies since. My dermatologist, who is no longer practicing, always described my back as a minefield. There are blotches and bumps that require monitoring. It will be months before I get an appointment with a new dermatologist. I would have preferred to do this by phone and called the doctor’s office the day before to ask about their protocol given the situation. I was told that the other doctor at the clinic was doing phone and video appointments, but my physician was not. When I mentioned that I only needed a referral, I was still told that I would have to see him in person. I wasn’t impressed. Fortunately, I was the only person in the waiting room and didn’t have to wait long.
The one other time I was out was for a two-meter-apart walk with a friend, my walking/kayaking buddy. This was before things were as serious as they are now. Before we were told by our Premier to, except for necessities, “stay the blazes home.” A statement that has gone viral, and one that repeats itself in my head when I hear about the people still flaunting this directive.
So I think to myself, if this was something other than my sinuses (say that other thing) how terrible would I feel? I know exactly how terrible I would feel. I would feel like shit. I feel like shit just thinking about the possibility of my limited movements being responsible for repercussions. And I was hardly out.
What I don’t understand is why those who refuse to be considerate and act appropriately under these circumstances don’t feel like shit. How some people have a conscience and others just don’t care. Is it genetic? Is it the way these people were brought up? Or is it just plain stupidity? I really don’t have the answers to these questions. I will never have the answers to these questions. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue to think about them. In the meantime, for the sake of those voices in my head, let’s hope this is only sinuses.
Thanks for reading.