Monday, March 10, 2008

You Want Me To Stick It Where?

I feel like I've been sick so much more this year than in years past, and so much more intense, like feeling on the brink of death, that I've felt the need to chronicle my dates with Flu & Stu like a writer for the Journal of American Medicine.

I was talking with a friend about my latest bout with Flu & Stu's cohort, who I'll name Tru. I was telling him how all the medicine I had taken so far might as well have been candy because nothing was working. That's when my friend suggested a "Neti Pot."

"A neti what?" I asked. At first, I actually thought he was talking about some variety of marijuana. And I was thinking, "where the hell do I get that?" But then I googled it and saw that my friend meant an actual pot, and not pot. Ohhhhhhh.

When I found what it really was, I was like, "WTF is that?" Google brought back images of random people sticking a teapot in their fucking nose! I was completely grossed out and thought there is no way I am trying this.

But I was getting desperate and was also about to die. I searched for it and saw it on However, I - being impatient - couldn't wait for to send me a neti pot (seriously, the delivery turnaround was two days. please.)

Soooooo, I went out with my germ-riddled swollen sinus head to Whole Foods, and bought me a Neti Pot, which came with some Neti salt solution.

It's really not the most attractive picture in the world, even if you have model looks (see pic below for evidence).
But pride was the least of my concerns (is there any dignified way to stick a teapot in your nose?). I got home and tore open the package and started reading the directions. "Ok, this seems pretty simple," I though. I also found many hilarious demonstrations on handy YouTube to guide me.

I started by filling up the pot with lukewarm water. If there was one thing that I knew I would remember from all my research beforehand, it was to not fill up the pot with hot water or you'll be pouring liquid fire up your nose. Then I mixed the salt concoction into my warm water in "Neti." I'm already feeling good and am on a first name basis with my pot.

After I prepared the soultion and Neti was sufficiently prepped, I shoved Neti's spout up my right nostril and tilted my head like the little pamphlet instructed.


Water actually rushed out of my other nostril (like it's supposed to do), but also started flushing nose phlegm-mucus crap down my THROAT. So basically, I had just poured warm salt water into my nose, and on the way it picked up some nose gook, and traveled out my other nostril with a side trip down my throat passage. The end result was me spitting it out gross nose phlegm out of my mouth. ICK!

Okay, I told myself, and stopped. I was ready to give it another try. After taking a few breaths, I shoved the spout up my other nostril, tilted my head, raised Neti slightly. The other nostril was not as crazy. A little was still going down into my throat, but not as much. I realized why the instructions emphasized breathing out of your mouth. But for some reason, *consiously* instructing my brain to breath out of my mouth was not working too well. Still, the second time was much more successful. My reaction was much less all-CAPs: *choke* *cough* *sputter* *gag*, let's say.

My shirt wasn't so lucky though. You could wring the water out like a wet towel.

I have to admit though, it really did help. My sinuses were much clearer, and I had less of a headache. I could do without the drowning sensation, but I think I need to perfect my head tilt to get rid of that. Isn't there some job that requires a good head tilt so I can practice?


macboyx said...

Ahh the neti pot. My best friend told me about it and insisted I try it... it works like a charm and I've never been happier! I've had far less colds and sinus issues since I used it. It's hard to NOT breathe thru your nose but if you can remember to breathe thru your mouth, you won't choke. After a use or two, you're totally used to it!

Ming the Merciless said...

I guess when the flu is gone, you can use it as an enema. :-)

Seriously, I've never even heard of Neti Pot until I read it on your blog. And your description of the process makes me clench.

teahouse said...

My ENT doctor was telling me about this yesterday..apparently people swear by it, and it works miracles. Let me know how it works! Maybe I'll come and borrow yours, haahahaha.

David said...

I've never had sinus issues so I've never gotten around to using a neti pot. I've been tempted, but the idea just freaks me out.