When I started this blog, I had no clue just how bad a severe sinus infection could end up being. Two weeks or so later, I just got out of hospital. My sinus issues had begun earlier this year. In February or so, I got a chronic infection that took away my sleep, causing what felt like apnea or something similar. It eventually came sort of right after a while, but did not go fully away. In September, symptoms began to get bad again.
In addition to not sleeping, I was starting to feel very dried out. I was desperate enough to be trying anything I could get my hands on to try and fight the infection. That played a big role in my self care journey, too. Health began to become something that I could no longer take for granted. I discovered Reiki through this healing journey and I began to look at natural options in addition to chemical options.
The universe was not quite ready for me to make the shift, though. In the early hours of December 3rd, my mom heard me call out. She was staying with me quite by chance, which meant that she was there when I began having seizures. Her being there, rather than me being alone with my cats, lively saved my life. And yes, a severe sinus infection really can put your life at risk… who would have thought?
The Dangers of a Severe Sinus Infection
I used to think that even a severe sinus infection was not really *that* much to worry about in the grand scheme of things. In these last 10 days or so, I’ve since learned that sinus infections can not only kill you but also cause brain infections and all sorts of other scary things.
The thing about sinuses is that they are directly linked to the brain. The sinus cavity has quite a lot of work to do, keeping fluids out of the brain. An acute infection usually works differently to a chronic infection. When there is a chronic infection, healing becomes very difficult. The infection and inflammation come up again and again, and eventually, things start to get a bit pear-shaped. And, pear-shaped is exactly what happened in my case.
I had not been sleeping properly in a few weeks, in the case of my sinus infection. Every time I would go to bed, I would end up waking with a start, feeling as though my heart had skipped a beat or my breath just was not there. It eventually got bad enough that even during the day, this would happen. I was starting to get exhausted. On the weekend just before I got really sick, I had been feeling as though I had anxiety. I was nauseous, light headed, dizzy, and fluttery, my heart was racing, and I kept having to put my head between my legs. I still did not think it was physical, and instead, thought that the sleeplessness and sinus issues were causing anxiety. I should have known that no panic reaction lasts that long or takes that effect. At some point in the night, my mom heard me making a noise and came in to find me having seizures.
She called the ambulance, who came quickly. My pulse was crazy high, my fever was also high and I was unresponsive. I got taken to Groote Schuur Hospital, who were fantastic. The next thing I knew, I was waking up on Tuesday morning to find myself in hospital, where I had lost a few days.
Being in hospital was terrifying and weird – especially as it was my first experience. My mom was there at every chance she got. My sister and aunt came to see me, too. My clients have been fantastic and so have my friends. I will be getting work back on track in this next week and trying very hard to take things easy.
The thing is, health is only something we truly appreciate when it is in jeopardy. I KNEW something was wrong with my sinuses for a long time and I let things slide. I have to be on anti-seizure medication for the next six months or so now and I also cannot risk taking anti-histamines or any of the sinus sprays I used to use before, just in case any of those over the counter meds interacted with anything. I’m covered in bruises from the various needles and drips (including a lumbar puncture, which I was luckily not awake for but feel now) and my head is going to be sore for some time.
Getting sick put me on this self care path. It made me remember what is important. It helped unlock some healing in my past. As fragile as I feel right now, I also feel cleansed, somehow. Life has a way of resetting us on the right path and shaking us up when we need direction.
The point to sharing this little detour is to listen to your body. Don’t ignore those warning signs. Don’t assume that sinus infections are not a big deal. Don’t under-estimate yourself. Left unchecked, a severe sinus infection can be very scary indeed and not something you want to downplay.