“Stop it Alexis, you are such a hypochondriac!”
I’ll admit, I’m definitely on the dramatic side.
My animated personality and high functioning anxiety have unintentionally given me this reputation of being a complete hypochondriac.
A lifetime of being told that every inner intuition was a joke has taken from the grace I give myself.
Sinus infections have been a major part of my life.
I genuinely can’t even remember when this all started as that moment was likely silenced with the distrust I’ve developed towards my own sensations.
I’ve been muddling through life, neglecting chronic facial pain by reaffirming to myself that I’m “just being dramatic”.
I don’t feel fine.
I’ve had a sinus infection for as long as I can remember.
Every day begins with a blaring sinus headache.
Attempting to focus on anything is an impossible task.
It feels like living in a perpetual grogginess.
‘Stop being so dramatic.’
Drowning my thoughts with this message as I attempt to pull through another day.
The frustration lies in the fact that I can’t just turn it off.
No matter how much I try to convince myself that I’m fine, I don’t feel fine.
I’m playing a constant game of manipulation with myself.
It’s a confusing way to live.
Trips to the doctor happen as time and patience allow.
Usually this looks like long periods of not wanting to deal with it until it gets so bad that I cave in.
This past year, as symptoms became increasingly unbearable, I received at least five separate six-week trials of antibiotics and steroids.
The medications provide some minor relief but the problem always returns abruptly.
Over time, I’ve convinced myself that this is just “normal”.
And it is normal, for me at least.
2019 has been a year of taking back control of my health.
I’m tired of feeling like crap all the time… this isn’t normal!
I got a new psychiatrist who actually wants to work as a team.
I broke it off with my anxiety therapist after we couldn’t come to an agreement on proceeding with EMDR.
And finally, I had a CT scan done on my sinuses.
The results were one big wake up call.
“Your CT shows some major changes in your sinuses due to chronic inflammation.”
The doctor then began walking me through the imagery.
First he showed me an example of a normal CT scan of the sinuses.
The image showed air pockets throughout the sinus cavities.
My images were almost a complete contrast.
The right side appeared to be completely blacked out.
The left side, a close runner up, with only tiny pockets of air visible.
“How have you been functioning like this…? You have got to be miserable.”
He said, with complete empathy.
Words that were absorbed like a foreign language.
“I don’t know… I guess I just thought everyone felt like this all the time.”
I was referred to ENT to meet with a surgeon, whose remarks on my CT weren’t much better.
He stuck a scope down my nose to take a peek.
The good news?
I don’t have nasal polyps, which could require recurrent surgeries throughout life.
The bad news?
My sinuses have been inflamed for so long that some of the sinus cavities are swollen closed.
The right side has 3 of 4 nasal cavities completely sealed from inflammation.
The left side is narrowing and bacterial fluid has begun stockpiling.
Both sides will require surgery.
The surgery I’m having will require “cutting out bone” to reopen the sinus passages, allowing them to drain for the first time in years.
Multiple doctors commenting that this surgery could potentially be life changing.
I’m ready to experience this new normal.
April 3rd is the big day and it honestly can’t come soon enough.
I’m ready to experience life at my full potential.
In the meantime I’m left pondering a powerful lesson on self validation.
You see, if I had just listened to my intuition, this could have been taken care of a long time ago.
I have nobody to blame but myself for such neglect.
“Something in my body feels off.”
Is a statement that isn’t up for discussion.
You are the only person who knows how you feel.
Yet society has us trained to value the opinions of others above our own; To practice self care the way in which we were taught, which may not even be the best method for us personally.
I’ve learned that the opinions of others are irrelevant when addressing my personal feelings.
What are your self care habits?
Are you an exemplary advocate for your inner intuition?
Or is your shadow trying to tell you something…?
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