It started about a week ago. I was sitting on the toilet and as I finished my business, I sneezed.
Now, normally a simple innocent little sneeze means nothing, but for someone like me, who has had constant and chronic sinus issues since I was a child, the sneeze was much more telling.
The sneeze was deep, a full body sneeze, which in itself can be very telling. Dust? Allergens? Pepper? Is someone cooking with hot sauce? Any one of those could be the case, but when the sneeze had passed and I felt that stinging burning sensation in the top of my lungs, I knew.
That very day, I started drinking copious amounts of water. Yeah, I'm like most of pretty much everyone. I hate drinking water just to drink water, but sometimes your body tells you, "hey! If you don't drink some water soon, I'm gonna make you regret it." There are of course those times when you can't get enough water. Out cutting the grass on a hot summer day? Just got done moving bricks, or doing something extremely exhausting? Yeah, ice water sure does the trick.
In this instance, I went to the fridge, filled a red cup and, against my not-better reluctance, chugged it down.
Day Two. Nothing. I felt great. After my morning coffee I was going like the energizer bunny.
My sister was out of work now for the past week, deathly ill with something, nobody knows what exactly, so I was picking up the slack. We have a small family owned and operated business, so when one of us gets sick, the rest have to work extra hard to keep everything moving. I was very enthused to have gotten so much work done, and we were getting close to caught up. Only issue I had was, towards the end of the day, I started to develop a sore throat.
I immediately went home, chugged some more water which seemed only to aggravate the sore throat, so I switched to hot coffee. It was moderately better. I took an anti-histamine and prayed for the best. I called my sister to see how she was doing, only to hear her impersonate Gollum incoherently and then she hung up the phone.
I tried to go to sleep so many times, but my brain just wasn't having it. About 4 a.m. I finally found the peace of sleep but I was in and out of consciousness for most of the night. It wasn't unrestful, but it wasn't deep sleep either. I could feel it brewing.
Day Three. I woke up to the feeling as if my throat had been ripped apart by multiple cats going after a mouse who was running around in my lungs. The rest of me was fine so I rolled out of bed, actually fell out of bed, and proceeded to get dressed for work. Morning coffee was a no-go. Morning OJ, HELL NO. Water? I tried. Got half the cup down before my throat pleaded with me to stop the waterboarding so I set the cup down and headed to work.
A little bit about my work, but first let me say, this isn't about Covid. If you wanted to read about Covid, this isn't it, I would have included it in the title. There is some info referencing covid, but that's it. Okay. About my work. Family owned and operated means, my entire family works there. We have diabetics and over weight people, my parents are in their 70's, and I am ex military. What does all that mean? Well, for most others it puts them at high risk for dying from any type of infection. For me, it means extra work. When I got to work, my darling daughter immediately told my mom and dad that I had a sore throat and they in turn demanded that I got put on a mask. Heh.
So, in act two, the guy who is full of energy and can get the job done under any circumstances, ends up being undone by a face mask and not taking a break all day. I worked a 12 hour day, no breaks, no food, no water, nothing. By the end of the day my sore throat had disappeared! YAY! The only bad thing was, my nose had started to drip...
I went home, drank some water, ate dinner as if it were my last meal, had a second helping and then went to bed. Bed. Not sleep. I went to bed.
Have you ever had a crazy dream and you woke up only to forget the entire thing? Like, absolutely the entire thing. You might recollect it was crazy, but even now you can't remember details? I find the way to remember dreams, is to be woken up in the middle of one, and then immediately write down or record what the dream was and then go back to sleep. It works great. Kinda creepy, but not for me! So here goes the worlds worst sleep induces lunacy.
Did you know, the left cursor bar develops an X003X result? The right cursor bar develops an X001X result. The X002X result is unobtainable. This is what we're after in today's class. Any questions? I raise my hand and as always get overlooked. No, not just overlooked. Ignored. The side of a pumpkin equals the curvature of the space time in which the pumpkin resides. For any object, it's shape is realized by the warping of the space time within which it resides! Pumpkin froot loops sounds disgusting. Mmmm pumpkin fruit loops. Okay, I'll take some.
By the end of that first fifteen minute semi-lucid hallucination, I was done for. I shifted my position under the blankets and felt a disgusting layer of sweat three layers thick. My little Weiner dog curled up next to me, as if she knew what I was going through, and I think she did because she stayed with me the entire time.
Take fifty-two. After so many times of rolling over, assuming one of the six prescribed positions I can pose my body into while sleeping, I woke up. My brain hurt. My nose was stuffed, both sides. My throat no longer hurt, but my chest felt heavy. I got up, made it to the kitchen, got something to drink and immediately went back to bed. I would continue this routine all day long, get up, get something to drink, go to the bathroom or not, got back to bed. Sometimes I could sleep. Most times I couldn't. My eyes burned. I started rinsing my eyes and gently blowing my nose each time I got up, only to find the real fun hadn't started yet. Everything I blew out was clear with a slightly yellow tinge.
After a day of this, I just wanted it to be over. The twin boxes with retroactive morphing answers that had nothing to do with reality or anything even slightly related to reality, kept coming. Did you know, old oil from a truck or car can promote hair growth? You laugh. This actually isn't one of those hallucinations but a personal observation.
In my teens, I changed the oil in my 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix. In my teens I also wore a leather jacket and was too cool to take it off to change the oil in my previously identified vehicle. Oil spilled down the left sleeve of my jacket and by the time I finished changing the oil, it had traveled down the left hand side of my back. Present day, I have a large patch of hair growing on the back side of my left arm, and a large patch of hair growing on the left hand side of my back. Only the parts where the oil was in contact with my skin and where I applied a lot of pressure by moving around and such. Food for thought.
Did you know the sub-super positioning of numbers is inversely and retroactively unproportionate to their value? The reason why probabilities DO NOT WORK. If given three boxes, the chances of opening the correct box is 33.333%. If you open box 1 and it's not the correct box, you can close it and try again. What are the chances of opening the correct box? Do they go back to 33.333% or, do they go to 50% and do you automatically assume you won't choose box one... again? Computers can be programmed to do this but humans learn much faster and do not require billions of lines of code. Or do we?
What if life isn't so rare out in the universe of things? Another race finds a world they can live in, but it's inhabited by giant ferocious dinosaurs. Well! Call Orkin! Orkin is an asteroid about 6 miles across that got a little nudge from a rocket booster and was strategically flung into the earth to eradicate our nasty first round of evolution. Round two is here... or maybe that was the alien spacecraft that used the pyramids as landing spots... the guys with the eagle heads, dog heads, cat heads, and such. Maybe this is round three? Are they coming back?
I woke up covered in sweat and chilled to the bone. I couldn't get warm enough, not even with three blankets and a snuggly warm Weiner dog pressed against my back. I grabbed another blanket and dragged it on top of me, thought about rolling over to switch which nostril was going to be draining into the towel on my pillow... I don't think I actually rolled over though... I don't know.
I had a second day of hallucinations until, later that day, the rest of the family returned and I was introduced to my very own NeilMed Neti-bottle thing, with salt packets. I got up, enthusiastically, and tripped and banged into everything I could on the way to the bathroom where I proceeded to cough once, cough twice, and then hack up a huge glistening thing which I will stop describing because you'll just throw up, and I really want you like this recount of my experience.
So after coughing, I Stood there, hunched over, letting the fire that burned in my lungs smolder away. I needed to do this bottle thing. My wife had bought me sterilized water and had the whole set up ready for me. She even warmed the water. She's a fucking angel!
I blew my nose, just to get an airway started, and then used the bottle. So I'll refrain from describing the whole thing. If you wanna know what it is or how it works, I'll tell you quick. You're putting super diluted salt water up one nostril, pumping it through your sinuses, and out the opposite nostril, or your mouth. You might be surprised to know your EYES are on this same circuit. Yeah. My first time was an eye watering and nose opening experience. It did not hurt, it wasn't uncomfortable, with the water being very close to my own body temp, I didn't realize it was working until the water came out my other nostril.
Technically speaking, I did a long slow squeeze in the right nostril and out the left, let it drain, blew my nose, and switched sides. You get two good long flushes in each nostril for a total of four, in each full bottle.
After that, I was stoked. I could breathe out of both my nostrils, I was ready to get better. My chest still felt like it was packed with cement but, I needed to get better. I need to get better, should I say. I'm writing this on day FOUR of my full blown staying at home, bed ridden, sickness. Being the owner of my business, I had to get out of bed yesterday to do payroll. I climbed back into bed only to have my brain crunch numbers for payroll tax, assuming every aspect of every deduction and how it applied to the gravitational aspect of black holes and space time curvature.
In my lunacy, I realized something. Everything has an equal and opposite. That's what they say right? If this is true, then my hallucinations have created a breakthrough. Seriously though! Consider this; Considering Black Holes, Space Time Curvature and Gravity: They say at the center of a black hole is a singularity. This is theoretically and I would suffice to say, really, an impossibility. Oh sure they wanna explain it away like "in the center of a black hole, the laws of physics no longer apply!" BULLSHIT. It's not a singularity. In the center of a black hole is a supercrystalline structure born out of a intense shockwave from a supernova like event. Every proton, neutron and electron field is packed in like the inside of a diamond, only tighter. Billion of times tighter. With so much matter packed so tightly together, the gravity of it is immense BUT, not only is it measurable by the size of the black hole, but also the gravity it exerts of other objects.
So Hallucinational theory number one suggests no singularity at the center of a black hole, only tightly packed existence that takes up ROOM. Add matter, you add to the space taken up, the gravitational effect and the mass.
Second Hallucinational theory is that Gravity has an anti-gravity field. You ever watch that show about how human blood has iron in it but, we're not magnetic? We're actually Anti-magnetic. Well, gravity has an equal and opposite anti-gravitational field. In a black hole, there is so much matter and so much gravity, at a certain distance from the core, this anti-gravitational field can actually be observed, but only with very delicate instruments. Gravity holds you to the ground. Your anti-gravity field is so far away from you, you can't touch it, you can't see it, but at some point, that anti-gravity field exerts a push on everything affected by gravity, equal to your weight, only spread out across billions of miles of space, which wouldn't budge a hair in space... or would it?
My brain is burning. I slept... maybe an hour last night. Did I mention I lost the ability to SMELL. It's a real worry but I've been vaccinated so I was semi-relieved that if this was covid, I would survive it. Come to think of it, a lot of my symptoms are kinda the same, but when I got up this morning I used the Xylitol packet instead of the salt packet for the nasal rinse. Xylitol is a naturally occurring plant based substance, a sugar-free sweetener, and, as I didn't know until today, an awesome anti-bacterial.
I used the Xylitol nasal rinse today, just once so far. Again, if you are experiencing the same sort of situation as I am, I highly recommend getting this over the counter treatment and using it. This is what happened.
With the first flush I saw a huge amount of "stuff" coming out of my nose, and this is after I'd already blew my nose, gently mind you, to get my nostrils open. Let me do a quick trip down memory lane before I continue.
When I was a child, I had allergies and actually went to get allergy shots. The arm I got the shot in would seize up and stay locked for a good number of hours afterward. I never liked getting those shots. After we moved to the country, my mother started giving me the shots, and then, stopped giving them to me all together. We just could not afford them.
As a young adult, I got sick once or twice a year with a sever sinus cold that was so bad I actually took to beating my head against a wall. Cold walls or cold cement was great. Anything to press my forehead against. Doctors were just like "Oh you've got an allergy cold. Here, take some anti-histamine and you'll be fine." I was never fine. My sinus headaches were the stuff of legend.
As an adult in the military, having my nose run incessantly, and having these headaches, were debilitating. As a new member of the military in a training school, any attempt to get out of classes was looked down upon, almost to the point of getting written up for it. Bad. Really bad. You get written up, you're going to see the Captain, and not in a good way.
HOWEVER... it was during my time in the military that things changed. Instead of the docs giving me run of the mill bullshit, one doctor gave me Septra. Look it up. Prior to this the usual prescription was Augmentin, Motrin, Afrin, and Sudafed. Augmentin is the antibiotic that should have worked. Motrin is a pain killer and anti-inflammatory. Afrin is a nasal decongestant which works by shooting acid into your sinuses which has an immediate effect, and Sudafed dries you out so bad the skin will flake off your ears. It did for me. Nothing got rid of the sinus infections, not even Augmentin, but Septra seemed to kick it's ass, in me at least.
At my last command, they did not want to prescribe me with Septra. Heh, change of command, change in doctors, and a new doctor is a new Mr. Know it all. My first Sinus infection followed closely after. After two weeks on Augmentin and my Master Chief sending me home two days in a row, they finally called me back to medical for a check up. I was so dehydrated they put three bags of saline into me, and that was just to get my temperature down from 104.1 They also packed ice bags around me and after all that, they put me in a reclining chair, tipped me back until I was upside down and squirted liquid Afrin into my nostrils. I remember there was an audible WWWWEEEEEEEEEEE! that the chief across the room heard, as my sinuses unlocked and released the pressure. He asked "What was that?"
I got up, thanked the guys for treating me and said I was good to go back to work. I had come in, looking like walking DEATH. My forehead was swollen from the pressure in my sinuses. I still have an uneven forehead, my right sinus sticks out further than my left and both stick out on my forehead. I believe this last treatment with the Afrin and the gigantic efforts I made now, are what has led to me NOT having more Sinus issues than I do. I have not had a Sinus headache since that incident. I will note, after than incident, and due to the chiefs reluctance to just let me walk out before telling him what was going on, led to them putting me on Septra when I had Sinus issues, and me ceasing the use of Afrin which is neither here nor there. I haven't really needed it.
So, back to this morning. Blow my nose gently - I don't want to shove a bunch of shit into my sinuses and block them up! I use the Xylitol rinse and immediately all sorts of stuff is coming out. I do both sides twice. For the next ten minutes I'm hacking up stuff out of my lungs. Blow my nose a couple more times. I also took a shower. The lowest setting was too hot so I feel like something is going on with either my temp (I don't feel hot) or my perception of temp. I will say, after the Xylitol flush, not only can I breath, I CAN SMELL! Apple cider is not just sweet water, it's cider! OJ tastes like OJ! I'm gonna go make some eggs and see if they taste as good as I remember.
It's currently 3 p.m. September 17th, 2021. I hope that by tomorrow I'll be good to go back to work. We shall see.
If you like my writing and my abilities, please like my stuff, send me a tip if you must, subscribe, whatever people do on Vocal. I've got a lot of other projects in the works but this Sinus cold has been kicking my ass. Thank you for reading and I hope you stay healthy and stay safe.