Monday, March 05, 2007

Health Update

*Warning* Don't read this is you don't want to hear grossed out discussion about sinus issues** Otherwise read on.

If you didn't know I got a pretty good sinus infection starting around last Saturday. Went on Augmentin antibiotics on Monday. From Sat to this past Sat I'd pretty much been out of it and not pleasant to be around.

The combination of sinus pressure and decongestant drugs created that detached out-of-body feeling. I did get on a the trainer a few times and spun around but also did a few short/hard efforts. Though for the most part been out of comission.

On Saturday, exactly 5 days after starting the 10day course of horse pills, I finally felt pretty good and could get off the Sudafed.

I used to get sinus infections regularly until a few years ago when I underwent septoplasty. During the procedure the ENT also drained a sinus that had not been emptying which was probably causing the constant infections. The septoplasty worked ok. Though it wasn't a complete success at undeviating the deviated part. I've still got lots of congestion but for the most part have been sinus infection free.

Until last week. This last run in has got me motivated about being a little more proactive about avoiding another one. I appreciated getting the comments from readers about their remedies. I'm going to try to be dilligent.

Here's the gross parts. Last week I got a Sinus rinse kit and tried it out.

My ENT had mentioned nasal washes years ago but I never followed through. This thing is a simple bottle that you mix in a special saline solution. They also make powered ones that fall underneath the term pulsatile irrigation systems. It's basically a Waterpik with a nose attachement.

The bottle option cost $12.99, the nose hose cost $100. I figured I'd try the 12dollar jobby out first. The big marketing issue on the Grossan is that it supposedly pulses at the same rate as the cilia in the nose.

Anyway, it took about a day to get the nerve up to try it. Basically you bend over the sink and willingly put water up your nose. You squeeze the bottle slowly and the freakest thing happens. Your sinus fill up and then it starts pouring out the other side. It wasn't too bad at all actually. Provided I follow some simple steps
-squeeze gently
-use warmed water
-keep your mouth open and breathe through your mouth
-after doing one side 'lightly' blow the nose. Too hard and you just blow fluid into the ears and they get plugged
-be prepared for some more to drip out over the next 20mins

It's the sh*t. The best part is telling my wife I'm going to be doing it and seeing her get the heeby-geebies.

The feeling is exactly like getting water up your nose when you dive into a pool or do a somersault underwater w/o blowing out your nose. It sure does seem to wash out a lot of mucus and I seem to breathe better afterwards.

I would be intersted in hearing comments from anyone who's had experience with both methods and what they like better.

I'll be going to the ENT later this month to discuss the pulsatil irrigation and am planning on going back on a steriod nasal spray (Nascort) and Singulair. I'd used both in the past but just stopped and tried to go back to them 'as needed' but my research has supported exactly what the ENT told me when I went on them, that their efficacy is based on regular daily use.

Should I catch even the slightest cold, at the first sign of the creeping crud I'll go on Sudafed 24hr straight for at least 3 days.

I'll be finishing out the anti-biotic course and hopefully am back to normal. Ironically, after I went to the doctor we took my son the next day. He'd been as congested as me for even longer but we'd been just getting used to it and didn't make a connection to a sinus infection until mine got bad. He's finally getting better after getting some meds too. Normally we don't get anti-biotics for every little thing. But when you need them, you need them.


At 8:36 PM, Blogger BB said...

I wasn't grossed out at all. I've got a thing called a "Neti Pot" which I have been using since January of 2001 to irrigate the in one nostril out the other experience. It always tickles when I do it.

Nasal irrigation. Or watering the nose garden as it were.

I would think your squirt bottle is just as effective as the $100 pulsating machine, but I don't know if the research shows one is better than other. I'm happy with my Neti Pot (I got it as a gift) and my daily Singulair. But I say that having never tried the expensive machine.

Now, there's no need for pictures of you demonstrating the nasal irrigation like this one:

At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used the neti pot before switching to the grossan. grossan is far more comfortable and effective, trust me. the grossan holds a lot more than the pot, but i think the pulsations really work too.

$100 bucks is cheap if you are a real sufferer. As I posted earlier upon recommendation of the book Sinus Survival I also got rid of my 12 pack a day Dr. Pepper habit. This reduced the amount of phlegm my body produced alot. Bonus was a twenty five pound weight loss.

At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried this with a bulb syringe and a homemade solution (1 tsp. table salt, 1 tsp. baking soda in 1 pint warm tap water). It worked great--I'm breathing more freely than I have in the month since a cold developed.


At 1:08 PM, Blogger Skyhawk said...

I am not grossed at all about this at all! I am a nurse but also know what meds can do to you but in the same respect I have seen them help as well! Ok, please be careful with using reg. table salt because it is not sterile enough to use this way. Instead you should really use Dendric salt if you are mixing it yourself. It is the salt they use in making Saline Solutions. The reason I wanted to respond to this was to let everyone know how serious it is to take care of Sinus problems before they start and the moment of onset! ie; Sept.2006 my sister had been fighting a serious sinus infection for a month on 2 different antibiotics. Mom asked me to come over look at her because she was not acting right. I assesed my sister and heard it had went to her lungs, her skin was yellow which is indicative of liver failure, she was disoriented. I told Mom she needs to go to the hospital. Sister said no I will see my doctor. Her doctor thought she was faking and was not going to do anything till I brought to their attention to look at her skin, listen to her crackling lungs and her being disoriented. He finally told us to take her to the Hospital for observation. Well when they got the results of her labs and cultures they finally knew she wasn't faking. She ended up in ICU on a vent for 14 days total stay was 19 days. From this Sinus infection she ended up with 3 opertunistic bacterias gram neg. With total kidney and liver shut down. They had to call in specialists from far away because they never seen anything like it, EVER! They ended up telling us they had no hope for her living, less than 20% chance to their exact words. So I lived at the hospital making all the decisions exercising her. I am happy to report she has came through it alive a well but they stated she has to be careful for one yr no dentist no operations or sorts. So to sum it up Sinus infections/problems are not to be taking lightly. Take care of the by preventing all the complications that may arise from it!


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