Ah, sleep. One never appreciates the beauty of sleep until the years begin to pile up. With the years, I’ve also gained achey bones, jumpy legs, and for the last five months, an awful sinus problem. It’s pretty hard to sleep when you can’t breathe.
This whole mess started in January, when my Germany family came to stay for a week. It was wonderful to see them, so I won’t send them cold germs in an envelope or anything. A couple of the kids picked up nasty colds from relatives they’d seen in Ohio, and guess who found those germs.
In the last maybe ten years or so, my colds almost always result in swollen tissue up high in my nose. Can’t breathe through my nose, and it’s not pretty. Mouth-breathing is something one should do only in private, and not in front of a mirror! So as the cold symptoms began to clear up, I started using a popular nasal decongestant spray. Works like a charm to reduce swelling and allow me to breathe, but you really aren’t supposed to use those things much more than three days in a row.
Five months later, I’m still gasping like a beached fish.
Now add to that misery the difficuties I’v had getting a Medicare card. You can read about all that, if you like, here and here. The bad news is that the second post, in which I felt hopeful of success, may lead you to believe it was all settled. Yeah, well, that didn’t happen. I’m telling you, folks, if you really think government can take care of our health better than the private, free enterprise system can, you just wait. One of these days you’re going to need a card or a document that you won’t be able to get your hands on. My nose could have fallen OFF before I finally got my Medicare card!
We finally returned to the Social Security office (that’s where you apply for Medicare) in which we originally applied. We were assisted by a fine woman who had been there for 40 years. Amazing! I had my card, with all the right numbers and letters, in three weeks. Sad that it took until mid-April, but hey. I owe this lady big, and I’m going to send her a thank-you card.
At last, I can go see my doctor. In the meantime, I’ve been supporting all the people who work for the paper tissue companies, as well as all the families who work in the company that makes my nasal spray.
Anyway, my wonderful and patient doctor put me on a typical combination of inhaler and steroid nasal spray, and told me to take a daily antihistamine. She also orderd a nebulizer treatment right there in the office. Never had one of those before, and I was amazed at how much better I felt right away. I went home with high hopes.
Alas. Nose is still all swollen up inside. I waited a full day, hoping things would improve, but they didn’t. So I called the doctor’s office and spoke with the nurse, who gave me the sad news that the spray will take two or three days before it begins to kick into full gear. In the meantime, I’ve used saline spray (helpful for a few minutes) a neti pot (helpful for maybe half an hour, once the solution was able to trickle through my swollen sinuses) and a cold pack on my nose (Rudolph effect, but not much help).
When suddenly, I felt the AIR going into my nose when I breathed in! Oh joy! Oh happiness! I can breathe, I can breathe!
For a while.Using the inhaler does help with the sinuses as well as the wheezy pipe organ in my chest, on which I can play Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor! No, really. You should hear it–amazing! I probably should be in Ripley’s Believe it or Not 🙂
All this to say, it’s Sunday morning here on the east coast of the USA. I’ve been awake since 3:30. It is now 4:30 a.m. and I can use my inhaler again soon. Maybe then I’ll be able to get back to sleep for a while.