Month: February 2012

Surviving sinusitis

I am not an expert in this subject matter but I would like to share some tips about improving the condition of sinusitis. I personally a chronic sinusitis sufferer. On top of that, I am also allergic to dust, fur and even the slightest changes of weather. People who know me, would understand that I am quite a hygiene freak but it is not something that I want to do, but something I have to do.

First of all, I must tell you that I am very resistance towards the idea of eating medicine, especially Western medicine. I have heard so much about having long term side effects and stuff which makes me extremely resistance in consuming them. But at times when you need it, you HAVE TO take them! I have also tried many different many traditional Chinese herbs medicines and also consulted many Chinese physicians. On top of that, as a person who is very skeptical towards Western medicines, I also consulted many specialists whose fees were so freaking expensive that I clearly cannot afford in the long run. Clearly, my condition did not improve at all. My last resort was actually to consult in a government hospital because I cannot afford anymore to pay more for these medicine, whether from the specialist or the Chinese physicians. I must admit, in the government hospital, you cannot really expect very good service and this is the reason why many people dislike going there. And, you have to be “kiasu” (scare to lose) and to go and queue for your number at early morning to avoid the crowd. Yes, that is all true. But I was also waiting for my turn for hours even in the specialist clinics. Once, I actually gave up waiting and just went to another clinic, BUT I still had to wait for my turn. Ever since I successfully registered myself in the government hospital, I am regularly going back for check up. Of course, sometimes you meet very good doctors who help you to check very thoroughly, at times, I also meet very lazy doctors who couldn’t be bothered to touch my nose. The doctor would just ask me several questions and told me to come months later. Well, this is something which is beyond our control, so you just have to pray about it.

Here are some tips that I want to share with you:

#1 – Besides relying on your doctor, you have to clearly know your own body condition. Although your doctor is an expert, but note that everyone’s body is different from another. Medicines which suit others can be hazardous to you. So, do not follow blindly but rather do some research about the given medicine. 

My story: Once I went to a specialist clinic and the doctor gave me Aerius 5mg (one tablet per day, total 10 tablets) for my sinusitis condition. After taking once, I felt extremely uncomfortable but I was thinking, the doctor knew what he gave me, and I continued taking it until the 4th pill and I was dying. I couldn’t breathe through my nose and my mouth (I felt like the oxygen just refuse to go in my body) and my heart beat was extremely slow and weak. I couldn’t move and I was just lying on the bed like a zombie. I then went to check for this medicine on the Internet and found out that there were many people also having the same symptoms as me. Of course, some of them had lesser effect but most of them were suffering the same symptoms as me. The nurse called me to go back for follow up, and I told her I will never step in the clinic again because the medicine almost killed me. And, she didn’t even apologize or what. All they care was just me going back to follow up and pay them for their money.

#2 – Know your surrounding condition. Different people feel better at different condition / weather condition.

My story: I was once told that being in cold environment (in air conditioned room) will make my sinusitis worst. Basically, I have to avoid all cold areas. No doubt, I realised that sometimes I would sneeze when I am in cold room. Therefore, I was very scared to visit cold places and in fact, was in fear before I visited Bulgaria during winter season when I heard that the weather could reach -25°c. This is absolutely WRONG! Later, I found out that the reason why I sneezed in cold room was because most air conditioners WERE NOT CLEANED REGULARLY! I remembered when I was in Macau, the air conditioner in my hostel actually gave me peaceful sleep. I am not sure if it was cleaned regularly, BUT it was definitely being cleaned before. Sad to say, most offices and classrooms (I mostly spent my time there because I am a teacher) have very dirty air conditioners. Such heavy loaded air conditioners that work daily should b cleaned once a month but in my previous office, it was only cleaned once during my 2 years stay (it was cleaned because it was leaking). Very bad hygiene! In contrast, my sinusitis was very much relieved when I was in Bulgaria. Even at -20°c, walking in the snow, I didn’t get sick at all. So, COLD is definitely not the cause!

#3 – Know the level of humidity you can accept.

My story: Having sinusitis is a shit. I cannot be in a room where the air is too dry or too humid. Too much also heating (during winter) or air conditioning (during summer) will make my sinusitis worse. Therefore, you have to adjust to a level which you feel comfortable with. In Malaysia, we have summer all year long. However, not because the weather outside is warm, and therefore you must switch your air conditioner to an extreme low level. You should adjust at a temperature that suits you. I found that between 23°c – 25°c at auto level is good for me. Although it is not too cooling, I do sleep peacefully with such temperature. But of course, my own room doesn’t have an air con, I’ll move to the next point where I’ll share about surviving in a room with fan.

#4- Keep your fan clean!

My story: Sadly, my own room doesn’t have an air con. It is also very narrow therefore the air ventilation is very bad. Even if I keep the window and door open, it is still warm compared to other rooms in my house. I considered installing an air con but haven’t got the chance yet. Either busy working (not at home) or not in Malaysia at all. If you have no choice but to stay in a room with fan, do not turn your fan to high level. Low or middle level is good. Also, clean off the dust from it regularly because if the dust remains on the fan, it will eventually falls when the fan is switched on. AND, dust will DEFINITELY make your sinusitis worse! At least, it makes mine much worse.

#5 – Drink a lot of liquid!

My story: Water, juices and honey tea will keep you hydrated and make your sinus less dry and thus, less irritated. Make sure you drink enough liquids per day. Try to avoid “fake” fruit juice. By “fake” I mean those with artificial flavouring and with added sugar. Choose those that is 100% fruit juice. Of course, the best is to make it by yourself. Water itself helps to clear the toxins in the body. Honey tea will sooth your throat and ensure general well being. I am a fan of camomile tea + honey and it works very well. And by honey, I mean 100% pure honey, not fake honey with a lot of flavouring and sugar.

#6 – Take Vitamin C regularly.

My story: I found that whenever I am sick or not feeling well, my sinusitis will occur. For prevention, take Vitamin C regularly. No matter how lazy you are, just remember to take it once you remember it. I missed several times of Vit C, and now, I am sick like hell. So, don’t think it’s just a small pill. It’s very important to your health. Before you even considered taking other types of vitamins or supplements, make sure you have Vit C first!

#7 – Get enough sleep!

My story: Having enough sleep is the best medicine for being healthy. Whether you are students or working adult, make sure you know your schedule well. If you have classes or if you are working at early hours, make sure you hit the bed latest by 11pm. Nothing beats having a good sleep. It doesn’t only keep your mind fresh, it also helps you to stay young and healthy. Of course, it is okay to sleep late for a day or two in a week (or during weekends), but make sure you generally have enough rest! I recommend at least 8 hours sleep. That is like the minimum. Of couse, some of you may argue that you have a lot of assignments or work and blablabla, what I can tell you is, time if for you to manage. Everyone only has 24 hours in a day. No one has more or less. So, it’s all up to your personal time management. There’s nothing like “having no time”. But there’s something I called “wasting time”. If you are spending too much time on your DOTA, PPS, Facebook, yamcha and etc…. you should know it’s time for you to cut it down.

#8 – Be positive! Better yet, be HAPPY!

My story: Sickness only come to you when you are feeling negative. Depressed, sad, stressed etc. When you are positive, nothing can bring you down. People nowadays, always complained of having stress. Again, nobody can escape their workload. Nobody is doing easier job or having lesser things to do. DON’T ALWAYS think that you are having much more to do than the others. THE ONLY PROBLEM is whether you know how to handle you workload or not. Work is never ending, there’s nothing to stress about. Make sure you schedule everything properly, you will definitely be left with time. Save the weekends for yourself. Work hard during the weekdays, rest on the weekends. Do something that makes you relaxed, or happy on these 2 days. Life is too short to be stress. Open your eyes and you will see many wonderful things around you.

#9 – Avoid smoke

My story: Pollution is something we cannot avoid but we can avoid smoke. Try avoid sitting near to smokers. If you have smoker friends, tell them about your condition and I am sure they will be glad to smoke somewhere else, and not in front of you. If they insist to smoke near you, then these are not your true friends. You might want to consider stop going out with them since they don’t care about your condition at all.

I am currently having a terrible sickness. I could hardly move from my bed the past 1 and a half day. The reasons? 

1. I didn’t have enough rest when I was travelling back home. I almost didn’t sleep for 36 hours. (#7)

2. I didn’t have enough water. I am generally a big water drinker. I drink at least 2L of water per day, excluding juices and tea. 1L of mineral water in the airport costs €3, I wanted to save money so I just bought a bottle and instead, I sacrificed my health. Eventhough I was taking in liquids in the plane, it could never make up to the liquids I lost during my 10 hours wait in Amsterdam. Remember, always drink lots of water especially when you are travelling. (#5)

3. I missed my Vit C and my medicine when I was travelling. I thought it was okay to just miss a dose or 2. I was wrong. When you are travelling, make sure you take them on time!  (#6)

4. I was feeling depressed before I came back. I resisted the idea of coming back. 1 week before I came back to Malaysia, I was so stressed and upset that I kept having nightmares every night. Then, I was also feeling upset when I was travelling and even when I reached home, I was feeling so depressed. (#8)

Of course, there are more things which could result in you being sick. If you do have any tips, please feel free to share them. I hope this article somehow helps you in any way, especially if you have the same condition as me.

p/s: sorry if there’s any typo / spelling error.