Not for the Squeamish
It began as a sore throat and I don’t mean any old sore throat, no ma’am, this sore throat pain was the pinnacle of all sore throats. As a matter of fact it was so bad that I had to break down and do the old school remedy of gargling with warm salt water (my grandma would be so proud). My distaste for gargling is right up there with the sore throat.
At any rate by this time (I already know the drill) a day or two of excruciating throat pain, congestion, coughing, sneezing, stuffy head, achy body, wheezing, and worst of all the clogged/runny nose. I’ve gone through two boxes of Puffs plus lotion in two days and there’s no end in sight.
I’ve blown my nose so hard and so frequently – this next part is gross (hey, I gave you fair warning) with copious amounts of discharge I felt my head was literally going to explode and I still can’t breathe.
I find nothing more annoying than trying to suck air into completely blocked nostrils. And don’t even get me started on needing to swallow while trying not to clog the ears. Actually, now that I think about it clogged ears are right up there with the stuffy nose and sore throat. Seriously, I feel so miserable I want to cry but I know crying will only compound the issue so I continue bravely onward.
For a self-confessed germophobe, this yucky issue is totally overwhelming. To give you a glimpse of what I’m talking about, it goes something like this:
- I’ve just blown my nose
- Discarded the germ infested tissue
- Applied hand sanitizer
- Slather on lotion (because I don’t like how my hands feel after the sanitizer)
- Repeat two to three minutes later
And who could be sick without the following essentials?
- Cough Drops
- Hand Sanitizer
- Lip Balm
- Vapor Rub
- Tissue Disposal Unit
Blame it on the Illness
Being sick clouds my thinking and I find the most ridiculously absurd thoughts floating around my brain. For example I was planning to write a post on another health related topic when out of the clear blue I wanted to know if it was possible to get rid of all the gunk in my nose.
So I went to the ever faithful Google and did a search that returned 1,880,000 results. This told me three things: 1) I am not alone 2) there is a serious debate on whether to blow or not to blow 3) this is a serious situation of magnitude proportions that requires major attention. Out of all the things ever invented why can’t someone invent a way to eliminate or completely eradicate the clogged nose?
The only thing that has helped my current dilemma was going through some of the Google results. Granted there were a few things I didn’t want to know but there were some pretty funny and informative articles as well. I even found a 9-step instructional guide to blowing your nose (with pictures no less) on WikiHow (for the curious click HERE).
So what did I learn from this critical research?
- Brain leaks and brain eating amoebas are rare
- The “normal” (no allergies or sickness) nose produces up to 20 ounces of mucus a day (this is one of those things I did not need to know)
- Clogged nose issues begin with swollen blood vessels and not mucus (though the body does generate more mucus when sick)
- The intranasal pressure on blowing the nose is more forceful than sneezing or coughing
- Blowing the nose can actually cause mucus to back up into the sinuses (another bit of info I was better off not knowing)
- Decongestants in the form of a pill or nasal spray can help to relieve the swelling of the blood vessels but if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, glaucoma or diabetes you cannot use these medications as they increase heart rate and blood pressure
- According to one source, the correct way to use a decongestant spray is to “kneel on the floor with your head on the ground or lean over the edge of a table or chair so that your head is forward.” Now I gotta go there, can you imagine doing this in a meeting at work, in church, in the supermarket?
- Contrary to popular belief steam is not effective
- It’s best when blowing the nose to do so gently one nostril at a time
In conclusion, one of my friends swears by the neti pot (a sinus rinsing device) but care must be exercised when using the device see FDA’s recommendations HERE. Personally, I have an aversion to the rinsing of the sinuses for fear of accidental drowning but that’s just me.
“Always look on the bright side of life. Otherwise it’ll be too dark to read.” ~Author Unknown