Head case

I hate getting a cold or any other kind of sinus-related ailment. I would rather be violently ill with a stomach bug than have a head cold. When a stomach bug strikes, the whole body feels bad. No one wants the sufferer anywhere near them, and she is perfectly free to spend her days in bed (or on the bathroom floor, which often proves to be more convenient) until she once again feels fit for human company.

In contrast , a sinus malady is virtually invisible, unless the infection is so severe that inflammation causes the eyes to bulge. The entire event is, quite literally, in the sufferer’s head. The rest of the body is unaffected, sharing not so much as a sympathy pain.

The skull may be a great place to keep the brain, but it’s a lousy place to keep the sinuses, given that they interact with the environment with every breath. All manner of irritants and pathogens get filtered out by the sinuses; they are on the immunological front line. Why locate them in such a rigidly confined space? Give ’em some room to maneuver! While there are certain strategic advantages in deploying one’s defenses within a constrained field, it’s far from foolproof: think Thermopylae.

And why locate the front lines right next to the nerve center, the brain, where the consequences of immunological warfare can directly influence brain function? Anything that happens in my sinuses has an immediate impact on the way my brain operates, even if there is no medical evidence to explain it. It stands to reason that sinus swelling would transfer some kind of pressure to the brain cavity — just because we can’t measure it scientifically doesn’t mean that we don’t experience it.

I’m experiencing it right now, which I why I decided to rant about it today. Sinus stuff makes me cranky and irrational (more than usual). From an experiential standpoint, it’s actually worse than PMS, not the least because PMS only lasts for a few days, whereas sinus maladies usually take more than a week to resolve.

I wonder if sinus-induced impairment of brain function has ever been used as a defense in a court of law?


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