January 9, 2010

Inhale, exhale...

It's amazing that something we take for granted and don't even think about on a daily basis becomes so precious when we CAN'T do it.  I'm talking about BREATHING.  :)

For the past four or five days it's been a struggle.  It started Monday night with a tickle in my throat and a rawness in my chest.  I didn't give it much thought.  Tuesday I began having a chesty cough with a lot of phlegm, so I knew something wicked this way cometh.  By Wednesday, I was a full-on headful of snot hacky cough fever ridden mess.  I even had to miss Knit Nite with my oldest and bestest.  :(

I spent Thursday in misery at work.  Friday I threw in the towel and went to the doctor where I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and upper respiratory infection.  I have fluid on my ears, but luckily no signs of pneumonia or bronchitis.  I was given a Z-pak antibiotic (love it!) and instructions to get plenty of rest and clear liquids for the rest of the weekend.  Believe me, I have definitely taken those instructions to heart, and have been curled up under my blankie napping off and on for the entire day.  I feel useless, but I also know it's the only way I'm going to recover from this crap.

My husband has been wonderfully amazing throughout this stint of disgustingness.  He has waited on me hand and foot and even bought me flowers today (venturing out in 1 degree weather to buy me ice cream to cater to my craving!). 

I had several people suggest to me that I try a Neti Pot to ease my sinus congestion, which felt like someone had poured concrete directly up my nose.  So, after a little hesitation I decided to go for it. 

Bless that little Neti Pot!

For those curious, I have detailed my experience...if you get squeamish about mucus or things trickling out of bodily orifices, feel free to skip this last paragraph!

The first time I used it I was quite nervous.  I freak out at the first sign of water up my nose.  Seriously, I don't even go underwater in a swimming pool without holding my nose or wearing noseplugs.  I just can't stand that feeling.  So I didn't think I would like the "sinus washing" experience.  It is a little disconcerting having water poured in one nostril and coming out the other...but it's also quite amazing once you realize what it's doing.  I just followed the instructions, emptied the provided salt packet into the pot, filled it to the indicated line with lukewarm water (that's the key...don't get it too hot or too cold, or it will hurt like a bitch!), and got to washing.  You just lean over the sink with your head tilted to one side, stick the spout of the Neti Pot in the nostril that is on top, and tilt the pot up to start pouring.  You feel a little fullness in your sinuses before it starts draining out the other nostril, and I could "taste" the saline solution in the back of my throat, but it wasn't enough to make me stop or choke or anything.  It's kind of a weird feeling...your sinuses get full, then it starts to trickle out your nostril, then it really starts pouring.  The only thing that bothered me was that it tickled my nose as it was running out, and it kind of made my eyes water.  You definitely have to keep an old towel or some tissues nearby, because you will need to blow the excess saline and mucus out as soon as you're done pouring.  I used half the pot in one nostril, and the other half in the other nostril.  About 30 minutes after the first washing I realized...I WAS BREATHING THROUGH MY NOSE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THREE DAYS!!!  They recommend using it a few times a day to get the maximum benefit if you have a lot of congestion, and I have been doing that.  It's working.  Of course, it's not a miracle cure, it's not going to "cure" your sinus infection, but it sure does help the congestion and sinus pressure to let your body heal naturally if you stick with it.  If you don't think too much about what is really draining out of your nose into the sink, it's not that bad.  :)  I am the first one to get grossed out about things like this, and if I didn't freak, you know it's got to be okay.  I would definitely recommend it.  The store I got  my pot at had a sinus wash booster, which was a solution of menthol, eucalyptus and camphor blended with some other soothing herbs, and I wish I would have gotten that.  My sinuses seem a little tender after the saline solution, so I'm hoping that I'm not damaging or drying them out too much.  I would suggest if your sinuses are sensitive, use only 1/2 the saline packet per pot...the whole pack is a little strong for me.  Other than that, I'm quite pleased with the outcome. 

And that's my public service announcement for the day!  :) 

Stay tuned for another post soon, and a fun award I just got today!  :)


  1. Sinus infections are the worst! I sure hope you feel better soon. You may have me sold on the Neti Pot. :) (P.S. I left you a reply on my book post. Thanks for the comment!)

  2. I LOVE the neti pot! Mine is a lifesaver! I use it any time I even feel a tickle coming on or a slightly stuffy nose and it helps keep things at bay (plus washing away all the nasty bacteria you might have run across during the day). It's also super helpful for allergies :).

    Hope you feel lots better soon!

  3. My mother swears by her Neti-Pot. I don't have one (yet) but I have gargled salt water for sore throats for eons, & sometimes "snorted" salt water when I've had a stuffy nose. Same idea -- while gargling I'd just pour some saltwater into my hand, stick my nose in it & inhale. :p It did help, although the skin around my nose would sometimes get irritated & I'd have to coat it in Vaseline.

    Glad to hear you are feeling a little better!


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