Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Finally, some answers

A happy Tuesday all!

(via)

I went in for my CT scan results yesterday.  I didn't spend the last month obsessing over the fact that maybe a cyst, tumor or cancer could be in there but once I got the scan done Friday, as they say, sh!t got real, yo.  I began freaking out, babbling a lot of 'what if's' and in general making the Mr earn his vow recital of "for worse."  Saturday, I woke up with a headache from all of the face scrunching I did the day before and I was just sad in general.  The Mr was clueless as to how to help me and honestly, I didn't know how he could have but having company was a good distraction.  Sunday we went to 8 zillion grocery stores but we had so many a-holes at each one of them, my stress was building up again, the Mr was getting grumpy (not that I blame him) and by the time we got home, I just wanted to kind of roll my head around and loosen the kink in my neck.  After our workout, I was stretching my neck and I felt a 'release' and thought I'd feel better.  Instead it just released a load of tension migraine type symptoms on me and my whole left side of my neck, head, eye and of course, sinus felt like crap.  I didn't really want to take anything if I could help it so I went to bed (the night before the CT scan results) trying to relax my shoulders and body to make it go away.  I finally couldn't take it come 4am and got some ibuprofen and it subsided an hour later but I could still feel it in the background and my left sinus felt stuffy.  When the Mr got up at 6:10am to shower, I finally felt like I was falling asleep and got in about 20 minutes before it was time for my shower.  Sigh.

The wait for the doctor to finally come in was gut churning.  I studied quite a few normal CT scan results online to know what I was looking at before he even said anything if he was going to stutter about it.  I could hear him coming down the hall and he came in along with his resident.  I have to say, my gut sank further because that resident wasn't there the day he did my nasal endoscopy, which by the way is considered "outpatient surgery" according to insurance and we got charged almost $900, it was negotiated down to $700 and we get to pay half of that.  Yay.  Anyhoo, I thought "oh great, is this the guy they bring in when they have bad news to deliver?"

The world is a wonderful place, God is good and I am one grateful lady.  Thankfully he spit it out pretty quickly that it was clear.  Other than my slightly deviated septum (which 80% of us have and don't know it), my scan looked like the picture of perfect nasal health even if it was steroid spray induced at the time.  I requested a copy of the scan and they called the imaging center and said it would be ready for me to pick up.  If they were billing my insurance for $1600 for it plus other fees, I'm getting a copy.  Plus if I end up going to an allergist if switching my detergent doesn't calm things down, then I want a copy to show the other ENT so he doesn't try to order one.

I do wish I felt physically better right afterward.  I think the lack of sleep, swelling from the tension headache and stuff just totally put my left side through it.  I took some Excedrin migraine to help kick it to the curb and took a little nap.  I think my sinuses were trying to equal out a bit after the headache finally went away by switching stuffiness from one side to the other.  We took a nice walk in the park for our workout which seemed to help for a bit and  I kept drinking my water all day to help keep my sinuses hydrated.  I prayed like crazy that yesterday's nasal fullness on that side was just due to that tension headache and not my body rebounding from not being on steroid spray any more.  This is three months I'd like to put behind me and finally be over it.

For those of you who think I should just go back on the steroid nasal spray because of the stuffiness, I will be sharing some very important things I learned over the past two weeks so that those of you suffering with nasal issues will have more information to make educated decisions where your health is concerned.  I have basically come out of this with a general mistrust of the medical field.  I know that if I just blindly followed every word the doctors told me, I would probably be in serious jeopardy or be going down a path that could even lead to the unthinkable.  My eyes have been opened even if it takes a little longer for my sinuses to heal on their own using my immune system to stay healthy, I'll gladly wait it out.

Have you ever had a CT scan?  How did you handle the wait?

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22 comments:

  1. I know there is still some wait and see time yet but this was a very big step in the right direction. We will keep an eye on things and give your body time away from all the prescriptions and know exactly where things stand then.

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    1. Yes there is but it is nice to know there isn't something serious going on in the sinus cavity and I'm pretty sure that damn neti salt is what burnt out my sinuses and then I typically didn't drink enough water to help it heal. It amazes me how I can feel the water I drink go straight to my nose now. You can bet I'll keep chugging!

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  2. I've never had a CT scan - but I had a health scare in December that had me a wreck. I went for my regular "lady parts appointment" and the doctor found a "hard ridge" (she didn't use the word lump, but that's what I heard) in one of my breasts. So instead of the basic screening mammogram I was expecting I had to do a diagnostic one. Not really any different, but the word was scary. Finally after 2 mammograms on 2 different machines and an ultrasound I was given the all clear. They already had me scheduled for a biopsy that afternoon just in case, and I was so relieved to cancel that appointment. The waiting was awful, and the relief was indescribable.

    I hope your sinuses clear up, and I'm glad that the scan came back clear.

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    1. I'm so glad everything came back okay. There is nothing worse than the waiting period because it gives you a chance to think on the worst case scenarios. I think 2 mammy's and a scan would be enough to send me to bad places so I hope you did something awesome to celebrate the all clear!

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  3. I have chronic sinus issues and had a CT a few years ago that explained my problems. One of my sinus cavities is under developed and is much smaller than the other. Of course this is the side that gets stopped up first and now I understand why. Using the neti pot and salt every day isn't so great for your nose. That's what I was doing and suspected that the salt was the cause of my problems inside the nose due to it's caustic properties, so I stopped and the problems went away.

    Now I would appreciate the weather cooperating by stopping the snow and sending the rain to wash away the salt-based spray they put on the roads because I suspect that is causing most of my problems now. Perhaps that's irritating you too.

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    1. That's good that you have an answer and can pinpoint that. Neti'ing isn't something I do often, usually only if I feel something weird coming on and sadly I think the salt I switched to just completely screwed me on that one. Then when I tried to do it as things would progress, my sinuses would slam shut again. So I'm like 90% sure that was the cause of the problem and now I don't know that I'd ever go back to it. I might just use steam with some tea tree oil to soothe things. I might just use my neti pot as a planter now. :-)

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  4. I'm glad everything went well. Yes, I would suggest following up with an allergist because you never know. My husband went to an ENT for hearing related issues. The ENT looked in his nose and said it looked like he was suffering from allergies. I never suspected anything because he lacked major symptoms. Looking back, the only thing I could think of was that he seemed to "sniff" quite often without having a cold. He had allergy testing done and it turns out he had moderate to severe allergies to about half of the things that they tested for. He gets allergy shots now and the sniffing has gone away. My daughter also has allergies, but her symptoms are more apparent. Good luck!

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    1. I'm going to give myself a week or so to be off of the other meds, fully hydrate like my life depends on it and hope that the UV air purifier and switching detergents will help. I know I can't be on steroids and/or antihistamines as a normal allergy solution so if problems persist, I'll do the allergy test and see if shots are in order. Glad to hear they helped your husband!

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  5. I'm so glad you are in the clear with the CT scan! That's a relief

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  6. I am so glad it was clear! That kind of stuff is scary, not matter what. You are so right, you have to be your own advocate when it comes to your health. Health care is no longer about treating illness, it is about making money. Steroids are great, wonder drug next to penicillin but the side effects are terrible and the answer cannot always be here, take this! Do your research, try alternative things, get different opinions, and you will find what works best for you!! Here's hoping you are on the mend!!

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    1. It is absolutely a money making business. The well being of the patient is no longer the primary concern, it's about how much they can rack up in extras like surgery, meds and making sure you have to come back for future treatment. It's very sad and makes me very scared for the future as we age.

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    1. I'm glad to hear you've had success with your treatment and the allergy shots seemed to do a good job for you!

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  8. Hi - the most important message here is your lesson in trusting the medical field. We have had several family members misdiagnosed and dismissed by doctors. One has passed away, one had a bone marrow transplant after two months of misdiagnosis of Acute Leukemia (the doctor refused to order blood test, accused her of being addicted to drugs) and finally after another doctor intervened, she was rushed to the hospital. Unbelievable. Ask questions. If they say nothing is wrong and you feel like there is, get a second or third opinion. And don't let them dismiss you because you are young and naive or old and naive. I have taken great care in choosing my physicians. They may think I am a little nutty but they respect and listen to me. And I refer many people to those kinds of doctors.

    You seem like you are not afraid to ask questions. I hope you are able to choose an allergist who will listen to you and help you solve this problem. I wish you the very best of luck!

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    1. We have unfortunately gone through the same thing. My FIL relapsed from his blood cancer and in my research they said when it relapses, his kind is usually 85% a refracted version which is 90% curable. Just a simple blood test was needed to confirm. When they asked him to do this, he blew up about being tired of people looking on the internet and to trust him, HE'S the one who went to school. We begged them to get a second opinion. They didn't. He was tested too late...months later when the curable version he had took its toll on him and he paid with his life. The doctor even admitted he should've done the test and we encouraged legal action to keep him from killing other people (and trust me, that's how it feels). She didn't pursue it after he passed and who knows how many others have suffered the same fate.

      You absolutely need to just ask questions and if you're not comfortable with what you hear or don't have faith in what your doctor is saying then it is our right to go elsewhere. The doc I went to had 4 1/2 stars on HealthGrades but I had a 2 star experience. We can only do so much research but it's important to do none the less.

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  9. Oh man, I don't know what I did but I left a long comment and then my computer ate it. Grrrr!

    Here we go again... I definitely don't trust the medical field and I am glad you are doing your own research. I had a ping pong sized lump near my collarbone and my doctor got to a point where she told me, "Well, we've tested you for all the 'bad' stuff so feel free to get a second opinion but you're being unreasonable." It was at that point that I decided to get a whole new insurance company (I had been with the same one for 25 years, it's just what I grew up on). Luckily for me, open enrollment was near. 30 days after the switch I had a cancer diagnosis.

    So I've definitely had my fair share of PET and CT scans. I have gotten to the point where I don't get them on Thursdays or Fridays because of having to wait over the weekend for results (my husband is surely thankful for this as he has gone through a few weekend result waits with me lol!). I'm glad the Mr. was there to help you get through your weekend but I definitely understand why you were anxious. I am so glad it was clear!

    I am also looking forward to your post about the nasal spray. I have sinus issues myself and was about to start using my Flonase again but read your post the other day and have been using my Neilmed sinus rinse instead. (have you tried this? I can't remember. Basically a salt/distilled water mix that you shoot up your nose. SOUNDS FUN, huh!?! ;D )

    This is getting long-winded (again!) but I hope you start feeling better!

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    1. Where the hell is the bedside manner for these doctors!? "Feel free to get a second opinion but you're being unreasonable!?!?!" Unacceptable. I hope all is well on the health front and you kicked cancer's ass.

      Let's just say don't start using Flonase until you read tomorrow's post. I'm not trying to direct people in one way or another but when you begin reading other people's experiences with meds, you really think twice and given I was having horrible side effects toward the end especially, I will never go on it again and I told the ENT that. I have used the neti pot and oddly enough, I think that was part of the problem with me. Of course after trying to look up any corroborating stories, it appears I may have been the only person who burned out her own sinuses with salt. *rolling eyes*

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    2. I kicked cancer's ass! Have had a few scares since, but I'm good to go right now! Almost 3 1/2 years out at this point :) Thank you!

      Ouch, that sounds painful (the sinus burning)!

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  10. I hear you about the steroid sprays. The side effects are not pretty. In doing some research for my own nose issues, I was shocked to find out that Vaseline is horrible for your nose and can cause lung issues down the road. I used that stuff for years in my nose! Oy.

    I have had CT scans and MRI's and it's been a struggle waiting for results. Two of the worst were waiting for results from special tests I had done after a mammogram and a scan of my heart to determine heart disease risk I did about 5 months ago. It took a week to get those results and I was biting my nails every day.

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    1. The side effects are terrifying. I was not pleased but I think I hopefully used it long enough to help with what it needed to and hopefully my body will take over the rest of the healing from here. I found out the same thing and will actually mention it tomorrow. You'll laugh.

      I can only imagine the wait on stuff like that especially if there's a history. When I had my baseline (the doc fibbed and said to look for something so insurance would cover at that age. That's how you know you have a good doc) the mammy center gives results on site. I was very happy I didn't have to wait and will go there from now on where they have a radiologist on site. I don't know I'd do good with waiting a week for results.

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  11. im glad you finally have answers. that always feels reassuring to know.

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