Things you didn’t know, you didn’t know (about)

As much as I love cooler weather in the fall and spring, it plays havoc on my sinuses. I suffered excruciatingly when I was a kid from sore throats on a regular basis and I’m pretty sure had my tonsils just been removed (and me given lots of ice cream during recoup), that I’d have led a much less painful childhood.

Anyway, about five years ago, I had my sinus Roto-Rootered out by my ENT, and what I would classify as “the most uncomfortable 6 months of my life” followed after that. The surgery itself is simple and pretty painless, but it’s the routine visits afterwards that kill you. They go in with a long-hosed shop-vac and suck all the junk out of your sinuses; it’s a real pleasure. But the coup-de-gras is when they numb you up, and then reach in with the tool used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall

Total Recallto remove the tracking device in his head, and the doc pulls out these clips they left in your head during the surgery. You hear crunching sounds; the doctor literally holds your head and “POP!” out come these huge-mongus things you didn’t even know existed.

These days I keep my sinuses clean and clear with the help of a daily steroid spray and an occasional saline bath courtesy of a re-purposed bulb snot-sucker that I absconded from my kids (I know, the mental imagery is astounding).

low tech neti pot

The funny thing is, many people I know, do the same thing, only with a device called a “Neti Pot.” It’s basically a gravy boat with a nasal-sized spout on the end that you stick up your nose and pour the gravy saline rinse through.

I was IM’ing a friend about it this morning and while looking around online, I came up with this little jewel of an instructional video, courtesy of my mom’s local Himalayan Institute (their HQ is about a mile from my mom’s house in PA).

Feel free to laugh along with me:

6 thoughts on “Things you didn’t know, you didn’t know (about)

  1. The Netipot actually works. As silly as it seems. But the main thing to help cut back allergies is to eat right, cut out all carbonated drinks and take probiotics. Those steps make allergies virtually disappear.

    RE: Oh, I know it works. I do the same thing, only I low-tech it rather than buying their gravy boat.
    But, I also eat right, exercise regularly, drink a coke about once a month and eat lots of dairy (like yogurt) and I eat locally grown honey. Doesn’t help.

  2. Sorry your having sinus problems again. Mine were acting up today but it probably wasn’t helped much when grandson Cole whacked me on the cheekbone with his knee while using Nana as a stepladder…
    And hey, laugh if you want but I use my Neti pot and I swear it helps when the sinuses get really bad! (That video WAS pretty funny, though)

  3. Thats an awesome visual experience I just had there. Really brings back the memories of my Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction. Yes me to. And I use steroids daily. Oh the things my boy has to look forward too…

    That snot sucker you got there looks dangerous, like you might suction out some gray matter or something non removable such as that. I use the NeilMed Sinus Rinse, works great as well. You ever try it without the saline? Ooh does that burn like a mofo. Needs to be ph balanced like that deoderant which is strong enough for a man but made for a woman. My daily surfing clears me out good, and because it is salt water it doesn’t hurt. perhaps you need to start surfing.

    RE: Yes, the dangers of DIY sinus rinsing…too much salt! I would surf, but alas, I grew up on the gulf coast and the only time we got waves big enough to ride was during a hurricane, and well, that’s just kinda crazy.

    I body surf though. B.O.R.I.N.G.

  4. Nikki

    I also use the Sinus Rinse. My son actually got it from the doc for free when he was about 4. He used it once. So now I do. Maybe someday he won’t be scared. The kids think its kinda cool though when I do it. Oh and when your really congested, it comes out your mouth too. It does seem to make the length of the cold a lot shorter and my sinus headaches aren’t too bad anymore. Now to get the little ones to use it so they can sleep at night.

    RE: OOoooh groooosss! Or, “Cool” depending on what kinda mood I’m in. I wish my kids would use it too rather than sniffing and snorting for days on end! Maybe if they made one shaped like a transformer or a T-rex, then they’d use it!

  5. Okay, because I am a self professed expert on the olfactory system due to reading a dozen books on the subject I will reveal some useless information here.

    Ever notice that after a lot of swimming, the kids (and you) tend to get awfully congested? Then the following days after, they get a sinus infection. Well that’s not because they got sick from their neighbor, it’s due to the chlorine in the pool paralyzing the cilia in your nose, which stops the flow of mucous. You have cilia in your nose which keep the ‘river of mucus’ flowing, just like you have cilia in your lungs. So this causes the mucous to accumulate, then blocks sinuses off which causes infections. So, I am recommending that it would be a great idea to have our kids use the sinus squeegees. After all the squeegees main purpose is to prevent mucous from clogging and causing infections. Aren’t you glad you’re one paragraph smarter now?

    RE: Hmmm, good information…I think… 🙂
    Our neighborhood is considering changing the pool over to some salt-water thingy that I guess makes it’s own chlorine or something. I don’t pretend to understand the science, but it’s supposedly better for the body. Probably better for the sinuses too. I may have to rally behind the effort!

  6. Oh, I am so glad to finally find someone else who uses nasal lavage! Everyone I tell about it thinks I am crazy. It totally works. I use it to prevent my ears from getting plugged and having the trapped air rupture my eardrum. OUCH!!! It also cuts down sick time drastically by getting all the crap out. One time my mom and I started showing symptoms on the same day; I was better in a week, and she was sick for 6 weeks. She tried the “snot sucker” and thought it was too gross. I say it’s better than being sick for a month and a half!

    Too much salt is better than no salt! I forgot to add it once (too sick I guess) and man did that hurt.

    RE: What’re you talking about? The snot sucker rocks! HA HA! It is an acquired skill, I’ll admit that. But, the whole thing DOES work!

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