This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's all in my head (or at least my sinuses)

All weekend long I have been asking myself the same question:  how can I possibly produce this much mucus?  How is it possible that sinus cavities that are measured in millimeters can become this swollen and blocked?  And how am I getting any oxygen at all?  My nose is plugged, my tonsils are so swollen they are clearly blocking my airway.  I am probably breathing through my skin like a lizard.

The common cold has come to visit and my immune system has let it in.  I don't blame my immune system for failing.  I have been exposed a lot lately to so many different sick people that my living room began to resemble a doctor's office waiting room.   Every child that came to play was hacking and sneezing.  Every adult was pale, sweating, and blowing their nose.  Steve has been sick continuously since Christmas.  My daughter has spent more time at home lately than she has in school.  My immune system valiantly fought it all until this past weekend when a combination of too many germs, too little handwashing, too much sugar (ah yes, the sugar addiction haunts me still), and too little exercise all combined to create the perfect storm.  I have consumed so many liquids since Saturday evening that I feel like I'm floating.  I don't want to even look at another smoothie.  The thought of salt water makes me gag.  I've run so much saline through my nose that my eyes are floating.  Still I suffer.  Soon I will take another steamy shower with Olba's eucalyptus oil sprinkled liberally around the tub.  I walk around the house with eau du Vick's and a box of tissues.  And a water bottle.  Or cup of tea.  I have apologized profusely to my immune system for the sugar intake (I knew it was a mistake to make caramel corn and chocolate pretzel sticks for the kids last week...), taken Evening Primrose supplements to try to metabolize all that sugar, and now I wait.

See it's never my immune system failing me.  It's always me failing my immune system.  Our bodies are meant to work so perfectly that if we don't gunk them up they can fight off almost anything with little or no impact on our daily lives.  The caramel popcorn and chocolate dipped pretzels?  Well, they qualify as gunk.  The lack of exercise?  Well, that lymph fluid has to get around my body somehow and the only way it does is if I move.

So I'll just keep blowing my nose, thanking my body for producing all that mucus to trap bacteria.  And drinking fluids to keep hydrated and keep my lymph fluid from getting too sticky.  And walking around the house or even outside if the sun continues to shine to move that fluid around. 

I really am in awe of my body's amazing response to a viral threat.  I just wish it wasn't so messy and painful.


Sarcastic Bastard said...

Sorry you are sick. If it makes you feel any damn better, I am having my cataract surgery on Thursday. Yipee!

Beth said...

Hey SB, Will your cataract surgery also correct your vision, kind of a like a 2 for 1? I'll be thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

boil some water in a bowl and plop a glob of vicks the size of a dime in the water put your nose over the bowl with a dish towel pressed under your eyes and the towel over the bowl so the steam can be breathed in. Hope this makes sense it really clears you out as a matter of fact it drips so much it gets a little gross. good luck and feel better.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

It's supposed to, babe. Imagine me with no glasses (except maybe a pair to read) after all these years. Damn.

Love you.

Beth said...

Anonymous, thanks for that great tip. I just tried it and it works even better than adding Eucalyptus oil to my shower. I may have gotten a little carried away with my glob of Vicks, but oooo-wheee are my sinuses clear now!

Beth said...

SB, I can't wait to see you with no glasses. Always a silver lining my friend.

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it