Neti Pot Virgin No More

The Oprah Show is where I saw Dr. Oz talking about the Neti Pot, or nose bidet as Oprah called it. If you’d like to reminisce here is a little Oprah nostalgia for you:

My first thought was -No way. There is no way that pouring water up their nose is making such a big difference for these people. Although I enjoyed the clip, I put it out of my mind. Over the years I’ve met others who have expressed their love of the Neti, including my own sister. They said it was the best thing they ever did, it changed their life, they can’t live without it. I started to think maybe my first reaction to the Neti Pot was wrong.

A couple of years ago I saw my doctor because I was sick for a couple of months with a head cold and cough. She informed me it was not a head cold, it was allergies causing nasal congestion, and post nasal drip was causing my cough. Allergies! I’m not allergic to anything. Or so I thought. I was sent for allergy testing and found out that I was indeed allergic to dogs and dust. At that time I had a severe sinus infection, it was so bad that I actually had to have a cat scan done to check the severity. It was my first cat scan, and I have to admit it was kind of fun. Being inside that machine, I could hear it whirling around, making a racket, and all I could think of was being beamed up to the enterprise. “Beam me up Scotty!”

The doctor showed me the picture of my sinuses, which looked something like this:

Cat scan of sinuses (not mine just some random picture on Google).

Cat scan of sinuses (not mine just some random picture on Google).

I learned that the sinuses on one side of my head are too small – and this is why I have trouble with rhinitis and sinus infections. They simply cannot drain properly.

The doctor asked if I had ever used a Neti Pot. Once again, this little pot came into my life. You’d think by this point I would have went and bought one. NOPE.

I thought that I wouldn’t be able to do it. For some reason I thought it would be hard. I didn’t think I could remain calm enough to let water go up my nose and back out again. I can’t even handle water getting in my nose when I’m swimming! Let alone put water up there on purpose. The idea seemed completely ludicrous.

I struggled with my sinuses many times over the past two years since my cat scan. My sister kept talking about her Neti Pot, I kept putting it off. It was all great fun, until,  a few weeks ago I ended up with a head cold. I had started working at the school part-time, and volunteering at the school frequently, so I knew getting sick was a possibility. Kids are gross, they wipe their nose, don’t wash their hands, and touch things. germs

I did everything I could to try and avoid the sickness: using hand sanitizer constantly, taking extra vitamins, going to bed at a decent hour, eating good food, drinking lots of water. I awoke one morning to a stuffy nose, pain in my face…CRAP. I immediately took one of my decongestants, and carried on with my day. For the first week I didn’t feel that bad. I kept taking my decongestant every day, my nose was runny, but it wasn’t all that bad.

Then one day, I opened my eyes, my throat was as dry as sand paper. I had been mouth breathing all night because my nose was 100% blocked. My ears hurt, the left ear was completely blocked. I was exhausted, muscles hurt, throat was killing me, and fever. Oh no. I’m sick.

When my sinuses get clogged that badly my vertigo acts up. Thankfully my husband was off, and he is the best. He cooked the entire Thanksgiving dinner. He did the cooking, a little bit of cleaning, and took care of me. After three days of feeling like death I made a visit to my family doctor, who thinks it may be tonsillitis or strep, but most definitely sinus congestion. She prescribes penicillin and off I go home.

After taking the penicillin for a few days the only thing that improved was my throat. My ears still hurt, and I couldn’t hear anything out of the left ear. My vertigo made me feel like I was walking on a boat during a storm. The clogged sinuses had to be the most frustrating though. I tried three different allergy medications, two different decongestants, I took a hot shower, I took a hot bath, I did cold compresses, I did warm compresses, I hung my head over a steamy sink. Finally, I decided, it was time to Neti.

I went to the pharmacy and bought a Neilmed NasaFlo Neti Pot. It came with the pot and 50 premixed packets of the sinus rinse.

neti potAccording to the box it is preservative free and says to use the Neti Pot for:

  • Nasal Allergies, dryness & hay fever
  • sinus pressure & nasal stuffiness
  • nasal symptoms from flu & cold
  • nasal irritation from dust, fumes, animal dander, grass, pollen, smoke, etc.
  • post nasal drip & nasal congestion

DO NOT USE TAP WATER! You need to use distilled, micro-filtered, commercially bottled or previously boiled water. (boiled for at least 5 minutes and cooled down).

USE WARM water. Cold water can give you a head rush.

Here is the instructional video made by the company who made this particular Neti Pot:

Day 1: The first time I use the Neti Pot nothing comes out of the other side. I was 100% blocked. I had my husband try it just to make sure it actually does work – and it worked for him. So I kept trying it every few hours. After 5 or 6 times, I finally started to see drips of water coming out the other nostril! Progress!

Day 2: More drips coming out. At one point I had a tiny stream coming out. And it feels AMAZING.

I am thoroughly impressed with how well this little pot unclogged my sinuses. IT DOES NOT HURT AT ALL. It actually feels refreshing! I will be continuing to use my Neti Pot every single day and hopefully this cold season will be better thanks to this little pot 🙂


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