I have always dealt with allergies. As a kid, my parents called it hay fever and I have tried a variety of medications over the years (most of them make me sleepy—including/especially the non-drowsy stuff—don’t bother offering suggestions, I’m not interested in attempting driving and work in a drug-induced haze. I buy Kleenex instead.). And, having produced two miniature germ factories over the past 5.5 years, I’m now getting more colds than ever before. And the occasional ear infection and strep. I love my children.
My husband started using a netti pot a couple of months ago to aid with persistent sinus issues of his own. I’ve been intrigued but skeptical and have watched his experience with interest. Over Christmas, I decided to give it a try. Pour warm saltwater through your brain. Can’t hurt, right? Well, maybe wrong.
First of all, it seems to take quite a long time to get the water actually flowing back out of my head. I gather this is normal. But in the mean time, I feel like I’m jumping into deep end of the pool without plugging my nose. And my head feels like it’s going to explode. Think intense sinus headache, self-induced. On my very first attempt, one of my ears began popping, so I quickly switched sides. The second attempt wasn’t so much painful as it was uneventful. I spent a long time feeding water into my head. And very little came back out.
Last night I tried again. There was no instant ear-popping, but I definitely put pressure on my inner ear again. And I don’t think that much of the water I poured in came out my nose (I can’t be doing it completely wrong, because water did come out correctly). I think (Gross-Out Alert) that I swallowed most of it in my sleep later. Except for some which just hung out around my ears all night. That is not fun, by the way. Not only am I jumping into the deep end of the pool, but I’m doing it with swimmer’s ear.
I have some interesting options at this point. One, give up. Two, keep at it and hope that eventually, all that warm saline will chip away at 32.8 years worth of collected gunk. Three, go see a doctor and/or ENT and make sure there’s nothing else wrong. Besides the allergies, colds, strep (did I mention that my daughter sucks her finger? And has huge tonsils?), and sinuses so enlarged that my dentist comments on them every time I get an X-ray, that is.