Annoying situations in life

Surviving sinusitis part 2

More than 2 years ago, I wrote a post about my experience surviving sinusitis. You can click here to read about it. I still adhere to the points I mentioned in the first article. This second article is an update to my current condition and some measures I have taken in addition to the points mentioned in the first article. Having sinusitis is really a pain in the *ss!

Note: The author is neither a doctor nor a sinusitis expert. This post is solely based on the author’s experience having chronic sinusitis for the past years. This post is solely for sharing purposes. 

My BFF once mentioned to me that when I sneeze or blow my nose, the noise is as loud as a bomb. She told me that if I continue to blow my nose like that, my nose is going to drop soon. Actually, I’m quite ashamed by this fact (harsh nose blowing). It’s not that I don’t want to blow my nose gently. I obviously don’t want my nose to drop. And honestly, I have developed many bad symptoms like pain in the ear, pain in the middle of my forehead and back pain due to my harsh nose blowing. Can you imagine having back pain while blowing your nose? Yeah, I’m not even talking about being pregnant. I’m talking about my back hurts when I blow my nose. That’s how hard I have been blowing my nose. So, why did I not stop? I have tried to blow it gently but the mucous in my nose is so thick that it refuses to get out from my nose. Gentle blowing doesn’t help me to clear my mucous. I can gently blow my nose for 20 times in a row and the mucous would still remain stuck. But twice harsh blowing helps to clear mucous, but of course I have to suffer pain elsewhere. So tell me, what choice do I have?

When I vent my frustration about sinusitis, many people offered suggestions. In fact, I have been to so many doctors (GPs, ENT Specialists and Chinese Physicians), have taken so many different medicines and have used different nose sprays but none of them really helped to completely cure my sinusitis. They did help to relieve the symptoms in some ways but usually my sinusitis would occur again and again and again. Ggrrrr… I believe my sinusitis condition can only be controlled and not cured. It is like a bomb ticking in my body, which can explode at any time. If my surrounding and my diet are perfect, usually my sinusitis is under control. Under such “controlled” condition, I would still sneeze in the early morning or once every few hours. Therefore, it’s not entirely sneeze-free or mucous-free. However, if there are slight changes in my surroundings and diet (e.g. the weather becomes colder or if I eat a little more chocolates), then my sinusitis becomes so serious that every day I use a box of tissue to clear my nose.

Really, I am thankful for all the suggestions and advice I’ve received. I truly appreciate your concerns. I assure you that I’ve done everything possible to keep it under control. In return, if you are also a sinusitis sufferer, I’m going to share with you which doctors I have visited, which medicines I have eaten, and what I have done to keep my sinusitis under control (not always, not most of the time but just sometimes). If your symptoms are not as severe as mine, I truly believe these methods will help you. However, if you have severe symptoms like I do, you can also try these methods and in addition, let’s pray and keep a positive mindset that one day, miraculously, our sinusitis will be cured completely.

1. Doctors

  • General practitioners in clinics that I have visited would most probably take my temperature whenever I told them I have sinusitis. Perhaps they just want to ensure that it is not a flu instead. Usually they give me antibiotics and flu medicines. Sometimes they give me anti-histamine pills and paracetamol if they think I have additional symptoms like fever or sore throat.
  • I’ve been to ENT specialists in both private and government (public) hospital in Malaysia. I hate going to specialists because there is always long queue. Even if they have taken my appointment, I’ll still have to wait somehow. So I’m not sure what kind of appointments those are. Being frustrated not having my sinusitis cured from GPs in local clinics, I decided to go to this ENT specialist in one of the private hospitals in JB. Waiting in queue for hours was really not a problem. The doctor did nasal endoscopy and laryngoscopy for me. According to this specialist, my condition was “normal”. He sent me away by giving me medicines with nose spray and asked me to see him again in two weeks’ time. I was very confident that I would be cured, since he said it was “small issue”. However, it turned out that the medicine he gave me (Aerius 5mg) almost killed me, eventhough I have already mentioned what kind of medicine I am allergic to. I couldn’t breathe and my heart was beating fast after taking it. I called them to tell them about this and they told me to continue taking the medicine. Seriously, did they want to kill me? What if I died? That was way more horrible than my nose being stuck. I didn’t return to that doctor ever since.
  • After that incident, I decided to go to the ENT specialists in the government hospital in JB. Since then, I’ve been returning for regular medical follow-ups. Sometimes in 3 months, sometimes in 6 months, depending on the schedule they gave me. One bad thing about going to ENT specialists in a government hospital is that I don’t have a regular doctor. Each time I go, there’s different doctor who attends to me. It doesn’t really matter to me because I’m sure they have my medical reports but most of the time, I have to repeat one and the same story to those different doctors. Different doctors will tell me the same thing – avoid dust, avoid pets, avoid cold rooms etc. Seriously,I know all these. I have been there more than 10 times, can you tell me something different? Do you think I would purposefully expose myself to these conditions knowing that I’ll most probably suffer? Some doctors are very nice, they do very thorough examinations (nasal endoscopy, laryngoscopy and x-rays) for me. Some doctors merely ask me a few questions and send me away. So it really depends on luck when visiting them. If I’m lucky, I get to be examined thoroughly. If not, I basically waste my time there. But, I still prefer the ENT in government hospital over other private clinics and hospitals because doctors in government hospital don’t give me antibiotics. They usually give me just anti-histamine pills and nasal sprays. They give me different types of nasal sprays according to my condition. I hate antibiotics! (Read below for the reason).
  • I’ve also visited Chinese physicians. Chinese physicians usually don’t believe in the “western” medicines and they highly recommend you the ‘traditional herbal medicines”. However, these herbal medicines usually require a long period of consumption. The Chinese physicians usually explain that they believe in “healing from the inner side, rather than healing on the surface” (direct translation from Chinese). That means that they believe that one has to cure the “root” or “core” symptom, which sometimes may or may not be directly related to what illness one is having (for my case, it’s sinusitis). These herbal medicines usually come in big dosages. There are several packs of small pills or liquids that I’ll need to take. In addition to these medicines, there are also several foods and beverages that I’m not allowed to consume. I do believe in this “healing from the inner side” principle, but for how long? Usually these physicians can’t tell me for how long I need to consume the medicines. I’ve visited Chinese physician and have taken herbal medicines for some period of time (6 months and above). Has it helped in any way? Well yes, it did help in some ways (not entirely) when these medicines are taken for long period of time with the rigorous and vigorous diet routine. Was I cured? Obviously, no.

2. Medicines

  • I have taken so many types of antibiotics that I can’t remember their names. Some of the recent ones I’ve taken are Zinnat 500mg and Klacid 500mg. These are not the strongest. I’ve taken some which are so powerful that my brain doesn’t work. I also constantly feel tired when taking antibiotics. I don’t see sinusitis as being “sick”. If I have caught a flu, that is “sick”. And I think antibiotics in this case are helpful because I get sleepy all the time. But having a sinusitis relapse should not be considered as “sick”, so it’s really horrible that antibiotics are making me weak and tired. (Note: I’m not saying antibiotics are bad and unnecessary. They are good and necessary when consumed at the right time.) 
  • I’ve also taken so many different brands of anti-histamine pills. I mostly consumed this white anti-histamine pill, which is to be consumed once per day. I’ve also been prescribed the yellow anti-histamine pill (that usually causes severe drowsiness), but only on very rare occasions. Note: I’m not sure the exact names of these pills but as far as I understand, they are all anti-histamine pills. But I hate these yellow pills because they are making my body weak. I don’t like the white one either. But if I have to choose, obviously the white pill is better than the yellow pill. On a short term basis, these white anti-histamine pills work well. Usually after a few days I can see my symptoms get reduced, but not completely gone. Usually, doctors told me to consume the white pill whenever necessary. However, there was a time, my sinusitis was so bad that a doctor told me to eat the pill daily every day until the next appointment. My next appointment was 3 months later. So I ate those pills, once a day for 4 weeks straight. Guess what happened? I notice that my brain somehow “stopped” working normally. No kidding. I started forgetting things very easily and sometimes I couldn’t find the right word when speaking. I was a lecturer. Can you imagine the pain when my students asked me some questions and I can’t find the right word to answer their questions? Horrible, horrible feeling!
  • So far, my favourite sinusitis medicine is Sinupret. It was first given to my by my father-in-law (who is a doctor). I’ve previously told him that I hate all kinds of medicines because I felt like these medicines are destroying my health and not helping me. But he mentioned that Sinupret is a plant-based medicine and that it’s not as “harsh” as other medicines. I would say that this medicine did help in some ways, but also didn’t cure me completely. The last time I asked in a pharmacy, Sinupret was not sold in Malaysia. My BFF (who told me my nose would drop) told me that she got her Sinupret from Singapore. (Note: I don’t have exact information about Sinupret because every time I consume Sinupret, I’m in Bulgaria. Hence, all instructions are in Bulgarian. Therefore, I can’t give you any details.)

3. Nasal spray / Nasal rinse

  • In addition to medicines, I’ve also used various drops and sprays. I can’t remember all the names of the nasal sprays I’ve used. I’ll just list some, which I used recently. Back home in JB, the doctors in government hospital have given me  Oxynase, Budecort, Beconase and Beclomet nasal sprays. In Varna, I’ve tried Vibrocil nasal drops.
  • Not relying on just these medicinal nasal sprays, I’ve also tried sterilized seawater nasal sprays, namely the Pureen Clinzo Isotonic Spray and Ialumar Isotinic Spray.
  • Besides all these spray, I’m also using Neilmed Sinus Rinse to rinse my nose daily.

4. Food intake / Daily routine

  • Going to doctors, eating medicines and also using nose sprays are definitely not going to help if my daily routine and diet are like shit. As per recommended by the Chinese physician, I try to avoid all kinds of cold food and drink (i.e. iced beverages, ice cream, yogurt, etc.), white bread, Milo, nuts, fried food, dairy products, and biscuits. Well, I’ve tried my best but I can’t avoid them completely, right? If I do, I’ll have a completely miserable life. According to the physician, all these foods are mucous-inducing food.
  • Also, I can’t be in cold room. I cannot have pets. I cannot go near anywhere dusty and smoky. Hmmm… I can avoid having pets. Avoid cold room? My office was air-conditioned, should I turn off the air-con so that everyone sweats with me? Avoid dust? I can try my best but I can’t prevent dust from entering my house. Avoid smoke? I can avoid smokers but I can’t avoid if my neighbouring country decides to burn its forest.

Thank you for reading until the end of this post. Thank you for your kind suggestions and advice. From this article, you should know that I tried my best to control it. But it relapses from time to time based on surroundings, which is very frustrating as this is not something I can control.

Are you a sinusitis sufferer? Did you also take similar measures as I did? Sinusitis is very frustrating. I hate sinusitis!!! 😦

Note: Sorry for any typo/grammatical mistakes here. I blame it on my medicines that affect how my brain works!