I’m sick. I’ve been sick for months, and pretty steadily since the end of 2012. My sinuses are a mess and, well, here. Just look:


That is not normal.

I’ve spent months trying everything. Humidifiers, saline spray, nasal rinses, Flonase, Zyrtec, sometimes NyQuil to help me sleep, plus a constant diet of ibuprofen and Mucinex D. Nothing is helping. The sinus pressure builds and builds. I always have a headache, and those turn into migraines. I even took Topamax to stop the headaches, and that barely helped, plus the side effects were terrible. I was a different person on that dirty drug. It scared me.

To stop the chronic sinus infections and headaches, I need surgery to fix my deviated septum, plus some other stuff. I’m not getting a nose job, though I sort of wish a younger me and been insecure enough about my character actor nose to have one, the way my aunt and cousin were. Then I wouldn’t be dealing with any of this.


Tiny knows that I’m sick. She knows I get headaches, She knows that she has to be quiet some times, lest I get agitated or push on my sinuses in pain. She knows I’ve gone to the doctor a lot, and that I’m trying to get better. She knows that I’m unhappy.

She’s spent the last 5 months, basically, in the house with me, bearing this situation as much as I am. We’re both stir crazy from the weather and from me.

When I decided to have the surgery, I had to talk to her and explain, in a limited way, what that meant.

“Doctor go in your nose and fix it?” was how she summed up what I said.

“Yes. Now I have to talk to you about something else.”


“You’ve been hitting Mommy sometimes when you’re upset.”

“Sorry, Mommy.”

“It’s okay, baby. But when I get home from the hospital, you can’t hit Mommy in the face.”

“Alright,” she said and hugged me. I hugged her, and then pulled her away and made her look me in the eyes.

“I’m serious, honey. If you hit Mommy’s nose, I could get very hurt and have to go to the hospital. Do you understand?”

She shook her head yes.

“Doctor go in nose, then you feel better?”

“Yes, honey. After the doctor fixes my nose I’ll feel better.”

I hope.


Today has been a bad day. I fell asleep last night with a severe headache. I woke up with one, too. All I can take is Tylenol, but if I take Tylenol I can’t take my migraine meds. So I usually don’t take Tylenol. It’s not going to stop a migraine, and it doesn’t seem to do anything to alleviate my pain. I miss ibuprofen. I could actually feel it kick in and soothe my aching eyes and teeth. My pain and facial pressure would slowly wash away to a dull ache. I even breathed better on it. I can’t take it for 2 weeks prior to surgery, and a miscommunication over this with my ENT has already led to my surgery being rescheduled.

Tiny is potty training. She went #2 on the big potty and she was so proud of herself that I was excited, too.

“Now you better, Mommy?” she asked me. “You feel better?”

“No, honey. But that doesn’t mean I’m not happy for you. Mommy still doesn’t feel well. Soon.”


I hate this. It’s probably temporary, but I hate it. I can’t even get on the floor and play with my two year old because the sinus pressure overwhelms me. What a sweet kid. But then I worry that she’s too young to worry like this.


This will be my third surgery in just under 4 years. I am 33 years old. I dread going under because I can’t control anything.

I am coping with several different forms of stress, most of it major, though things could always be worse. I lucked out and landed my dream kid, but I won’t have any more children. This makes me sad, but also a little relieved. I am tired, often lonely, always aware of the ways I am failing.

But I have a shot at making this one thing better, at being the mom I used to be, at enjoying being in the moment with my sweet girl and not just counting minutes until my next dose of medication.

I want to say yes the next time she asks me that question. No. I want it to be so obvious to her that she doesn’t think to ask me at all.