Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Review of the Neti Pot

I know it's been a few days, but you'll be happy to hear I didn't actually drown. I have however been trying to decide what I think about this whole neti pot business.

I think the first time I'd ever heard of a neti pot was here. I did a google search to see what that was all about and just thought it was pretty much one of those crazy homeopathic remedies, you know for those earth-mother crunchy granola types. Like fiber supplements, evening primrose oil, red raspberry leaf tea, etc.

I suppose the ironic thing is that when I was pregnant and desperate for some heartburn relief I took papaya enzymes (although I don't think it helped). When I was getting close to my due date I went on the search for red raspberry leaf to make some tea, and was downing the evening primrose oil on a regular basis (actually they didn't help either). And ever since my surgery last fall my "fiberfill" and I are good buddies (but this WORKS). I guess we'll try anything when we're desperate for relief and modern medicine doesn't always provide the best, or most affordable, options.

So anyway, now I'm desperate for some sinus relief and have tried the neti pot. I've done it probably about 6 times or so. While I didn't drown, it does feel like getting water up your nose in the swimming pool, kind of a little burn up there, but I didn't panic because you're breathing through your mouth the whole time. (Well, except for this one time when I forgot to open my mount first and poured it down my throat, ack! Didn't drown, but GROSS!)

Anyway, the cool thing is that you definitely get gunk out of there. I had closed the sink drain so that I could see what happened. You know, for the scientific purpose of observation. So I saw there was definitely something happening. Right afterwards I could breathe through my nose really well. That lasted for about 10 minutes at least, but not hours or anything. I did still have to use the Afrin nose spray two nights in order to use my cpap machine. I would think that the salinity would be good for your sinuses, what with osmosis and stuff. I mean, you gargle with salt water for a sore throat so why not pour salt water up your nose? (Hm, that sounded better in my head.)

Anyway, the end result after doing this a few times a day for 3 days is:
I'm still sick.
I still have stuffed up sinuses with grossness in there.
After 2 days of doing this I had the worst earache and thought my eardrum would explode. (Moist heat and 3 asprin helped. Still waiting to see if I need to go to the doctor.)
I think I have finally found the absolutely least attractive thing I can possibly do with my body.

So, not sure on the actual efficacy of the neti pot at this juncture. I might keep doing it because it is nice to have something else to do besides blow my nose. You know, to make me feel like I'm actually taking control and doing something to make myself feel better. But that's just giving the control-freak in me something to feel good about.

Once I'm well I might do it occasionally to see if it works as well or better than Afrin. I have a chronically stuffed nose and I hate having to resort to Afrin since it is so addictive, but I do have to be able to breathe through my nose for my cpap machine at night.

That's my take on the whole neti pot experience. If anything neat happens I'll let you know. Because I know this is riveting stuff.