Monday, January 14, 2008

Two Words

As this, the cold, flu and (apparently) sinus infection season, heads into full gear, I have two words for you: sinus irrigation.

I am enjoying my first sinus infection of the calendar year, and I continue to beat the drum for the healthy practice of sinus irrigation. I am not the only one — NPR noted the same thing in one of its most e-mailed articles from last year, "Got a Runny Nose? Flush it Out!" (NPR Morning Edition, February 22, 2007).

The idea is simple: keep the area irrigated and clean, and sinuses have a chance to stay healthy. A lot of people (including Alicia) are convinced they cannot do this. You're talking to a woman who couldn't even use a nose spray — and who, in desperation, gave irrigation a try. I am grateful I did, and I heartily recommend it to everyone.

I make my own saline solution: using a mayonnaise jar (clean, of course), I mix three teaspoons of canning/pickling salt and one teaspoon of baking soda. (Do not use table salt.) Mix well and deliver into the sinuses. I use a small syringe (the ear size, not the huge one) to inject the solution directly into each nostril.

As you can see, it doesn't always keep sinus infections completely at bay, but it does help stave them off. Had I not begun this practice years ago, my chronic sinus infections would never cease.

So, as I heal from this discomfort, think of all of the things you'd like to mention, ponder, discuss and otherwise mull — then leave a comment at the end of this post so I know what's on your mind. In the meantime, I'm downing Mucinex-D like there's no tomorrow and trying to sleep away the pain.

See you on the other side of this illness.

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