Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sleep, stool and snot

How's that for a title?  Part of this post is actually a couple weeks old.  It's the snot part and I figured people didn't want to read about snot over the holidays.  Do they want to read about it in January, you ask?  Well, you are still reading this.

I reported recently that Belvedere had started sleeping well again.  I retract that statement.  In the past several weeks it has gotten worse again with lots of overnight wake ups. Quite unhappy wakings.  Why, you ask?  Well, that leads us to our second topic...

Not like, "Pull up a bar stool." 

Like "Hello, I'm Dr. WhatsHisName.  Do you have a fever?  A cough?  Stomach pains?  How is your stool?"  That sort of stool. 

Little Belle has started to eat a greater quantity of solid foods.  (Why are they called solid foods when they are watery mush?)  And of course, when what goes in is more solid, what comes out is more solid.  Among the 5 of you that read this, if you haven't had a 7 month old baby in your life recently, that solid-coming-out idea takes a bit of adjustment.  It requires a fairly complicated combination of flexing certain muscles while relaxing certain other areas. 

And you know what makes the process worse?  When the woman who is supposed to care for you and help you through these sorts of things THINKS that she is helping you by giving you applesauce repeatedly.  After all, apple juice helps D when traffic is a little backed up.  Unfortunately, this woman who is usually somewhat obsessive about researching things like this probably muttered something like, "This isn't rocket science," and continued to fill spoon after spoon with applesauce.  Follow that up with feeding her Baby Mum Mums, which are described as "Select Superior Rice Rusks" but are in actuality some sort of weird white condensed air that tastes like styrofoam.  Belle likes them. 

Had that mother googled "seven month old constipation"  she would have found thousands of web pages that all started the same way.  "Stop giving the baby things that cause constipation like applesauce and rice products." 

Crap.  Well, perhaps that isn't quite the right response.  'Never-gonna-crap' maybe.  Sorry Belle.  Now she is on a strict diet of prunes, pears and peas.  And while things aren't quite back to normal, the traffic report from her intestines would sound something like, "The deadlock that's been here forever is finally beginning to break up and we're seeing some of the traffic start to move.  There's still enough congestion that if you don't have to go out, stay home.  But if it's an emergency and you join the traffic flow, you will get to your destination eventually.  We hope." 

A week before Christmas I got a cold.  It goes without saying that I hate colds.  Colds are universally hated.  And the cold I got was a pathetically weak one.  Basically just filled up my sinuses and that's it.  No real sore throat or cough or anything.  Just snot.  Yuck. 

Medman rounded with an ear, nose and throat doctor a couple months ago who told him how often he recommends the use of a neti pot.   For anyone of you who doesn't know, a neti pot is a little pot of water that you basically pour up one nostril and the water comes running out the other, taking all sorts of bad things out with it.   My response? "Isn't that the thing that the guy on YouTube used to put coffee up his nose?"  Yes.  But that is not the recommended way to use one.

But the doctor told Medman that it is a highly effective (if sort of prehistoric) way of getting your sinuses cleared out, so Medman (who was congested at the time) tried it and reported that it was vaguely weird, but pretty easy and he did feel much better. 

Good for you, Medman.  I'm not sticking saline solution up my nose.   I've shot fluids out my nose before in unfortunate situations where people have made me laugh at the wrong time, and it is not something I would willingly do to myself.  But in Walgreens there is this video that runs nonstop of small children using neti pots with big smiles on their faces.  If a child can do it, can a rocket scientist?  I mean really, the idea of rinsing out your sinuses does make very logical, practical sense. 

So I tried it.  I stuck the saline solution in the lukewarm water and tilted my head and poured water into my nose.  And guess what?  It was vaguely weird but easy and it did make me feel much better.  Much, much better.  And my cold pretty much went from serious congestion to over in about 24 hours.  I'd have no reservations about doing it again. 

Those of you that dislike germs will be interested to know (if you are still reading this incredibly long post) that the flu virus multiplies in your sinuses for 3-4 days before you develop symptoms.  Therefore, rinsing your sinuses with a neti pot within a couple days of exposure to it will rinse out the virus and very much help your chances of not getting sick.  Vaguely weird neti pots are MUCH better than a bout of the flu.  That's my opinion. 


  1. We are big fans of the Neti pot, here, Janice. A good flush through has to help in some way.

  2. So I had a lot of fun hanging out with you too! We should make our trips frequent enough that when we hang out we actually get to the movie:) I do have to warn you about the nedi pot. Do not use if your nose is stuffed. Aaron used it and all the gook in his nose went into his ears...Yikes!


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