So I have what I’ve seen called on medical internet sites “chronic bronchitis” – which means I thought I had my regular old bronchitis and got a prescription for an antibiotic – instead of feeling better the next day the apparently viral bronchitis said “What, did a wind pass by? Did a piece of paper hit me? Ha! Take your best shot, pretty boy!” And I’ve still got the crunky pipes. And it will be 2-8 more weeks or years, depending. My voice sounds more normal but I’m still congested, forgetful, and generally low.
After talking to a colleague I found that nasal crud could be contributing – and that by taking care of nasal stuff I could lessen the length or effect of the bronchitis. This colleague is in nursing, and appears to have experienced my symptoms, so I believe her. Her advice? An antihistamine (I get to be sleepy all the time) and a neti pot, or nasal water clearing treatment. My wife knew what it was and got me one at the store. And encourages me to do it. Probably because she can’t believe anyone does it.
A neti pot is a teapot you put saline and water in, then you stick it up your nose. Then, you simulate drowning. You try to get the water and saline solution to go from one nostril, through your nasal cavity, and out the other nostril. The result is you get a lot of crud out of there, you actually do clean out the sinus cavity. But, it does feel a lot like when I was a kid and not that good at keeping water out of my nose when I swam. When I accidentally swallow during the process (which process takes a while, because water takes it’s time getting through there) I feel the water go up in that place you only ever feel when you barf so hard it comes up through your nose and you burn the hell out of your sinus cavity with stomach acid (you’re welcome, for the pleasant memory!). Only with this it’s not a burn, it’s just…there. The end result is actually pretty calming (I guess near-death experiences can have that effect). I’ve also seen it called a nose bidet, as featured on the Oprah, so that’s a pleasant image.
The following isn’t me, nor as cheerfully strange as the images in the instructions that came with the system I bought, but you get the point: