Diagnosis: Silent Sinus Syndrome

For as long as I can remember I've had horrible allergies, sinus infections and congestion. I get at least 3 sinus infections a year, and I'm always stuffed up all winter long. 

After YEARS of allergy medications, nasal steroids & alternative and holistic forms of medication, I asked my family doctor to refer me to an ENT Specialist. I was really sick of the anxiety I was getting from putting who knows what kind of chemicals and damage to my organs from all the medications. I just wanted to feel better.

My appointment was made for 3 months later, so I sat and waited. Had good days, had bad days.

The day of my appointment I was SO excited and hopeful to get the confirmation and answers. I was SO disheartened by the end of the appointment. I don't think I'd been more frustrated. 

The specialist was VERY cold. He blew into the room like he was being held up for something more important (I immediately started to get defensive, which to me, was warranted). He did a basic exam by putting a scope into each side of my nostril and down into my throat. Upon taking it out he said he didn't see anything wrong with me, and that I didn't sound congested at all. I told him my family doctor noticed my right side was restricted and that was why he sent me. He thought it was a possible Deviated Septum

The specialist kind of laughed, but I kept informing him that I never felt like I wasn't stuffed up. He reluctantly decided to send me for a CT or CAT Scan.
(To be fair, he probably sees A LOT of patience that think they're sick and they know what's wrong when he doesn't. BUT that's no excuse for a poor bedside manner, at least in my opinion)

Three more weeks go by and I get a call for an appointment at the specialist's office to review my

Now, I was going with very low expectations that they had found anything, and that again he would tell me he saw nothing wrong. I had been planning all the things I was going to ask him. Should I see an allergist? Could it be something in my diet? Well, I got quite a surprise with the appointment. 

It began with my CT scans. I was shown exactly what was going on with me. I was diagnosed with Silent Sinus Syndrome.

(NOT my scan) Image from:  radiologyinfo.org

(NOT my scan) Image from: radiologyinfo.org

What this typically means is that the maxillary sinus (the one in your cheek) spontaneously collapses, bringing the orbital floor (the floor holds your eye in place) down, causing the eye to sink back into the skull, giving a person the appearance of a sunken eye and droopy eyelid. (see below)

Former 'Dance Moms' Star Chloe Lukasiak famously suffered from Silent Sinus Syndrome and had the surgery after her eye noticeably fell.

Former 'Dance Moms' Star Chloe Lukasiak famously suffered from Silent Sinus Syndrome and had the surgery after her eye noticeably fell.

Now, this is where I differ from a normal case.

I didn't have the physical manifestation of Silent Sinus because my right maxillary sinus never fully developed. Essentially this means I have a very tiny (the size of say, a pencil eraser) sinus. So the constant pain from fullness happened daily, because it just couldn't drain anything.  

And that was only the beginning. 

Next we moved to the left maxillary sinus to find a cyst (think golf ball) filling up space, making that sinus a fraction of the size it was supposed to be. So all that time spent being stuffed up and uncomfortable? Yah, there was good reason. 

Third on the list of findings was that my septum is severely deviated to one side, making it (surprise surprise) restrict air flow. 

So what's next? Well the only way to treat Silent Sinus Syndrome is surgery. The same with the deviated septum. And because my syndrome is a little different my surgery will involve creating a bigger sinus where there wasn't much of one at all. 

The wait time is about 4-6 months, but I am so thankful to finally have some clarity with my problems. Am I nervous? Hell yes! Did I watch every nasal/orbital floor surgery/septum reshaping surgery I could find on YouTube? You know I did. 

Unfortunately with the long wait for my surgery and the approaching winter season, I can count on several more sinus infections before I get this taken care of. But the good outweighs the bad. In a years time I will (hopefully) be free from all the pressure and sinus infections and finally leading a healthy life!

Lastly, I would like to stress to everyone reading this the importance of trusting yourself. NO ONE knows your body better than you do. If you know something is wrong, don't give up until you figure out what you need to make things right. I've been suffering for years with this problem and no one thought anything of it until I started asking for more. 

If you have any questions for me, don't hesitate to ask! I'll do my best to help you!

- CarlyBellexo

Attention All Planner Addicts! I Need Your Help!

This blog goes out to all those ladies that live for their planners. I need you! 

I'm a big fan of organizing my life. I like seeing it on paper and planning accordingly. I like being able to see all appointments and work schedules in the same place. I'd like to start incorporating blog related items in the planner as well. 

This is where I need all those planner addicts out there, I need YOU to help me find the best stickers, washi tape and other embellishments that I need to spruce up my pages! 

I currently have a Webster's Pages teal and white striped A2 planner, but I'm thinking about making the switch to the A5 for more space on the monthly planner pages. 

I'd love to see your planners! Post some pictures to my Facebook Page and let me know what you think of your brand/size etc! I'd love it if you could give me some ideas on how to decorate and organize mine! 

 - Carlybellexo

What I'm Reading - October

The fall to me is the best time to read. Curled up on the couch with a blanket, a cup of coffee/or tea and a good book. I lose many of my days off to this pastime. I just purchased 3 new books to read this month, but as I add more, I'll be sending you a new link back here.

I decided to give this month a theme, I'm going to read books by humorous people. I want to laugh, smile and enjoy a nice light read. These are the top three books I'll be reading this month!

Furiously Happy - Jenny Lawson

Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari (I've been meaning to read this for a few months, but kept holding off until I had an arsenal of other funny books to follow up with! Now is the time!)

What books are you reading right now? What should I check out? I keep a list of all recommendations so I can get to them too! 



Autumn, it's not just for Basic B*****!

The fall has always been my favourite time of year. Maybe because summer is just a little too hot for me, or maybe because it signals change.

Some people look at fall as the time of year where everything beautiful begins to die, how tragic right? I like to think of fall as repurposing those summer flowers and leaves, transitioning them into another type of beauty one last time. 

The colours. Oh, the colours. Nothing is more beautiful than the trees become rich shades of red, yellow and orange. The sun shining on them creating shades of golds and rich burgundy. Sigh, Heavenly.

But, in all seriousness, fall is more to me than just the leaves changing or to to those Basic gals out there, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and UGG Boots. (Kristen Harris of Buzzfeed got it right with this hilarious article explaining the meaning behind "basic bitches". Enjoy)

Fall to me reminds me of my grandfather. 

My mother tells me I'm a lot like her father, the grandfather I never got to meet. He was a reader, a whiskey and water drinker, and a man that loved walks the fall more than any other season. It's very apt that he passed in October, the heart of the season. 

I can't help but wonder what it would be like to sit with him, hear his stories from the war, exchanging our opinions on people (he was also a quiet man that loved a good bout of people watching) we didn't know, coffees silently while reading side-by-side on the couch. 

See, the fall is more to me than just the obvious things I love (chunky sweaters, warm socks, strong drinks in the evening to warm up, the colours), it's family. It's the daydreams of memories that could have been.

It's believing that even though I never got the chance to meet my grandfather, it's that the things I love about fall are all signs from him that he's trying to make memories with me too.

Does anyone else feel this way about something, be it a season, a smell or a place? What things remind you of someone you care about? I'd love to hear from you! 



What I'm Listening To (September 2015)

Everyone loves getting new music. I know I do! I'm a big fan of many varieties of genres and artists. I thought it would be fun to share the top albums I've been listening to the past little while. Now, I'm not a music critic at all, and these aren't meant to be reviews. They're just some albums I'm playing on repeat and thought I should share.

Check them out, who knows, I may have just given you a new favourite! 

Badlands - Halsey
This woman can do no wrong in my books. New Americana is almost certainly something you've heard. I feel like I can get anything done when listening to this gem. My boyfriend thinks she's a lot like Lorde, but I can't help but think of her as the female The Weeknd. Whatever comparison made, this woman has what it takes to sell out world concerts months away. I'd say she's doing something right. 

Abandoned - Defeater
This band, wow. I suppose for those who don't know them, you could consider them a "hardcore-ish" band. The vocals are unapologetic and filled with emotion, the guitars are tough and the drums are heavy. This band deserves your ears, your heart and your time. 

The Things We Think We're Missing - Balance and Composure
Unlike the other two above albums this one isn't a new release, but that shouldn't sway you from giving it a listen. The newest release (2013) from B&C and probably my favourite. 

No Closer To Heaven - The Wonder Years
What can I say about this? Pop Punk easy going jams. Great for running through the train station or the gym. 

What are you listening to right now? What are your favourite albums? Let me know below or over on Facebook! I'll definitely check them out! 

- Carlybellexo