Tuesday, April 28, 2009


So, this mucus thing has worn out its welcome.

It's been going around work, and people have said it's bad, but this is getting old. For eleven days, I've been congested and fatigued...missed out on two cycling weekends and three days of work. Today I woke up with packed sinuses and a headache, and I figured the whole thing had turned into a sinus infection. I'd planned to head off to the doctor, but my head started to shake loose within the hour.

not me

So instead, I decided first to head off to the trusty internet. Should I spend the time and money on the doc or would I likely be sent home with a prescription to rest and drink fluids? But what do I search?? I had no words for my symptoms except thick green snot. I knew there had to be better terms that would yield better information, but I didn't know what those words were. So thick green snot it was.

Of course, searches for green snot turn up all kinds of hits, mostly from Yahoo forums: I've got green/yellow/neon snot...what does that mean? Answers offered: get to a doctor, pronto, you're about to die. Then the argument ensues: no, it means a virus and you don't treat a virus with an antibiotic, or, green is a bacterial infection yellow is a virus, or, mine's yellow-brown, what about that.... and of course all links led eventually to the worst-case scenario: the infection can spread eye-ward or brain-ward and cause either to quit working indefinitely. No wonder people run to the clinic and demand pills.

not me

Mucopurulent Rhinitis. The term is Mucopurulent Rhinitis.
Mucopurulent=consisting of mucus and pus (the thickness and color in the snot is actually pus which results from overactive...things...that then cause some...stuff...to shed into the mucus, bla, bla, bla...you know, medical jargon) -- mucus should be clear
Rhinitis=inflamation of the mucous membrane of the nose
Bottom line. I've got gross crap in my sinuses. I knew this.

Aha. Color isn't an indicator of infection...they used to think so, but not any more. Doctors aren't prescribing drugs just because of something purulent these days. Most mucopurulent rhinitis clears up with time: research found 10 to 1 against antibiotics making any difference. Flush the sinuses. Rest. Drink hot tea and plenty of water.

By the time I had answers, I found myself with energy enough to clean the bathroom...a perfect waste of new-found energy. Normal people would head out for a neighborhood walk and some fresh air, but I wanted a ride.

not me

I'm always a bit hesitant to head out on the bike on a sick day. I don't live in the 'burb where I teach so I don't risk being seen, but I have unrealistic fears of being in some sort of accident...on my bicycle miles from home on a sick day. Sure, you were sick! But, on the other hand, people at work should know me well enough to know an easy ride for me is an average Jane's neighborhood walk.

So I rode.

And I could could feel the sun and I could breathe.

- Bags under my eyes, though


Once known as The Badger said...

Ah, you beautiful woman. Of course you would ride. If you didn't have a fever, a ride will do you no harm, and probably do you good. In the meantime, I really wish you to be well. Go, snot rocket, go!

WheelDancer said...

Just remember, you didn't invent the term 'Wheel of Life', you just found the truth in it.

bother yam said...

when the snot fairy comes a-callin', i've found a new weapon -- i'm high on pot.

neti, that is. once you get over the 'oh my god, i'm waterboarding myself!' feeling, it works really well. a little salt and some warm water, a little personal space with a sink and you're golden...

Snakebite said...

You've got a sinus infection. I use to get them and these are the symptoms. Go to the doc, get your antibiotics, take them full course all all will be well.

You'll feel better with 48 hours, BUT, do NOT stop taking your meds. It won't be dead yet.


The Old Bag said...

Thanks for all the well-wishes!

@Brother Yam, the pot is saving my sinuses and keeping me sane.