Tuesday, April 9, 2013

the neti adventurrrrrrrrrrrrre......

"Veni, vidi, vici."  (I came, I saw, I conquered.)
~Julius Caesar

I came, I snorted water, I did not drown.
~Karen Swank


First of all, a big THANK YOU to my fellow Latin-loving old college friend who sent me handy tips after reading yesterday's blog re: my impending neti pot adventures.  Her very helpful advice included:
  • Get the squeezie bottle kind, instead of the teapot kind - it's easier to use.
  • Don't use it within 2 hours of bedtime, as the water can go into the ear tubing and cause ear infection.
  • Be sure to boil the water first, so as not to get "nasty micro-organisms in your sinuses" (EEK!)
  • Use the water warm, to avoid feeling like you got water up your nose in a swimming pool
I took all of that absolutely to heart.  When I got home with the kit, I noticed that the instructions included a directive to sterilize the bottle in the microwave.  Problem:  my microwave is out of order.  For a bit, I thought I might have to wait many more days to try this thing.  But then I remembered - hey, I'm an old school lady.  I boiled my babies' bottles with the best of 'em.  Boiling is AT LEAST as good a tactic as microwaving, probably better.  

I saved the process for this morning, as I've been a lifelong ear infections risk and don't need to
240 ML = 8 OUNCES of water to go up the nose!
heighten that.  So this morning I got out the bottle and sterilized it (as well as the funnel I'd be using to fill it) while I boiled water to fill it up.  

It took FOREVER for the water to cool down to an acceptable, non-nose burning temperature, which made breakfast late.  How so?  I didn't want to eat before doing this.  After all, putting in my own earrings (my ears have been pierced since I was 8) makes me nauseous and sometimes even dizzy - no sense in eating a nice breakfast, only to potentially toss it right back up, eh?  

There is a little saline solution packet thingy you add to the bottle when it's go time.  The box and the internet both warn that if you just use straight water without that salt, your nasal passages will burn like no other.  I also saw an "all natural" kit I could have bought that had eucalyptus and other like things in it, that promised my nasal passages would feel "invigorated" afterward.  Umm.  NO.  There are areas of me that I'd like to feel invigorated.  My nasal passages are most decidedly NOT on that list.  This one would have to be good enough, with its promise of not having preservatives.  

I'm awfully glad I watched a bunch of YouTube videos of people doing this for the first time.  Because of what I saw, I knew not to freak out when I kept pushing more and more water up my nose and nothing was coming out the other side.  Apparently there is quite a little reservoir of space in one's nasal cavities.  

There was no drowning sensation.  You just tilt your head forward over the sink and do it with your mouth open, breathing normally.  It's good that the mouth is open, because not all the solution comes just out the other side of your nose, when it finally comes.  Some if it comes out your mouth.  Yeah.  Kind of a cross concept but it just tasted salty, so it was find.  Spit and drive on.  

You put about 2-4 ounces up the one side, gently blow your nose, and then do the same with the other side.  The 2nd side flowed freely much more quickly than the first side.  I guess that was because stuff was cleared out of the way?  (Ew, don't meditate on that, Karen.  Gross.)

Final result:  I did not die.  It did not hurt.  All I can say thus far is my nasal passages feel shockingly clean, but not like I got water up my nose in the pool.  So far, so good.

Now, let's see if tonight is like the last few nights, with the middle of the night choke  on drainage and ensuing cough that forces me to sit up straight in order to get any sleep at all.  That's where the rubber meets the road.  


  1. According to my allergist you don't need to use the whole bottle at once - just enough until it is coming out the other side. I usually make a bottle up and it lasts me almost a week - but it is at room temperature. You could warm it in the microwave if you needed it warm, but I find I do fine with room temperature. Just a thought - whatever works for you! :-)

  2. Thanks for the input, Sherri!