Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sinus appointment

I went to my sinus appointment 2 weeks ago. It was actually a family affair. Mike drove me to the 10 am ferry to Horseshoe Bay and then on to St. Paul's - where our 16 year old grandson Brendan was waiting with Elspeth (his mom and our daughter) to have a CT scan for his sinuses. That all went smoothly and we went to the art gallery and then the Indigo Book Store to fill in the time before our appointments at the False Creek Clinic. Elspeth, Brendan and I were all booked for the same 4:30 appointment and I was a bit worried about finishing in time to catch the 7 pm ferry back to Nanaimo. On Mondays, the 7 o'clock is the last ferry to Departure Bay. The ferry to Gibdon's goes at 7:15 and 9:15.

We finally got in for our appointment around 5 pm. All three of us  - plus Mike - went into the tiny treatment room together. One of the doctor's fellows (a sinus specialist in training) was doing the initial checking. He was new and seemed pretty nice. I was first onto the hot seat. In went the camera scoping out my sinuses. I could see the cave-like structure on the monitor.  Lucky for me, my sinuses were 100% OK - the best he had seen all day. However, my ears were definitely effused - I could see the bulge on the screen.  The fellow thought I  needed tubes in my ears but I explained that I had had them before. They got clogged up and audiologist recommended against them. When the doctor came in, I explained about the candida and he said he would not treat candida if he found it. Everyone has it. He also told the fellow that I was getting it from my symbicort puffer. In the end, we settled on me getting a hearing test, keeping on with pulmicort, and coming back in 2 months. He would send a report to my asthma guy. All the poking around in my ears hurt - but not as much as the time he and another fellow decided to poke a little hole in my ear drums to help them drain.  Eek.

Then it was Elspeth's turn. Her sinuses were 100% too. After 9 years of sinus trouble and 3 surgeries she was OK.  She could cut back on her pulmicort and go back in 3 months.

Then it was Brendan's turn. His sinuses were not good. Much to everyone's amazement, the doctors said he had a broken nose plus bone blocking his sinuses. Unfortunately the CT scan had not made it to the clinic so that information was missing. Elspeth figured his broken nose must have been caused when he was preemie and had to be intubated. Poor Brendan, He's about 6 ft tall now and has a nice neat nose. Who knew?

After our 3 appointments, we all headed for home - in a hurry. Mike and I caught the ferry to Nanaimo with only minutes to spare. Elspeth and Brendan caught the ferry to Gibson's a few minutes later. Strangely, there was a medical emergency and then a police emergency on our ferry so we had to return to the dock - and Elspeth and Brendan's ferry left about an hour  before we finally did. A couple of days later Elspeth heard that the CT scan showed that Brendan has chronic sinusitis - probably caused by the blockage. We are all going back to the clinic on February 17 to find out what to do next for poor Brendan. 

I went to my own GP in Nanaimo to get a referral at his clinic for a hearing test. He thought it was pretty useless and so did I. We know I'm deaf and we know it's caused by dysfunctional eustachian tubes related to my asthma and sinus problems. I could get hearing aids but my deafness will also clear up when I get another dose of prednisone or defeat whatever is causing my other problems. I had the hearing test last week and hope it will add to the data. 

Today I'm a bit more deaf than before - but sometimes I can pop my ears. I'm a bit more phlegmy but I can still walk up hills at a fast pace and I have excellent peak flows. In other words, the drugs are working pretty well - but not perfectly. I will go to see my asthma specialist on March 1 to see what he thinks I should do next.

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