The Migraine Girl's blog is not a substitute for professional advice! Thank you and be well.
14 December 2008
Dinah won't you blow, Dinah won't you blow...
WARNING: THIS POST MIGHT HAVE TOO MUCH INFORMATION FOR THE NON-MUCUS-FRIENDLY OR FEINT OF HEART.
I have had this bout of sinusitis for at least (at least!) a week now. Despite a Z-pack, lots of rest, and some doctor-recommended over-the-counter meds, the cough and mucus are not going away as quickly as I'd expect. Ugh.
On Tuesday night, the night before my doctor's appointment, I was doing the routine nose-blow-before-bed move when, all of a sudden, liquid started coming out of my right nostril. A lot of it. For a few minutes, I continuously blew my nose and clear, very warm water (water?) came out of my right nostril. At first I couldn't help but be relieved: it seemed that as soon as this strange liquid was brought forth, the pain in my cheek and ear immediately became MUCH better. So much better. But then I got a little nervous. I've never seen anything like that happen before and even thought about calling J. to see if it'd ever happened to him. "Oh, you're worrying for nothing," thought I. After the few minutes of the clear stuff (which was nothing like mucus, mind you) coming out, it seemed the coast was clear. I sat on my bed cross-legged and--suddenly--plop! It was dripping from my nose and onto my pant leg. GROSS. A couple more tissues and everything was fine. As if it'd never happened.
I told the doctor about this episode because it seemed so strange to me. Okay, my cyberchondriac self knew the chances were slim, but couldn't there be a chance I was leaking cerebrospinal fluid? (I didn't voice this concern to the doctor, but I had voiced it to myself the night of the weirdness after a twenty minute internet search.) As I told her about the episode, she frowned and looked at me: "Well, since you edit medical documents, I'm guessing you might be a bit concerned about a cerebrospinal fluid leak?" "Yes!" (I didn't mention that I don't edit anything dealing with CSF leak ever and that it was a late-night Googling session that made me aware of the problem in the first place. Let her think I have professional interest.) She told me that she really doubted there was a CSF leak, but that if it happened again like that I should call her and make a trip to the ER. She said it was quite possible that the severity of my sinus problem could have meant that for days my mucus has been building up in my sinuses. I was staying well hydrated, and the water I was drinking wasn't able to mix well with the older, thicker, nastier mucus so the watery stuff was sort of building up behind the old, gross mucus. Once I cleared that old, super-green mucus out for the moment, the watery stuff was released in a gush. Maybe. (Yuck, right?) She then said, "And it's not as if you've had any head injury lately, right?" "Actually, I was in a car wreck in mid-November and had a minor head injury." Oh. Then let's keep an eye out just in case something else is up, kids!
The waterfall phenomenon has not happened again, but that doesn't mean I'm not keeping an eye (a nose?) out just in case.
And then tonight something strange happened. I have been feeling a bit better today--just a few coughs and much less need to blow my nose (though I certainly am obviously sick, both audibly and visibly). Had a migraine this morning (period-related) but Imitrex wiped it out immediately. I blew my nose before settling into bed when suddenly I realized I couldn't stop. Couldn't stop blowing my nose, that is. I spent five minutes blowing my nose, people--and everything was coming from the right nostril. It seemed each tissue must be my last, but within 2-3 seconds I could feel more coming immediately. Then the clear feeling for a second, then the need to blow my nose. (Here's when I go into even more detail, for those of you who are as gross as I and have continued reading this far!) The mucus was green but not as thick as it's been for the last few days. It was green and really thin and liquidy. And it kept coming. For 5-7 minutes. TWELVE tissues' worth.
Does anyone have any insight? I'm hoping this all can be easily explained. I have never had such a sinus problem last so long, so perhaps this is just par for the course when sinusitis has progressed as far as mine has.
Still--let me know your thoughts, even if you are as gross and crazy as I have sounded in this post!