Cold and flu season has begun and already I've had my first (of what will probably be many) case of the sniffles this year. In the past when I've gotten sick my Mother would always suggest using the Neti Pot to clear my sinuses. If you are not familiar with this method, give yourself a visual treat and check it out on You Tube.
You can see why I would hesitate to use this form of treatment. It's like personal water-boarding. But, after three days of not being able to breath through my nose (and breathing through my mouth like a creeper) I couldn't take it any longer. I went in the bathroom where my Mom keeps her Neti Pot (oh yeah, sharing a nostril kettle with my mother, already a promising start) and just looked at it for a moment. A pale green, genie-like lamp, seems harmless enough. I asked my mother, who was in another room, what exactly do I put in the pot?
"Warm water and salt." she said
"I have to use salt?"
"Yes, it really helps to clear you out," she insisted, "just a couple teaspoons, it's under the sink."
I look under the sink and see the Epsom Salt. I thought it really strange to put that kind of salt through my nasal cavity. Just to be sure,
"Seriously, a couple teaspoons of this?"
"Jesus, yes!" she was getting a bit irritated, she was trying to read.
So, in went the Epsom Salt and I filled the pot with warm water as instructed. I tilted my head over the sink and proceeded to drown myself.
"Fuck this burns!"
No reaction from Mom
"Seriously, is it supposed to burn like this!?"
Still no response, I guess it was a really good book.
Here is where you can color me special. Despite the pain, I still did a couple more douses through each nostril before giving up. And may I say, I looked really charming. This was my first Neti experience so I thought it must take several rounds before you really get used to sniffing salt water.
I cleaned my face, and the sink (man, a LOT did come out!) and walked to the other room where my Mom was reading.
"That was fucking awful! I can't believe you use Epsom Salt!"
"You used WHAT?" my Mother asked
"The Epsom Salt, the one you said to use under the sink."
"Not the Epsom Salt! The iodized salt that is ALSO under the sink!"
Now I start to panic, what the fuck kind of damage did I just do to my nose.
"I did NOT see any iodized salt under the sink." I storm back into the bathroom and swing open the cabinet expecting to be right. Alas, right in front, the little container of iodized salt that my eyes happened to pass over and only notice the 5 pound package of Epsom Salt. She's always bulk buying the stuff, and she's always using the Neti Pot, I assumed the two went hand in hand.
"You see it now don't you?" says my smart-ass Mom
"Well how the hell was a I supposed to know?!" I said
"I didn't know you would be dumb enough to use the Epsom."
"Fuck, is that really bad? Did I really mess up my nose?"
"How does it feel?"
"It still really burns." starting to freak out more
"I'm sure you'll be fine" and she went back to reading, I hate that book now.
It smelled like I was at a public pool that entire day.