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Monday, May 17, 2010

Do not read this while eating or preparing to eat

Yeah, I thought that would get your attention. I visited the head/neck guys last Tuesday, asking about the increasing headache, some more tinnitus, and wondering why I have bloody mucus in my nose. No new offering for the headache - heck, for $120,000 (roughly), I should be enjoying the headache all the money brought me. (Joking, of course - sometimes pain means we are alive, and should be grateful.) I should go get a hearing test for the tinnitus. The nose issue caused more attention. They recommended that I use a 'sinus rinse' aka nasal wash (now referred to in our household as nose enema or nasal douche) twice a day for the next month, along with an antibiotic ointment skillfully placed with a cotton swab. When I picked up the ointment from the pharmacy, the pharmacist was careful to tell me to use a new cotton swab for each side of the nose, and to 'just coat the nostril, don't put a lot in, like your mom did with vaporub". I really like directions like those.
Rinsing your sinuses/douching your nasal cavity/giving your nose an enema involves some preparation. I have opted for the home route -mixing my own salt/baking soda solution in distilled water (but I am probably going to move towards the premixed packets very soon.) I fill up a squeeze bottle with the mixture, set the bottle in a glass of warm water to warm it up a bit, then put the bottle tip to one nostril and squeeze gently, feeling the water swirl around in my head before it finally exits out the other nostril like a clear river (oh yeah, did I say I was standing at the sink while all this is going on?). I am up to doing about half the bottle for one side, then stop to blow gently ( bunch of blood clots come out about this time), then I gear up and do the other side with the remainder of the bottle, blowing out the blood clots after the water drips ease up. I tried a neti pot, but simple gravity doesn't seem to get the water up into my nose - it just stayed in the pot - so I went back to the squeeze bottle. The really weird thing - 4 to 8 hours later, water just suddenly spurts out of my nose. Exactly where has it been lurking, that is what I would like to know! Even after doing toe-touches and every other thing I can think of to get my head down and in various directions (within my since-2006 restricted head movements, that is), the water still suddenly appears later. I am going to turn into that little old librarian with a tissue tucked up in her sleeve after all, I can just tell! I figure my coworkers probably just think I have picked up a coke habit...
Let me know if you have advice for a new 'nasal washer', or if you have your own experiences you want to recount here.


Dee said...

Hey Teri,
Thank you so much for the chuckle! The description of water lurking somewhere (and god only knows where) and then spurting out was funny!

Man, you just gotta have a sense of humor with stuff like this! : )

Anonymous said...

Teri, sorry to hear about your latest CA blues. Re the tinnitus....I've had my very own private tree frogs for over a decade. They go everywhere with me and no ENT I've seen seems to recognize how annoying and distracting they can be. Ultimately I think there is simply nothing to be done about it. So, sometimes I can listen to them voluntarily, sometimes I can ignore them while busy, sometimes they keep me awake at night. After reconciling to the cacophany in my head I find I can ignore them better. Or maybe they are tired after chirping 10+ years. Maybe they are crickets? B in Atlanta

Jeanne said...

Hi Teri--I've been using a neti pot off and on for years, and it really helps me.

But I've never had water lurk anywhere in my sinuses only to drip out later! At least, not more than just a minute or two after I finish using the neti pot.

Here's one of my posts on neti pots:

Good luck with this regimen--hopefully you won't have to be the librarian with wads of kleenex up her sleeve for very long (thanks for the laugh on that one).


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