Neti Pot Nuttiness

Last summer I took my kids to the neighborhood pool even though I had a horrible sinus infection. And yes, I'm expecting my major award any day now. Anyhoo, I was sitting and suffering, watching my kids frolic, when a friend showed up. Now, she wasn't a good friend. We didn't have a whole lot in common other than being mothers. She was really into all of that natural, vegetarian, holistic crap. She was even wearing her Free Tibet! t-shirt over her itsy bitsy bikini (that she looked alarmingly fantastic in).

She looked at me carefully and said, "You look like you don't feel well" which is, let's face it, a polite way of saying "Damn, Girl - you look like shit!" I told her about my sinus infection, expecting pity and the offer of an organic pulp bar or something. But no, she hit me with the, "Do you have a Neti Pot?" Of course I had no idea what the hell she was talking about so she explained it. "You're kidding! I don't know WHAT we'd do without ours! It looks like a little tea pot..."

I interjected that I hate tea. A lot. That's why I don't have one....

She laughed at me and said, "No, Silly! You don't drink it! heh heh heh - you stick the spout up your nose and run salted water through your sinus cavity!"

I'm pretty sure the shock and horror on my face demonstrated my position on the whole neti pot thing. Then she started telling me how her 7 year old kid does it, too, and loves it, blah, blah, blah.

I left that conversation thinking that she is - officially - a super freak. Of all of the orifices I'd stick a tea pot spout, well, my nose is the bottom of the list.

About six months later my eldest (who was 8) got a sinus infection. She had just finished up a round of antibiotics for something else and I was dreading taking her to the pediatrician. Remembering the above conversation I went to the drugstore, in a fit of desperation, and discreetly asked for the neti pot section. When I got there I saw that there was an entire industry related to sinus rinsing. Who knew?!

I purchased a sinus rinser that looks like a plastic shampoo bottle with a whole in the lid. It came with 50 packs of sinus rinse. I kept looking for a box that had just a couple of packs as there was no way we were going to need FIFTY opportunities to squirt water up our noses.

When I got home I hopped in the shower with my kid and told her the dealio. She leaned her head forward and I squirted water into one nostril. Green oysters of death paraded out of the other nostril as if on a Slip-N-Slide. It was INSANE how much crap came out of there. After that my kid took a deep breath - and smiled at me. Even more shocking was that the next morning she came to me and asked me to do it to her again because she could breath so much better afterwards. I was shocked, but complied. Again, funky nastiness of a consistency so vile I was concerned that our plumbing would get corked up ran out of her nose.

She got better in no time. Now, I think she prefers this sinus rinse to blowing her nose. We went through those 50 packs much sooner than I would have thought and I went right out and bought the pack of 100.

The next time I got sick I spent about 30 minutes sitting in front of my bathroom mirror. I kept blowing my nose but nothing would come out, even though I felt so stuffed up. I held the sinus rinser in my trembling hand. Finally, I worked up the courage to stick it up to my right nostril and squeeze. It's a weird feeling. It feels kind of like you're in the pool and about to get water up your nose. But then you quit worrying about that because you're in shock and awe at the crapola you've been hiding in your sinuses. After I was done, I blew my nose, took a deep breath - and smiled. I felt fantastic!

Recently I read an entry on one of my favorite blogs when suddenly a new term leaped out at me - Neti Pot Nut Job.

What the...what the fuck is Dan talking about?! Nut Job...I'm not a Nut Job!

Then I began mentally running through the evidence. When I packed for the move to Florida I put my sinus rinser in my purse to make sure that it wouldn't get lost. Every time someone in the family sniffles I jump up, anxious to go get the rinser ready. Now whenever I have a friend with a stuffed up nose I recommend that they go get one. When they reject the idea I push back, insisting that I'm right - they'll love it if only they'd try it. I've considered buying a second "back up" sinus rinser. Because you never know.

And I almost forgot the Grand Daddy Litmus Test of all "Do I Have A Problem" questions: Have you ever concealed your usage from a loved one? Ummm...hell yes. (Nothing lets your husband know "I'm feeling super sexy tonight" like hunching over your sink in a nightgown, shooting salt-water boogers out of your nose with a syringe.)

Fuck. I'm totally a Neti Pot Nut Job.


Jormengrund said…
A happy nose deserves a good swirl or two with the Netti Pot!

Either that, or you're trying very hard to hide the evidence of your cocaine habit.

Either way, it's still pretty darn good to have, don't you think?
Dog Breath said…
Have you heard of Ear candles?

I've never used one but they are equally weird and A guy at work swears by them.
Bex said…
Jormengrund - My use of it embarrasses me. But not enough to stop doing it.

Dog Breath - I was on vacation a couple of years ago and went to a local spa for a massage. They had an ear candle display and I made the mistake of asking the lady about them. I bought two candles just to shut her up. Later that night I talked my husband into trying it.

The sight of him lying on the sofa with an ignited candle sticking out of his ear was hysterical. Cocktails may have been involved.
Liz C said…
OMG - me too! And I don't do 'woo-woo' stuff.

For us it was allergies. We all have them. I suddenly discovered that the Claritin I'd been giving my son (for three YEARS) was causing behavioral problem in school.

Out of desperation I tried the neti pot on him almost a year ago and haven't had to drug him since. Now we all use it, every morning after brushing our teeth.

Side benefit: Nose-picking reduction of up to 90%!

I don't buy the packets any more. I mix three parts pickling salt (fine, un-iodized) with 1 part baking soda and keep it in a little sugar pot in the bathroom.

Everyone should try it. Srsly.
Fae said…
"Green oysters of death paraded out of the other nostril as if on a Slip-N-Slide."

grossest and yet most beautifully descriptive line ever!
David said…
Neti pots are gifts from the sinus gods.
Whup-Ass Master said…
Neti Pot nut job here too. Only drawback is water can sometimes drip from my nose during the day. I've converted many to the neti pot cult.

Bex said…
Truly, I'm amazed that there are more of out there! I literally barricade myself in the bathroom so that nobody will "catch me" doing it. So sometimes I'll find myself thinking, "Oh, good, the family is engrossed in Guitar Hero right now so I can slip off and do my naughty little nose thing and nobody will be any the wiser!"

BUT, the Whupp Ass Master makes an excellent point: a recreational hazard of neti pot usage is occasional (and unpredictable) water falling out of your nose. It happened to me yesterday. HOURS after I netied I dropped something, bent over to pick it up and a little canon of water shot out onto the floor. Thankfully nobody saw it. Of course, had I seen someone else do it I would of laughed at her. But it's different when it happens to ME.
Jormengrund said…
So you're seriously telling me that clogging your sinuses up with WATER will clear them out enough to breathe?

What's the difference if they're chock-full of SNOT or WATER?


I don't know, but something really doesn't sound quite right here..

Take and snort this water to clear out the mucous, and then don't bend over too many times, or the water that's keeping the mucous from forming will fall out, and you'll have buildup again!

It's a conspiracy, I tell you!
Dog Breath said…
I'm a little teapot short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all snotty I will shout, flood my nostril and flush it out!

The new grossest nursery song just for Bex.
A few weeks ago, Rickey blogged about these. Disgusting? Yep. But they work.
Sue said…
I searched the Neti Pot on YouTube after reading your post. I had to see it done.
This is what I found:
Smocha said…
I am 4o uh....something years old and I have never heard of such a thing.

I guess ya really DO learn something every day.

I'm forwarding this goldmine of info to my allergy ridden son right now!
Merrie said…
These things were a lifesaver this weekend during my sinus infection. Glad to know I can do it more often. Hmmm...I'll be home in an hour...
Cara said…
Just catching up after being a bad blog reader for a while. A lady at my old work insisted I try this. Talked about it for twenty minutes. I smiled and nodded the whole time, thinking to myself, there is no effing way in hell. I have been sick FOREVER...this may have just been the nudge I needed to come over to the dark side. :)

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