Posted 4/23/2011 2:22 PM (GMT -6)
It took me nearly two years to convince my ENT that my constant headache is real. I was in a bad wreck, airbag broke my nose, displaced the septum. Nobody in the hospital where I was for 4 days cared about the nose, just the other injuries, so nothing was done for the nose except CT scan.
I have had a headache since then, did get seen once, but have been busy taking care of the other repairs, stomach pushed into chest, broken ribs still slipping, knee surgery, spine problems and lots of injections, then not-related diverticulitis emergency and shoulder impingement.
A year ago I went to ENT who didn't think much of my complaint of ongoing headache, clogged nose, chronic sinus infections. He ordered an MRI, saw a filled up maxillary sinus, ordered antibiotics. This worked fine, but infection came back a few days later. More antibiotics. It's been going on about once a month for the last year. A couple of months ago the headache was getting worse and I'd tried a half dozen antibiotics, so I called ENT again. I was temporarily over the acute infection by the time I could get an appointment and he saw nothing, sent me to a neurologist. Neuro got an MRI, sinus completely blocked this time, sent me back to ENT who told me he would do balloon on the frontal and maxillary sinuses. Didn't sound too scary.
I got the paper and it says bilateral ethmoidectomies, antrostomies, balloon sinuplasty bilateral frontal sinus (7 billing codes). Now I really am scared! I expect to survive surgery, but recovering at home, alone nearly all the time, doesn't seem like fun. Is this the usual way of treating a maxillary sinus problem? (I will call ENT, as he didn't tell me any of this.)
Besides getting a week's worth of food ready, what could I do to prepare? I haven't even figured out how I am going to be able to get a pain prescription filled on the way home (over an hour's drive), and I fully expect not to tolerate any "decongestants" that I expect to be prescribed.