Hole in the Head

When it comes to medical emergencies, it could be said that I’m a bit of an old-timer. You see, I have a long history of emergency admissions to hospital and friends and family tend to joke me about it. I never quite know what lies around the next corner but as the saying goes, “if you’ve gotta do it, at least do it in style.” I do my best.

No one pays much attention to their sinuses until they start to hurt. I’ve suffered from sinusitis all my life so headaches are commonplace but pregnancy really exacerbated the problem. The hormones of pregnancy can have a direct effect on the lining of the sinuses and in my case, it left behind a real legacy. Having successfully delivered my second child after a pregnancy fraught with difficulties, I continued to have severe sinus headaches. A CT scan revealed that an abscess had developed in the frontal sinus, very close to the base of my brain. Endoscopic surgery was carried out to drain the abscess and the relief was instantaneous. However some months later, the pain began to slowly return again until one day I awoke in so much pain, I knew I was in real trouble. On calling our family GP to the house, he immediately decided that emergency treatment was required and contacted the surgeon who had previously operated on my head. The surgeon was in the operating theatre at the time but the hospital he was in, did not have the surgical instruments he required for my head. He recommended that I should be transferred to another larger hospital by ambulance to await his arrival. I was duly rushed to hospital and taken straight to theatre to be prepared for emergency surgery on my skull. Despite being in severe pain, I have a vivid memory of lying on the operating table while one of the theatre nurses took a call detailing the ETA of the surgeon and his anaesthetist as they both rushed across the city to come to my rescue. The drama of the occasion resembled a scene from Casualty except that there was nothing fictional about this episode.Β  It was all too real.

I awoke several hours later feeling decidedly frail having had several holes drilled in my skull to relieve the pressure. The surgeon appeared looking totally exhausted and announced that he’d needed my emergency operation about as much as “a hole in the head.” I knew exactly how that felt. It hurt to laugh but it was hard not too.

11 Responses to Hole in the Head

  1. Grannymar says:

    I have a hole in my head… That is where all the rubbish I speak comes from! πŸ˜‰

    Steph did you ever count how many times you were on ‘the table’?

  2. Steph says:

    GM – I always feel sorry for the poor nurse who has to ask the question…

    “Have you ever been in hospital before?”


  3. Bendy Girl says:

    You know Steph, I think the ‘do it in style’ thing should become the EDS’ers mantra πŸ˜‰ I never knew pregnancy hormones could affect the sinus’s, I wonder if that also means the rise and fall of hormones in the menstrual cycle could affect them as well as all the other issues for us bendy’s?
    I hope you never have such trouble with that area of your body again! Hugs BG x

  4. Steph says:

    Thanks, BG

    Well, I think I’m safe on the pregnancy hormone side of things anyhow. My hubby volunteered for the snip after that last fateful pregnancy and six months later, I had to have a hysterectomy. It hasn’t stopped us trying though πŸ˜‰

    You’re right about hormones in the menstrual cycle. Both my joints and sinuses used to ache more at certain times in the monthly cycle. There’s not a lot to recommend about the menopause but that’s one of them!

  5. Baino says:

    Ouch. That sounds awful. I get sinusitis after a cold and it’s horrible. I feel like I’ve been two rounds with Mike Tyson! I can’t imagine having holes drilled in my head! Good that they recognised the urgency though Steph. As for the hormone thing hyster sister . . .apart from the odd wave of warmth, (no need for an electric blanket this winter!) my skin has never looked better and the crimson wave is a thing of the past! Wahey! Woohoo!

    And Grannymar! Pfft:) You don’t speak rubbish!

  6. Steph says:

    Baino – you should hear me whistle!

    I reckon if I left my body to medical science, it would produce a wad of very anatomically confused medical students πŸ˜‰

    Hope you’re not about to eat ‘cos here’s some more gruesome details!


  7. Laura says:

    Thankfully never had sinusitis but have had a couple of tubes up my nose in my time and boy are they annoying. I can tell you trying to move about with them is a nightmare!! your a real fighter Steph I can tell you.

  8. Roy says:

    I’ve never really been sick
    I’ve only had the odd cold and the dreaded measles.
    I do have a number of holes in my head though

  9. Geri Atric says:

    Hi Steph,
    Have just peeped in from Grannyma’s blog and read this posting. What a horrible experience! Sinus pain is really awful (just blogged about my own a couple of days ago: ref: ‘one drop to many’) but my experience so far is nothing to what you have been through! Thank goodness you had a good doctor. Keep inhaling!

  10. Steph says:

    Hi! Laura – you’ve sure done your time with drips and tubes.

    Funnily enough, the operation I describe above was one where I was left with a horrible tube up my nose. Several times a day, a nurse would use a large syringe to push an antibiotic wash up the tube to reach the inner depths of my head. The inside of my head was so raw from the surgery, it felt like battery acid and I came to dread the daily procedure.

    Roy – count yourself lucky. What’s your secret? πŸ˜‰

    Welcome! Geri – thanks for popping over. Yeah, I’ve been under the care of some fantastic Docs over the years but I maintain that it’s a 2-way process. I give them as good as I get and that way we soon find the best way forward – for everyone!

    I’m off now to discover what you’ve been inhaling!

  11. ardi says:

    Maybe if you interested in anesthesia, please visit my blog. Best regard

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