I laughed quite hard last month when Tim Blair complained that his sinuses were blocked to the point where he could only breathe through his eyes.
I was quite amused by all the suggestions for sinus irrigation, which seemed to consist of squirting a large volume of salty water up each nostril.
More ha ha.
Then the bloody flu hit me last week. Like a hammer. I've spent most of the past week in bed suffering from the shakes, the chills, the sweats, the overwhelming desire to vomit and the most god-awful headaches that drugs don't even put a dent in. And to cap it off, there is snot production of the likes the world has never seen before. If I can breathe through my nose, it means it's dripping like a tap. If I can't breathe through my nose, it's blocked so tightly with dried snot that a session with an electric drill wouldn't make much impact. Breathing through the eyes is problematic because even they have been getting gummed up with some sort of dreadful goo. I have to soak it off my eyelids and eyelashes at 3 in the morning because it feels so awful, and again when I crawl out of bed a few hours later. If I manage to get out of bed.
So I succumbed to giving the nasal irrigation thing a go.
Take one old drink bottle that's you can squeeze in order to jet water up your nose.
Fill with water and add a teaspoon of salt and another of bicarb.
Tilt head over sink. Pick a nostril. Squirt.
It worked quite well. On my first attempt, clear water went up one nostril and then poured out the other. And it poured out green. I squirted half a litre of salty water up that nostril, and the water came out green from start to finish. So I refilled and kept going until the water ran clear.
Guess what? I could breathe.
For about half an hour. Then the whole works gummed up again. But it was a blessed relief for a while. I've since discovered that Chemists have shelves devoted to pre-mixed packets of nasal irrigation stuff.
And speaking of green.....the snot came out a bright iridescent green. The sort of green that suggests it would glow in the dark (if you were the sort of person who collected snot, put it under a lamp for a short period and then viewed it in a totally darkened room). All I could think of after viewing it is that it's the sort of stuff you'd see in a horror movie - a scientist in a lab coat would hold up a specimen to the camera, explaining that he'd just scraped it out of a pipe at Fukushima, and in the split second before the camera went black, you'd see the green stuff leaping off his scraping tool and dissolving his head.
I thought the worst was over on Saturday, so I went for a test ride. Just a short, one hour easy ride around the suburb. Nothing serious. Hills were taken gently. I didn't race any cars and I doubt my heart rate got anywhere near 80%. I felt good. Really good. The legs were fine, the lungs were clean. Even my eyeballs were free of goo.
All was good, until about 2 hours after I got home. Then I crashed something horrible. Back came the fatigue and the shakes and the headaches, and it was back to bed for me for the rest of the weekend.