Monday, January 18, 2010

The Toothache That Wasn't

Yesterday I was watching the Vikings game (go Vikes!) when a horrible toothache overcame me. I kept complaining to Brian about how I've never had a toothache and this one really hurt.

I have awesome teeth. I rarely go to the dentist and when I do I always get a clean bill. Wouldn't ya know it, just as soon as Brian switches jobs and we lose our out-of-this-world dental benefits my tooth decides to ache.

I continued to watch the game and the pain continued to worsen. I kept fingering my upper left molars, the area of the pain, to see if maybe I could feel the source. But everything felt normal to me.

When the game was over (we won -- whoop! whoop!) I caved to the pain and took some ibuprofen. Fun fact about me: I rarely pop pills. Ibuprofen, for me, is saved for a certain time of the month and post red wine. What is it about red wine that gives off the worst headaches? Even just one glass will do me in. Don't worry red wine. I still love thee.

So I swallowed the pills and hopped in the shower to get ready for Sunday evening mass. In the shower I grabbed my facial soap and began lathering up. Mid-lather I noticed that not only did my tooth still ache but so did the entire left side of my face. That's when I put it all together.

I didn't have a cavity. I didn't need a root canal. I didn't even need a dentist. I had a sinus infection.

I was very sick with the cold/flu for a few days two weeks ago but have felt fine ever since. Except my voice was still a bit raspy and I had small coughing fits and I could blow things out of my nose that should not come out of a nose.

I don't believe I've ever had a sinus infection, in fact, after feeling that pain I'm certain I haven't because I would have remembered that kind of pain.

Not wanting to waste time and money on a doctor's visit and subsequent prescription of antibiotics I sent Brian to Walgreen's in search of a Neti Pot. Have you heard of these? I've never used one but, as an allergy sufferer, I've always been intrigued.

He came home $15 poorer and after dinner I gave it a shot. Before I used it I prayed that it would not feel like I just jumped into the deep end of a pool and forgot to plug my nose. Is that not the worst feeling in the world?

When the water first hit the back of my nose I felt that familiar water-up-my-nose feeling. But then, it went away. And then when the water started flowing out of my other nostril it actually felt pretty good.

Now for the money quote. When I was finished doing both sides my pain was gone entirely. No drugs. No doctors. Pain, gone.

And so there you have it. That's how I became one of those hippie, granola, homeopathic people.

So tell me, Neti Pot users of the world, has this plastic little pot changed your life? Do you use it daily or only seasonally or only when you think you're coming down with something? Do tell.


  1. My Father-In-Law uses one and says he loves it; almost obessively. Like it is the best thing in the world. I've used one a couple of times and actually gotten sick afterwards. I've sworn it off since then. Maybe I used it wrong, but I don't think so. My husband uses it from time to time and says it seems to help. I can't say one way or the other if it really works. I prefer a nice steam tent, hot tea, some strong nose blowing, and time.

  2. Yes! The Neti Pot! In my first trimester of what I thought was perhaps a death sentence, I got a HORRIBLE cold. I'm talking one nostril was always plugged all night long. I was going to die (you really could not have convinced me otherwise). I, too, am not a pill-popper, and when you are fresh preggers I for sure wasn't going to take anything. Low and behold, I got the Neti Pot and some Breathe-Right strips. It unpluggged me and it was glorious because I could actually sleep! Stacy swears by it, all the yogis are doin' it!

  3. One more vote for neti! I am all over trying all the natural stuff first and not just assuming there's a pill etc. Not saying there's never a time to medicate just feel like it's best to know all your options.
    Even with chronic sinusitis I know there are options like balloon sinuplasty that are supposed to help the nasal passages function better without invasive surgery or cutting.
    Crazy stuff! Best of luck and stay dry everybody....

  4. Ok, I am a 100 years behind on reading your blogs because work has forced me actually be a productive employee. I discovered the neti pot almost 3 years ago and I've never looked back. During allergy season I use is daily, otherwise I just use it for a few days once I start to feel the sniffles coming on. It has been such a blessing during pregnancy since my favorite drugs are banned. Keep it up. You'll learn to love it more!


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