Ah, summertime. I had imagined myself relaxing, reading, praying and studying without any pressure.
Unfortunately, I fell ill. How was this possible? I had managed to evade all the cold and flu bugs last winter. Now, this.
Two Mondays ago, a tooth was aching. I dashed over to a nearby dentist because I feared a cracked filling or tooth. The practice accepted my dental insurance. But after a few X-rays and an examination, the dentist found nothing wrong. Tooth was fine, filling was fine and the nerve was fine. But he saw tartar on my teeth and the hygienist gave me a cleaning. Great.
Over-the-counter acetaminophen dealt with the ache temporarily. But overnight, I felt sinus pressure against the right side of my face. Friends had told me how terrible sinus issues are. I began to understand what they meant. The sinus was pressing a nerve causing my toothache.
My sister Liza suggested seeing a doctor. Where was I going to find a doctor who would take insurance from Massachusetts? Wanting to avoid that, I bought Sudafed and that brought some relief.
But I pondered where this sinus ailment came from. I found my culprit in my room.
Before using an air conditioner for the first time in a year, I would vacuum it for any built-up dust. But late May brought a sudden heat wave. Desperate for coolness late at night, I turned on the air conditioner without vacuuming. I had reaped what I had sown. Learning my lesson, I finally vacuumed the air conditioner.
Meanwhile, the sinus issue remained with me even after a week. The sinus pressure eventually migrated from my tooth to my eyeball. The Sudafed label recommended seeing a doctor if symptoms last that long. My friend Eric said that it was likely a sinus infection, which never went away by itself and needed antibiotics to treat it.
Faced with the inevitable this past Monday, I called my health insurance company and asked what I could do to see a doctor while I’m on vacation. The specialist recommended an urgent care center. I went to the one closest to my family’s place. The receptionist had to wrangle with my Massachusetts insurance. But the doctor eventually examined me and prescribed me antibiotics. My sinus began to clear up.
Lessons: The sinus infection had prompted me to take things more slowly. I added much needed naps to my routine. I shouldn’t skimp on the little things because they might become big things. Don’t forget to vacuum your air conditioner or change its filter.