Archive for Sinus Infections

The Crud

Posted in Health with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2012 by urbannight

There is this thing that goes around Omaha every year that even the doctors call – The Crud.  It is something like a cold.  And something like the flu.  Toss in something like a sinus infection and you get something that is a little like everything and yet none of those things.  It is viral and you pretty much have to ride it out.  Only it gets passed around more than a juicy piece of  gossip in the tabloids.  So it constantly changes.  If you live alone and clean house every day and stay away from stores and clean your desk space often, you ‘may’ be less likely to get it. 

This is how I’ve been spending most of my time since the end of November.  So I’m a bit behind and haven’t found the time to write about anything or blog about anything or do much of anything.  I have managed to read a lot.  And Sleep a lot.  Sleep has taken on a life of its own and deserves to have a capital S. 

As in Super Sleep.  The Sleep Wars. Sleep Strikes Back.  Return of Sleep.  Fatal Sleep.  Eyes Wide Sleeping.  The Sleep of the 50 Foot Woman.  The Sleep.  The Big Sleep.  Indian Jones and the Temple of Sleep.  Sleeping on Elm St.  Aliens versus Sleep.  American Sleep.  Well, that last one could be a whole heck of a lot of movies. 

I stayed home sick for the last two days and if my budget could have afforded it, I probably would have been there again today.  So I maybe catching up on stuff.  Or I may be sleeping some more.  Hard to tell as I sit here and sniffle.  But that could be the cayenne I put in my couscous and tin of chicken breast.

How to Get Rid of Mucus in Your Throat

Posted in Entertainment, Life, Movies and Theatre, Tea, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2012 by urbannight

This is how I feel when I have a sinus infection and am searching for relief.

The title is a search term that brought someone to my bolg.  For some reason, it really amused me.  Maybe because I’ve had issues with it.  Maybe because I woke up at 4:00 am with a sore throat, swollen glands, and totally congested.  So I thought I might address the issue.

So I promptly went and made dinner (smashed potatoes, a hamburger patty, and herb gravy for beef).  While cooking and eating dinner I watched Chalet Girl.  It didn’t bore or annoy me in the first 5 minutes.  This was good.  Bill Nighy came on the screen.  This was better.  It was at that moment I knew I would finish the movie and, at the very least, like it.  I loved it.  A winning skateboarder takes a job at a chalet in the Alps in order to help support her father after they were in a car crash that killer her mother.  She has never skied and this puts her in an awkward position with her coworker.  She comes across a snow board.  This resembles a skateboard.  So she gives it a go.  And the movie progresses from there.  Give it a go.  It won’t clear your throat but it will entertain you and distract you from it.  Just like it distracted me from writing the post after I got out the first paragraph.

One of the most common methods is decongestants.  After all, the mucus is coming from the sinuses.  The only problem with these is that sometimes they really dry you out.  You end up with dry mouth, dry nostrils, dry eyes, over dryness in more delicate areas.  And if it isn’t very effective, you can’t really take much else for a few hours.  I tend to fluctuate between using them a lot and using them as a last resort.  I’m in a ‘last resort’ sort of place now.

Soup is good.  Hot soup.  Steaming soup.  Spicy soup that gets the sinuses flowing and hot in temperature that  sort of ‘melts’ it from your throat.  I like Chicken Soup from Hell.   Dice up a chicken breast, brown in some olive oil.  Toss in onion and garlic. LOTS of onion and garlic.  Add water.  Add bullion. Add seasoning.  The most important being the cayenne pepper.   In fact, the chicken is just to give the soup some thing to actually eat in it.  The point is to get the onion, garlic, and cayenne into the system for their health and cold fighting properties. 

They say hot tea works, especially hot mint tea.  I never found this to be true.   Inhaling the steam while it cools enough to actually drink it just doesn’t get enough through the sinuses.  The hot tea helps the throat somewhat, but usually, once it gets to drinking temperature, it doesn’t clear the throat as well as soup in general does.  Now if you take a pure mint tea bag and use it as a smelling sachet, that does work clear the sinuses and eventually the throat.  A warning, you will be inhaling small particles of mint leaves and it will turn your mucus a deep green when you next blow your nose.

Nasal sprays work fantastic on the nose and can sorta clear the throat.  But they leave a horrible taste in the back of the throat, make the nose feel raw, can lead to increased sore throats, can lead to increased congestion when they wear off, and can result in a cycle of constant use to clear the increasingly worse congestion.  And you should never use them for longer than seven days.  So I’ll only use them at bed time if I’m too bad off to fall asleep.  I and use them very sparingly.

There is an old chorus trick of gargling or drinking lemon juice to clear the throat of mucus.  This can be somewhat effective.  But if you have an actual sore throat, this can also sting.   On a similar note, I’ve found gargling with strong alcohol (think vodka and such) to be helpful in the short-term.  The very short-term.  For 15 minutes or so.  probably not worth it really.  Unless it’s to get some relief while you are cooking soup or something.  Or you want a few drinks so you don’t care about the annoying, thick, choking mucus in  your throat that is really annoying you.

And then there is my personal favorite, the neti pot.  This like device washes the sinuses out with a saline solution.  It helps pull it out of the back the help clear the throat.  This also makes the mucus shift and makes you want to spit a few times which also helps.  You have to blow your nose a couple of times in the 5 or 10 minutes after using it so that helps too.  It really makes you feel better in the nose and throat.  And if you feel like you are coming down with a sinus infection, regular use every 4 – 6 hours helps prevent said infection.  By clearing it out regularly, it can’t build up a ‘pool’ of infected mucus in your sinuses and thus the body’s natural defenses are able to better fight off any infection and you can avoid having to over use antibiotics from the doctor. 

So, the neti pot is my favorite method of not only clearing my nose, but clearing out the thick gunk that builds up and coats the throat, so it feels like you cannot clear your throat.  That’s as long as I remember to actually use it. Some days, I don’t notice it until I’ve left for work and it will annoy me all day long.  I hate it when that happens.  I had bought a second one to keep at work and a second box of the saline, but somewhere along the line one set vanished and I once again must remember to carry mine around with extra packets of saline.

Halloween is in the air! And so are Sinus Infections.

Posted in Holiday, Life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2012 by urbannight

It you are going to be a ghost, do it with style.

To start with, I’ve been trying to fight off a sinus infection.

If you base it on thick, gunky mucus that is 50 shades of green, then it was definitely an infection. They say you can’t possibly get rid of infections without antibiotics, but I’m not so sure. I’ve had pretty good luck with regular irrigation via a netipot. Sure, it takes time and you have to do it, consistently, about every 4 hours. Drink plenty of tea and soup, garlic and cayenne are good tools. So is onion. But the color gets better, the mucus starts to thin some. Eventually you are back to normal.

When you compare it, antibiotic take a good 10 days, you have to take them anywhere from twice a day to every 4 to 6 hours. And then you increase your resistance to then and help create antibiotic resistant strains of various bugs and diseases. Not to mention the rather high odds for women to get ‘other’ infections because antibiotics also kill the good things in our bodies we need.

I think I’ll stick with my netipot.

This fight over who rules my sinuses has been going on since the weekend. Monday I nearly stayed home. Then I decided I would go in and see how things went. Maybe I could leave early if I was getting worse. Well, that was a bad idea. We were short two compilers in another department so the unit I’m in had to help cover for them. There was no leaving early.

Tuesday, I didn’t feel any better. I was in a good mood and decided I could get through the day. I did it Monday, after all. OMG (yes, I really typed it). I ended up leaving in a very cranky mood. It wasn’t triggered by a caller for a change, but by a co-worker.

Wednesday I felt much worse and took the day off. I slept. I got 14 hours of sleep. I also ran out of medicine last night and it was too late to bother going to the store. But good sleep has helped get rid of the sore throat, clear up part of the headache, and green has cleared up to white. My ears are still bothering me. I dislike the way my sinuses drain into the ears.

And I had ‘weird’ dreams all night. Now I normally have weird dreams. These were weird even for me. The result was that I was up early, bright eyed and bushy tailed. But that energy didn’t last long and I’m ready for a nap now. It will be a long day.

But the day is improved by the wonderful, blustery, windy, overcast sky. This morning’s weather was perfect, beautify, just what I like. I love fall and all it brings.

It brings more wind, more clouds, sometimes more rain; leaves turn colors, fall, and make great big piles to bury oneself in. It leads to naked, skeletal tree limbs, reach out, reaching up, clawing at the world and sky. The air turns crisp, and cold, and sharp, and scented with wood smoke and the hint of a future winter.

I love Fall. It is my favorite season. I feel the energy that summer steals from me starting to return. And it marks the return of my favorite holiday. Halloween. I would do Halloween all year round but no one wants to let me.

On the way to work I saw a sign for Spirit of Halloween. It is one of the two Halloween superstores that open up around September. I love these stores. Massive collections of costumes, decorations, party ware, wigs, makeup, hats, masks, the fun never ends.

We also have a local decorating store, called Nobbies that usually has a fantastic Halloween selection. At least it did until last year. That was a rather significant let down. They had their usual large display of costumes. But the actual décor was significantly reduced. I have to admit it was somewhat depressing.

Perhaps even distressing.

Yes, distressing. The spending on Halloween now rivals the spending on Christmas, but last year, thinking people would not be spending as much, the stores stocked less. Much less.

Still, this is another year. Another Dollar. Another Halloween. Another chance to find that perfect item that you can justify leaving out all year long. Another opportunity to increase my skull collection.

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. I think they seriously underestimate the happiness that can be found in a good skull.