Post MMA pics back up

May 5th, 2011

Surgery #3 Coming up on May 4. Get that titanium out of my skull!

April 14th, 2011

Just like any self-respecting OS, I need an upgrade.  Or a downgrade?  And do OSes have self respect?  In any case, I saw Dr. Li today.  He wasn’t supposed to be at work…but he was.  Go figure.  That man is never NOT working.  I wrote him on Saturday:

If I want to find out if something that hurts is a screw (I just had dental X-rays maybe a month ago) should I come in and have you look or should I go to my dentist?

I have been feeling like I have cavities in my roots on the top left and last night it was hurting pretty bad so I actually stuck my finger up into the gums and found a spot that really hurt when I pressed on it.  I have been attributing the root pain to sinus stuff but I don’t know why it would get worse and not better.

And he wrote me back a half hour later:
Actually, I was wondering where you’ve been and I was gonna give you a call last week…but too busy.  Just come in.

Too busy?  You don’t say.  I’m telling you, he is 1000% on it.  So I went in this morning and he gloved up and poked around in my mouth and said, “Yup.  It’s a plate.”  And felt around the other side…plate.  And down in the bottom left–“Ow”  “That hurts?”  “Yes, that’s what ow means” “Okay.  I am going to take EVERYTHING out.  All of it.”  He hates working on patients more than once and here I am asking him for surge number 3, but he thinks I’ll only need a week recovery and then we introduce (or subject) the world to Shelby 2.3

Can you handle it?


February 21st, 2011

Dr. Li wrote back because he is a superstar.
1. My sinus infection is not due to the hardware. Of that he is sure.
2. I’ll look at the scans of your sinus and give you opinion if you really want.
3. I will take your hardware out whenever you want…but not until your blood pressure is down.

Ok. So, sinus headache: being dealt with with rinses and steroids. Headache that creeps up behind left eye from nose to forehead is potentially eye strain! Glazes arrive Thursday.
That leaves piercing angry gnome with pickax in left side of brain and unexplained very high BP.
Lowered one med that can raise BP and make nervous, but that was a week ago and my BP is the same. See both gp and shrink on same day…they will decide if we proceed with the old lookeelookkee into the mooshy stuff between my ears.
I’m happy to be down to 1 undisguised headache but scared to go back to chiro since I ALWAYS get one after treatment…hmmm…correlation!
That’s it r now!

The novel to Dr. Li

February 9th, 2011

Hello Dr. Li, how’s 2011 treating you?

I saw the sinus doctor you recommended to me.  He was awesome the first time.  I got a CT and they said my front maxillary sinus was swollen.  Looks pretty cool on the scan.  I’ve been having headaches for so long now I was so excited that I would finally get relief.  I did everything he said.  Nasal rinses 2 x’s a day with Nasonex 2 sprays in each nostril twice a day.  Haven’t missed a dose.

Then I returned for my follow up – with no relief from the face pressure (left side only) and headaches (left side only).  Plus a new tooth is hurting now (top – second from the back) and I JUST had my teeth x-rayed less than 2 weeks ago, so not a cavity.  He said I had to do the Nasonex for another 6 months(which he also said would maybe help 5%) and he’d see me later.  He didn’t think my headaches were sinus related and handed me a paper study explaining that most headaches are not sinus headaches.  He also seemed really anxious not to be talking to me anymore.  Threw a bunch of medical jargon at me, didn’t explain it, and said have a nice summer.

And I asked…”Do you mean to tell me you think that I have different headaches and I just also HAPPEN to have a swollen maxillary sinus that is NOT causing sinus headaches?”  And he said yes.

Since I have been having stomach problems I went to my GP who ran EVERY TEST in the world.  10 vials of blood and an ultrasound of my pancreas and gall bladder.  The nurse practitioner I talked to said my tests looked fine.  I haven’t talked to Dr. Hom yet.  The ONLY thing different in my body is that my blood pressure is up to 148/98 at CVS it was 152/103 so I got a blood pressure cuff and it’s around 140/102 all the time.  On Monday when I saw the nurse practitioner it was 133/92 and that is the lowest it has been…it’s not that low anymore.  Dr. Inouye took my blood pressure.  It was 165/113 and they guessed it was about 10 off based on his assistant’s usual readings…so 155/103.

So my theory (to calm myself down from thinking it’s a frikkin brain tumor) is that I have 3 different kinds of headaches (because I believe I have now had 2 migraines – one on Wednesday that Roxicet didn’t TOUCH until the second one, and one on Sunday – spent the superbowl in a dark room with no sound).  Aside from the lovely migraines, I have, I believe, a chronic SINUS headache that is leading to a chronic STRESS headache.  Although according to literature, stress headaches are on both sides and mine is only on one.  But stress from chronic headaches could raise my BP, right?  What else can explain it?  Aside from a (yes I know obviously highly unlikely) brain tumor.  I say it jokingly but seriously I’m a panic attack away from crawling under my bed and never leaving home again.

Why am I bothering you?  Well, you’re the doctor I respect and trust.  Sorry.  You should have been a bigger jerk to me.

My first big question is: Since the maxillary sinus is so far down and the opening is so far up, and since I have yet to see anything come out of a nasal rinse or feel any relief from the Nasonex, does anything really get there down into the maxillary sinus through the nose?  I mean, they can’t even scope it, they can only look at the opening… I know I don’t have an infection, but the swelling…what causes it?  Why isn’t it getting better and only feeling worse?  If it weren’t for the fact that I feel more aggravation when I breathe in (than out) and my tooth nerve is killing me when I laugh or sing or talk loud, I would believe him and be sad that I have stress headaches and migraines.  But everything points to sinus being the culprit (stress headache secondary to chronic sinus headache in my opinion).  What do I know I’m just the stupid patient.

Big question #2: Do you think taking the hardware out will help at all?  Can you bomb my sinus?  I really just want to reach through my nose into my cheek and rip it out.

Big question #3: Regardless of hardware removal helping sinus or not, I want to schedule that bad boy asap.  Not that I want or am looking forward to you cutting my gums again (I know feeling is mutual), but the screws have got to go.  I’m thinking sometime in March.  Maybe early April?  Thoughts?  Can you do it with this high BP since I’m obviously just sick in the head?

The good news is I’m down to 135 lbs (from the 160 I ballooned up to), though probably not for the right reasons except we are working out so at least I’m not flabby thin like I was when I met you the first time.

Now back to my deep breathing exercises.

Hope this didn’t piss you off too much.


I’ll bet Dr. Li never thought he’d have to keep in touch with a patient for sooooo long.

February 9th, 2011

I should explain that I have, I believe, been having some sinus problems for at least 8 months (if not more).  I’ve been going to allergists to try to find out what this post nasal drip fountain is, and I’m not allergic to anything, so I was a wee bit baffled.  Result: pseudoephedrine to address post nasal drip.

I figured out it was my sinuses (having never had a sinus infection before that I remember) when my dentist said that my symptoms (bad breath, nerve pain in top teeth when I walked) sounded more like my sinuses.  That was on June 24, 2010.  I bombarded my body with more pseudoephedrine and my new best friend Mucinex and a megaton of water every day.  The teeth stopped hurting.  I thought I had bad breath and learned how to talk to people while inhaling whenever I had to get close to them.  I thought maybe it was coffee breath.  I don’t know.  I’m not that smart.  But I did notice that even minutes after brushing my teeth it would taste bad and really thought it was the bite guard.  Even though I efferdent it EVERY DAY and it didn’t smell bad after it was cleaned, I just figured this was something I was going to have to live with until I got my teeth to touch again someday.

The headaches (on the left side of my head only) began on June 3 (I can’t actually say if I ever had one like it before, I just know it was definitely there that day), 2010 after going to what I thought was going to be a massage and what turned out to be acupuncture, then a massage.  I thought a troll or an alien was trying to escape through the top left side of my head.

I went to the massage/acupuncture appointment because some dude had rear ended me while I was parked in a parking lot on May 13, 2010.  I figured the SEVERE and debilitating headache was my body “adjusting” to acupuncture (having never experienced acupuncture before).  Every time I went to acupuncture after that I got that SEVERE headache on the left side.  Incidentally, the massage guy massaged my sacrum into serious misalignment and I couldn’t sit without pain for weeks, so I looked up a local chiropractor (also not something I usually subscribe to, but I figured, someone popped my back out, someone else can pop it back in).

On July 9, 2010 I started seeing a chiropractor and it of course resulted in my seeing her 3 times a week for 3 weeks, then twice a week for 5 weeks, then blah blah blah etc. etc….it took months for me to be able to sit without pain.  Even now, traffic throws me into some serious discomfort.  NOTE:  Most every time she did some serious adjusting I got THE HEADACHE. Which of course was explained to me as my body adjusting to the adjustments.  This is the angry gnome trying to escape via the top left of my skull. (Yes, it is now a gnome)

Fast forward to Thanksgiving.  I was in Hawaii…and realised that my breath was so bad I was going to have to become a hermit and be single because it was really really really horrible.  Then my teeth started to hurt.  And my face was killing  me (yes I know, it’s killing you too).  DING!  Light went on.

iPad came out, symptoms entered (remember the mucinex and pseudoephedrine I’d been downing to address post nasal drip), SINUS INFECTION.  Contacted awesome doctor who I knew had one of his diplomas in Otolaryngology = antibiotics because it was that easy to diagnose.  Bad breath resolved after 1 course of antibiotics.  Awesome.  But nothing else changed.  Still post nasal drip, still headaches, face still hurt.  Of course I talked to Dr. Li and he referred me to a SINUS SPECIALIST.  wooooo.  I was so excited, even though it took about 2 months to get in.

So on January 20, 2010 I got to see the Sinus Doctor and I thought all my problems would go away.

See next post for the novel I just wrote to Dr. Li who should charge me if he answers it.

You know you’re old when…

December 7th, 2010

I was listening to some morning radio show and one of the news items was that some seniors got kicked out of a rally for wearing inappropriate t-shirts.  And I thought to myself, “What would senior citizens wear on their shirts that would get them thrown out of a rally?  How did they all coordinate this appearance at the rally wearing the same shirt?  Do they live in the same senior citizen home?  Did they show up on a bus?  Where was this rally?  What kind of rally was it?”  And then I realised…  Oooooh. THAT kind of senior.

In case you’re where I was before that moment…they were high school Seniors.

Pon&Zi for Halloween.

November 1st, 2010

No one knew who we were, but we were totally committed!

No one knew who we were, but we were totally committed!

Best Halloween EVER…and honestly, these little emo cuties are the reason I unboxed THE MACHINE, read the manual, and learned how to sew. Bobbins are scary!

New analogy for pre vs. post MMA

September 11th, 2010

I used to be a walking blue screen of death.
Now I’m a Mac.

This just in: Maybe no jaw surgery?!? But not surgery-free.

September 3rd, 2010

No holding of breath, but we’re trying some STUFF…involving chiropractics (though no CRACKING or POPPING of my jaw, just muscle work), this horrible bite wedge thing, and me massaging the HECK out of every single muscle I can get ahold of in my head.
At the end of October we will re-assess. The 3-D scan looked interesting and when I get the motivation, I’ll put it up here. For now I’m just sighing in relief that I’m not going under the knife anytime soon. One bad thing though…In the exploration of tissue in my head…I have come across some RATHER painful points that I just could NOT figure out. Went to see the great Dr. Li…what is it????

We had a fight.

It went something like this:

Me: It hurts here (pointing to side of jaw)
Dr. Li: That’s probably a screw. (Presses on said point on side of jaw)
Me: Ow.
Dr. Li: Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s a screw
Me: If you put your finger in my mouth you can feel it right along the gum line back there. Feels like a shard of bone.
Dr. Li: It’s not a bone shard. It’s probably a screw.
Me: Put your finger in my mouth!
Dr. Li (putting on gloves and looking at X-rays): The bone is so thin back there, the screw heads aren’t flush.
Me: Come on, I won’t bite.
Dr. Li (looks at me)
Me: Hard?
Dr. Li (sticks finger in mouth and immediately finds point I was talking about)
Me: Ow.
Dr. Li. It’s a screw. It’s this one (points to X-ray). Shelby, I do not want to do surgery on you again!
Me: Sorry.
Dr. Li: I thought you said it was the jaw JOINT that was hurting.
Me: Yes! It is! But in addition to that, trying to get the muscles to relax, I have uncovered this problem.
Dr. Li (pointing at my x-rays at the chin where the last hardware removal event occurred): Why didn’t you tell me THEN that these were bothering you?!?
Me: I didn’t KNOW they were bothering me! Plus! Why didn’t you just take them out while you were in there?
Dr. Li (purses lips and looks at me with evil glare)
Me: Is it because you were too busy removing my tonsils?
Dr. Li: Well, I am not doing anything until your jaw joint is under control. So just tell me when I have to take the hardware out.
Me: Just this one?
Dr. Li: OOOOH NOOOO. I’m taking it ALL out. We’re not going to do this again!
Me: Ok cool. I’ll let you know.
Dr. Li: Yeah, you let me know.
Me: Oh, hey look what I can do! (wiggle my jaw side to side)
Dr. Li: That’s great! I don’t want to do another jaw surgery on you.
Me: Well, you may not have to…except the hardware.
Dr. Li: (silence and pursed lips). Well, at least you look good. Have you been losing more weight? (He’s allowed to say these things since it is already established that extra weight on me = sleep apnea again)
Me: Yes, it’s amazing what not being able to chew can do for weight loss!
Dr. Li: Go away.

He loves me.

And now you know why he schedules me at the end of the day when no other patients will hear us bickering.

Hey, want to see me in a video talking about ergonomics? :)

August 26th, 2010