Headache for 2 years post trauma - scared of sinus surgery

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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5022
   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.

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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 4/23/2011 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Alcie, I've had sinus surgery 3 times and the outcome, each time, was amazing. Being able to breathe, amazing!, being able to breathe and not have the sinus infection and all that accompanies it?, priceless!
Recovery, for me, form each was very quick, with teh exception of the last one. The last one they had to cut away tissue because it was permanently swollen...that hurt..otherwise, no problems!

Have them call the prescription in ahead of time so that you can pick it up beforehand...they should do that for you.

I have kept sinus infections at bay for the last decade with allergy shots. While I'm not super-allergic to things, I'm allergic enough that it causes a reaction, the reaction is sinus related and it gets infected..pronto. I also use neil-med sinus rinse now and that clears out the gunk too.

This goes by fairly quickly, and if it's anything like mine, the relief is quick and long lasting!
Good luck, let me know how you're doing.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5022
   Posted 4/24/2011 5:25 PM (GMT -6)   
LJ -

Did you have your ethmoid sinuses removed? From reading, I see that is supposed to make sure all the openings - which all drain into that same spot - can't block up again.

I've been on allergy shots for a few years. I don't have reactions anymore. Yay! I just have a smashed septum, which I think should have been repaired at the time of the accident. I can hardly breathe out of one side, can't get a good breath if I close either nostril.

I'll take your advice and call to get Rx before surgery!

How long was your last recovery? Did you have anyone there to help you, or need anyone? I'd really prefer to stay in the hospital overnight because of my age and other conditions, but I don't think they'll let me.
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