Fast forward a few years to 2008. I was in a new place, without cats. I was still a regular at the gym. I had gone back to school, was starting promising new career and I was newly single. (I don’t think I was allergic to marriage or my husband, but I think it’s an important part of the story.)
My nose was still stuffy and I was starting to get headaches.
In late 2008, I got a cold that made my stuffy nose worse. It felt like something was stuck up there!
My family doctor diagnosed me with nasal polyps. In early 2009, I was scheduled to see a specialist and then had an MRI of my head. Turns out my sinuses were full of these blister-like swellings. Really full. They filled all the sinus cavities in my head. No wonder I had a headache. My doctor tried me on Prednisone, which is a steroid that works but has many troubling side affects, to shrink them but to no avail. I can’t take regular over the counter meds aka NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs) due to my asthma. I needed surgery to remove them.
I was a little nervous, but if surgery would make me be able to breathe, hear, taste and smell again, I was in! In the meantime, my polyps grew bigger and my headaches got worse. The Prednisone was causing some side effects and working out helped minimize them so I kept up my gym routine. That is until one day while in the middle of a group workout, I felt the need to sneeze.
Have you ever had a really bad cold and sneezed? It’s like the more congested your head is the harder it is to get the sneeze out. I felt like that. My sinuses were full of polyps. My sneeze had no where to go!
I thought my head was gonna explode! I couldn’t let the sneeze happen. If I did my head would explode and I’d leave a mess all over the nice clean weights and mats and my fitness loving friends. I tried to hold it in, really I did. The sneeze won. Out it came with, as I learned later, a sound that resembled a squeaky, deflating balloon. My head certainly did feel like it had exploded, but for some reason, my navel felt like it was on fire too.
Apparently sneezing with polyps can lead to hernias too.
I had the surgery for polyps in July of 2009. The hernia got fixed two months later.