So I have a number of friends who swear by Netipots. It’s not that I’ve ever doubted what they’re telling me, but I’ve always figured they were more for sinus issues, and I don’t generally have big sinus issues. Any respiratory/allergy problems with me tend to go straight to my lungs. And since it sounds rather like a torture technique, I’ve never really been able to bring myself to do it.
Well this past winter I had a bit of a tiff with my mother over my refusal to get a flu shot. I’ve never had a flu shot, and I’ve never gotten the flu, so I say, why mess with a system that works? Mom points out that I’m in a high risk group and I should take it anyway. I didn’t get the shot, but I did decide to do everything possible to avoid getting the flu since I didn’t want the years of “I told you so’s” I’d get if I did. (At a later date we will explore why an “I told you so” from my mother is worse than H1N1).
I read a document from the Red Cross which said that the best strategy was to prevent the virus from proliferating rather than preventing exposure. Since the virus could only proliferate in the throat and nose, this could be achieved, in part, by cleaning out the nasal passages with warm salt water either with a Netipot or cotton swab. I went with the latter, but ran into a little snag: I have a small nose to start with and a deviated septum. This means my right nasal passage is practically nonexistent. Too narrow to accommodate a cotton swab (this is also why I blow my nose constantly–a speck of dust will block it). I happened to mention this to my mom last night and immediately her eyes lit up and she said, “You need a Netipot.” Turns out she loved hers so much she bought one for my father. Who has never used it. So she said I can have his.
Like any good college students, I’ll take most anything (except the flu) if it’s free. So I tried it.
Turns out it’s not a perfect solution to the nonexistent nasal passage. I decided to start with the left nostril thinking it would be easier. Well it took me forever to get the solution to come out my right nostril. At first it was just coming right back out my left one. But I kept pouring and eventually I got it to come out the opposite nostril like it was supposed to. Then I tried pouring it in the right nostril. At first nothing was coming out, but right when I got to the point of “OMG, where is it going if it’s not coming out?” It started coming out. In drips. No matter how much I poured, nothing more than a stream of drips would come out. Pretty funny stuff.
Still, my nose felt awfully clear. I wasn’t having any problems, so it may not be the best gauge, but I decided it was worth a second try.
Which I did tonight. With perhaps a hint more success. Only now my nose feels irritated. Not sure if this is the rinse that came with it or a normal reaction or the fact that I keep getting the water too hot. (I use tap water, but the place I’m currently staying has tap water direct from a nuclear reactor).
Anyway, I’m still undecided; a friend says I need to give it a week before I decide if it works for me. I think it might do more for me come winter. So I’m keeping it, but I’m not ready to sing its praises just yet.