All In My Head!

So something absolutely monumental happened this week! We got INTERNET at home! I can’t believe nearly four years of struggling with phone data, constant (patchy) calls to our service provider to try to get something hooked up, were all put to rest this week, and for that I just want to thank the brilliant team at Peak Connect. I cannot recommend this service ENOUGH! Doesn’t matter where you are –if you’re having trouble with your internet or being told porkies about why you can’t be connected with the rest of the world, contact Peak Connect. Google them now! They are seriously connected in the industry – pardon the pun – and they know how to make it happen and fast. A huge thanks to Jeff and Angela, because this is set to make my family’s lives a little bit easier. And I should also thank the Bathurst City Library, for allowing me to bash away at their computers, most of the year, writing for this blog.

And that brings me to the very point of this post. To inform you of why you haven’t heard much from me this second half of the year and why you won’t hear much from me until early next year.

About a month ago, Scout had a bad cold as little kids often do when they start day care. She kindly passed it to Grant first, and he was unwell with a sinus infection and subsequent chest infection after that, and then I developed the sniffles and BANG, I was smashed with bronch-li something and while I was being treated for that, developed my worst ever case of Sinusitis.

I have a bad history of sinus infections. They relate right back to when I was playing basketball in the US at age 15. During a game overseas, I was hit in the nose by an elbow, and the left hand side of my nose was smashed badly. I was not able to play basketball again. As I was told I needed to have surgery at the time, but was not covered properly to have it done in the States, I opted to wait until I came back home a few weeks later. I never had that operation though as when I returned home, my nose had all healed and I was young and had no issues at that stage.

It wasn’t until I tried playing sport a few months later, that I realised I was now left with a loud whistle through my nose and sinus. Again, I was young and silly and actually thought it was kindacool that I could whistle through my nose. I could also impress my friends by sucking my left nostril completely closed just by sucking in hard. It was cool, okay! 

Fast forward to my mid-twenties, and I was starting to have hearing issues out of my left ear. In fact, at one point, I had just under 10 percent hearing with that ear. When I got a cold (not that often) I would hear crackling in my left ear for weeks afterwards. Similar to when you’re travelling and your ear pops. I would hear that while just talking. I suffered from regular (probably about five per year) sinus infections, but they were easily treated and I didn’t think much of it at that time.

Early thirties and I now have a brand new bub, Sailor, and since being pregnant with her, I noticed some big changes in the structure of my nose (especially the left hand side which was beginning to look towards my ear). My hearing was virtually non-existent in my left hand side which can be quite dangerous. I had balance issues. I would often trip or slip over and I would always walk into objects/ doors with my left hand side. I was constantly banging my left arm or leg and I was beginning to have some problems with my lower back, the left hand side of my lower back. Again, I didn’t really think much of it at this point and just struggled along.

During the last year we lived in Sydney, I was having recurrent sinus infections. Bad sinus infections where I would be left pretty much useless for a week at a time, head pounding, nose blocked and stuffy, unable to bend over without feeling my head would explode. Hearing was akin to someone talking to me underwater when I was mid-sinus infection. I was put on heavy antibiotics weekly, for 5 months that year. I was also on regular and high doses of steroids and subsequently my weight ballooned with all the water I was retaining. My face was always puffy and my under eyes carried suitcase-sized bags. I looked and felt like crap. Something needed to be done, but I had no idea what. I couldn’t go on this way. My histamine levels were through the roof at the time. Turns out the previous owners of the house we lived in had cats, and I was severely allergic to cats, prompting such big reactions from me physically. I was sent in for CT Scans and also MRI’s and referred to Ear Nose and Throat specialists almost monthly. I was told by a few that I needed surgery. I needed to have my sinuses cleared out and most probably, my nose needed some reconstruction to help prevent the current drainage issues. I was petrified but knew something needed to be done to give me back my life. My zest for life. I was only young thirties but I was living like I was about thirty years older. Always tired, because my body was fighting infection, even though I was fit and usually bubbling with energy.

I didn’t realise that moving to the farm on the outskirts of Bathurst could hold so much relief for me and my sinus problems. I thought being a sufferer of hay fever for most of my life and being allergic to hay, that It would only exacerbate. I hadn’t counted on or even considered that living in my previous house with all the cat dander that my body was struggling to get a break from its severe allergic reactions. If you’ve ever suffered from severe allergies, my heart goes out to you. It sucks. It’s debilitating and it can be dangerous. During that year – I was admitted to hospital for a serious Anaphylaxis attack all brought on my body’s overdrive to fight the allergic reaction daily.

So in our first few months of living on the farm, and my realisation that my life could be so much better now I could actually think without the constant fog from my cat hair reaction, I booked in for surgery. The surgery was substantial but it was a success! It took me a few months to fully recover, but for the first time since I have no idea when, I was able to taste food! I could hear! I could smell things. I had relief from the torture I had felt for so long and it felt GREAT! The surgeon commented to me after the surgery that the left hand side of my nose was so shattered; it resembled something of a Footballers nose. Being left to heal and calcify for so long (around 18 years since the accident) it had developed some serious twists and bends, and had all but cut off any sinus drainage I should have had. 

As I mentioned above, the surgery was substantial. I looked battered and bruised for a few months. A year on and my surgeon wasn’t happy with how my nose had taken to the surgery. I had developed a bit of scar tissue that he felt would be a problem down the track, so we decided to undergo surgery again (quick surgery) just to ensure it would all be ok in the long term. That second surgery was a success and I was happy!

I’m telling you all of this because this month I’ve been told I need to have more surgery. The week of my birthday earlier this month, I was sent to Hospital with a severe migraine pain in my left hand side of my head. I’ve not experienced anything like it and thought it was caused by me detoxing? Not realising that this year I have been treated for 8 sinus infections until the doctor at the hospital informed me, did I realise this dreadful condition had somehow come back. I was told I had serious pressure built up behind my left eye and I was told not to drive for a few days. That’s not easy to do when you live out of town and have two small children. 

Within a week, the migraines had become so bad; I was unable to really see and had to lie in a dark room with my eyes closed to try to get some relief. I was on three different types of antibiotics and again, on heavy steroids but nothing seemed to be working. On my birthday I celebrated by having a CT scan and MRI! Yay! And as soon as the results were sent to my surgeon, I was back in Sydney in his office being told, things had flared up badly and I needed to have some more surgery to try open up my sinuses to get some relief. He is unsure what is actually happening in there, so he also wants to take a biopsy. From my sinus. OUCH.

Now that surgery is scheduled for December 6th. Not too far away you might think. Well in the interim, I am left really struggling to just get through my everyday life. Some days are worse than others. Some days I have such severe vertigo that I nearly fall over if I get up too quickly or if I move my head in a certain way. That’s not ideal when you need to drive your family 20k’s into School and back each day. But I can deal with the vertigo; well I have been managing as best I can. What really troubles me is the pounding foggy brain sensation I am suffering from most days. It’s like my head is full of water. I have a bubbling feeling (like you’ve accidentally snorted up water in the pool kinda thing) after I blow my nose. Every time. My ears won’t pop and it feels like the sound is distorted. I have recurring headaches. I’m finding it incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for longer than ten minutes. I regularly have to lie down, on my left side. Even this post has taken me nearly 7 days to write, little by little. And it is seriously driving me crazy…. BUT the worst thing is that it has made me impatient and cranky as a mum, and that’s just not fair on my beautiful little kids who just don’t understand why nummy is cross most of the time…

So, in trying to do my very best job being a mum to my two little girls, I’ve had to savour all my energy for them. Hence, why you’ve barely seen me on social media lately. Why you haven’t really heard anything from me of substance (Have you ever? Haha) for some time now AND why you won’t hear much from me for the next four to six weeks while I try get myself through this crappy ending to what has been a really strange and unpredictable year. I can’t believe I finally have internet and I’m not using it to the full extent! Ugh. Perhaps I’ll have to finally get Netflix. 

For everyone who sent me messages and emails and texts for my birthday, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope to get back to you all individually as soon as I’m back on board, I really do. I was totally overwhelmed by all the love on the day and that week, as I was feeling not quite myself it was just lovely to see so much support and friendship. I have so much more in store for Mummy Time TV too and cannot wait to be well enough to really get stuck into some more exciting announcements there too.

For now, I am filling my days with acupuncture and various treatments to try keep the migraines under control until surgery. As I mentioned above, some days are great and I’m able to get a bit done but other days are tough and I just have to ride them out as best I can. My beautiful and loving husband is my tower of strength and I’ve been depending on him so much lately, and I love him to absolute pieces. Thank you, Grant. And when he’s away, my other pillar is my beautiful mum, Shelley and I’m so grateful for this support and love. 

I just want to sign off sending out a message to anyone who is suffering from an illness or debilitating condition, my heart absolutely goes out to you every single day. I realise I am one of the lucky ones and that I will soon have surgery to restore some balance and normality to my life, hopefully, while others may not be facing such a certain future. You are in my thoughts and my prayers. Stay strong.



19 responses to “All In My Head!”

  1. Helen Simic says:

    Hi Chezzi,
    Sorry to hear your not well.
    I have sinus occasionally but never that bad.
    You are a very strong woman.
    Good Luck for your surgery and for a complete recover.

  2. Judy walling says:

    Oh wow Chezxi… praying for you right now!
    Rest up and look forward to a good outcome after 6 dec..
    Get well soon

  3. Penny williams says:

    Hope that all goes well with the surgery and you can finally get some relief that’s not temporary!!! Take care…

  4. Leanne says:

    sinisitis is a bi**ch I suffer from it 360 days a year, infections,massive headaches, your head feels like it weighs a ton, sunlight hurts, even putting on moisturiser on your face hurts, and washing/blow drying your hair some days is not on, ans top it off you still got to be a mum ,jack of all trades when you just want to go to bed.
    take care chezzi any ticks of relief from pain let me know.

  5. Donna-Rae Walsh says:

    Awww that’s not good at all hope it all goes well on the 6th of December,i will be definitely be thinking of you! 🙂 Sending you lots of hugs and kisses to you Chezzi xoxoxo

  6. […] on her blog last week, Chezzi Denyer revealed she’s to undergo surgery, just weeks before Christmas, for […]

  7. […] her personal blog, The Chezzi Diaries, Denyer has revealed that in November she suffered such severe migraine pain that, after a CAT scan […]

  8. Sally Veitch says:

    Hi Chezzi,
    I have just found your blog after I heard you interviewed on a podcast. I am so sorry to hear what you are going through, it must be just horrific! Thank goodness that Grant and your Mum are helping out when they can, however I know nothing beats feeling good enough to do what you want yourself each day without relying on others. Fingers crossed your surgeon can fix you all up and prevent anymore pain in the future. You are a very strong and independent lady, so just try your best to sit with these difficult times and allow others to help, as you said, you should recover so that is something amazing to reach for. Before you know it lets hope it will be a new year and health and happiness will be plentiful for you.

  9. Jeannie Marshall says:

    Dear Chezzi,
    I feel so sorry to read about your suffering.
    One of my daughters has suffered severe vertigo for several years, she is now 23 and was diagnosed with Benign Positional Vertigo about 7 years ago. Anti nausea medication was taken for most of her high school and uni years, which really didn’t help much. She would be on tenterhooks for two to three days before a pending head spin, she wouldn’t move her head or turn her head fast, through fear of, bringing on, a head spin. She has slept on her left side for years as sleeping on he right side was not possible as her fear of bringing on a head spin, overtook any desire for a comfortable sleeping positions. The head spins would put her into bed in a sitting up position on her left side and her eyes would be focused on one point, as moving her eyes to the side would give her another spin. This post spin could last for 12 to 70 hours, then eventually, her ability to want to eat would come back. Leading up to a head spin she would throw up every 15 to 20 Mins for several hours which causes dizziness for, up to, three days. This would happen regularly at times, twice a month, or sometomes once every 6 weeks. I tried to determine if it was hormonal but it didn’t have any obvious connection except stress as when exams, assignment or the like were due.
    We tried different movements which were supposed to dislodge partials (crystals) in the inner ear, which get stuck on the fine hairs in the semi circular tubes in the inner ear, that caused the dizziness and mixed signals to the brain, that control forward/backward, up/down and side to side sensations, All these years we thought she had BPPV and her new GP referred her to an E,N & T specialist who thought she had Meniere’s and discovered she had water behind her eardrum. The E,N & T specialist sent her to a Neurologist for his opinion, to rule out any brain issues. After scans and other tests etc, the neurologist diagnosed her with a type of migraine, that doesn’t give you a headache but rather severe vertigo, she has what’s called, a Vestibular Migraine. My daughter finds that hot weather and humidity brings on the Vestibular Migraine, that causes the blood vessel near the vestibular nerve, in the inner ear, to swell and lean on the nerve which then causes mixed signals to the brain and then the severe dizziness, biliousness, up to 70 hours, not being able to move her head. She now takes anti inflammatory tablet which help a great deal. She sees the E,N & T and neurologist specialists soon, for ongoing monitoring. Not sure if she wants to have any surgical intervention.
    There are three ear related diagnosis that can cause dizziness, Meniere’s, BPPV and Vestibular Migraines.
    I can fully sympathise with you, good luck and I hope the surgery is successful and you have a full recovery and a headache and sinus free future.

    • Emma says:

      Hello Jeannie – i have just read your post & found it very informative as my eldest daughter who is 10 has recently been diagnosed with the same condition as your daughter. After years of debilitating attacks she has been diagnosed with Vestibular Migraines too. May i ask what the anti-inflammatory medication is that she is on? Is it just nurofen or alike?
      I feel so sad for my daughter as it appears to be brought on by over-tiredness – which happens a lot when you are a child / teenager! We have to try and monitor her sleep & rest – although sadly she still has these attacks every few months & they can last for days :0(

      I’m so sorry your daughter also has this condition. I wish you both all the best for the future!

  10. Rachel Fellows says:

    I hope the surgery goes well, as a sufferer of migraines i2feel your pain. They are debilitating and life changing, not in a good way 😢

  11. […] her personal blog, The Chezzi Diaries, Denyer has revealed that in November she suffered such severe migraine pain that, after a CAT scan […]

  12. Debs says:

    Chezzi my thoughts are with you at this time. I hope the operation was a success today and your little girls can get their happy and bubbly Mummy back soon. Thank you for your honesty. I really enjoy reading your posts. I’m a writer and an avid reader but I can tell you that you are such a brilliant writer you must read a lot. The way you write is very unique and genuine and entertaining. I can’t wait for you to be better and to start writing some more posts. Thank you for your inspiration and good luck with recovery.

  13. Joanne says:

    Hi, reading your story in New Idea about your migraines. Just a thought- have you had a dental checkup- mercury poisoning was the cause of my migraines till I had all my fillings replaced- no migraines in 10 years(touch wood)hope all goes well with the operation 😘

  14. […] the wife of Family Feud host Grant Denyer, that revealed to her weblog leisurely final month, that she’s to endure surgical map for debilitating […]

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