How to Cope With a Sinus Infection
Read this article posted by WebMD to get a better understanding of the sinuses, how they work and what causes sinus infections.
Sinusitis statistics and general information
According to the AmericanCollege of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), 31 million Americans suffer from sinusitis and spend over $1 billion in OTC treatments and $150 million in prescription medications.
Sinuses are air-filled cavities located on either side of the nose, behind the nose directly in front of the brain, behind the forehead and eyebrow area, and within the cheekbones. Sinus infections occur when the normal flow of mucus to the back of the throat is interrupted due to inflammation. Acute sinusitis can last from three to eight weeks and is commonly treated with antibiotics, nasal sprays, antihistamines and sometimes surgery, in chronic cases.
As you can imagine, sinus infections can be debilitating. Both my mother and sister suffer from sinusitis. I remember many times when I was a little girl that my mom would be knocked down for days when her sinuses went under attack. My sister had sinus infections so frequently that she finally had to undergo surgery in an effort to keep the attacks at bay.
My mother suffered from sinusitis so often that when we lived in Philly, her doctor advised her to move to Arizona or Florida if she expected any relief. We moved to New Jersey instead (mom and I both have a stubborn streak), just before I entered high school. Finally, after too many years of suffering, my parents moved to Florida shortly after I graduated. I followed a year later.
The inspiration behind this post
The other day I was talking to my mom and she mentioned she’d found a poem she’d written in 1976 during one of her sinusitis episodes and she would be sending it to me to do with as I please.
The conversation went like this:
“Sha, I found a poem I’d written back in 1967 when I was on my deathbed with a sinus infection. I sent it to the Philadelphia Inquirer, but they turned me down, so I bequeath it to you.”
“Thankeht youeth, Mometh. I thinketh I’ll uth it as background for a HubPages hubbeth.”
Roar of laughter. What can I say, we’re both easily amused!
So, a few days later I received Mom’s poem with this little note:
“I was so sick for several days with a sinus infection. Stan got perturbed because I was ill. He made me get out of bed and get dressed and we went to a basketball game at St. Joseph’s College. Snow knee deep and I nearly froze. He thought I just needed a night out.”
Now, you have to understand, winter weather was one of the leading causes of my mom’s sinus attacks. You also have to understand, Dad has little patience with imperfections such as snotty noses and stuffy heads. After raising three kids, he’s learned to get over that, though. PMA doesn’t work on infections of the body, just infections of the mind!
In all honesty, I don’t remember Dad ever being sick. At age 75, I’m sure he can count on one hand how many times he’s fallen ill in his lifetime.
Anyway, back to my story. The night out in the freezing cold weather didn’t help, nor did the fact that mom’s doctor wasn’t in. This was a Friday. She was asked by the nurse if she could wait until Monday and Mom responded that she was sure she’d still be sick by then, so yes – she could (had no choice, but to) wait.
One thing you need to know about my mom is she has a tremendous sense of humor. We laugh all the time. She even maintained her sense of humor during this very long weekend in 1967 when she couldn’t hold her head up and was forced to stay in a dimly lit room. I think anyone who suffers from migraine headaches can imagine how she must have been feeling.
In spite of how badly she felt, Mom got out her Royal typewriter and got creative. Mom hates being idle. I’m sure her bouts with the sinus gods drove her bananas.
For those of you who are too young to know, typewriters are what we old fogies used to present professional looking documentation and communication. This was long before the advent of the computer and the Internet. (I wonder how many of you can solve a math problem without the use of a calculator?)
But I digress….
The star of this hub is Mom’s poem, so let’s get to it, shall we?
Watch this funny skit from The Carol Burnett Show
Let me tell you a condition I suffered one week;
There was pain and misery of which I speak.
I was soaking my body in a tub for a bath,
The steam began rising, I weakened to pains wrath.
I rolled my eyes round, and studied the water,
I would have to tell my husband what was the matter.
I crawled into bed with little on, (save Vick’s salve)
I whispered, “I’m ill – it’s a disease that I have.”
“What?” He threw back the covers.
He hid beneath a pillow, I was sure he would smother.
“My books need posted, the children need fed,
you’ll be laid up a week, sick in this bed.”
“I’ll call my mother – she’ll make us some soup,
it’s a wonder someday I don’t fly this coop.”
I whimpered and sighed to show my regret,
would he be so kind – I’d need a doctor, yet.
He called the doctor; he was out for the day.
The nurse asked it I thought my pain would stay.
“Oh yes, it’ll be here” I quickly promised.
And true to my convictions, the disease remained honest.
I went to the doctor and he said, “now whasawrong?”
“Tell me your troubles, sing your sad song.”
“Well”, I warbled and cooed, “it’s this disease in my head.”
“I’ll sing it to you as a prelude to the dead.”
There are scores of centipedes crawling down my spine,
My body’s a battlefield of charging porcupine.
There are rats in my head, hiding behind my eyes,
They’re digging and scratching, they want me to die.
The worms squish in and the worms squish out,
and ants play ping pong on my snout.
He looked at me sadly and stretched his neck,
fumbled around then gave me a Kleenex.
“Just as I thought,” he smiled a grimace.
“I knew it the moment I saw your face.”
As for the rats, the ants and worms,
take all these pills, they’ll kill those germs.
As for the disease, why – it’s centuries old!!
I’m sorry my dear, it’s the COMMON COLD!!!
(All rights reserved to Barbara L Cook 1967)
I had to include this video. Mom and I both love Sheldon of The Big Bang Theory
There are many things you can do to cope with the pain of sinusitis:
- Apply a warm washcloth to the face to help with mucus flow
- See your doctor
- Take any medications as directed
- Avoid cigarettes and alcohol
- Drink plenty of fluids
And above all – maintain a sense of humor!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my mom’s little poem. The moral of the story is this: keeping your sense of humor healthy can help you get through just about anything in life.
Shauna L Bowling
Refining, Defining or Rhyming
© 2013 Shauna L Bowling
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