This week my right ear has decided to be an asshole. I’m used to the left ear doing crazy ass shit with the clogging up and the hearing loss and the constant ringing, but this week the right ear decides to get in on the action. I’ve had two severe vertigo attacks that were immediately preceded by a clogged ear and I’m starting to get a little worried. The ENT is useless when it comes to inner ear crap – totally useless – and the amazing Rebecca sent me the information to contact her amazing doctor but I just haven’t had time to make it happen.
One thing I’ve been hearing a lot about is the neti pot. I won’t lie – the thing scares me. I look at it and have to ask – “I’m supposed to fill that with WHAT and stick it WHERE????” But suddenly my ear clogs up and I’m too scared to move and I figure it’s time to give it a try – just in case.
I haul my ass out to CVS at 9 PM because that’s where I want to spend my evening – and I wander through the cold remedy aisle. I’m not a fan of most cold medicines because they make me tired or wired and let’s face it – I’ve got enough crap to deal with without chemical highs and lows. I find the selection of neti and neti-type pots and find myself a little perturbed that there is a large selection. I then spend about 30 minutes sitting on a floor in CVS because I just can’t make a choice. After reading all of the boxes thoroughly I decide to go with the CVS brand because truth be told, I’m just cheap.
I get home and stare at the package for a bit, still trying to get over the whole I’m supposed to stick that WHERE (don’t worry folks – I promise I will never be trying an enema) and decide to man up. I then realize that I forgot to buy super special water. Not a problem – look around the kitchen and grab a bottle of drinking water and decide to call it good. I mix the packet with 8 ounces, stare at the directions a little more, position myself over the kitchen sink – JUST like in the picture – stick the bottle in my right nostril and tilt my head.
The solution flows into my right nostril – and out of my left nostril – just like the instructions said they would. I’m quite excited at this point because I have saline solution squirting out my nose. I’m not sure if it’s going to do anything wonderful other than squirt out of my nose, but at least it’s working. After letting it flow and blowing my nose, I decide it’s time to take on the other nostril.
You know the point in the horror movie where you want to start screaming at the screen “DON’T GO FOR A WALK DOWN THAT DARK DESERTED PATH ALONE”. That’s the point we are at here. I was filled with confidence – I knew I had it – I figured I was invincible. I was so so very wrong.
I mounted the pot in my left nostril, just like the right. I leaned over the sink and assumed the position. No not that position – you sicko – the one from the instructions. I was ready to go. I stuck the pot in my nose and tilted my head. The saline water began to flow up through the left nostril – but wait – what’s going on. It’s not flowing out my right nostril. I’m confused now, because I’m not tasting saline water, where is this all going? I’m tilting, I can hear the water going in, but it’s NOT COMING OUT.
A smarter woman would stop. Again, brutal facts, I’m not a smart woman. I keep going, pouring water up through my left nostril, waiting patiently for it to shoot out my right nostril – but nothing happens. I continue to pour saline solution into my head, desperate to find relief from the ear issues I have – but the solution isn’t coming out. If the definition of insanity is doing something over and over while expecting different results, then I am completely and totally insane. I poured about 4 oz of saline into my head, I emptied that damn neti pot, and the saline never came out.
At this point, I can hear the water swishing around in my head. At least I convince myself that I can hear it, it may have just all been in my head. I don’t know. I can’t find kleenix so I’m grabbing paper towels so I can try to blow all of this out. I blow and blow but my head still feels like it’s swimming. I swear I can feel this stuff dripping out of my ear, even though my ear is dry on the outside. I'm jumping around the kitchen, shaking my head, trying to get the fluid to move. I'm snorting and blowing in every direction and I feel a little bit of saline dripping down my throat, and I'm gagging and starting to cough, but it's just a little bit of the saline - not enough to give me any relief. The inside of my right ear is burning and itching like crazy and I want to scratch it – but don’t know how. I break the cardinal rule of ears and grab a q-tip and stick it into my ear canal – trying to get at the itch – but there’s no relief. I blow my nose again and again but still nothing. After about 30 minutes of constant nose blowing, I have a nose that looks like Rudolph’s and my right ear is clogged, burning and itching. And the left ear is still being an asshole.
Right now, 12 hours later, I think I’m worse off than when I started. My ear is still clogged. It still itches. It still feels wet. I can’t see myself ever willingly inflicting that on myself again unless I can figure out where I went wrong. And part of me thinks that was buying the damn thing in the first place. Will there be any relief from my asshole ears? Doubt it. In the meantime I’m going to have to assume that the neti pot is a quack failure or I’m a neti pot failure…..