Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sinus infection

I have a sinus infection. It was awful earlier this morning and into the afternoon. It's a little better now after taking a hot, steamy shower and eating a garlic clove(I eat about 1/3 of it whenever I'm beginning to feel some intense pressure in my forehead area-your spouse will keep their distance if you do this. Biting into, chewing and swallowing a piece of raw garlic is not an easy thing to do. But it's worth it). I also rinsed with my netti pot, completely cut out sugar and dairy for now, I'm taking extra vitamin C and drinking lots of fluids. I also recently bought an herb called Goldenseal and some diluted Colloidal Silver which I'm taking occasionally, but I'm not really sure how effective they are. The other things I listed provide a lot of instant relief.

Every year we've lived in Utah, I've gotten a sinus infection, which makes sense because the climate is so dang dry. I get them from colds-gone-worse and also from allergies. They feel awful: headache, low grade fever, my head feels really heavy, my ears sound all stuffed up, and I get so, so tired. I slept for a long time today before I figured out I figured out I had a sinus infection. I was then able to do a little research on things I could do to alleviate the pain and discomfort and did that.

I've also just read up on how to prevent sinus infections. I thought this information was really good so I'll share it here. If any of you struggle with sinus infections, read on. If you don't, just skip down to the next part that's not in Italics.

1.stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. This can help to keep plenty of moisture within your body and to ease the drainage of mucous that's commonly associated with sinus infections.
2.Use an electric humidifier to moisten the air in your home. Breathing dry air can add to the pain and discomfort of sinus infections. Your sinuses will be able to drain more completely when the air is full of moisture.
3.Attach electrostatic filters to your air conditioning vents. These specially designed filters can prevent allergens from being circulated throughout your home.
4.Avoid chemicals or environmental elements that can irritate your sinuses. Stay away from pollen or cigarette smoke. Avoid cleaning chemicals that can aggravate the inner linings of your sinuses.
5.Limit your alcohol intake. Even modest amounts of alcohol can cause swelling within the sinus membranes. Once these tender linings have been inflamed, you'll be much more susceptible to sinus infections.
6.Treat any symptoms of the common cold as soon as possible. One illness can quickly lead to another. Drink plenty of fluids, eat chicken soup and spend plenty of time relaxing in bed to keep a common cold from developing into a sinus infection.
7. Travel by car when possible to limit your time on airplanes. The pressure changes in an airplane's ascent and descent can cause pain within your sinuses and can lead to the clogging of the Eustachian tubes that connect your ears to the pharynx. Use inhalers or decongestant nasal sprays when you must fly.
8.Stay out of the pool. Chlorine and other chemicals found in pools can cause harm to your sinuses and contribute to infections.
9.Limit your dairy intake. While delicious and nutritious, dairy products can thicken mucous within your sinuses and create drainage problems. In turn, this can contribute to headaches and sinus pressure.
10.Give yourself regular steam treatments to help break up sinus congestion. For extra healing power, try infusing some herbal remedies, such as eucalyptus, peppermint or garlic, into your treatment plan.
11.Try to avoid exposing yourself to extreme climates. Exceptionally hot or cold weather can irritate the sinuses, leading to the development of sinus infections. Sudden temperature changes are especially harmful.

My kids all have some congestion right now too, and a couple of them have fevers. This week was not a good one, health wise, in our home. There were a couple different kinds of Valentine sugar cookies, treats from Elisabeth's class(I threw most of it away but some of it was eaten before I intervened), Annabelle's birthday cake, and we had pizza three times this week- 2 were homemade, but still, that's a lot of cheese which means a lot of mucus and if you're starting to get a cold, the mucus gets really bad, which is what happened to us. Normally we never have pizza more than once in a week but here's the reason for all the pizza this week: 1)Annabelle requested pizza for her birthday, 2) we got the papa murphy's heart-shaped pizza on valentine's(tradition) and 3)we had pizza on flat bread one day with my BYU roomies; something we had planned for awhile. Now that the prevention part has completely gone out the window, Scott and I have gotten serious and are doing everything in our power to help the kids get better fast: Warm home-made vegetable soups, no dairy, no sugar, lots of water etc. I'm pretty sure Annabelle has an ear infection because yesterday when she laid down for her nap, after about 15 minutes she woke up crying complaining that her ear was really hurting. She also had a little fever. I found some ear drops in my cupboard and administered that, along with some children's Tylenol. Later we did the drops again, but since then, she hasn't complained, and she has slept a couple of times without any problems. Her fever is gone, thank goodness. I'm going to hold off on going to the doctor unless I can't help with the pain. I really don't want to do antibiotics. Charlie had so many doses of antibiotics as a baby, increasingly stronger doses that didn't much of any good and he almost had to get tubes in his ears. So, if we can possibly avoid that scenario, and avoid antibiotics that kill not only the bad, but the good also, I think we all would feel better. I found this quote on Wikipedia when I looked up 'antibiotics'.
The first rule of antibiotics is try not to use them, and the second rule is try not to use too many of them.
—Paul L. Marino, The ICU Book

Having sick kids is not fun. Especially when all four of them are sick. And when I'm sick. But Scott has been wonderful and Becca helped a lot too when she was here. Jane is the only child who hasn't gotten a fever. Our kids always seem to get sick around Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's and their birthdays, unfortunately...all very sugar/sweet oriented holidays. This was the first year Charlie wasn't really sick on his birthday. Each one of us only had one small piece of cake on Annabelle's birthday and then we gave the rest away. But with Valentine's being a couple days earlier, it was still too much. I need to figure out what to do in the future to prevent this from happening- from having us all get sick from weakened and slowed immune systems(sugar dramatically slows the immune system). If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.


April said...

Hey, sorry about the sickness. Tate got the fever today and was acting like his ears hurt. We must have shared a bug at our meeting. I started him on our herbs and he is doing well. Did you get to Dave's?

Also, I posted a reply to your question on my blog. :)

April said...

P.S. I'm not mad that Tate got sick. It happens. You never know where these things come from, and it just gets passed along. It's giving their (and our) immune systems a chance to grow stronger, right?

Elisa said...

April, no, I called Dave's and asked a woman about the D90 (that's what it's called, right?). She didn't really know what I was talking about. Maybe I need to talk to Dave. The woman told me some ingredients in a couple of things they had for ear aches, but then I remembered I had some old ear ache medicine in my cupboard, so went with that instead.

I'm sorry Tate is sick. Perhaps it was my kids that passed it to him. It's so hard because many times you don't know someone is sick until it's too late. The other night, when we all seemed healthy, I finished Elisabeth's pizza for her. The next morning she was feverish and congested, and then I got it too, a day later. Ugh.

I'll check your post for the reply. Thanks April!

The Horne's said...

Elisa, we do collodial silver too. If we feel something coming on, we will take it 3x a day. And it at least helps SHORTEN the length of the sickness. We have a friend who makes the silver, and then you always have to be sure to not put it in plastic, but take from a glass cup, or something glass. It's not something you should take every day always, but when you feel like you are getting sick, we really feel it helps us.

The Horne's said...
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BAWC said...

The ICU Book, huh? I have a lovely copy of that right here on my shelf. I am not into using antibiotics much either. My mom used to use colliodial silver (among other things) on us growing up too.

Elisa said...

April G., of course I should have guessed you had that book since you're a nurse. I also have a friend who is an E.R. doctor who doesn't like antibiotics and won't ever prescribe them to his children when they have ear infections. He says they'll get over it soon enough...though I'm guessing he might give them something to help with pain? I don't really know.