Thursday, February 19, 2009

I get sick a lot ...

Thanks to a delightful sinus infection, I have spent the last two days at home in my bed with two fluffy dogs to snuggle me back to wellness.

Since high school I have been sick constantly. A cold, or walking pneumonia, or bronchitis. I am always coughing or sneezing or being generally run down and sickly. After so many years of being ill in one form or another, I have stopped going to the doctor because the colds usually resolve themselves and besides you can't take anything that will make your cold go away before your body takes care of it on its own. So I just deal with it. But after I didn't totally get over my last cold and getting hit with a sinus infection that made me miserable, I caved and went to the walk in clinic at my doctor's office.

He asked me the normal questions (when did you get sick, how long were you sick before this ...), told me that I did have a sinus infection and then ran down the usual reasons that people get sinus infections (deviated septum, polyps, smoking, etc.), all of which I have heard many many times before. But then he said something I have never heard before: acid reflux could be the explanation for the reason that I have been sick so often for so many years.

In high school I developed stomach problems. I would get really nauseous after every meal and I was treated for a stomach bacteria called H. Pylori that causes excess production of stomach acid, which triggers heart burn. I did a lot of research and found out that some people don't feel the burn of heart burn. Some people feel nauseous (like me!). While I don't feel sick regularly anymore, I do feel sick frequently. The doctor said that even one or two drops of stomach acid in my throat could cause my sinuses to stop draining properly and create an infection. He said that it could also explain why I was also getting bronchitis so often.

So now, in addition to my antibiotics, I am on a prescription antacid. The doctor also recommended that I raise the head of my bed about 6-inches so that I won't have to worry about reflux while I'm sleeping.

I am SO excited to have a reason behind my constant illness ... I am SO excited about the idea of being healthy for more than 3 weeks at a time. SO excited to not be the office joke anymore (yes, we joke about how I'm sick all the time at work. HIL-arious). SO EXCITED for a reason that makes sense. The long and short of it is ... I'm pretty excited. Even if it does mean that I might have to take an antacid everyday for the rest of my life. I would so much rather take a pill everyday than be sick all the time.


1 comment:

S. said...

i am sorry to hear that you have been so sick but that is awesome that you now know what the problem is so you can start to fix it!! yay!