Friday, August 1, 2008

Neti Pot!!

I have been insanely congested since ... last Thursday, I believe. I have been over dosing on Sudafed (the good stuff you have to be tracked by the government for) to no avail, and I am afraid I will soon lose all dermal layers on my nose from excessive tissue use. It was time for desperate measures. My friend, Travis, suggested the neti pot.

Of course I had heard of the neti pot, thanks to Oprah and her evil mind control powers on middle American housewives, the neti pot hit general public consciousness a while ago (I think last year). For those of you who don't know, the neti pot originated in the India and southeast asia (Of course. I mean, it wouldn't be cool if it like originated in Dallas or something). It is a process of nasal irrigation. Basically you stick this little pot in one nostril and pour saline water through your nose until it comes out the other nostril. Pretty gross-sounding stuff, if you ask me, and exactly why I did not want to do it.

But I was running out of options and was tired of hiding my equally gross-sounding nose blowing from others. So I went out in search of a neti pot. I did some on line research and became more comfortable with idea. It actually was starting to sound pretty freakin' hippy, which was mollifying, and, besides, I had recently resolved to get more reacquainted with my inner hippy. Also, the lady in the video [please see below] seemed pretty darned happy with her neti pot. Okay, so she actually seemed like the Portland, Oregon-librarian-hippie-granola version of Children of the Corn, which was kind of scary in some ways, but I have always been pretty confident in my abilities to not succumb to lobotomy-like stupors of action.

Travis said that I could find a neti pot at any Wal-Greens. I was surprised when my local pharmacist promptly pointed to aisle 4 when inquired about their stock of neti pots. Hell, this is San Francisco. I was surprised my pharmacist spoke English as a first language.

I wasn't too happy to be paying $17, but I was desperate and figured I had already spent more than that on Benadryl and Sudafed combo packs in the past week (two boxes of each so far). When I got home, I was actually pretty eager to open my new neti pot box. I reached in and pulled out a blue plastic pot. Hmm. Plastic. Not very hippie-friendly. I was expecting some little ceramic pot. With an "ohm" symbol would be nice. Or a smiling fat buddha wishing me good nasal health.

17 bucks. For a cheap plastic toy tea pot. And 50 packets of salt. Hm. Supposedly they are special salt packets: non bleached, non idiozed, Ph Balanced. What a rip!

Whatever. I paid for it, now I had to use it. I went into the bathroom hoping I wouldn't cause irreparable damage by, I don't know pouring water up into the cavities between my eyes or ripping some sort tender tissue in my nose or something. Hell, maybe I would really mess up my nose, and I could get that rhinoplasty everyone has been begging me to get.

I leaned over and I poured. It didn't take me long to figure out that even with my mouth open, I was holding my breath (which you're not supposed to do). So I started just talking, to make sure I was breathing through my mouth. There I was. With a blue spigot up my nose and water pouring out of my opposing nostril rambling inanely about how odd this experience was, hoping to dear God that my roommate couldn't hear me and thus firmly cement in his mind the notion that his roommate was indeed too daffy for words.

I finished my business and breathed clearly for the first time in days. Aaaaaah! And then it happened. The overwhelming need to blow my nose and expel all resident matter (ew, i know) continued for the next two hours! I finally had to go to work for a long night of setting up visual displays. I was pretty irritated. I showed up late and was definitely not breathing easy, like the box and video said I would. In fact, I was back to my once an hour nose-blowing ritual. 'Neti pots suck!' I decided. (Perhaps the better conclusion would have been that neti pots blow.)

Tonight, I decided to give neti one more chance. After all, I had paid good money and it's not like I could use those little salt packets for margaritas. This time I doubled the salt. We were going to do this hard core! And you know what? It worked! Sure, I have a bit of a sinus headache right now (more so than I did after my intense round of steam inhalations last weekend), but I think once I neti tomorrow morning, I should be good. And either way, it's so much better than feeling like some alien being is slowly trying to escape your body via your nasal passages!

Anyway, thank you gentle reader for bearing with me through this graphic retelling, and, Rae, if you see this, once again, I am so sorry for bailing on Saturday night because of my swollen sinuses!

You guys enjoy this clip. Seriously.


Natalia said...

My question is: after you finished using your neti pot, did you do the "few simple exercises" the video suggests?

CJ said...

Ok, the video freaky. But, I'll admit I have been using one for a while now because I am also one of those wierd Allergy, sinus issue sufferers. I totally swear by it. The key is not to allow yourself to get to stuffed up to begin with. Oh, and one word of caution, I did use normal salt once, and yeah it was iodized, and yeah it TOTALLY burned. Stick with the packetts!