I’ve got a nose for knowing when I have a sinus infection
Sometimes I know the causes for my EDS symptoms, and sometimes not
For about a week, I’d been feeling extra tired and sore, but that’s not necessarily unusual. Getting out of bed in the morning was particularly difficult, and I struggled to wake up. But since chronic fatigue and pain are two of the hallmark symptoms of EDS, they’re hardly noteworthy.
I was also congested, but I have terrible seasonal allergies, so again, not particularly interesting. While I noticed these things, I just assumed what was causing them was a combination of EDS and allergies. I starting getting suspicious when I began to feel pressure under my eyes, and my ears felt crackly and congested. But when I got a weird taste in my mouth, I knew I had a sinus infection.
I’ve dealt with sinus infections most of my life. There was a time when getting three or four a year wasn’t unusual, but now I seem to get them about once a year. It usually takes my symptoms reaching a crescendo before I realize I have a sinus infection instead of just the typical symptoms of allergies or EDS.
The taste in my mouth, probably the result of a significant amount of postnasal drip, usually makes it pretty obvious, too. A few other important signs: My face starts to ache so much from the pressure that it hurts to lay my head on a pillow, and I have such a headache that it almost feels like my hair hurts.
Even when the problem isn’t EDS, EDS is still a factor
I went to the doctor and wasn’t surprised to learn that I was right; it was a sinus infection. My accuracy in self-diagnosing sinus infections is still 100 percent. The nurse practitioner prescribed an antibiotic and a nasal decongestant spray, and I was off to the pharmacy.
I was worried the antibiotic would upset my often-sensitive digestive tract, though, causing me to trade one set of symptoms for another.
As an added wrinkle, I have to make sure none of the medications have mammalian byproducts or derivatives in them because I also have alpha-gal syndrome, a rare tick-borne disease that causes a reaction to a specific mammalian protein.
I take a probiotic supplement every day and I seem to be doing OK. I’ve also been eating nondairy yogurt each day as added protection. I know that after a few days on antibiotics, I’ll feel better, and I hope that by managing any digestive issues, I’ll be able to keep any problems to a minimum. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my plan works and that I’ll soon feel like myself again!
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