2012.05.30 In one hole, out the other

Written by David Green.


It’s time for me to be sick again. It happens every spring, I’m sure of it. It happens year after year, but usually in June. The weather was different this year and I think it came on earlier.

It must be allergy related. When the cottonwood seeds blow or when the roses bloom or the plantain flowers are emitting pollen—something kicks off a reaction in my body and I get what seems like a regular cold. Sore throat, cough, sneezing, runny nose, sore body and great fatigue.

My wife has another theory: spider bites. That’s just wacky. I think she described it as a long-held suspicion. I have a large, itchy welt on the back of my neck which gives credence to her theory.

I need to do some record-keeping, to  keep track of what’s blooming (or crawling on my neck) from year to year and try to track this thing down.

I had an unpleasant night last night as I went from sick to really sick. Just general miserableness along with a fever.

When I got up this morning with aching sinuses, my thoughts turned to our neti pot. I suppose I should say “my” neti pot. I think it was a birthday gift from Colleen many years ago and not once have I used it. She’s prodded me many times, but I’ve never taken the plunge.

A neti pot is a little ceramic container with a long spout. It looks like an odd gravy boat and I remember suggesting that we use it for gravy last Thanksgiving.

Since I never used my neti, I’ve only imagined what the process is like. I know it involves salt water and I know the long, thin neck of the pot is inserted into a nostril. Beyond that I figured it must be something akin to waterboarding. I don’t like the concept of water up my nose.

Wikipedia has a couple of extensive writings about nasal irrigation and about the neti pot, in particular. The neti page includes an interesting drawing of sutra neti—an advanced nasal cleaning in which wet string is inserted into the nose and then down into the mouth. The practitioner pulls the string in and out, in and out to get things clean. “Sensations of gagging, nausea and weakness may occur.” That’s a good warning, enough to keep string out of my nose forever.

Jali neti, which is what my neti pot would involve, requires salt water to be poured into one nostril and then drained out the other. A more advanced technique is to sniff in the water and have it drain into the mouth, and an even more advanced stage is to drink in the water and snort it out the nose.

I was in sufficient misery to think about finally making Colleen happy by putting “the ancient Hindu practice” into practice.

I asked Mr. Google how to use one and I was presented with a variety of videos. First I watched a young woman insert the neck of the pot into one nostril and lean forward. The water streamed out her other nostril. It looked simple and painless; nothing like what I imagined. 

Next I watched a boy do the job with a regular plastic funnel. In one nostril, out the other. After that I chose the video titled “Three-year-old girl uses neti pot.”

That was enough. If a three-year-old can do it alone without the help of her mother, I knew I could handle this.

I went to our kitchen window where the neti pot is on display for some reason. Just an odd knickknack, I guess. My first step—not mentioned in any of the videos—was to wash out the dead insects that had collected while it was up on the windowsill.

I added warm water, I mixed in the salt, I stuck it up my nose and bent over and tilted my head. It’s not supposed to hurt, but it did. It just wasn’t a comfortable feeling at all. Maybe my sinuses were too packed with stuff.

Finally some water began running out the other nostril and after a while I switched and did the other side. I didn’t feel much relief and I kept thinking about that three-year-old. When her mother asked her if she felt better, a big smile came over her face and she said, “Yes!”

Wikipedia tells me that the use of tap water could lead to a rare but fatal brain infection. That’s probably a ridiculous warning, but it gives me something to think about as my spring affliction subsides.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016