My New Neti-Pot Adventures

Who doesn’t struggle with sinus issues this time of year?  I have never figured out how holes in one’s head can reek havoc in the way they do.  How do they fill up?  Where does all the pressure come from?  How come it feels full, but nothing comes out?  Then when it does come out, oh my!   We won’t even go there.

No amount of water boiling and vaporizers have kept me from having a life long history of bloody noses.  In second grade I had a major episode where one started up and Mrs. Edmonston asked me to choose a friend to go with me to the restroom to clean up.  With blood dripping I likedto  bled to death trying to make that socially critical decision.   Romy was the lucky winner and what a mess we left for some custodian.  It looked like a crime scene.  Thank goodness it was in the days before blood was dangerous.  The incident landed me in the Ashland ER with my nose packed and a trip to the jeweler to buy a locket that a dime would fit in.  (Strangely enough the pressure of a dime under the upper lip will cut off blood flow.  No other coin works.)  After a recent sleep study to diagnose my suck-the-paper-off-wall snoring, the doctors have told me that I am chronically congested, so live with it or use nose sprays.  No relief there as they dry me out too much.  Besides fluid being shot up my nose is not my idea of fun, which leads to gagging and great carrying on.  Reason #1 why water-skiing has never worked for me.

Finally I found a nose spray I could tolerate.  Having Vicks in it, I knew my family’s generational cure-all for everything would save the day.  It did not. Soon I was stepping up the frequency with fear of becoming a Sinex addict.  My friend, Cheryl, suggest a Neti-pot.  She uses hers all the time.  I assumed it had something to do with steam, but was scared to read the ‘how’, so I didn’t.   Besides, I trust Cheryl.

If you don’t know what a Neti-pot is, it is a mini teapot with a longer spout on it.  It is filled with lukewarm water and a special powder.  The instructions show a very pained looking lady with the spout stuck up her nose and water draining out her other nostril!  Yes, you read right-THE OTHER NOSTRIL.  Are they serious?  Is that even possible?  Standing over the sink, I was to tip my head over the sink and lean to one side and let the healing waters flow.  In addition to pulling off that feat of coordination, I was not to hold my breath.  Oh my-lanta!  No way. No how. Not ever.

Out of desperation and knowing I had spent 15 bucks on something the girls used to have in their My Little Pony Tea Sets, I decided to go where no nose in my house had gone before.  It could not be that bad.  We have used ear candles and foot detoxers with ease and some success.  My friend would not lead me astray.  Just follow the directions.  Free breathing was just a nose hair away!

I assumed the position and began the process.  Suddenly flashbacks of the Protection City Pool (circa 1976) came flooding back as water started flooding those sinus cavities.  There was always some little creep from my class or any number of little pool rats who thought nothing was more fun than dunking the daylights out of anyone unsuspecting.   I was a perfect target.  Swimming did not come easy for me, so I never actually passed the traditional swimming test to allow one to go into the deep end.  I just snuck under the rope.  (gasp!)  So 35+ years later, here I was again, gagging and spluttering as I could feel fluid going places inside my head that I forgot it could go.   The throat was burning.  The ears were sloshing.  What possessed me to think this would be a good thing!   Whatever possessed me to listen to my now ex-friend, Cheryl!

Within minutes, my constipated head started draining like it hadn’t in ages.  Inside my ears were clearing out and my nostrils were opening.  I COULD BREATHE!  Soundly, I slept and no bloody noses for the first time in ages.  My hero, Cheryl, is officially the smartest person on earth!!!  Why did I ever doubt her?

Noticing that I was starting to clog up again, I had a big decision to make: do I endure the discomfort of getting relief or go back to things the way they were because I knew what it took to change things?  Hmmmm….

How many times are we presented with that question?  It seems to be a no brainer, but dang it, who wants discomfort?  We don’t tend to volunteer for it-even if it will benefit us in the end.

Take heart:  “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:9

So I attempted the Neti Pot adventure again, looking at it as a ‘good work’.  Did I still feel like I was going to drown?  You bet!  Has it helped?  Oh my yes!   I thank God for that grace to see this through, because that is the only way this is going to keep happening.

Is Cheryl still one of the smartest people ever?   Absolutely, and one of kindest and most compassionate and ….the list goes on.

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3 thoughts on “My New Neti-Pot Adventures

  1. You know what happens when you make readers laugh that hard? Snot comes out! I so totally related to your post, having been through the exact same thing in December after having bronchitis for 5 weeks. You mean there’s actually a hole in my head where water pours through? Really? What keeps the brain in? But that little device totally works!

  2. I used to get an annual sinus infection from a weather pattern in so cal called, “Santa Ana’s”, it’s when the wind shifts from coming off the ocean to coming in from the desert. The air get super dry and dusty and before you know it, I would have a sinus infection that would turn into bronchitis. I bought a neti pot from Whole Foods and have not had a sinus infection once ever since! It also helps clear the nose of cold and flu bugs as they tend to lodge in the nose and set up camp. Thanks, Kel, for the post. I extoll the virtues of the neti pot (it’s been used in eastern cultures for something like 6,000 years, so we have a lot of educating to do!) to anyone who will listen. . . it’s nice to have a sister in this! Stay well….

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