Monday, January 29, 2007

Nasal Stories: This Is Completelty Disgusting, I Warn You In Advance

I'm serious - If you read further, you do so at your own risk. I don't want to hear a single complaint, not one word, saying how gross this is. You don't have to read it. But seriously, KN called me the other day to discuss snot b/c her husband is sick, so I'm providing this as both entertainment and public service. Proceed at your own risk.

So if you're a regular reader, you're well aware that I seem to have a never ending sinus infection. I have tried many a home remedy, plus antibiotics to no avail. I finally got referred to an Ear Nose Throat doctor and had my appointment today. Oh the horror, the horror.

He begins by sitting me down, and pearing up my nose while wearing this crazy headgear with all these flip-up lenses on it. On the table nearby are various liquids with sprayers attached. He starts shooting these things up my nose. They mostly burn, and as they pass through the sinuses to the throat, they have the added fun of tasting like ass.

The doctor determins that my right nostril is good, it's the left side of my nose that has all the problems. Then he sticks a little silver rod up my left nostril, which is apparently a vaccuum and begins sucking mucus out of nose. The sound is awful - it's like a special effect from an Aliens movie. And if you think it's disgusting to hear about, try being the person who's having this done to you.

Then my nose starts throbbing. The doctor stops with the suction and flips down a lense and looks up my nose and the sends in some reinforcements via tweezers. Sweet jesus, I won't describe the results the tweezers produced, but suffice to say tears were pouring down my face it hurt so much -and let me assure you I have a MUY high pain tolerance. For example, I tore the ligaments in my hand and didn't go to a doctor for 10 days because I thought I'd just jammed my thumb.

El Doctor then informs me that I have nasal polyps.

Blocked nose? Food seem less tasty? Thick, discolored nasal drainage? You might be suffering from nasal polyps - a treatable nasal problem!

Yes, but what are nasal polyps, Socrates?

Well, Timmy,
nasal polyps occur in around 1 in 200 people. Polyps are soft, jelly-like overgrowths of the lining of the sinuses. They look like grapes on the end of a stalk. The result is often a blocked nose and they can block the tunnels connecting the nose to the sinus cavities. Like water in a stagnant pond, they can increase the risk of sinus infection, but are rarely cancerous.

What causes this nasal horror?

The cause is unknown, but inflammation in the sinuses (from allergy or infection) may trigger polyps and make them grow faster, and make them come back faster after sinus operations. Sometimes other conditions may occur with greater frequency in people with nasal polyps. These include sinus infections, asthma and allergy to aspirin.

So, to sum up -- they're not really sure what causes them, or doesn't cause them. They may be caused by sinus infections, or sinus infections may cause them. It is definitely a chicken in the egg scenario. The treatment includes steroids and antibiotics, and possibly surgery. I got a shot of cortizone in my ass, so I'm feeling pretty fantastic right now.

I am now officially an old lady. I shall proceed directly past my youth and begin the goiter and bunyon conversations immediately.

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