On sinuses..mysterious caves in your face

So blogland, why have I been neglecting you? Glad you asked, or ruminations on sinus infections.

Before a 4hr flight to a fabulous conference I fought off a nasty sinus infection; had a lovely week at conference then the very day of the flight back, same thing. Fever, hallucinating, days off work and miserable. Couldn’t read or watch Netflix. What a waste of sunny winter days home.

My usual golden bullets failed (garlic forte, olive leaf, andrographis, D, zinc, goldenseal); coconut oil pulling; breathing steam (boiling water over flowers, herbs and essential oils; endless hot showers); deep nutrition. No joy.

So baffling deceptive interwebs, what do you say about sinus infections? Nasal irrigation and neti pots: squirt various solutions up your nose. I’d be interested to hear if that worked for anyone, but even OTC gentle saline just hurt like burning sheets of hellfire through my face, and the bugs just laughed and thrived. It felt like a way to interfere with my body’s natural mucus defence line.

I was about to cave and see a doctor, almost certainly to get prescribed a course of antibiotics that’d wipe out my hard-earned carefully tended microbiome garden, the only garden I can actually grow.

Then the remarkable interweb came through – how about probiotics? Campbell-McBride (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) brilliantly outlines the complex dance between the various strains of biota. Each type of bug emits stuff that will enhance its survival and kill its rivals. That’s right, probiotics produce antibiotics against competing species. My health theory; if its harmless, try it.

Fair warning, spouse did look sideways when I lay down a line of white powder (in this case probiotic Polybac 8), inserted clean damp finger, and stuck it up said schnozz. But the effect was instant and remarkable. Immediate pain relief, next morning my nose was clear and pain free, a couple more treatments and all clear.

I wish that were the end of the saga, however despite having a clear nose, normal temperature and no pain, I’m left with the oddest feelings. I’ll be walking along and feel suddenly breathless; my legs will feel like wet noodles and I have to sit down. I’m achingly tired, like the energy plug has been pulled; thoughts are scattered and lost. Sleeping not from tiredness but a deep malaise.

Worst of all it’s a familiar nightmare; in my early twenties, before it was a real thing, was apparently all in my head (the neurotic patient, with imaginary illnesses, attention seeking…mentally ill, nothing wrong with you) I lived for years with chronic fatigue (mono, glandular fever, Epstein-Barr virus, who knows). This dreadful experience started my whole passion for natural health treatments (and loss of faith in the ‘infallibility’ of the traditional medical establishment).

“But I thought I was immune now!” I wail in a pique of self-pity. Dear young doctor offspring casually observes that viruses do mutate, you know. Oh dear, a doctor’s appointment after all, and wondering if they handle chronic fatigue more sympathetically and effectively than they did decades ago. Is blogging again a sign of recovery? If so, wish me well dear interwebs, and may the odds be ever in your favour.

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