Yes, I had surgery last Valentine’s Day. It has been one year since I had my sinuses and nasal passages sliced and diced as well as my septum moved over a bit. Did it work? Let’s compare my health before and after. Prior to the surgery, I had averaged a round of antibiotics roughly once a month for two years. This past year, I’ve kept a log of all my illnesses. Here’s the list:
- 2007-02-14 Surgery (okay, not an illness, but the starting point of the log)
- 2007-03-30 Cold for several days
- 2007-04-30 Very bad cough for several days
- 2007-05-27 Bad cough for a 2 days
- 2007-06-23 Cold for 2 days followed by bad cough for 2 days
- 2007-08-28 Cold for 2 days
- 2007-11-19 Mild cold for a week. Turned into sinusitis. Healed quickly with antibiotics.
What does all this mean? Put simply, I just completed my healthiest year in probably the past decade. I still got sick now and again, but there were two huge improvements. First, I didn’t get sick as often, and successfully fought off several illnesses. Second, I actually got better without antibiotics. Previously, I almost never fought off illnesses and almost all illnesses eventually resulted in some sort of bacterial infection (sinus infection, bronchial infection, strep throat, ear infection, had all of them numerous time).
Two other factors were in play, though both of them were present prior to the surgery and didn’t seem to improve my health. First, I finished off a couple years at a maintenance dose of immunotherapy for my allergies. Second, I started doing a sinus rinse a couple times a day (using this wonderful device). My allergies are very obviously doing much, much better, and the sinus rinse shows significant help when I start to come down with a cold. However, prior to the surgery it just wasn’t enough.
So, although the surgery made my top 10 list of worst experiences (please bear in mind that is a crowded list as I have had 10 other surgeries, some of them major, as well as spinal meningitis, malaria, blood poisening, staph infection, and other ailments), it has been well worth it. If you are capable of sleeping while breathing through your mouth (it turns out I cannot in any meaningful sense), it would be a significantly easier experience though still very unpleasant.