I Must Write And My Nose Won’t Work

citypark april 2018

Coming at you this morning from sunny springtime snowbound Colorado, to tell you why the cat ate my homework.  Or at least the sinus infection did.

I really do not willfully set myself up to get these horrible infections and lose time off work.  The problem is that the symptoms of sinus infection (or ear infection, or throat infection) are easy to confuse, at its onset with the symptoms of auto-immune.

Since for the last two months we’ve been going from family issue to family issue (now in a lull and none of it relating to our marriage.  Just relatives and things happening) and on high stress mode, I assumed that the stuffiness, inability to breathe, etc were in fact just autoimmune.  A course of pred knocked back the symptoms enough that my hands stopped having holes in them, but then some fresh hell put eczema all over my arms.

It wasn’t until three days ago I realized I had a fever, and that the symptoms, including the need to sleep ALL the time were much like those of sinus infection.  Yes, I’ve been irrigating, etc, but it was so dry-and-dense that nothing came out.

So, antibiotics acquired.  I was also told to stay on mucinex.  And there hangs a problem, because mucinex makes me extremely dizzy and unable to concentrate.

The dizziness goes away when I stop it, so it’s definitely it, but I’m not sure what to do about it, since I’m fairly sure I need to dissolve the crud in my nose.  But mucinex makes it impossible to work.

Anyway, that’s why the books that were supposed to come out the last two months haven’t.  I’m going to see if I find something else that allows me to breath but also to write.

At any rate it’s a lovely writing weekend.  I’d planned on dragging older son to the zoo today, but I don’t think I’ll be able to convince him it’s a great idea to go out in the snow.

So this is my non-post post.  And now I’m going to have some coffee and attempt to work.


99 thoughts on “I Must Write And My Nose Won’t Work

  1. I sympathize. While not as severe as an outright infection (at least I sure hope this isn’t an infection), evidently it is being Spring at me despite the recent snows here and the Great Purchase of the morning (delayed thanks to jerks ruining good medicine by making & using bad from it) was pseudoephedrine. There is only so much hot shower, hot tea, and even hot sauce can do.

  2. Is that anything like ‘I have no mouth and I must sceam’?

    Seriously; netti pot. It takes a bit to get used to pouring water into your nose, but if you can get beyond the feeling that you are waterboarding yourself, it can really help with clearing crud out of the sinuses.

    I was a sceptic, but this seems to be one of the non-mainstream Medical things that stands up to study.

    1. I use one. Actually a power pulsating one. Twice a day. This thing still attacked me.
      Medical son has been doing rotations in pediatrics, AND I was just coming off a pred course. Bad conjunction.

      1. Medical son is in rotations?? He’s *that* far along? Interning? (And just the other day he was going the prom; wait, that was my two girls. No really, a week or two. I got pictures.)

      2. I sympathize, the two sickest periods of my life were the year spent working school-aged daycare and my peds rotation. Litlle’uns may be humanity’s future, but they are also walking petri dishes. Stay the course on the antibiotics and hope he moves into something less inherently infectious soon,

    2. Between a wet end of winter and other issues, my sinuses weren’t happy. The left side is now OK, but it seems the excess from my eye drops is making it to the right side. I used saline nose spray last night to flush out the residue and it was better.

      I’m not fond of the 12 hour Mucinex (not sure why they have the monopoly on the time-release version. Humibid LA was “dirt cheap” when it was under prescription). However, I use and like the short-acting guaifenesin tablets. Costco and other pharmacies have similar products.

      1. Dang. I have found that Mucinex is one of the ones I can take, and the 12 hour formula works to let me sleep through the night. Sudafed stupefies me and makes my head feel even worse.

        1. Same here. Though I have found that I get better results if I switch out sinus meds every year or so.

          That pic looked remarkably similar to what I saw when I looked out my window this morning. I think we’ve gotten more snow in April than we’ve had in the previous 3 months. Really glad I pushed my move to June instead of Monday!

          1. I looked out the window to discover that we have a coating, but this time it is not of frozen water. Green season has finally arrived.

            We are supposed to get rain everyday this week, a six of one, half a dozen of the other situation. It will help wash some of the pollen down — but it will also fuel the production.

            1. Yep, all three cars in our driveway are now trending the same color. The white one, the blue one, and the dark silver one – now all fluorescent yellow-green.

      1. Oxygen works much more efficiently than hydrogen sulfide. And you avoid the rotten egg smell too.

  3. Please, don’t deny your body the oxygen. We would miss you. And not just because I am still waiting for your next book.

  4. Oxygen? That stuff’s terrible! Have you seen what it will do to iron? Even worse, it is addictive. When I was just a little tot they physically beat me to get me started on that stuff and I’ve been unable to get off it for almost sixty-five years now. Check the record: nobody goes through withdrawal without dying!

    1. N.B., the above comment is supposed to be in reply to Sarah remark at 12:15. Apparently caffeine deprivation causes cognitive processing failures nearly as profound as those accompanying O2 withdrawal.

      1. I think it may be a branding issue. When our demonstrators demand to know, “Who’s in favor of the Big O?” the most common responses seem to be cheers and gasps of “Oh God, yes, please, yes!”

        1. There was a two season cartoon series from Japan that the English name for it was “Big O” (it may have been a literal one). I suspect it was named that by a Japanese person who didn’t understand what that was slang for. It was an interesting story line but intentionally left some questions un-answered at the end.
          Not sure referring to the Big Oxygen Lobby as the Big O2 would be much better but at least chemists would probably get it.


            Though the Cartoon Network airing changed “God” to “Good” because anything remotely Christian is baaaaad I guess.

      2. “Will nobody stand up the Big Oxygen lobby?”

        We tried, but their stupid “Save the trees” counterattack had better PR.

            1. Ever hear about “deathworlders.com”?

              It’s a site that contains various stories based on the idea that Earth is what other aliens call a Deathworld.

              Besides a higher gravity than most of the aliens’ home worlds, Earth animals (including humans) and Earth vegetation can be very deadly toward alien lifeforms.

              In one part of the main story “The Deathworlders”, an alien assassin gets trapped in a “greenhouse” containing various Earth plants (including trees) by his intended victim.

              What would just give humans a case of hayfever killed the alien assassin. 👿

      1. Hal Clement wrote a story about an exploration team that discovered a hell planet. The atmosphere was laced with a gas so corrosive it would turn ferrous alloys to powder, and 3/4 of the planet was “oceans” of powerful solvent. Incredibly, it bore a form of intelligent life…

  5. How many times do we have to tell you to take care of yourself? [Somewhat Kidding Grin]

  6. So strange! In Poland, we have a nice summer this spring (temperatures well over 23 C (so over 73 F) (and my allergies are killing me). So where is the actual spring?

  7. *exhausted wave* My greeting from a couple hours away, but still in the state of sinus infection. Here’s to living in the antibiotic era!

    We’re getting cold rain instead of snow. I’ll stay inside and watch it through the window, all the same! (The cats are quite grumpy at me, because I won’t open the window to their favourite channel of smell-o-vision. And if I do, I have the cold, wet episode playing instead of the warm, sunbeam-filled episode, or the one with the birds in the bushes right outside the window. All my fault, you know.)

      1. The preferred window for the cats is on the upwind side of the house. The birds, not being fools, prefer to roost in the lee of the house. So when the wind is driving rain into everything, there are no birds in the bushes… and opening the window would let the rain in.

        Explaining this to the cats does not make them happier.

  8. I see from the entrails of dead trees that Earth Day is rapidly approaching, which causes me to wonder what plans Huns have for the festivities. I know many enjoy burning fossil fuels in order to warm the place up to a tolerable level, and no few among us enjoy providing safe harbor to feline prowlers, terrorists of fluffy feathered virus vectors.

    My family plans to do what we always do: ignore another pagan celebration.

    1. I will be incidentally engaging in Earth Day, as I transplant a Sassafras tree that grew up in the middle of the ground that didn’t get tilled in my garden last year (rototiller broke down, and alternate rototiller is ill-suited to the heavy clay soil in this area, so we only tilled enough to grow a few tomatoes and peppers). I would wait and do it on Arbor Day, but as I am now only two rows of tilling from it this year, it needs to get out of the way sooner, rather than later.

      Several of the trees in my yard have died over the past several years, for no known reason, except perhaps the tree I tentatively identified as a Black Ash, due to the Emerald Ash Borer, so I am engaging in a campaign to replant. And, since this one volunteered, I’m going to use it.

      1. I find Sassafras to be too brittle to make a good yard tree. You certainly don’t want it anywhere near the house; nor do you want kids trying to climb it as the limbs break too easily. Maple and beech work well; and maples are fast growers.

        1. No young kids to be climbing, and it’s going down on the hillside.

          I’m going to be replacing a couple of Maples, I’m going to try to start a hickory from the nut, and I need to plant a couple of pines to block the view of the subdivision behind me, but that’s going to be a multi-year project.

          1. What sort of tree might grow if I planted a SJW nut? I know it might be brittle with a poisonous fruit, but is it worth experimenting?

            On a side note, do they really need to be planted 6 foot deep?

            1. Bradford pear, i suspect. The blossoms smell of sewage, the fruit is inedible and the limbs are structurally unsound and prone to break and fall against the house.

              … When Bradford pear was introduced as an ornamental in 1964 by the US Department of Agriculture, it was known then that this tree possessed the weakest branch structure in nature. Also, the tree was assumed to be sterile. Bradford pears will seldom last more than 20 years before they bust themselves apart at the seams. That’s actually the good news.

              In an attempt to extend the lifespan of this despicable tree, other varieties such as Cleveland Select, etc. were introduced. These trees will live for about 25 years. That’s little consolation for the resulting disasters that happened when these other pear varieties were introduced.


              However, the fact that Bradford pear trees are short lived and dangerous is not the real reason that these trees are such a disaster. The problem is that these trees are in fact not sterile. No two Bradford pears will ever reproduce among themselves, but they do cross pollinate with every other pear tree out there, including the Cleveland Select pear trees that were meant to be the salvation of flowering pears everywhere. The introduction of other pear varieties has compounded the problem to the point where it is almost too late to rectify.

              Because of the cross pollination problem, pear trees have now proliferated exponentially across our environment. And, to make matters worse, the evil offspring has reverted to the ancient Chinese Callery pears which form impenetrable thorny thickets that choke out the life out of pines, dogwoods, maples, redbuds, oaks, hickories, etc.

              When you see those fields of white flowering trees, please don’t get giddy with excitement over pretty white flowers. What you are looking at are Callery pears destroying nature. Callery pears have 4 inch thorns. They can’t be mowed down. Those thorns will shred John Deere tractor tires. They can only be removed by steel tracked dozers, decreasing the value of agricultural or forest land to the tune of $3,000 per acre.

              And, make no mistake about this. That solitary Bradford pear growing in your yard is what caused this problem. …

            2. no, they would be fragile, bland and all taste exactly the same, and any of them that dare taste different would fall off the tree.

    1. May only be good for milder allergy symptoms, but Quercetin has been a real help for me – one of the most interesting differences is in my voice quality, of all things.

    2. Flonase… um… lowers the immune system. So it’s okay if you have an overactive immune system from allergies, but not so great if you have a tendency to get sick.

  9. At least now you know what the real problem is, so you can take care of it the right way. Do whatever you need to, and get well. Hope you feel better soon.

    1. I’d second this, but you probably don’t want whatever this stuff is my teens brought back from school. Although, with my luck, it could be a sinus infection (I’m due for one this year) on top of the stomach bug from last month.

      Don’t y’all just love kids? I’m still trying to figure out what I did to mine to make them seek revenge like this.

      1. Ahem. The Party approves of and relies upon bad thinkers. It is thinkers of bad thoughts that the party condemns.

  10. Nice weather here today, melting much of the snow we got last weekend.
    2 feet plus on sunday alone.

    That looks like over by First Street or up on the shore of the Green Bay north side of town.
    Mucinex makes me stupid and nervous. Can’t take it.

    1. When I got a cold at the same time as a roaring reaction to the pneumonia shot (102F fever), the short-acting straight guaifenesin tablets were out of stock at the pharmacy. Had a hard time finding just-plain Mucinex; they wanted to add a decongestant or dextromethorphan. I can’t handle the decongestant and dislike the DM. Guaifenesin Just Works. I used to use Humabid LA frequently with no ill effects, but Mucinex seems rougher. OTOH, it’s been 15 years since I had a prescription for Humabid…

      We had wet snow/rainy weather last weekend, but it’s nice now. We’re up to light drought conditions, so any more rain will be appreciated. I wouldn’t mind Camelot rain hours, though. 🙂

      1. The worst reaction I’ve had so far has been to PrilosecOTC, but it took time to happen, one Mucinex will do its damage in one dose.
        I missed work because I got highly nervous, Anxiety, and couldn’t complete simple tasks or think straight. I hit a point I told the bosses I had to leave and try to find out what was wrong. First thing I did was sit and try to think of what I had changed in any way, and the only thing was I had been visiting the Parents and my sisters in Memphis, and they were talking about how well Prilosec had worked for them, and Dad was on it as well due to other medication.
        I had just started taking it and directions were a pill a day for a week and then iirc a pill a week. I was five or six days into the start-up.
        So I hit the web looking for known side effects and there it was.
        I stopped taking it, was able to go to work after another day off, and after a few weeks I felt normal again. Zantac can also affect me but far less, and only if I take it several days in a row.

        1. The only reaction I had to Prilosec had the hallmarks of Magnesium deficiency, though I never had it tested, but now that I take a Magnesium supplement, I don’t have that problem (I take it daily, or things get bad).

          1. once I stopped taking anything but marble dust (Preferred chewy Alka Seltzer mint and they stopped making it) for my heartburn, I suffered a few months of misery, I now rarely need to take anything. I also think they cause a worse reaction when you stop than what would occur naturally.

      2. Walmart has been selling quick-acting guaifenesin capsules, in very small bottles, for a buck or so. In the discount bin over by the cash registers. Buy a bunch, stock up.

        1. Costco sells a double-bottle box of those. $SPOUSE and I both use them, so we keep a good stash on hand. (That’s also where we get ibuprofen and acetaminophen, the former to keep arthritis under control. FWIW, ibuprofen + acetaminophen is damned near as good as vicoden in pain relief, and a lot safer.)

  11. I took a half a Zirtec, and I guess I didn’t need all of it because I’m sleepy or maybe I would be sleepy anyway. I did get the dogs their ivermectin for the month earlier.

    Gotta get some work done. Later ‘gators.

    1. Oh, ticks are active in eastern NC; so be glad if you have snow, you probably won’t find any ticks on your person when you come in tonight.

      1. Central NC here, and I am really hoping that those March snows we had hopefully helped to reduce the various nasties.

        1. Well, our *air* temperatures were colder than Raleigh’s by about 15 or 20 degrees Fahrenheit back in January during that first lingering snow. Mind you, I don’t think it got to zero under the snow or under the leaf litter where the creepy crawlies (or their eggs) spend the winter. I’m itching now, on the opposite side of my leg from where I detached one Friday. Blech.

          Still, all that cold must have thinned out the mosquitoes at least some.

      2. Oh jeeze. That’s all Sarah needs, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, or Lyme on top of immune problems.

  12. We got rain!!!!!!! And humidity! Yeah. It has been six months since we got serious rainfall, and this last week has been too fire-rich for anyone’s own good. (Two towns are looking for an arsonist. Be curious to see what happens if one is found and convicted…)

    1. Are you sure the arsonist will make it to the jail?

      There was a large (2000 acre) fire that destroyed several homes in the area. A couple of guys were reported to have been playing with fireworks that day (July 14, no less) when it started.

      To date, neither of the fireworks guys have been found. I’m guessing it wasn’t a shallow grave.

      1. Shoot, shovel, and shut-up might well transpire, but I’m not going to ask. Especially if the huge fire in OK that killed two people proves to be arson.

  13. I only take mucinex for no more than three days because it makes my brain groggy. Since a lot of my meds do that… umm well I don’t like to take something that just adds to the confusion. Sending you good vibes.

  14. I hope your nose decides to straighten up and fly right, ASAP. It’s really hard to get the rest and repair you need when so much work that other people are counting on is hanging over you.

  15. Sympathies, Sarah! Me, I can’t wait to move out of this house we’re in (and the city!) – we found out rather late in the day that the place was pretty much a crazy cat lady haven, and sure, the place is supposedly new carpets and the interiors cleaned, but the front yard and back were basically cat toilets, the garage their feeding station, and had free roam of the house – so the vents will still have their dander and fur. I’m not allergic to cats, but ever since we moved in, I’ve a persistent cough and sniffles, and Rhys has been suffering.

    1. There are companies that will suck all the stuff out of your vents. Pricey, but makes a big difference. (My parents did it about ten years ago, and it made it seem like a new house.)

    2. If the yards were cat toilets, you may want to avoid going barefoot in them, as cat hookworm larvae can infect humans, even though the worms can only complete their life cycle in cats.
      An infestation can cause horrendous itching of the skin as the worms surface. ( instead of exiting in the cat poo ).

      1. We don’t go barefoot in the yard, but Rhys is the one who mows the lawn (I’m too short to push the mower properly, and there’s something in the lawns that cause Housemate horrible hayfever), and he wears flipflops. I’ll have to ask him if he’s been checked.

  16. Allegedly jewelweed soap is really good for eczema. Also burdock root, applied topically.

    Traditional Medicinals Breathe Easy tea is full of eucalyptus, fennel, and licorice on the Western side, and a Chinese sinus medicine herb combo on the Eastern side. I always took it during colds and flu and sinus infections, because it is super soothing and aromatic. I only recently found out you’re supposed to use it all the time to help regular sinus.

    Anyway, you don’t even have to drink it, if you’re worried about carbs (there are some little dried bits of cocklebur fruit and schisandra fruit included in the Chinese combo). You can just stick it in a bowl of water and breathe it. Makes the whole room smell like medicine, but tasty medicine if you like black licorice.

    1. I think it’s the same brand, but I’ve started relying on a Throat Coat tea. The ingrediants include slippery elm and licorice. (Not at my tea cupboard.)

      Works better for me than mucenix.

      Heck, I seem to get positive results from fewer medicines with every passing month. I may have to take up herbalism in self-preservation!

      1. Yup, same brand. Tons of singers swear by Throat Coat. It is very soothing.

        Herbs have their own problems, but sometimes they really help. It depends a lot on what agrees with your body. I like slippery elm too.

        And of course, the biggest advantage of teas is that you drink more water, and hot water at that. Washes everything out and steams out your breathing passages.

        1. Mulberry leaf tea works for me and it tastes just like green tea. The mucus thinning lasts about 4 hours.

  17. If you get recurring sinus infections on the same side, consider the possibility that a tooth has exposed roots in it. Happened to me.
    Discovered it when I broke an upper molar on a hard candy, and it didn’t hurt. Tooth had died at some point, and the dentist thought the roots might have been long enough to reach the sinus cavity. Looking at the x-rays suggested he was correct, and sneezing a day later blew the socket plug out, confirming it.
    Much less drama from my sinuses now. No obvious infections, and no debilitating sinus pressure. No longer need to flush with the WaterPik (self-waterboarding).

    Decades of sinus problems from a stupid overgrown tooth!

    1. I’ve come to the conclusion I need to go to the dentist, anyway. Like with getting my hair cut, I tend to forget, sometimes for years.
      But I get infections on both sides. I think my nose is just badly designed, resulting from a collision between the middle east and africa.

  18. It would be so nice if your sinuses could be taken out and washed thoroughly, then returned – sorta like one of those reusable a/c filters.

    I went about a year with an undiagnosed sinus infection once. I went to the doc when someone pointed out “Eeewww! It’s not supposed to be that color!” and the suffering had gotten to be too much.
    Antibiotics are great.
    That’s also when I started learning about probiotics, since he had to give me a powerful enough antibiotic it would knock out ALL the bacteria in my system, including the nominally good stuff.

    I’ve taken several of the OTC medicines for my sinus problems over the years. I’m doing Claritin now as a regular dosing. (I have HIGH histamine, evidently. Very, very high.)

    I hope you feel better, Sarah. Soon.

Comments are closed.