Thursday, March 19, 2009

Love Turns Winter To Spring

It's spring break, and in my life that means one thing - my annual spring sinus infection! This year it seems to have come with an extra big wallop. Nothing really compares to the sinus infection of 1997, but that one only wins out due to the oh-so-lovely allergic reaction I had to the antibiotic the doctor gave me, which blessed me with major swelling in my lips, eyes, and ears. Think HUGE. Let's just say, my top lip TOUCHED MY NOSE. Oh and who could forget the huge quarter-sized hives all over my body. And that was ONE DAY before my flight to Florida for our 8-day spring break trip to Sanibel Island and Fort Meyers. Thanks to THAT sinus infection I am now required to wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace of my choice. (And by the way, I like how the website for Cefzil says to "Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat." ALL OF WHICH I HAD except for swelling of the tongue. The person who was caring for me at the time? She gave me some benadryl and tossed me in an oatmeal bath. NOT SO HELPFUL.) Ah...spring break memories.

But back to spring break 2009. THIS time my sinus infection has surprised me by taking it's spring break vacation to my lungs where it has set up camp for the week. I almost completely lost my voice, and still sound very manly (think 60-yr-old chain smoker), with no differentiation between my "m's," "b's," or "n's." Since I just had six weeks off work to recover from hip surgery, it doesn't feel right to call in sick, and I'm not contagious anyway. But let's just say that the cough is so bad that homeless people pandering for money RUN IN FEAR at the sound of me as I walk toward them.

My favorite question this week which I have been asked multiple times, is "are you taking anything?" What kind of a question is that? I can't breathe, hear, or smell. Um, I am taking EVERYTHING. Zicam, Zyrtek, Sudafed PE, Nasalcrom, Mucinex D, antibiotics, cough drops, echinacea tea, 3 oranges a day, green tea....

Perhaps the best humorous anecdote I can offer to you is the exchange between the nice pharmacist and I at the crowded Walgreen's pharmacy yesterday when I picked up my antibiotics. (Keep in mind, my ears are currently SO blocked that I cannot even hear the turn signal in my car clicking on and off. I can't even hear it a little.)

her: "Are you currently on oral contraceptives?"

me: "Yes."

her: (in a very soft whisper) mumble mumble "form of" mumble mumble mumble-

me: (interrupting) "I'm sorry, but I'm really congested and can't hear you."

her: (in a louder, forced whisper) "The antibiotics can lessen the effectiveness of your oral contraceptives so you will need to use another form of birth control."

Now, normally this is where my quick "wit" would get the best of me and I would make some dry mark about how trust me, there's no need for any backup birth control right now because none of THAT is going on in my life right now. I may have even been sly enough to quote the someecards graphic that I featured in my last post. But I was very sick, and I figured she really didn't care if I was getting any or not, so I just said "oh, ok."

Also, I have been challenging myself to recognize the silver linings to not being able to hear or taste or smell, so this is what I have so far:

On Not Being Able to Hear:
-I can't hear the loud whir of the uber air-conditioning system in my office building
-I can't hear the noise in the editing suite that is right next to my cubicle
-The loud dogs next door are muffled a bit more

On Not Being Able to Taste:
-It's a good time to eat up all of my least favorite flavors of oatmeal in the variety pack
-I'm finally eating some of the frozen meals I've been putting off because they're not my favorites
-I'm not as tempted to have a midnight snack when I get home from work - no smell = no appetite

On Not Being Able to Smell:
-I can't smell the stinky smoker who sits next to me at work, though I am still allergic to him (clearly)
-Cleaning the cat litter is far more tolerable

Happy Spring Break 2009! Be safe, kids.

1 comment:

Tootie said...

Your post came in my Google Sanibel Alerts, thus the reason for my visit.

Next, I got caught up in the whole sinus infection thingy, which I can well relate to. What a curse!

I have had about all of the same symptoms as you, only I lost my voice for 5 days; much to the relief of others.

Try to hold onto your sense of humor, which seems to be the best medicine I've found. I wish you well and some much needed relief.