Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy (Healthy) Anniversary!

Last year at this time, I had been suffering from a major sinus infection for seven months. Consultations with ENT specialists met with nothing more than new antibiotics, lots of scans, and no relief. I was facing major surgery, which would require a long recuperation period and lots of blood in my nose and throat. (Yummy.) Finally, Kismet intervened on my behalf.

While sitting in a doctor's waiting room before another CT scan, I saw an ad for the upcoming evening news. On the "health" feature, they planned to showcase a new procedure for sinus sufferers. I raced home before five o'clock to see this particular news program (a program I normally never watch!)

The procedure was called a balloon sinuplasty. Basically, a deflated balloon is inserted into the nasal passage and slowly inflated to break up the infection blocking the sinus cavity. At the time, only a handful of doctors were familiar with the procedure. Unlike normal sinus surgery, the procedure wasn't as invasive, had a much shorter recuperation period and patients had reported terrific results even five years after the surgery.

Sign me up! I started doing some online research, found two doctors in my area who could do the procedure. Doctor #1 scheduled an appointment for me in September. Oy. When I called Doctor #2's office, the receptionist said, "We had a cancellation this afternoon. Do you want that appointment?" Oh, boy, did I. I grabbed it, brought copies of my test results and CT scans with me and met the doctor that day. After telling me my CT scans were amazing (not in a good way), he assured me I was a candidate for the procedure. Within minutes of his exam, I had an appointment for surgery six days later, right before the 4th of July weekend, so I could take advantage of the extra days off for recuperation.

I came home the day of the surgery with a little packing in my nose to help stop the flow of blood. Two days later, I'd stopped repacking the area. On the third day, I was back to work and never looked back.

It's been a year since I had that balloon sinuplasty. And I haven't suffered from the chronic, debilitating headaches. I haven't had a cold. My allergies aren't bothering me this year. And I'd like to take today to thank everyone who intervened on my behalf. Best spur-of-the-moment decision I ever made!