Friday, February 01, 2008

Winter bugs and NetiPots

Every year after Christmas we seem to start the full-blown flu season and this year has been no exception. Almost everyone in the family has been sick. It seems to rotate on a person by person basis. I almost think it would be better to have everyone sick at once because at least it would cut down the overall suffering time. The worst of it seems to have struck with in the last week. I missed a week of work and the kids have each been taking turns missing school.

In other odd news I've found something that does seem to be helping my sinuses and overall illness. My mother told me about using a Neti Pot to help my sinuses. I've struggled with sinus and ear issues for my entire life. As a child I was taken from doctor to doctor, had tubes in my ear, adnoids removed, saw an ENT and went through numerous tests. I was taken off all dairy, given allergy testing and endured other yucky nose/sinus tests. Nothing really seemed to work. I live most of my life with a stuffy nose and always have tissues nearby. Breathing at night is nearly impossible unless through my mouth and I've snored since I was a child. My mom saw a segment on Oprah about the Neti Pot and how it helps folks with sinus issues. They had a woman demonstrate how it works and she seemed to have many of the same sinus problems I have and it was helping her quite a bit so my Mom told me about it.

The Neti Pot cleanses and flushes out the sinus with salt water. The pot itself looks like a small watering can which you fill with water, non-iodized salt and baking soda. The Neti Pot I purchased included some small packets with pre-mixed salt and baking soda which I just add to the pot with luke-warm water. You place the spout of the pot in your nostril, tip your other nostril down and gravity will draw the water into your nostril where it will circulate through your sinus cavity and drain out of your opposite nostril. After it is finished draining you remove the Neti Pot and gently exhale through your nose to expel the remaining water (I usually blow my nose a few times gently with a kleenex too). Then repeat on the other side. I'm currently doing this in the morning and at night. What a difference it makes! The first night I did it I woke up the next morning breathing through my nose with my mouth closed! That NEVER happens. It also makes a big difference throughout the day too. My nose isn't nearly as stuffy as before and breathing is easier. I'll be anxious to see how it will be when I'm completely over this horrible cold that I have now. Many people who use the Neti Pot report that they no longer suffer from colds or sinus infections when they use it. The water solution is suppose to flush out the viruses/bacteria and pollutants that get trapped in the sinus cavity. They have been used for centuries in other parts of the world and seem to be a very striaghtforward, natural way to maintain and improve the sinuses. I wish I would have started doing this a long, long time ago! I can't imagine how many forrests I've cleared in kleenex consumption over my life time. Yuck.

In knitting news (yes! actual knitting content!), I've been making huge progress on the Sweet Mary Jane cardigan. I'm actually almost done with it. I've knit the entire body, both sleeves, attached the sleeves, knit the yoke and am 1/3 of the way through the collar. I should finish the collar today and bind off. Then all I have to do is whip stitch the underarms closed, weave in the ends and block it. Well, I'll need to buy/sew on the buttons and buy/weave in the ribbon but I'm going to do that with Mom so she can pick them out since this is for her. I'm so excited to be almost done with this, it's been a learning experience and the most complicated pattern I've done yet so it's been really neat. Thankfully it's gone perfectly and the only mistakes have been dumb ones on my part that I've been able to undo and fix. I will post some pictures after I get it blocked!!

After that I think I'm going to knit some dish cloths. I think some quick, easy knits will be just the thing to do after this big project. I saw that Twist has some new cotton that I'd like to pick up and use for that. I might have to run by and pick that up today or tomorrow so I'll have something to knit for this weekend.

Better run, the school just called and now I've got another kid coming home from school sick.

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