Tag Archives: sinus aspiration

Osteo What?

I had my first sinus surgery in November 1999 shortly after the attempt at aspirating my sinuses failed.  By January I was still sick and and getting black mucous from my sinuses that my doctor suspected could be fungus.  A second surgery was performed in March 2000 to try and alleviate all the pain I was having.  I continued to be sick and in pain.  By April things had gotten horribly bad.  From my book:

…I received a devastating phone call from Dr. Spitzer.  The news was not good.  He had received the results of the bone scan.  The scan showed I had osteomyelitis (an infection of the sinus bone) and I would have to take antibiotics intravenously for six weeks.  He had scheduled for a home health nurse to come to my home that night and start and IV…..After several attempts by the home nurse to place a line in my hand, she gave up…the nurse phoned my doctor and I was told to come in at 7:45 a.m. and he would place the IV line and I could take my first dose there…

The schedule for taking this antibiotic (Primaxin) was exceedingly difficult on me.  Taking Primaxin is like taking a chemo drug.  The IV schedule was three times a day for six weeks.  I lost sleep because of having to get up early just to get the medicine out of the refrigerator so I could take it an hour later and going to bed late because of my night time treatment.  I lost my appetite and began losing weight.  Depression came on me like a big black cloud.  Eventually I had to cut my work schedule to half days because I was too tired and depressed to work a full day.  Here I had only been working less than a year and had taken time off work for two sinus surgeries and shortened my work days.  The guilt I had for leaving my co-workers in such a mess just deepened my depression.  Even then I was confident that I was going to get well and had no idea the ride I was in for.

The Beginning of the End

I received a call that I had been selected for a position as a school secretary.  I was so excited to return to work that I never questioned the comment by a co-worker that she sometimes burned a candle to mask a smell the office sometimes had.  I never asked what it was or what could be causing it.  I was just so excited to return to work after being home forever.  I was hired during the end of the school year so we spent a month cleaning the office when school ended (file cabinets, the old walk-in safe, etc.).  Before I knew it I was sick.  Antibiotics wouldn’t touch the sinus infection.  When things never seemed to go away I was referred to a ENT specialist.  The pain was so bad yet nothing would come out of my sinuses.  We had scheduled surgery for December.  In my book I describe what happened next.

…..scheduled another appointment with me to see how my sinuses looked and he said he would try and aspirate the sinuses.  My appointment was for the afternoon.

I arrived at the office not knowing what aspirating the sinuses meant….A numbing agent was placed on the gum and the underside of the lip area. …Then I was given a couple of shots of anesthetic to further numb the area.  I made the mistake of looking at the tray of tools he would use — a hammer and large type of nail.  There were also some needles.  I began to get nervous and to panic.  ..He returned a short time later, took the nail and placed it at the gum line and began tapping at it with the hammer in an attempt to get through the sinus cavity….I could not feel the nail but my head shook violently with each tap of the hammer.  An eternity seemed to pass before the nail broke through the sinus cavity.  The doctor placed a syringe in the whole the nail had made in the sinus cavity and flushed it with saline.  NOTHING HAPPENED! …..I had gone through this awful ordeal and my sinuses had not drained.

This was just the beginning of many things I endured to get to where I am today.  This illness has taken its toll emotionally, physically and financially.  I am happy to say that I am progressing slowly but progressing none the less.