The Nose kNows

My immune system decided that my hips have been getting WAY too much attention in the last several months and that another body part should receive above the title billing once in a while. Apparently it was my sinuses’ time to shine, to take center stage so to speak.

For this reason, I found myself at the ENT doctor today at 8 AM, ready and raring to go for my balloon sinuplasty, a “simple” in office procedure that takes no more than an hour and with “minimal” pain or discomfort. Seasonal AllergiesThe idea was that the procedure would help alleviate my persistent sinus infections as well as calm my extraordinarily severe level of allergies for which I had taken shots weekly prior to my recent surgery (and for which I continue to take 5 different medications daily). I wanted to get it out of the way before the spring allergy season kicked into full force since I am already having frighteningly bad allergy symptoms even in the absence of all of the normal seasonal triggers. I hadn’t thought too much about the ballon sinuplasty in terms of pain – after all, I had my hip broken four times in December and bounced back pretty well so how bad could a balloon be? Also, everything I had read online indicated that it might be a bit uncomfortable but certainly not painful. So I assumed that today’s procedure would be a simple one. I should realize by now that no medical procedure in my world is ever simple.


Some of the tools. No fun at all.

The doctor started by placing cotton balls coated with numbing agent in my nose. After my nose was sufficiently numb came the two syringes and eight+ mini shots in each nostril. it sucked but was over pretty fast. I figured that once they’d injected the anesthesia into my nose the pain would be pretty much done and anything that happened after might feel like a little bit of pressure but certainly not painful. After a few minutes of waiting for the anesthesia to take hold I was taken to another room and they started the procedure. I got as far as having the camera placed in my nose and up to the point where my sinuses began when I started to think that my head was actually going to explode.

Puppy wave
I want to be born, THROUGH YOUR FACE!!!

I have never given birth but I imagine that if I tried to give birth to a puppy through my sinuses and out my nose having a balloon sinuplasty is what it would feel like. Also, because there are sinuses near your teeth, it was like when that little puppy realized he wasn’t getting out through my nose, he was would literally have to push my teeth of my mouth and escape through the empty cavities. I literally thought I was going to cry – oh wait, I did.

Popped balloon

After the doctor removed to the scope I asked her if that was as bad as it would be and she said that she’d only gotten into my nose, that she hadn’t gotten into my sinuses yet nor inserted the balloon yet nor inflated the balloon yet. So yeah, it was going to get worse. The doctor was very kind and took her time but after two tries it was apparent that this was never going to work. I asked her and she said that only about 1 in 50 patients are unable to complete the procedure and that it’s likely that I just have hypersensitivity in my sinuses. I want to meet somebody that’s gone through this procedure and shake their hand.

So now I am stuck. My only option to get rid of this persistent and really awful sinus/allergy problem is to have a full endoscopic sinus surgery which involves general anesthesia and outpatient trip to the hospital. I have a email into my hip surgeon’s office to find out if it’s even viable to have the surgery performed before my SDD in May. I’m actually afraid of going through the spring allergy season where I’m trapped inside, recovering from my surgery and having constant allergy attacks. At this point I don’t even of its possible to do the endoscopic procedure and I am too raw, literally and figuratively at this point, to make a decision one way or the other. I figure I’ll get more information and decide in the next week.

Bravo sinuses! You really stole the show today but for now you are relegated to be an understudy and my hips the star of the show.

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