Diary of a Sinus Infection


Sinus Infection Log:

Day One: Indian Rope Trick

I awake with a head that I mistake for a thump. My eyes are not happy to be open and are trying to turn each blink into a blonk. Something is very wrong. I initially think that the glass of whiskey or three I had last night has decided to use my head for a cask and is busy charring the oak timbers inside my skull.

I sit up. Bad idea. My head feels as if it has entered a cloud and I quickly have the urge to sneeze. I reach for a tissue. “Ah – pharppghh”. A thick, green rope has appeared on my tissue – but I am not compelled to climb it. My head feels momentarily relieved followed by many more moments of yet worse discomfort. What fresh hell is this?

My head throbs like a rotted and bloating egg. This can only mean one thing. Sinus Infection. Feck it anyway.


Sinus Infection Log:

Day Two: Sawbones

I sit in the waiting room at the doctor. A tired, mono-speakered radio is playing either the call to prayer or the one O’clock News – the sound is too thin to distinguish. I stare at a poster advertising family planning advice and can’t help thinking back to 5am when my three year old decided to wake the house up with wordless song and arrhythmic banging. Children, indeed, are not for the sinused amongst us.

“Mr Carabini?” calls the doctor. Both my sinuses and I enter the room.

“What seems to be the problem?”

I believe that I may have opened with a “Life was so much easier before I had sinuses”. She understands and begins to prod me in different parts of my face – which presumably has something to do with her being a doctor.

A sinus infection is confirmed and a course of anti-biotics are prescribed. “Are you allergic to any medications?”

“Yes – Clarithromycin.”

“Oh – really? Why? What happens to you on them?”

I get a flashback to four years ago when I had taken just the first in a course for a gastric illness and, like an obese Olympic skier, it went very quickly downhill from there.

“After half an hour, my stomach was very ill. After an hour, I was shivering. After two, my skin could hear colours.”

The doctor simply nods and changes the subject. “Right – so Penicillin – one tablet three times a day.”


Sinus Infection Log:

Day Three: Sleeping like a Spiderman

I am ill. My sinuses continue to pulse like a dim bamboo-filament lightbulb. My body, thus far fine from the nose down, has capitulated to the onslaught of the pill. I am a crumbled, shuddering mess. All I want to do is sleep and set free my inner narcoleptic. I pull the blinds. I turn off the lights. I curl up beneath the duvet and lie there, a full two stages below useless and one below burdensome.

I decide to check my email – but sit up too quickly. My body freezes, inhales, and detonates a napalm of sneezing. My hand quickly comes up to my mouth. Barrage after barrage ensues, leaving me light headed and exhausted. I remove my hand from my mouth and glimpse at its green and webbed contents contents. It dawns on me that Stan Lee must have had a sinus infection too when he created Spiderman …


Sinus Infection Log:

Day Five: Lets Google It …

Today I am contemplating the need for the sinus and contemplating simply having mine backfilled. Webmd.com tells me, unhelpfully, that “The purpose of the sinus is unclear”. The human body has a few evolutionary oddities that can be roughly classed. The first class is the “Huh – fancy that!” class, that includes the tail-bone and the male nipple. They don’t do anything good or bad, They just, simply, ‘are’. Then there is the other class – a whole class of useless anatomical features that do nothing except make you miserable. Internal terrorists. Some, like the appendix, lie dormant for a whole lifetime before trying to kill you out of sheer boredom. It is to this class of ‘jerk’ organs that the sinus belongs.

Indeed, its purpose appears to be to prevent deep sea diving and getting sinus infections. Nice designing you did there, god.

I lie here, useless and in pain. If I was a jelly, at least I would be able to wobble.


Sinus Infection Log:

Day Seven: Banditry

I have watched all I’ve wanted to watch on the TV. I’ve listened to every podcast I’ve wanted to hear. I cannot read too much as everytime my eyes swivel, they squeeze my sinuses like a jellyfish. I am tired. I am sore. I am ill. And I am now officially bored.

I turn my mind to the history of the sinus. I read that Sinus actually appeared in ancient Greek mythology. He was a bandit and, if myth is to be believed, a bit of a shit. He would apparently stop travellers and ask them to help him bend down mighty trees. When they helped him, and the trees were bent over, he would let go and the victims would be hurtled off into the distance like a cartoon coyote, leaving Sinus behind to plunder whatever they had left behind.

This story at least gives me something to think about – what was it trying to tell me about the sinus? Is there a clandestine message – a secret piece of ancient Greek wisdom about the purpose and function of the sinus here hidden? Is there maybe a morale here that will help me better communicate with my sinus and prevent this from happening again? Is my sinus a lonely outcast that feels it has no choice but to turn to anatomical banditry?

Apparently, not. It is not unloved. It is mis-spelled. The bandit, it turns out is Sinis, not Sinus. I had hit the wrong key …


Sinus Infection Log:

Day Eight: A New Beginning

It is Easter Sunday. I awake – throbless. Cautiously, I stand up. I am a little tired – but I feel strangely unfugheadded.

I pull up the blinds and peer out at a beautiful, crisp, Easter morning. I resurrect my way to the kitchen. So far, so good. I pull on my shoes – now cobwebbed and dusty from a week of non-use. I make my way to the Hill of Tara to allow my nostrils to fill with the fresh air of an Irish spring …

Maybe I’ll be fine after all … if I just take it …one bright and sunny day … at a time …

Hill of Tara on Easter Sunday

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