I have not posted anything in nearly two years. I was extremely ill for some time and it's time to share my struggle. My issues started with difficulty breathing, it was impossible to take a normal breathe of air. I had breathing issues my entire adult life, from a deviated septum...but it was never this bad. After some time it morphed into blood pressure problems, vision issues, hearing issues, kidney pain, and constant dizziness. My blood pressure averaged 190/110 for over a year. My chess game collapsed, I was a two time Bahamas National Chess Champion. I am also a mathematician, and I lost the ability to problem solve. Solving simple algebra problems became impossible without writing.
On Feb 3, 2018 I gave up hope and prepared to die. On this day I learned hope is an underlying attribute to life. Life can be difficult, but everything is possible with hope. After I lost hope I felt the abyss, I knew death was right around the corner. I contacted my friends to say goodbye. Then something interesting happened, by sharing the struggle I improved. I always thought sharing problems was a sign of weakness, actually it builds character & removes distractions. The need to act strong is a distraction that hindered my recovery.
My struggle was long with ups & downs. I visited multiple physicians, however no one could diagnose the problem. I broke down crying in the ENT ( Ear Nose & Throat ) office after the physician claimed I was 100% normal and healthy. I did improve slowly from the February 2018 low. In December 2019 I was diagnosed with an impacted inflected wisdom tooth. Finally there was a glimmer of hope! I accepted a new teaching position in the spring, so I waited until the summer to have surgery.
The surgery was difficult. The tooth was impacted, so the incision was approximately three times longer than normal. Additionally the nerve was wrapped around the tooth roots. This made a simple 30 minute procedure into a major 1+ hr operation. I expect that I lost six times the normal blood due to 3 times longer incision and 2 times longer operation. At the beginning of surgery, the dentist pulled the top of the tooth off & I could instantly breath normally. I cried tears of joy and thanked him. He was blown away, since we still had a major 1+hr operation ahead.
The dentist's specialty was extractions. He was not a young man, I would guess he was 60+ years old. After the surgery he claimed I had the most complicated surgery he has ever performed. He thanked me for the opportunity. I thanked him and his staff for giving me my life back.
After the operation I was able to breathe clearly for the first time in years....30 years to be precise. I was diagnosed with a deviated septum for decades. It was was a faulty diagnosis. I have lived my entire adult life with a minor grade infection in my mouth. It's as if I had one hand tied behind my back. After three months my breathing is great, but I still need a couple more months for a complete recovery.
After my diagnosis and surgery I learned about dental risks. My story focused on wisdom teeth. However many root canals are performed improperly. These teeth can get infected and the patient will not feel anything, so they may never correct the problem. Over time the infections lead to heart attacks & strokes. Many are never diagnosed correctly, due to their hidden nature. Please be careful with your dental health....it affects everything.
I expect to update the site more often once I am fully recovered. My apologies for the lack of updates & no transparency. I didn't want to write anything until I was ok. I'm not 100% yet, but I am well on my way to being normal.