Saturday, February 27, 2016

Of sinuses and asthma

Asthma is often associated with chronic sinusitis. WebMD says about half the people with asthma have sinus infections or chronic sinusitis. I am one of them. 

Elspeth does not have asthma but her sinuses are more of a problem than mine. Fortunately the big infection she had last week had improved significantly by Wednesday. Only one maxillary sinus was infected and hopefully the broad spectrum antibiotic she has been taking for a few days will soon fix that. So far, after 3 cultures, nothing has grown so no-one knows what is actually going on. However, the basic hypothesis is  that the cilia (tiny one-celled "hairs") on the surface of  this sinus have been damaged by previous infections. The damaged cilia  cannot move stuff (like viruses) out of the sinus as they should. Instead the viruses set up an environment where bacteria can grow. Then the bacteria spread to other sinus cavities. If the infection gets up above the frontal sinus it can actually be life-threatening. So she has to be super proactive about going to our sinus doc to get goop suctioned out when this first starts.  

Mike and I went with her to her appointment on Wednesday. I was also having a bit of sinus congestion - so - when the doc asked how I was - I told him. He squeezed me in, suctioned out the goop, and we took my sample to the lab. He and his fellow docs said they thought they saw fungus - which is surprising given all the fluconazole I am taking. I have an appointment with my asthma doc on Tuesday. The sinus guys will send him their results. I wonder what he will think. I am feeling pretty well but am coughing out a few mucous plugs (twirly phlegms) these days - so something is definitely not right. The lungs also have cilia... hmmm.

I probably should not have postponed my xolair injection until next week - but felt it was more important to to take Elspeth to her sinus appointment on Wednesday than for me to stay home for my shot.  If being a week late makes a difference, I guess we will know that the xolair is working. Breath on. 

Stopping now. Mike has brought me a nice cup of tea!

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