It’s been 2 1/2 years since I underwent sinus surgery to help with my recurrent sinus infections and sinus headaches. Some of you probably remember when I was contemplating getting the surgery – and how many days of the year I spent crippled with sinus infections – and when I got the surgery done a few months after Collins was born.
I went back and forth trying to decide wether or not to get the surgery. Despite trying all the things to prevent + treat sinus infections in alternate ways, I was continuing to have to go on countless rounds of antibiotics to get over the infections. As anyone who has dealt with recurrent sinus infections can probably tell you, it was so hard to be a momma to two little kids and spend so many days of the year feeling sick and down for the count. By the time I got the surgery, it seemed every single head cold I got turned immediately into a raging sinus infection. Anyone out there relate?
My CT scan reveled that I had a slightly deviated septum and that some of the sinus passages were very narrow, which was causing the issues that I was experiencing. The first consult I had with an ENT said that the suggested course of action was more traditional sinus surgery that would “drastically alter the landscape of your sinuses” and require a good deal of down time and recovery, including packing inside the sinuses that would then need to be removed days later.
I was hesitant to pursue that option, for obvious reasons, and sought out a second opinion from another ENT who recommended what is called a Balloon Sinuplasty. While technically the procedure CAN be done in the office with local anesthesia, our doctor suggested that the best course of action was general anesthesia – and I agreed.
Recovery from the surgery was NOT bad at all! It basically felt like I had a two week long sinus infection. Which, for someone suffering from chronic sinus issues isn’t all that bad to deal with for long term relief. There is no packing and very minimal pain. After the Sinuplasty is performed, they rinse out your sinuses with a sanitary rinse to make sure you are starting with clear, fresh sinuses. When they went into my sinuses, he said I had “a full pond” of gunk just sitting in there. SO gross, right? But it made total sense why I would get a cold and it would immediately turn into a sinus infection. I was starting each cold already primed for an issue!
I knew from the beginning that there would be a chance, with a less invasive option, that the procedure might need to be repeated down the road as time went on to maintain the results I initially enjoyed. But so far, 2 1/2 years in, I’m happy to report that I haven’t been on antibiotics even once for a sinus infection since! It’s truly been life changing for me and for our family as they have a healthy and well mom.
Having just got over a horrible head cold that I know would have sidelined me for weeks if I was the pre-surgery me, I thought it was a good time to reflect on how I stay healthy + care for my sinuses + keep infections at bay in case you find yourself in a similar spot.
This is, of course, easier said than done, but I’ve tried to do a better job of listening to my body and giving it the rest it needs when I’m sick. It’s hard with three small kiddos, but I do my best within reason.
The most obvious choice is drinking enough water, of course, but I also drink plenty of my Apple Cider Vinegar Mocktails (immunity boosting recipes below!)
I boost up my Vitamin D + Vitamin C intake when I can feel a cold coming on and I’m sure not to skip on my nightly magnesium in the form of Natural Calm.
4. Hot Baths + Steamy Showers
This helps relieve some of the congestion and clear the sinuses. If I’m taking a bath, then I typically add Epsom salts to the bath to help detox
While I’m not an essential oils expert by any means, I am an avid fan of diffusing blends so I have a blend of Thieves + Lavender + Lemon on blast around the clock.
6. Light Exercise
If my body is feeling up for it (if and only if!) I am not against getting in a light and non-taxing sweat session. Sometimes a little light movement can help with a head cold as long as it doesn’t tax the body too much – which would serve the opposite purpose.
7. Sinus Rinsing
I use a sinus rinse with salt solution at the first sign of any congestion or sickness coming on. It’s THE single biggest tip I have for those who are suffering from chronic sinus issues. Sinus rinsing alone was not enough to help me with my recurrent sinus infections before surgery, But now that my sinus passages are functioning properly, sinus rinsing is much more effective!